The Chaplet of the Holy Infant
December 27, 1992
Brother John Raymond
Many people throughout Church history had a special devotion to
the Holy Infancy of Our Lord. Venerable Margaret of the Blessed
Sacrament was one such person.
Margaret was born in France in 1619. Her devotion to the Holy
Child began in her own childhood. At the age of five she had a
vision of Jesus as a Child. Margaret entered the Carmelite Order,
known for its devotion to the Holy Infant, at the age of eleven on
the day of her First Holy Communion Day.
The new postulant was soon afflicted with what was thought to be
a physical illness. She had convulsions, fright, oppression and
stiffness in her body. The Superior, and Margaret herself,
discovered it to be the persecution of the devil. She was
miraculously cured of this mysterious ailment. Unfortunately, the
doctors who had tried to cure her by an operation caused her to have
a lifelong pain in her head.
After her cure Margaret began to have visions and ecstasies. The
extraordinary life she began to live was recorded by her superiors.
She began to relive in the spirit the mysteries of the life of Our
Lord as it unfolds in the liturgical year.
Her special mission was revealed to her one day by Our Lord when
He said; "The wonders of My Infancy will be resplendent in you. I
have chosen you to honor My Infancy and the mysteries of Bethlehem
and of Nazareth." Jesus even began to call her the "Little Spouse of
the Infant Jesus."
One day the Divine Infant said to her; "I wish you to institute
an association of which I will inspire the rules. . . this
association will be My family, the Family of the Infant Jesus, this
is the title you shall give it." On March 24, 1636 Margaret founded
this new association. The members were to honor the Holy Childhood
of Jesus; His first twelve years. Nine persons were selected to
start this devotion in honor of the nine months Jesus spent in the
Womb of Mary. They consecrated themselves to the Infant Jesus at
midnight, recalling the time of His Incarnation. By 1665 the
association had about 3,000 members.
The Family of the Child Jesus still exists today under the title
of "The Archconfraternity of the Infant Jesus." This title was given
to it in 1885 by Pope Pius IX. One of the pious practices of the
members is the recitation of the "small crown," or Chaplet, of the
Holy Infant Jesus. Another practice is to honor the twenty-fifth of
every month in memory of the birth of Our Lord.
On Christmas night, 1638, the Child Jesus had another favor to
ask of Sister Margaret. He wished that "she would dedicate to Him a
place where He would be recognized and honored as King." One day her
confessor, Fr. Languet, came to see her and expressed his wish to
build a small chapel in honor of the Child Jesus. She recognized
this as the fulfillment of the Child Jesus' request. So the little
chapel was built at the Monastery of St. Etienne. Sister Margaret
placed the first stone of the chapel and upon its completion set a
statue of the Virgin holding the Child Jesus on a throne that she
Sr. Margaret spent her life serving the Divine Child. Her
spirituality was to live with the Child Jesus at Nazareth, and with
Mary and Joseph, to serve Him. She practiced this until her early
death at the age of 29 in the year 1648.
The Chaplet of the Holy Infant Jesus
(For $4.00 a handmade chaplet with instructions and a devotional
booklet can be ordered from: Thomas Schifano, 28 Sippican Rd.,
Wareham, MA. 02571)
Begin with the prayer: Divine Infant Jesus, I adore Your Cross, and I
accept all the crosses You will be pleased to send me. Adorable
Trinity, I offer You for the glory of the Holy Name of God all the
adorations of the Sacred Heart of the Holy Infant Jesus.
On Rosary beads (or the Chaplet beads) pray the Our Father three
times in honor of the Holy Family. Then pray twelve Hail Marys in
honor of the twelve years of Our Lord's Childhood.
Each Our Father and the first Hail Mary is preceded by the words:
And the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us.
On finishing the chaplet, say: Holy Infant Jesus, bless and