Weekly Photo Challenge - Culture II

The photo you see above is of a statute called (in this setting) “The Baby Jesus of Prague.” The photo was taken at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio, Texas. So, how does this relate to the theme of culture you might well ask? Well, primarily it is the cultural/religious tension that exists when one juxtaposes this image of the baby Jesus with the one I learned as a child (and is rather more tied to the Bible – the poor infant in the manger). The iconography in the image is striking. Here, even as an infant, the baby Jesus is elaborately gowned. He is emphatically the ruler as demonstrated by the magnificent crown upon his head and a globus cruciger in his left hand. I am not mocking this beautiful statue. It is a product of its times (roughly the 1630s). The fact that this statue is widely venerated today poses some interesting questions, which I am not going to get into other than to say that it is clear that this lovely statue is a symbol of many things.

  1. Tina Schell says:

    When I was in 7th grade (Catholic school), I won a state-wide spelling bee. Soon afterwards the principal called for a school assembly during which I was brought to the stage and honored for my achievement (which made me immensly proud). Then they gave me a statue of the Infant of Prague in recognition of my win. I had that statue in my room for years. I still remember his beautiful satin dress! Your post brought back such a strong memory!! Don’t know what ever happened to that statue tho!


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