Thursday, April 25, 2013

Who Down with I-O-P? Everybody!

by Shannon

You down with I-O-P? Yeah, you know me! À la this at 2:50. (Did you check the dubbing at 0:55 — what language was that? Ooooh, YouTube. So funny you are.) I have a serious place in my heart for Sister Act 2. Serious like I own the soundtrack. (Thanks, Ames!)

St. Martin of Tours, Louisville, Kentucky

I do not, unfortunately, have a serious place in my heart for IOP (Infant of Prague). I've never felt drawn to this image of the Christ Child. I usually prefer Bouguereau's La Vierge au lys, but probably because the young Jesus reminds me of Cruncher the Toddler.


Oh. My. Goodness. Completely off topic, but look at this truly adorbs (yes, I totally said "adorbs") oooold picture of Cruncher. Eeek!

Cheeks! And curls! And cheeks!

That's one of the outfits he wore during his first week home from the hospital. Now that you've witnessed the cutest cuteness ever, I'll move on. Now, what was I ... oh, yes. Infant of Prague. There He is.

St. Martin of Tours, Louisville, Kentucky

There are many interesting and beautiful Catholic images, particularly of Mary, that reflect the culture of the image's origin. For me, the Infant of Prague always fell more under "interesting" than "beautiful." There is something about a baby Jesus dripping in jewels that just feels ... not quite right.

Enter this week. Things have been rough lately. Rough for days and weeks and months, and I've had ENOUGH. I don't handle day-to-day anxiety well, so I go a bit mentally AWOL when I have too much piled on me. It is time for some serious prayer. And when I need serious prayer, I start a novena.

A novena is a prayer said during a nine-day period, and there are countless available. Tuesday, I started one to St. Cajetan, patron of job seekers, since I've been thinking about finding new employment. But I'm realizing my current problems are beyond my job. While reading Alice's blog post about things being crazy for weeks, I concurred and started brainstorming about a new novena. My comment on her post:
It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who’s been living through insanity for the last month or so. I think I’m going to start a novena for peace and quiet. Want in on my intentions? Our Lady of Good Counsel’s feast day is Saturday, so too bad I can’t end on that day. Hmm … if I start it today, maybe Ss. Timothy and Martha? Or St. Philip. Thoughts? Oh, duh — St. Francis of Assisi is patron of peace. He is our family’s 2013 patron saint, after all…. WOAH. Know who else is patron of peace? Infant of Prague, feast day May 3. There’s my answer. I’ve never felt called toward the Infant of Prague — have you? Maybe I could even throw in some intentions for the Boston bombers. 
It wasn't until later when I invited our FB followers to join Ryan and me in praying the novena that I realized the Infant of Prague's feast day is the THIRD SUNDAY of May, not May 3. I can let that go, though, because the Infant of Prague is patron for all of my current problems: peace, family life, good health and good finances. If I could have some peace in those last three areas, I might might might be able to breathe again. No, seriously. I've been having chest tightness and shortness of breath and headaches and eye pain and fatigue. Did I tell you I'm a hypochondriac too? I'm a hypochondriac too. Admitting your problem is the first step to recovery. Except that I admitted the problem 20 years ago. Mooooving on...

This post has been all over the place when all I wanted to do was invite everyone to join Ryan and me in a novena to the Infant of Prague. Let us pray:

Dearest Jesus, Little Infant of Prague, how tenderly You love us! 
Your greatest joy is to dwell among us and to bestow Your blessing upon us. 
Though I am not worthy that You should help me, I feel drawn to You by love 
because You are kind and merciful. 

So many who turned to You with confidence have received graces 
and had their petitions granted. Behold me as I come before You to lay 
open my heart to You with its prayers and hopes. I present to You especially 
this request, which I enclose in Your loving Heart: (Mention your request). 

Rule over me, dear Infant Jesus, and do with me and mine according to 
Your Holy Will, for I know that in Your Divine Wisdom and Love You will 
arrange everything for the best. Do not withdraw Your hand from me, but 
protect and bless me forever. 

I pray You, all-powerful and gracious Infant Jesus, for the sake of Your 
Sacred Infancy, in the Name of Your Blessed Mother Mary who cared for 
You with such tenderness, and by the greatest reverence with which Saint Joseph 
carried You in his arms, help me in my needs. Make me truly happy with You, 
dearest Infant, in time and in eternity, and I shall thank You forever with all my heart. 


If you'd like to join in on this novena, feel free to leave a prayer intention in the comments, or you can e-mail or Facebook me.

Perhaps before this devotion comes to a close, I'll feel more strongly toward this image of the Redeemer of the World. I hope you'll join us in praying for peace during the next nine days. Who doesn't love baby Jesus?


  1. We used to belong to St. Martin de Tours in Louisivlle KY. I loved that parish..our oldest was baptized there!

    Anyway, we'll be joining you in your novena. We're praying for my husband to find a job (he's graduating from law school in about 2 weeks).

    I'll be praying for peace for you. (and I'm a hypochondriac too).

  2. Beautiful. My daughter is in love with the Infant of Prague! She just loves any image of Jesus as a baby and she actually likes pretending to be baby Jesus sometimes...yepppp.

  3. Oh my goodness, little Cruncher does look like the IOP.

    I've been in and continue to be in. I'm finally back from the midwest and am emailing you my secret intentions.

    1. By which I mean, the infant in the painting.

  4. Infant of Prague Novena Card!

    My mom bought us a pretty righteous little statue of the IOP around the time that we first got married. I love it b/c it's one of the only *nice* items we own. Most of our house is "decorated" with state park maps and gaudy paperback books and the like.