Our Lady of Perpetual Help

 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help                                                                           OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL NELP

WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND THE IMAGE OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP?

The image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is an icon, painted on wood, and seems to have originated around the thirteenth century.  Traditionally, the image is also known as “Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.”  The icon (about 54 x 41.5 centimeters) depicts our Blessed Mother Mary, under the title “Mother of God,” holding the Child Jesus.  The Archangels Michael and Gabriel, hovering in the upper corners, hold the instruments of the Passion– St. Michael (in the left corner) holds the spear, the wine-soaked sponge, and the crown of thorns, and St. Gabriel (in the right corner) holds the cross and the nails.  The intent of the artist was to portray the Child Jesus contemplating the vision of His future Passion.  The anguish He feels is shown by the loss of one of His sandals.  Nevertheless, the icon also conveys the triumph of Christ over sin and death, symbolized by the golden background (a sign of the glory of the resurrection) and the manner in which the angels hold the instruments, i.e. like trophies gathered up from Calvary on Easter morning.

In a very beautiful way, the Child Jesus grasps the hand of the Blessed Mother.  He seeks comfort from His mother, as He sees the instruments of His passion.  The position of Mary’s hands– both holding the Child Jesus (who seems like a small adult) and presenting Him to us– convey the reality of our Lord’s incarnation, that He is true God who became also true man.  In iconography, Mary here is represented as the Hodighitria, the one who guides us to the Redeemer.  She also is our Help, who intercedes on our behalf with her Son.  The star painted on Mary’s veil, centered on her forehead, highlights her role in the plan of salvation as both the Mother of God and our Mother

In this novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help (also known as Our Mother of
Perpetual Help from this icon pictured above) we pay tribute to the Blessed
Virgin Mary in asking for her assistance. This picture of the Blessed Mother
with her Divine Son above has helped her provide strength, comfort and even
miracles to the faithful for centuries
   

                                                NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP         

 

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 you! 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 you, prompt me ever to hail you Mother of Perpetual Help. Mother of Perpetual Help pray for me and grant me the favour I confidently ask of you.
(Then say three Hail Marys.)

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                       

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