It was only three weeks ago that I found myself in Prague, the Czech Republic. Known as the “Paris of Eastern Europe” and the “City of a Thousand Spires,” it has three hundred churches. Unfortunately, they are not very well attended. Still, with the Vltava River running through it, and the old town (over 300 years old) untouched by the ravages of World War II, and the beautiful cathedral palace and churches, it is well worth the effort of crossing the Atlantic.
St. Vitas Cathedral contains the remains of Prague’s patron, Saint Wenceslaus, who helped establish the Catholic faith in the early 10th century. He was murdered by his brother right outside of church after Mass; his mother, St. Ludmilla, was murdered earlier as well. The Cathedral also contains the body of St. John Nepomucene in a 2000 pound silver sarcophagus. He, too, was murdered. However, the biggest thrill of Prague was the day I celebrated Mass at the Carmelite Church, Our Lady of Victory, and saw a miracle. That church contains the famous Infant of Prague Image. Just before Mass, I was chatting with a lady from Venezuela who had come on a pilgrimage. She had an incurable form of cancer several years before, and her prayers to the Infant of Prague resulted in her cure. What a blessing it was to meet a living miracle! However, we get to see a miracle every time we gather for Mass. When we do, we see ordinary bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. And when we worthily receive Holy Communion, Jesus cures us of our venial sins. That’s a miracle we have right here. We don’t have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to have our own special miracle.
- Fr. Carl