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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pray to the Baby Jesus

I have fallen behind in question answering. If I've missed your question please repost it in the comments section and I'll take another run at it.

Meanwhile someone at some point asked about how to say the "Infant of Prague Rosary".  There really isn't an Infant of Prague Rosary that of which I am aware. There is an Infant of Prague Chaplet.

The word chaplet means "a crown or a wreath". And that's why we call these circular sets of beads chaplets, because our prayers form our Heavenly crown and bring greater glory to the devotions (Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart, for example) and saints for which they are said.

The rosary is a chaplet. But a chaplet is not a rosary. Once we get into chaplet territory all bets are off. Beads.  A set of beads, prayers said in a certain order, a certain number of them, a set of colors that symbolize something (purity, the Precious Blood, etc.).  There are as many chaplets as there are orders, needs for prayer and saints. The chaplet for St. Therese the Little Flower has 24 beads, the number of years she lived. The Blessed Sacrament chaplet has 33 beads, the number of years Jesus lived on earth.

The beads are there to keep count. The colors are there to focus your prayer. The rest is up to you.

There is an Infant of Prague chaplet. It has 15 beads and an Infant of Prague medallion at one end. You say three Our Fathers in honor of the Holy Family and 12 Hail Marys  in honor of the 12 years of Jesus' infancy and childhood. Starting on the medallion you say this prayer:

"Divine Infant Jesus,
I adore Thy Cross
and I accept all the cross
Thou wilt be pleased to send me.
Adorable Trinity,
I offer Thee
for the glory of Thy Holy Name of God,
all the adorations of the Sacred Heart
of the Holy Infant Jesus."

And then before each Our Father and each Hail Mary you say this prayer:
"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us."
And then when you're done you say this:
"Holy Infant Jesus, help and protect us."

So, it's not rocket science.

A whole separate discussion could be had on devotion to the infant Jesus, which is also not rocket science. I think it's brilliant, whoever came up with the Infant of Prague chaplet, to have added before each prayer, "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us."

That's the essence of devotion to the infant/child Jesus: that He was a human being who was born and played with blocks and ate His peas. There are whole orders who do nothing but meditate on points like this. So it certainly doesn't hurt the rest of us to contemplate what that really means to us, for us. If you really pay attention to the words of the prayers in this chaplet it's all there for you.


Anonymous said...

Which were first, Mandela beads or the Rosary?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister, My aunt loves prayer and she likes writing her own chaplets mostly to Jesus and the Most Holy Trinity (she also makes her own beads for them). She thinks there's nothing wrong with that because she uses them for private prayer and most of the time uses well known prayers, like jaculatories and a few of her own. Is her practice correct and doesn't go against church teaching?