The much revered image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help very specifically speaks to us through this ancient iconic language of Catholic theology and spirituality. Since the early 14th century, this icon which most likely originated on the Isle of Crete, was venerated in Rome at the Church of Saint Matthew, once situated halfway between the Basilicas of Saint Mary Major and the Church of Our Savior Jesus Christ in Saint John Lateran. In the middle of the 19th century, Saint Alphonsus Liguori built a new church in honor of the Most Holy Redeemer on that same location. Blessed Pius IX later bestowed the care of the holy image upon the Redemptorist Fathers, and this great missionary congregation soon spread devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help throughout the world.
In a special way we ask our Blessed Mother to pray with us and for us as we renew our devotion for her beloved image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. From the first days of Catholic Christianity, believers have always worked and rejoiced under Mary’s prayerful protection. In many manifested ways in our local church, we have experienced the fact that never was it known, that anyone who fled to her protection, sought her help, or implored her intercession, was ever left unaided. There is simply nothing we cannot achieve for the glory of God and the service of neighbor when the Church on earth agrees in prayer with the Glorious Virgin Mary and the angels and saints in heaven.
(Pictured Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Ladies chapel of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Peoria, IL)