Chronology of Prague

In Prague

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Victory of the Battle of the “White Mountain”

The foundation of the Prague monastery is linked to the Battle of the White Mountain (a location at the port of Prague) fought in 1620 between the army of the Cathelic emperor and the protestant armies of Bohemia. Ferdinand II in serious difficulty in the conditions of the army, had asked High Pontiff Paul V to send him, his legete to Carmelite Domenic of Jesus Mary, “famous for holiness and valid help”. Through his prayers he would surely have won. Fr. Domenic, when he arrived in Bohemia, had found a small picture depicting the birth of Jesus. The Protestants had profaned it by blowing the eyes of the Virgin.

Fr. Domenic took it and put it on his chest, inviting the soldiers to pray with him. Then, climbed on horseback, he headed for the troops that followed him fighting with incredible value. Victory was beyond any expectation: singing the praises of Mary, the Catholic army entered the Prague. Returning to home, Fr. Domenic brought with him the small painting that, to commemorate the victory, was solemnly transferred to the church of the Discalced Carmelites, since then called St. Mary of Victory. The favorable intervention of Fr. Domenic suggested to the Emperor to call the Carmelites to carry on in Prague and in the empire the work of Catholic reform.

They, in order to remember the victory of the White Mountain, gave their church in Prague the title of St. Maria of Victory.

8th November 1620
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The Prague Monastery

It is proposed that the foundation of the Prague monastery.

4th October 1622.
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The place for the foundation

Searches are made of the place suitable for the foundation in 1623.

1623
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St. Mary of Victory

Emperor Ferdinand II offered a former Protestant church to Carmel with annexed buildings, the church of Holy Trinity. In 1624 Discalced Carmelites took possession of the house and after consecrating the church, the new title of “St. Mary of Victory”, celebrated the first solemn Mass. The situation was very difficult. Prague was still largely Lutheran, and since the rise of the Protestant party in Bohemia (which marked the beginning of the war of religion, the so called Thirty Years War), it had been just six years.

29th august 1624
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The gift of the statue of the Infant Jesus

The statue of the Infant Jesus was a gift from Princess Polissena of Lobkwitz, daughter of Maria woman Manriquez of Lara, Spanish countess.

The princess had received the precious statuette from her mother, who had brought with her from Spain as a precious family relic. The story of this image began in the South of Spain, by an unknown sculptor. It is said to come from a monastery between Cordoba and Seville, in which a wooden copy is still venerated. The legend would have it to have been modeled by Carmelite father who would have tried to reproduce in the statue the features he had appeared for himself and which would have died in ecstasy in front of the finished image.

Summer 1628
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The imperial decree

An imperial decree is issued that sets an annual subsidy in support of the community.

20th oct.1628
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Miracle in the Vineyard

In the autumn season, there was a miraculous harvest of the monastery’s vineyard.

Autumn 1630
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In Munich

Novices moved to Munich

May 1631
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Siege of Prague

The siege of Prague began by the electorate of Saxony.

15th Nov.1631
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Occupation of the church and desecration of the statue

The Protestant army, led by the prince of Saxony, who entered into the church of St. Mary of Victory. All the Carmelites had fled, except the novice master and a lay brother, but it was impossible to oppose the rampant violence. The heretics looted the church and monastery, imprisoning the two brave Carmelites, and profaned the statue of the Infant Jesus by squeezing His hands.

1st Jan.1632
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New threat from Protestants

At the death of Emperor Ferdinand II there was a new Protestant threat and the return of Fr. Cyril to Prague, where he receives the promise from the Infant Jesus.
After long period, the statuette was found behind an altar, filled with filth. Fr. Cyril asked at the earliest opportunity to relocate the Little Jesus in his place, in the oratory entrusting him with the good of the monastery, the city, and the whole country. After long period, the statuette was found behind an altar, filled with filth. Fr. Cyril asked at the earliest opportunity to relocate the Little Jesus in his place, in the oratory entrusting him with the good of the monastery, the city, and the whole country. And here the Holy Infant heard his prayer: Prague remained immune from a new enemy invasion, in the monastery the blessing of God and with it, tranquility and peace returned. Comforted by these facts, Fr. Cyril felt deep gratitude in his heart and was proposing to honor the dear Infant Jesus more and more. So while on day, he was immersed in deep prayers before the Little King, he heard an inner voice: “Have mercy on me, and I will have mercy on you. Give me your hands, and I will give you peace. The more you will honor me, and more I will favor you”. “Fr. Cyril offered to restore the mutilated statuette and, with the help of generous benefactors, managed to restore it beautiful as before. And the Infant began to pray and do miracles, such as that granted to Baroness Kolowrat.

1637
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Prague Liberation

Prague is freed from the threat of a new siege and peace returns in 1639.

1639
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Approval of the cult

It was the solemn consecration of the hermitage of the Sweet Infant and the approval of the cult by the Archbishop of Prague. It was decided to place the statuette in its own chapel for the prayer of the faithful; the first Hermitage of the Sweet Infant Jesus was consecrated in May 1648. Immediately the inhabitants of Prague came to recommend the protection of the Holy Infant because protestant troops were marching toward Prague. In fact, they entered the city but without artillery intervention; General Konigsmarck presented himself to the Carmelite Monastery, requiring all the locals and imposing on religious to accommodate many injured soldiers. While visiting the monastery, the general also entered the Hermitage of the Holy Infant, remaining impressed to see the Little King. Then, he ordered that he should not harass the brothers in any way, promising to expel the monastery as soon as possible.

3rd May 1648
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Occupation of the monastery

With siege and occupation of Prague by the Swedish troops, it was also the requisition of the monastery as a military hospital.

Summer 1648
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Westphalia Peace

The end of the “Thirty Years War” and hope for peace for all.

24th Oct.1648
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The Order approves the cult

There was a decree approving the worship of the Infant Jesus by the order took place.

26th July,1651
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Coronation

It was the solemn coronation of the statue of the Infant Jesus.

4th April 1655
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New Chapel

The consecration of the new chapel for the devotion of the Infant Jesus proceeded.

16th July 1655
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The Nuns in Prague

The Carmelite Nuns arrived in Prague

1656
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Death of Fr. Cyril

The venerable Father of the Mother of God goes out.

1675
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Involvement of the population of Jesus Christ to seek immunity from the Plague

For 50 years, life in the capital of Bohemia had continued quiet and marked by a certain well-being. But in 1713 the population was struck by the plague which made a terrible massacre. In just a few months more than 20,000 people died. The Carmelite fathers daily celebrated Mass in the Chapel of the Holy Infant and faithful flocked to plead for help. Their trust was not disappointed: none of those who turned to the Infant Jesus was struck by the terrible scourge.

August 1713
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Prague invasion

The invasion of Prague took place by the Prussians and the French: the inhabitants of Prague protection of the Infant Jesus by safeguarding them from destruction and plundering.

1740
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Maria Teresa of Austria

Maria Teresa of Austria on the occasion of her coronation to Queen of Bohemia visit the chapel of the Holy Infant.

 

 

 

29th April,1743
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New siege

Prussian siege of Prague

September 1744
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Third siege

The third siege of the city of Prague by the Prussians.

1756
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Edicts of Joseph II

The end of the 18th century, Emperor Joseph II, who grew up with the ideas of French rationalism that superstitiously regarded all forms of popular devotion, emanated from the suppression and closed the convents, including the monastery in Prague: expelled the Carmelite fathers, the devotion to the Holy Infant went progressively extinct. For a century, the church remained entrusted to the Order of the Knights of Malta and the monastery transformed into a gymnasium and declared state property in 1782.

1782
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Foundation of the Brotherhood of the Holy Infant and revival of devotion

For a reawakening of love for Children in Prague, it was not until the early decades of the 20th  century that card. Charles Kasper, Archbishop of Prague, founded the brotherhood of the Holy Infant  and made some initiatives to revive His devotion: he inaugurated a museum, launched a magazine and promoted several celebrations to remember the third centenary of the coronation of the Little King. These were the last solemn festivals of the Infant Jesus in Prague. It was in fact to come down on the Bohemian capital the rigid communist winter that would have wrapped the Holy Infant.

20th century
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Austrian Carmelites

Attempt by the Discalced Carmelites of the Austrian province to re-establish the Carmelite Order in Prague.

1912-1920
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The birth of Czechoslovakia

Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia become an independent states: Czechoslovakia.

1918
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Manifestations of Public Worship

Great public worship events promoted by Cardinal Kašpar.

1930-1940
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Occupation of Czechoslovakia

Germany occupies Czechoslovakia. They are annexed, in the form of a German protectorate, to Bohemia and Moravia.

15 march 1939
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Communist period

Assumption of political power by communist forces and close dependence on Stalin’s Russia.

1948
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The “night of the barbarians”

Suppression of religious orders, confiscation of property and repression of the Catholic Church.

13 -14 April, 1950
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The “Prague Spring”

Change at the top of power with more democracy; immediate bloody repression by the armies of the Warsaw Pact, and the restoration of a strong communist regime with persecution of the Catholic Church.

April- August 1968
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The Velvet Revolution

Crash of Eastern Communist regimes; Czechoslovakia ceases communist power and establishes a democratic government with fundamental freedoms; reintegration of the Catholic Church and progressive restitution of confiscated assets.

1989
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The Nuns Return

Return of the Nuns to Prague at the ancient monastery where the body of the Venerable Mother Maria Eletta was guarded.

1992
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Return of the Carmelites to St. Mary of Victory

Agreements between the Archbishop of Prague, the Order of the General and the Ligurian Province for a return of the Discalced Carmelites to St. Mary of Victory.

March 1993
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The Ligurian Province takes over the Monastery of Prague

When the Superior General entrusted the Shrine of Prague to the Order of the Ligurian Province  (1993), negotiations took place between the provinces of Genoa  and  Krakow: the provincials agreed that from now on the province of Krakow it would be occupied by Slovakia and Genoa, so firmly tied to Prague by devotion to the Infant Jesus of the Czech Republic. Therefore, 1994 is the year of the joyful return of the Discalced Carmelites, who were generously facing many difficulties, especially, regarding the language of the village and the restoration of the church and the monastery for the resumption of worship of Infant Jesus of Prague, which had flourished and never ceased, not even under the heavy hand of the communist regime.

15th Jan. 1994
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New foundation

Foundation of the Carmel in Dačice.

1996
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Slany

Opening of the formation house in Slany. In addition, the Lord began to stir up some local vocations, in the beginning, young people ready to face the great inconvenience to serve the Carmel: in 1994 he issued the perpetual vows for the first Czechoslovakian Discalced Carmelite. In order to form these young people, he found an former Franciscan Monastery in Slany, it was 20 km. far from Prague: it was in good condition, even if to be restored with a magnificent plot of land attached. In the beginning of the December in 1997 it was inaugurated. Immediately, destined to the students of theology, a very rich life is led to it.

December 1997
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Visit of Benedict XVI

In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI, visited the Czech Republic, met with families in the church of St. Maria of Victory and banned praying in front of the image of the  Little King, offering a crown and  composing for the occasion of prayer addressed to him.

Read the Pope’s greetings

26th September 2009
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New Presbytery

Dedication of the new presbytery of the church of St. Maria of Victory.

18th Oct. 2015
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Holy Year of Mercy

Establishment of our Prague and Slany churches are celebrating for the extraordinary Year of Mercy.

2016

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