Our Mother of Perpetual Help-Feast Day June 27

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The fabulous history of this miracle-working icon begins in the year 1495 when it was known to have been reverenced in a church on the island of Crete.At that time, it was already considered to be of great age and was highly esteemed by the faithful.

At the end of the fifteenth century, a wealthy merchant came into possession of the painting and brought it to Rome, but he died, leaving it in private hands until 1499 when it was enshrined in the Church of St. Matthew on the Esquiline Hill. Once there, Our Lady began to draw attention to her image with spectacular miracles, such as the spontaneous curing of a paralyzed man who was healed when the image passed in procession near the house where he lay.

For the next 300 years, the image was enshrined at St. Matthew’s and was known as Our Lady of Never-failing Help, Our Lady of Ever-enduring Succor, and finally, Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Rome, forced the pope into exile and destroyed almost 30 churches, including St. Matthews. Thankfully, the priests had already removed the miraculous image and for years it found refuge in various churches in the area.

During this time, a young altar boy named Michael Marchi became devoted to Our Lady under this title. In 1853, when Pope Pius IX asked the Redemptorists to establish a house in Rome, they chose the same site where the miraculous image of Mary had once been enshrined. When a priest discovered this, he mentioned it to one of his brother priests who revealed that he knew the location of the miraculous image. This priest was none other than Michael Marchi.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help made a triumphal return to her chosen site on April 26, 1866, during which time numerous miracles took place, such as the healing of a boy with meningitis and a young girl who was cured of paralysis.

Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help is one of the most popular in Christendom with the hauntingly beautiful icon easily recognizable.

In the portrait, Mary is holding Jesus who is shown gripping the hand of his mother while looking at the instruments of torture that will one day be used upon him. Her head is gently touching that of her Son, and her gaze seems almost plaintive, as if seeking compassion from those who look upon her and her Divine Child.
Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for me and grant me the favor I confidently ask of you. {mention your petition}

Say three Hail Mary's....