Arnold Rzepecki

January 3, 2022

“Ball and Hinojosa have put together a book which will fill the needs of anyone looking for information on devotion to the holy Infant Jesus. Most of us are familiar with the figure of the Child Jesus in the crèche at Christmas and also the representation of Jesus as the Infant of Prague but this book shows us how universal are the representations and devotions to the Infant Jesus in the Catholic Church.

The authors begin with a chapter on the meaning of these devotions and another chapter on their history. The book continues with chapters on Old World traditions, visions of the Infant Jesus, and images and photographs of all the various representations. The last chapter explores many of the worldwide customs and traditions. There is a bibliography and an index to complete the book.

Perhaps the two most interesting chapters are the two that relate the breadth and longevity of devotion to the Holy Infant. Chapter Six gives us an historical overview of the various images from the early 14th century to the late twentieth century. The most prevalent images appear to come from Europe and Latin America. The chapter titled “Snapshots” recounts the relationship and devotion to the Holy Infant in the lives of various saints and other holy people.

The book is full of black and white illustrations but one wished they could have been printed in color. Those on the cover of the book are in color and show how black and white photography doesn’t really capture the richness of artistic details.

The book will fill the gap in parish libraries serving diverse ethnic populations who may recognize images and devotions close to their hearts.”

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