• Olivia M. Bannan


Today is the Feast Day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

In 1499 the icon was placed in the Church of St Matthew Church in Rome. For three centuries, there was a great devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. After the Napoleonic troops destroyed the church in 1798, the icon was transferred to the Church of St Mary in Posterula. And for seventy years it remained forgotten.

In 1855, the Redemptorist Missionaries acquired the icon for use. They erected a new church dedicated to their founder St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori. In 1895 Pope Pius IX entrusted the icon to the Redemptorist Missionaries.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help is venerated above the principal altar of the Shrine in the Church of St Alphonsus in Rome, Italy.

The Consecration of PAPA members is held at The Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Houston, Texas. PAPA is placed under the Guidance of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer commonly known as the Redemptorists. St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, patron of Confessors, is also one of the Patrons of PAPA.

The Byzantine icon is not only beautiful, but is full of symbolism.

We first see the face of Mary. With her right hand she is pointing to her Son and is also inviting us to look up to God the Father. With Mary, overshadowed by the Spirit, we go through Christ to the Father.

And the Father saves us by the Passion of the Son.

The Archangels are carrying the instruments of the Passion.

The unity between Mother Mary and her Son is seen in the clasping of the hands. Mary gives help to Jesus and to all who confide in her. Jesus is seated and Mary is the throne of Grace (Christ).

The symbolism of the colors and letters –

GOLD: Heaven and the eternal light.

RED and GREEN: The Divinity

BLUE and OCHRE: The humanity.

Christ, by nature, divine, is clothed in humanity: Mary, a human creature “divinized” by being Mother of the Son of God.

MP-OV: Greek initials which identify the Mother of God.

OAPM: Greek initial identifying the Archangel Michael, who carries a vase containing a reed with the sponge and lance.

OAPT: Greek initial identifying the Archangel Gabriel, who holds up the cross and nails.

IC XC: Greek initials which signify IESUS XRISTOS or JESUS, THE CHRIST.

STARS: On the veil of the Virgin, one in the form of a cross; the other star with eight golden rays. Mary is the star of the sea that brings the Light to the world.

THE LOOSE SANDAL: A sign that shows the sole of Jesus’ foot. Although He is God, Jesus is also human. God has walked the streets of the world.

*Our Mother of Perpetual Help Daily Novena, Father Michael J. Truongluan Nguyen, C.Ss.R*

God Bless You

©2020 BY PAPA

PAPA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization

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