The Church of Our Lady of Victory
The Church of Our Lady of Victory is the famous pilgrimage site of the Infant Jesus of Prague, and one of the oldest Baroque buildings in Prague, built for German Lutherans in 1613 probably by Giovanni Maria Filippi the court builder of the Emperor Rudolf II, and originally named the Church of the Holy Trinity. The Catholic order of Discalced Carmelites were awarded the church after the Battle of White Mountain (Bila Hora) in 1620, by Emperor Rudolf II. the church then received its current name when it was re-dedicated on September 8th, 1624, and subsequently renovated with completion of the tower in 1699, and the result we still see today. The church was later given over to the Knights of Malta order, and was also under the control of Our Lady under the Chain parish, before being returned to the Carmelites in 1993. In 1628, Polyxena of Lobkowicz donated the miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague statue, also called the Bambino de Praga, to the church; this statue of the infant Jesus is venerated as a reminder of the image of the child Jesus, intended to bring the humanity of Jesus closer to the faithful, which is why this church is a pilgrimage site for Christians world-wide. There is a small museum on the first floor of the church (take the door to the right of the main altar and climb the stairs to the museum) where you can see various intricate vestments and a crown donated from around the world to the Infant Jesus of Prague, as well as a video of the Carmelite Sisters of the Child Jesus changing the clothes of the Infant Jesus of Prague, there is even a dress embroidered by Maria Teresa herself. Today the Church of Our Lady of Victory in Mala Strana is back under the supervision of the Carmelites, and is a thriving church community with Mass in several languages, and used extensively by not only the local Czech-speaking community, but also by the Filipino community and supports a large range of services to pilgrims and tourists from around the world. A visit to Our Lady of Victory is a must for any resident or visitor to Prague, and can be combined with a visit to any number of delightful cafes in Lesser Town for post-sightseeing refreshments.
Mass times are as follows, but will vary on religious holidays: Daily Mass, in Czech at 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, and on Sundays at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm. English language Masses are held Sundays at 12:00 noon, and Thursdays at 5:00 pm, while Spanish language Masses are held Saturdays at 5:00pm, Mass in French is Sunday at 5:00 pm, and in Italian at 6:00pm every Sunday.
Karmelitská 9, Praha 1, +420 257 533 646, www.pragjesu.info
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