The Sarnen figure of Jesus as a baby is a 50 centimetre tall Gothic wooden figure made sometime in the 14th century. The figure is venerated by believers and helps make the Benedictine monastery in Sarnen a place of pilgrimage.
A striking feature of this figure is that the infant Jesus is raising his right leg and placing the globe on it. His left hand is pointing to his incarnate human heart.
According to an ancient tradition dating back to 1634, this unusual pose can be traced back to a nun who was unable to attend Christmas mass due to illness.
The infant Jesus is dressed is garments according to the liturgical year: the palette ranges from pink moiré robes, white rep, linen and silk fabrics in various colours to dark red velvet decorated with precious metal ornaments – part of a magnificent dress of Queen Agnes of Hungary donated to the nuns in 1364.
Prayers of petition
The veneration of the Sarnen figure of the infant Jesus in the convent church means that the convent is a place of pilgrimage. As guardians of the devotional figure, they come into direct contact with the needs of many hard-pressed people. Armed with the power of the Gospel, the nuns offer help with their life and their faith.
The nuns place the letters and slips of paper containing the worries and wishes of the faithful by the infant Jesus and address the petitions in their prayers.
The Sarnen figure of the infant Jesus is located in the convent church and is freely accessible during the church's opening hours: there is no need to reserve a time.
The Benedictine convent in Sarnen is not open to visitors.