The CMRI Sisters will be praying a novena in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help for the nine days preceding her feast on June 27, which is a very special day for our Congregation. It is also the day on which the Sisters take or renew their holy vows. This year the Sisters will be making their annual retreat during the novena.
The original picture of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is attributed to St. Luke. That copy, however, was lost long ago. The current image was painted on wood in the 13th century, and placed in the Church of San Matteo in Rome in 1499. It was in the care of the Augustinian fathers until Pope Pius IX ordered that the icon be given to the Redemptorist order at the Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome in 1866 for public viewing once again. Since then it has been copied and venerated in churches and homes all over the world.
Note how Jesus, safely cradled in his mother’s arms, looks anxiously at St. Gabriel the Archangel, who holds the cross and nails for His Crucifixion. St. Michael the Archangel, at left, holds the lance, spear, and the vessel of vinegar and gall for our Lord’s Passion as well. The Blessed Mother looks at us solemnly, perhaps as if in contemplation of her beloved Sonís future Passion and death for our salvation.
Also, be sure to read the article about the image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in the Sisters’ chapel. This image is an actual replica of the miraculous image enshrined in the Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome.
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O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on thee, for, in all my temptations, in all my needs, I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name, Mary, Mary. O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, fills my soul when I pronounce thy sacred name, or even only think of thee. I thank God for having given thee, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing thy name; let my love for thee prompt me ever to hail thee, MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP.