Prayer of the Pope Benedict XVI

which he used during his visit at the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague on the 26th September 2009

O my Lord Jesus, we gaze on You as a child and believe that You are the Son of God, who became Man through the working of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
Just as in Bethlehem, we too, adore You, with Mary, Joseph, the angels and the shepherds, and acknowledge You as our only Saviour.
You became poor to enrich us with Your poverty. Grant that we may never forget the poor and all those who suffer.
Protect our families, bless all the children of the world and grant that the love You have brought us may always reign amongst us and lead us to a happier life.
Grant, O Jesus, that all may recognize the truth of Your birth, so that all may know that You have come to bring to the whole human family light, joy and peace.
You are God, who live and reign with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Amen.

Novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague

In nine days, we want to remember Jesus’ childhood and allow him to impact and change our lives. Ultimately, these are things that touch us. Jesus came into this world and became a child for every single one of us. He knows all of us by name. Every day, the Novena offers us a childhood characteristic, which at first glance might look like a limitation, but which may be just the opposite…

day 1 – Smallness

Jesus, you became a child; you became little even though you are the infinitely great God. By doing this you showed us where true greatness lies. You teach us that we do not need to behave in a superior way for you to notice us and be interested in us. We want to accept our limitations and draw on our gifts. Let us appreciate the little things that create our life and recognise our infinite value.

The Lord’s Prayer – Hail Mary – Glory to the Father

Lord Jesus, you became man and lived a human life from beginning to end. You understand us completely without us needing to say a word. You accept us even if we are not perfect. You reach down to us to raise us up and to make us strong and brave. Please, heal our hearts and fill our life with peace, happiness and hope. For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

day 2 – Frailty

Jesus, you took on the frailty of a child. We have all experienced the fact that our life is very fragile. Even a tiny thing can destroy our relationships, our health, our dreams, or our self-esteem. You know our fragility, you take it into account and yet and do not cease to hold us dear. Teach us to live with the awareness of our own fragility and not to forget the dignity that we have in your eyes.

The Lord’s Prayer – Hail Mary – Glory to the Father

Lord Jesus, you became man…

day 3 – Poverty

Jesus, you came to this world as a poor child. You did not even have a roof over your head. You, to whom the whole universe belongs. Your awareness of being the beloved Son of God was your wealth. We also experience poverty, material or spiritual – helplessness, loneliness, and hopelessness. Let this always be an opportunity to discover our true wealth: our awareness of having you.

The Lord’s Prayer – Hail Mary – Glory to the Father

Lord Jesus, you became man…

day 4 – Vulnerability

Jesus, you were not afraid to become a vulnerable child. We were also harmed in different ways – by clumsiness, misunderstanding, indifference, or even deliberately. We carry many of our injuries through our life. We do not know how to deal with them and so we hurt others. Send us those who will lead us in healing. We have hope that our injuries can be healed.

The Lord’s Prayer – Hail Mary – Glory to the Father

Lord Jesus, you became man…

day 5 – Dependence on others

Jesus, like every child, you were dependent on others, on their care, closeness and solicitude. Like you, we cannot survive without others. We need you and need each other. We learn that loneliness does not feel good. Heal our relationships so that we may come out of isolation and give ourselves to others with joy.

The Lord’s Prayer – Hail Mary – Glory to the Father

Lord Jesus, you became man…

day 6 – Playfulness

Jesus, playfulness and imagination were definitely part of your childhood. It is enough to watch children for a while to realise that play is often more important than “serious” work. Let us be able to be as fully in the present moment as a child absorbed in play. Let us be inspired by the truthfulness and commitment of a playing child. Let us be able to sometimes allow ourselves not to take ourselves too seriously and to be able to dream.

The Lord’s Prayer – Hail Mary – Glory to the Father

Lord Jesus, you became man…

day 7 – Weakness

Jesus, almighty God, only love could have made you take on helplessness and become a weak child. You never wanted to use violence because it is not possible to win human hearts by power. Do not let our weakness lead us into desperation, after all, we know it is part of life. It teaches us to be patient, to pray, to be humble and wise. Only in weakness can we truly meet other people and build friendship and trust.

The Lord’s Prayer – Hail Mary – Glory to the Father

Lord Jesus, you became man…

day 8 – Trust

Jesus, as a child you put yourself into the hands of Mary and Joseph. You have the same trust in all people and in us. Sometimes we forget that our life is in good hands, no matter what is happening. We are overcome by baseless fear and worries that bind us. When we watch you, little King, we cannot be afraid of you. Let our life be governed by trust and not by fear.

The Lord’s Prayer – Hail Mary – Glory to the Father

Lord Jesus, you became man…

day 9 – Growth

Jesus, as a child you grew and became stronger in both body and spirit. We are also invited to grow into the fullness you created us into. Let us not focus on past mistakes and wrongs but instead look toward what is ahead of us. Let us discover the possibilities you send to our life and enable us to use them creatively. Let us allow our lives to bloom into full beauty.

The Lord’s Prayer – Hail Mary – Glory to the Father

Lord Jesus, you became man…

Chaplet – 12 mysteries of Jesus‘ childhood

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
And the Word became flesh. The Lord’s prayer… (three times)
And the Word became flesh and lived among us. Hail Mary… (twelve times; the following mysteries of Jesus’ childhood are added gradually)

  1. … who was for eternity the expected Messiah
  2. … who was proclaimed to the Virgin Mary
  3. … with whom Mary visited Elizabeth
  4. … who was announced to Joseph in his dream
  5. … who was born in Bethlehem
  6. … to whom the shepherds and the wise men bowed
  7. … who was circumcised on the eighth day
  8. … who was brought to the temple
  9. … who had to flee to Egypt with his family
  10. … who lived a hidden life in Nazareth
  11. … who was found again in the temple
  12. … who prospered in spirit and body and was beloved by God and also by the people

Glory to the Father…

Prayer of venerable Father Cyril of the Mother of God

Discalced Carmelite (1590–1675)

Jesus, you decided to become a child, and I come to you full of trust. I believe that your attentive love pre-empts all my needs. Even for the intercession of your holy Mother, You can meet my needs, spiritual as well as material, if I pray according to your holy will.

I love you with all my heart, all my strength, I beg your forgiveness if my weakness makes me sin. I repeat with the Gospel “Lord, if you want, you can heal me.” I leave you to decide how and when. I am ready to accept suffering, if this is your will, but help me not to become hardened to it, rather to bear fruit.

Help me to be a faithful servant and for your sake, holy Child, to love my neighbour as myself. Almighty Child, unceasingly I pray for you to support me in my necessities of the present moment (you can mention them here).

Grant me the grace to remain in you, to be possessed and to possess you entirely,with your parents, Mary and Joseph, in the eternal praise of your heavenly servants.

Amen.

The Infant Jesus in Poetry

claudel-face Paul Claudel

L’enfant Jésus de Prague

Il neige.
Le grand monde est mort sans doute. C’est décembre.
Mais qu’il fait bon, mon Dieu, dans la petite chambre !
La cheminée emplie de charbons rougeoyants
Colore le plafond d’un reflet somnolent,
Et l’on n’entend que l’eau qui bout à petit bruit.
Là-haut sur l’étagère, au-dessus des deux lits,
Sous son globe de verre, couronne en tête,
L’une des mains tenant le monde, l’autre prête
À couvrir ces petits qui se confient à elle,
Tout aimable dans sa grande robe solennelle
Et magnifique sous cet énorme chapeau jaune,
L’Enfant Jésus de Prague règne et trône.
Il est tout seul devant le foyer qui l’éclaire
Comme l’hostie cachée au fond du sanctuaire,
L’Enfant-Dieu jusqu’au jour garde ses petits frères.
Inentendue comme le souffle qui s’exhale,
L’existence éternelle emplit la chambre, égale
À toutes ces pauvres choses innocentes et naïves !
Quand il est avec nous, nul mal ne nous arrive.
On peut dormir, Jésus, notre frère, est ici.
Il est à nous, et toutes ces bonnes choses aussi :
La poupée merveilleuse, et le cheval de bois,
Et le mouton sont là, dans ce coin tous les trois.
Et nous dormons, mais toutes ces bonnes choses sont à nous !
Les rideaux sont tirés… Là-bas, on ne sait où,
Dans la neige et la nuit sonne une espèce d’heure.
L’enfant dans son lit chaud comprend avec bonheur
Qu’il dort et que quelqu’un qui l’aime bien est là,
S’agite un peu, murmure vaguement, sort le bras,
Essaye de se réveiller et ne peut pas.