Sunday, March 7, 2010

Special Report: Crowning of the Infant of Prague- St. John Nepomuk

I'm starting to think I grew up under a rock.  Until today, I had never heard of Crowning the Infant Jesus of Prague.  I barely knew about the Infant Jesus of Prague (statue of a toddler Jesus in fancy cloth gowns..sum of my knowledge).

I was looking through the St. Louis Review, the newspaper of the St. Louis Archdiocese and noticed St. John Nepomuk, the Czech parish, was having a Solemn Crowning of the Infant Jesus of Prague.  Thinking that anything would be better than working on my dissertation, I decided to go.

St. John Nepomuk is a classic old church.  Statues are everywhere.  Along one side of the nave, the Sacraments are painted on the walls in symbols.  On the other side of the nave, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are painted.  Modern/contemporary art seems to have missed this Chapel.

All of the music today was either in Czech, Latin or English.

Order of today's devotion:
Entrance Hymn:  Savty Jani Nepomuku.  A procession occurred.  There were Knights of Columbus with swords.  One had a purple feathery hat.  I've heard of such men, but I have never seen them.  They formed a sort of Honor Guard.  Then came Monsignors of different sorts and a few priests.
Next came scripture readings.  The readings were from Christmas Day.  The Gospel was from Luke, the one that starts, "And a decree went out in those days..."
Hymn:  Come Holy Ghost

There was  a sermon.  In the sermon, Father discussed the history of the Infant of Prague Devotion.  He mentioned that in the old days, brides would put out statues of the Infant of Prague the night before their wedding to ensure good weather for the wedding.  He ended with this quote from the Infant Jesus of Prague: "The more you Honor Me, the more I will bless you."

After the sermon, the Infant Jesus of Prague was processed around the Church, while songs in Czech were sung.  One was "Jak, jse krásné nevinatko.."

On the side altar, you can see some of the outfits for the statue.

The crown

The Infant Jesus of Prague was crowned.

We then said a variety of prayers to the Infant Jesus of Prague.  One set is here.  The big prayer written by Father Cyril, was translated from the Czech by the fifth pastor of the parish and is still the approved translation.

Then there was Benediction.  First we sang a Czech hymn, "Matko presvato, cnostmi Bohata..."
Then we sang the traditional hymns for Benediction in Latin: O Sanctissima, O Salutaris, Tantum Ergo.  The devotion ended with the singing of "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name"

This was a really cool devotion that I went to this afternoon.  I'm rather glad I went.

Pictures (I apologize, my camera sucks in low light):

This is a Holy Water Font.
Totally Cool.

View from the Back Pew!
St. John Nepomuk is in the center.

Fortitude and Knowledge
Two of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

St. Michael the Archangel
This was above the old ambo or lecturn.

Window in the Sanctuary


Grotto of Our Lady of Lordes and St. Bernadette

Information on St. John Nepomuk, Chapel, from the St. Louis Archdiocese
St. John Nepomuk (closed parish) from the Archdiocesan Archives
Pictures from Rome of the West
History and more of St. John Nepomuk
History from the perspective of the School Sisters of Notre Dame


  1. How wonderful! I miss living in St. Louis and having all of those wonderful churches so near. Thank you very much for sharing your experience!

  2. pleased to find this site...i am English but have been living in Portugal for the last 20 years, where i have come to love the little infant of husbands family have been working alongside a nun who has a process in rome at the moment, she dedicated her whole life to the infant of prague, and now we are carrying on her work...recently i aquired an infant from the usa, would love to see more photos of the infant...thank you god bless jane portugal...