Church of Our Lady Victorious – Panna Marie Vítězná
This church was built between 1611 and 1613 by German Lutherans. After the Battle of White Mountain the church became Catholic and in 1624 it passed to the Carmelites. This cathedral is known for the statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague (Il Bambino di Praga –Pražské Jezulátko), whose cult is widespread mainly in western Europe and Latin America. This statue originates in Spain and in 1628 was transferred to Prague by Polyxena von Pernstein-Lobkowitz. The statue is said to have immense healing power, especially as far as children are concerned. Two such cases were recorded in 1890 and 1891 and reported by the Roman Catholic writer Paul Claudel who at one time worked at the French Embassy in Prague. In December 1910 he wrote the poem The Infant Jesus of Prague – L’Enfant Jesus de Prague..
Bohumil Hrabal, in the second chapter of his novel I Served the King of England (Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále) , parodies the exaggerated worship of the Infant Jesus of Prague. He describes the bizarre development that came to pass when a certain Bolivian delegation attempted to have a copy of this statue consecrated by none other than the Archbishop of Prague in Saint Vitus Cathedral itself.
This guided walk is a part of the “Democracy on the Brink. Historical lessons from the late 1930s” project supported by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.