The Church of Our Lady Victorious (Kostel Panny Marie Vítězné) in Malá Strana, the "Lesser Quarter" of Prague is a church governed and administered by the Discalced Carmelites, and home of the famous Child Jesus statue called the Infant Jesus of Prague. The statue, a 16th-century depiction of infant Jesus holding a globus cruciger, was donated to the Carmelite friars in 1628 by Polyxena, 1st Princess Lobkowicz.
A chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity was built on this site in 1584, following Rudolph II´s Letter of Majesty a larger church for German Protestants. With the Battle of White Mountain, 8 November 1620, the Counter-Reformation signalled the re-Catholicism of Prague. The church was given to the direction of the Carmelites in September 1624. The triumphalist altarpiece of Our Lady of Victory was sent from Rome by Pope Gregory XV. The Carmelites were ordered to hand over the church to Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, 3 June 1784.
At the request of the Archbishop of Prague Miloslav Vlk, the Discalced Carmelites returned to the church after two hundred years of absence on 2 July 1993. The Carmelite Sisters of the Child Jesus help the Carmelites with the care of the gracious statue and the church. The pilgrimage church is under the parish administration of the Church of St. Thomas in Mala Strana.
Visit of Pope Benedict XVI
On 26 September 2009 Pope Benedict XVI declared the church and the Infant Jesus the first station on the Apostolic Road in the Czech Republic. The Pontiff also donated a gold crown, decorated with eight shells, pearls, and garnet gemstones to the Infant Jesus of Prague, which the statue dons today.
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