Devotion History

Devotion History

In a Terrance of the Kleinseitte of Prague one of the most ancient parts of the magnificent capital of Bohemia, rises the stately Church of “Maria de Victoria” erected in memory of the brilliant success of the Catholic arms in the celebrated battle of the “White Mountain” (Weissen Berge)

When Frederick, the Calvinist Elector Palatine of the Rhine, usurped the throne of Bohemia, and thus placed that Catholic country by force in the hand of Protestants, the Emperor Ferdinand II, the rightful heir to the throne, with Maxmilliana of Bavaria waged war against him with their united forces. But these good Catholic princes did not rely solely on their cause to “The Lord might in battle” (Ps.23:8). “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God.” (Ps.29:8) This they earnestly begged the General of the discalced Carmelites, Dominicus aq Jesus Maria, a man according to God’s own Heart, to accompany the army, that he might inflame it for the holy cause by his zeal and inspired eloquence. It was on the 8th of November 1620, when this holy old man, prophetically inspired from on High, pressed the hesitating generals of the Emperor’s army to commence the battle, he himself led the soldiers to the field with the watchword: Maria! Maria! Holding aloft a picture of the Birth of Our Lord which had been desecrated by the Protestants.

Animated by him, they performed such heroic deeds that the battle of the White Mountain near Prague finally decided the fate of the King Frederick and Catholicism in Bohemia and “Victory! Victory! Become the joyful cry.

In perpetual memory of, and in thanksgiving for the assistance of Our Lord and His Holy Mother, and also out of gratitude it the herald of the Lord, the Carmelite General Dominicus, Ferdinand II, founded several monasteries of this strict order, one in Prague itself, the church of which received the name of Our Lord of Victory. In this sanctuary one of the six altars is continually resplendent with numerous burning tapers and the eyes of the pious worshippers are raised to a beautiful little statue which stands above on its glittering throne mercy. This statue is of wax, and is about 19 inches high. A crown set with precious stones rests on its head, and it is clothed in a richly embroider mantle. Its left hand holds the globe of sovereignty, whilst the right one is graciously raised in blessing. This exquisite statue is that of the Infant Jesus of Prague, the object of veneration of thousands of pious Catholics, the miraculous statue to which we also are about to pay our tribute of honour.

After the death of her husband, Abalbert de Lobkowitz, in 1623, the noble princess devoted herself entirely to works of charity and piety. The Carmelites too, who after the departure of their benefactor Ferdinand II had been reduced to great poverty, were objects of her benevolence and she resolved to give to those much oppressed Fathers this precious family treasure, so that He who will not deprive of good things them that walk in innocence (Ps. 83:13), might also bestow earthly blessings upon that necessitous monastery.

Taking the miraculous statue to the monastery she said to the assembled monks: “I hereby give you what is dearest to me on earth; venerate this Image and nothing will be waiting to you”. Her prophetic words were they met twice daily for mediation, and raised their hearts and eyes to their gracious little King.

Nor was it in vain! Extraordinary blessing were now bestowed on this once abandoned monastery. The treasured statue drew down upon, it s dwelling place not only spiritual, but also temporal blessings. The novices were especially fervent in their devotion to it, and among them none more so than Cyrillus a Mater Det, a native of Luxemburg, of whom, as being a renowned venerator of the Image, we shall say more in the following chapter.

This novice carried, as it were, the Holy Infant in his heart, having received from it the following remarkable favor. He had been suffering for some time from such spiritual dryness that he was on the verge of despair. After having addressed himself in fervent supplication was at once miraculously relieved from this dreadful torment; yea: “Blessed is the man that hopeth in Thee”. (Ps. 83:18)