Our Lady of Perpetual Help

This weeks Saint the Week is Our Lady of Perpetual Help, one of the many devotions to the greatest of Saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a painting believed to have been created in the 13th Century.  The Byzantine Church refers to this icon as the Theotokos of the Passion.  It was purchased in Crete by a merchant and shipped to Rome.  During the journey, a storm arose threatening to sink the ship. The crew prayed to the Blessed Mother and were saved. 

On his death bed, the merchant wished the painting to be displayed for public veneration.  For the next 300 years it was publicly displayed and venerated at the Church of Saint Matthew in Rome, attracting many Pilgrims.  Many graces were said to have been attributed to this devotion.  After Napoleon’s troops destroyed Saint Matthew’s in 1798, the image was moved and largely forgotten.

About 40 years later, Pope Pius IX encouraged renewed public devotion to the image and formerly declared the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  He entrusted care of the icon to the Redemptorists who displayed it in the newly constructed Church of St. Alphonsus, where it remains to this day.  Many miracles have been attributed to it.

Feast Day:  June 27th

Oh Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke your powerful name, the protection of the living and the salvation of the dying. Purest Mary, let your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, Blessed Lady, to rescue me whenever I call on you. In my temptations, in my needs, I will never cease to call on you, ever repeating your sacred name, Mary, Mary. What a consolation, what sweetness, what confidence fills my soul when I utter your sacred name or even only think of your! I thank the Lord for having given you so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely uttering your name. Let my love for your prompt me ever to hail you Mother of Perpetual Help.

Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for me and grant me the favor I confidently ask of you. {mention your petition}

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us!

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