By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
During his visit to the Czech Republic, Pope Benedict XVI visited the church of Our Lady of Victories, home of the famous statue of the Infant of Prague, where he crowned the image and pronounced a new prayer for children and families.
According to a report by the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the Pope’s visit to the chapel took place on the first of his three day visit to Czechoslovakia. He adored the Blessed Sacrament, crowned the image and addressed a crowd of families with children who were on hand for the historic visit.
“My thoughts turn to your own families and to all families … as we call upon the Child Jesus for the gift of unity and harmony,” he told them.
“We think especially of young families who have to work so hard to offer their children security and a decent future. We pray for families in difficulty, struggling with illness and suffering, for those in crisis, divided or torn apart by strife or infidelity. We entrust them all to the Holy Infant of Prague, knowing how important their stability and harmony is for the true progress of society and for the future of humanity,” the Pope said.
“In the Holy Infant of Prague we contemplate the beauty of childhood and the fondness that Jesus Christ has always shown for little ones. Yet how many children are neither loved, nor welcomed, nor respected! How many of them suffer violence and every kind of exploitation by the unscrupulous! May children always be accorded the respect and attention that are due to them: they are the future and the hope of humanity!”
While crowning the image, the Pope pronounced the following prayer:
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 Savior.
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.
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