Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as the Mother of Perpetual Help, is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. She is venerated by Catholics around the world for her perpetual help and intercession. Her image is often depicted in churches, homes, and even on jewelry and clothing.
The origin of the devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help can be traced back to the island of Crete, Greece, in the 14th century. A Byzantine merchant stole an icon of the Virgin Mary and brought it to Rome, where he gave it to a friend for safekeeping. The friend, however, was unable to return the icon to the rightful owners and decided to keep it for himself. Upon his deathbed, the friend repented and asked for the icon to be returned to the Church.
The icon was eventually placed in the Church of San Matteo in Rome, where it remained for several centuries. In 1866, the church was entrusted to the Redemptorist order, who began to spread devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The icon was later moved to the Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome, which became a center of devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help depicts Mary holding the child Jesus, who is frightened by the sight of angels holding the instruments of his crucifixion. Mary looks lovingly at her son while also pointing to him as a sign of his mission. The image is rich in symbolism and invites the viewer to contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation and the role of Mary as the Mother of God.
The devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a source of comfort and hope for many Catholics. Mary is seen as a loving mother who is always ready to intercede on behalf of her children. The title of Perpetual Help reminds us that Mary’s help is always available to us, no matter what difficulties we may be facing. She is a source of strength and consolation in times of sorrow, and a guide in times of uncertainty.
The feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is celebrated on June 27th. Devotions to Mary under this title are popular in many countries, including the Philippines, where the Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a weekly tradition. The Novena is a nine-day prayer in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and is often prayed for specific intentions such as healing, financial assistance, or the conversion of loved ones.
Meaning behind the image of our lady of Perpetual help.
This icon depicts our Blessed Mother Mary, under the title “Mother of God,” holding the Child Jesus.
Firstly, Mary is depicted wearing a dress of a reddish hue that represents her role as the Queen of Heaven. This color also symbolizes love, sacrifice, and compassion, which Mary embodied throughout her life.
Secondly, Mary’s face has a serene expression, and she looks at the viewer with eyes full of tenderness, compassion, and understanding. She is seen as a mother who loves her children and is always ready to help them in their struggles and difficulties.
Thirdly, the child Jesus is depicted as a small adult, which signifies his divine nature and wisdom. He looks at the viewer with a solemn expression, holding the hand of his mother, symbolizing that he is always close to his mother and by extension, always close to his people.
Fourthly, the background of the image is golden yellow, symbolizing the glory and radiance of heaven.
The Archangel Michael and Gabriel, hovering in the upper corners, hold the instruments of Jesus Passion– St. Michael (in the left corner) holds the spear, the wine-soaked sponge and crown of thorns; St. Gabriel (in right corner) holds cross and nails. The intent of the artist was to portray Christ contemplating His future Passion. The anguish He feels is shown by loss of one sandal which falls off His foot as well as withering away due to coldness. Nonetheless, it conveys triumph over sin and death symbolized by golden background (a sign of glory of resurrection). In a very beautiful way, Christ grasps hand of Mother Mary. He seeks comfort from her as He sees instruments his instrument of passion.
In conclusion, Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a beloved figure in Catholic devotion, whose image and intercession bring comfort and hope to millions of people around the world. Her motherly love and perpetual help remind us of the infinite mercy and compassion of God, and inspire us to live lives of faith and devotion.
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