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The city of Prague is breaking up by a lovely flowing river call the St. Charles, with the more small areas on one side and the more prosperous areas on the other. In the more modest region of Prague you'll locate a tiny cathedral known as the Church of St. Mary the Victorious. Set in this really modest cathedral is a statue known as the 'Baby of Prague'. The statue is of Spanish origin, with several legends indicating that monks made it. The statue made its way by the way of a wedding gift to the Czech Republic.

At the passing of the Czech nobleman, the statue was given by his wife to a monastery headed by the Carmelites in 1628 in the city of Prague. The Carmelites are a Catholic religious order that follows and believes the Old Testament teachings of the prophets.

The Carmelites put the statue in rookie for young monks to give thanks and prayers, believing they could learn the merits of the Old World from the statue. In 1631, when the Saxons and then Swedes assaulted the city of Prague, the Carmelites needed to escape the place. This was during the period of the Thirty Year War in the Bohemia area. In 1637, about six years after, a Carmelite priest returned to the Cathedral that was ransacked.

The baby statue was discovered by the priest with both hands in a corner. To the priest, it appeared at this moment the baby Jesus was saying to him: 'Have mercy on me and I 'll have mercy on you. Give hands to me and I'll give peace to you. The more you honor me, the more I'll bless you'. Without any financial means the priest prayed for guidance. Hearing the wishes of the statue, 'Set Me close the entry of the sacristy and you'll receive help.' The baby statue became known for its organization with healings, protection of the city, the church, as well as the neighborhood folks through many wars over time.

The statue of wax, perhaps with a wooden center. made is approximately 18 1/2 inches tall and The right hand is lifted to all as a benediction.

The Christ child statue was initially dressed and presented to the Carmelites in a linen infant gown. The Christ child statue coroneted in 1655 and was crowned in 1651, and over the years 85 distinct robes are given to dress the statue. In 1788 a noble family in gratitude gave a present of two gold rings for the treatment of their daughter, the rings were put on the fingers of the hand that was raised. With spiritual occasion and each season the statue redressed for that party and is taken out of the cathedral hall. The statue was repeated through the world but the first baby statue is in Prague, Czech Republic. During the Christmas season the statue is adorned by the crimson and white coloured robes. Since the late 1600's the Infant of Prague has been credited with protections and healings through the Bohemian area. Each day people from all over the world enter the cathedral to give prayers and thanks to the Christ child, the Baby of Prague.

Every year since 1655, on the second Sunday of May, the Baby of Prague is recalled in a party to honor the Christ child.

The monastery has a Missionary Friendship plan to displaced kids of the Central African Area supplying support through shelter, food and education. Through contributions from the Church of St. Mary the Winning this mission fellowship is potential. The kids of the area create images of potted flowers produced from butterfly wings which are not foreign to the African area as demonstration of their support and gratitude for all these safe havens.

Las Posadas is a nine-day party with sources in Spain observed primarily in Guatemala, Mexico and areas of the Southwestern United States.

Posada is Spanish for "accommodations", or "accommodation"; it can be said in plural as it's observed more than one day in that span. The nine day novena symbolizes the nine months of pregnancy. Generally, each family in a locality will schedule a night for the Posada to be held at their house, ending on the 24th and beginning on the 16th of December. Every house has a nativity scene as well as the hosts of the Posada act as the innkeepers. All the pilgrims take little lit candles in their own hands, and four individuals take statuettes of Joseph leading a donkey, on.

At every house, the resident responds by refusing accommodation (additionally in tune), until the exhausted voyagers get to the designated site for the party, where Mary and Joseph are eventually recognized and permitted to enter. At the conclusion of the journey of every night, there will be Christmas carols, kids will break open star shaped pinatas to get fruit and sweets concealed in, and there is going to be a religious holiday.

On December 5 three wooden shoes fill with cash and put them on the Church altar. The cash is subsequently distributed to people who have special needs in the name of St Nicholas and the poor.

St. Nicolas' robe was built by William Kruger on a 15th century layout. The robe was made of a burgundy fleece fabric with a white imitation fur trim. It's tied in the waist using a belt produced from the same stuff. The robe had an attached hood and not a different cap in keeping with the 15th century.

Christmas in Serbia is different from the Christmas we understand in American culture. We observe it on another day. They go by the Gregorian Calendar, which places everything back two weeks since Serbia is 85% Christian Orthodox. So they observe the holiday on January 7th.

Serbians do not have a Saint Nicholas or a Santa Claus. The huge man is called Deda Mraz which interprets to Old Man Winter. There are not any reindeer or elves or anything of that kind. In addition they do not have the typical Christmas tree that smells like pine with green colour and needles. The Fig Tree is used by them, a dried out Fig Tree is integrated in the service of Christmas Eve. It is a major night. There's a long spiritual church service in the place where the Fig Tree walk round the church three times in Holy Trinity, bless the tree, then use it to take up a bon fire.

Serbians usually fast per week as a kind of Lent before Christmas. The focus, nevertheless, isn't on fasting. Since it's considered holy fish is permitted. Because everything I enjoyed was made from an animal, as a child, I loathed this procedure.

On Christmas morning communion is served and a tremendous meal to observe.

Most families in Serbia are extremely poor so the vacation is more about the day in relation to the gifts. They have their big families join in the evening for Christmas dinner, and cook a big meal all day, including a roasted pig.

I consistently got two presents, one thing I wanted like the other as well as clothing was a family heirloom.

I was rather confounded and perplexed growing up in America, as it is possible to picture. Such vast differences in Serbian and American Christmas traditions threw me for a loop. I was not truly able to connect to anybody during the vacations unless they were Serbian. As I got older, my parents realized they have to observe Serbian and American Christmas customs and wised up.

 

 

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Wedgewood's Pastor

Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers

Welcome to Wedgewood's website. On the pages of this site you'll find information about Wedgewood, but you'll also find labyrinth walking suggestions, sermons, poems, stories from Wedgewood storytellers---in short, all kinds of interesting, informative, and fun stuff.

Enjoy!