I recently came across a little chaplet that I hadn’t heard of before: the Beads of the Child Jesus. Dedicated to Our Lord’s early years, it was given by the Infant Jesus Himself to a French Carmelite nun, Venerable Margaret of the Most Holy Sacrament, in the seventeenth century. The chaplet consists of three Our Fathers prayed in honor of the Holy Family and twelve Hail Marys for the first twelve years of Our Lord’s life. Before each bead is said, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus promised special graces of purity of heart and innocence for those who prayed it in honor of His holy childhood.
All of us parents are concerned about our children’s innocence, especially in today’s world. Whether we’re anxious about preserving that innocence or heartbroken about its loss, this devotion strikes me as one of great hope for grace and protection, healing and peace. The relentless evil in our time can tempt us to give up, but Jesus became man and told us that He’d remain with us always and with our children. Let’s take Him at His word and hope in the grace that He’s desperate to give us. Our children, the ones we know by name and the ones we see in the news, need our prayers, and this is a small but powerful way we can help.
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. (Lk. 2:39-40)
Copyright Meg Matenaer 2015.
“MadonnaCN” by clarita (2006) via Morguefile.