This is the true story of the small wax statue of The Miraculous Infant of Prague. The story spans many hundreds of years from the dusty wayside roads of Cordoba and Seville through Spain and then against a background of wars and conflict in Bohemia which today is the Czech Republic.
Through history and devotion the reader is taken on a rich journey that leads us to Prague's "Mala Strana" (The Old Town) a short stroll from the Charles Bridge.
The book is also a detailed travel guide to many other sacred and spiritual places in the city and the story and information will almost certainly benefit pilgrims, visitors or tourists alike.
The real story starts many hundreds of years ago when the heathens were waging war on the Christian outposts of the Spanish peninsula. A remote monastery stood along the wayside road between Seville and Cordoba. As the monks prayed in this tranquil surround an army of Moors invaded the monastery and destroyed it leaving it an empty and derelict monument.
A group of monks who had fled and survived the conquering hordes returned much later and resettled into their ruined monastery and slowly over time the buildings were restored. The long hot dusty days passed by and then whilst one of the monks was at work in the monastery flower gardens a beautiful small child came upon him. The little child smiled at him and said “I am Jesus”. The monk momentarily looked to the pale blue cloudless skies and in an instant the child had disappeared yet the small boy’s face became etched in the holy mans memory.
Years passed, the monastery increased in size and vocations swelled the once quiets cells and cloistered walls. The monk grew old but found it impossible to forget the small angelic child who paid him a visit during his youth. He longed to see the infant’s radiant face one more time and began to model in wax the image that so moved him as a young monk. In his twilight years he made many attempts to recreate the child in wax but none of his finished models were quite right until early one morning a clear bright light appeared and the child standing before him said “I have come to show my self again to you, so that you can finish the sculpture according to my likeness". The old Spanish monk’s warm fingers moulded and shaped the softened wax until a perfect identical image was complete.
Early the following morning the monk’s brotherly community found him lying still yet smiling in the tranquil repose of death with the beautiful and precious little statue gazing at him as if welcoming one of His brethren through the gates heaven. His little friend had visited this last time and had taken him home.
Over the following years the statue became revered and honoured by the Spanish people. The statue was also venerated by St. Teresa of Avila (St. Teresa of Jesus) and on her travels she would always carry a small replica with her. It is believed that the original figure was gifted by St. Teresa herself to the Spanish Princess Maria Maxmiliana Manriquez de Lara y Mendoza of Borgos as a wedding present at the time she married the Bohemian (Czech) nobleman Lord Vratislav of Pernstein who then brought to Prague the treasured statue. The couple gave birth to a daughter Polyxena who in 1587 married the most powerful bohemian Lord William of Rozmberk and the little wax figure was given over to Polyxena as a wedding present. After twenty five years the marriage ended in her husband’s death and Polyxena married for a second time to the Chancellor of Bohemia Prince Zdenek Vojtech de Lobkovice. It was during this marriage and at the age of 43 that a son Prince Vaclev was born to the pious couple whose descendents today are one of the most famous families in the Czech Republic.