The Chaplet of the Holy Infant Jesus

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
 had made.
	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
 protect us.