Friday, October 28, 2005

Catholic Masterpieces VIII: Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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.

Special thanks to Iosephus at The Cornell Society for a Good Time for prompting me to post this installment of "Catholic Masterpieces," which I haven't done in almost a year.

The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is my personal favorite image of Our Lady. Our consecrated myself to Our Lord, through the Immaculate Heart of His Mother Mary, according to the formula of St. Maximilian Kolbe, on the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 27 June 2003. It was my mother who introduced me to this icon. I got my copy of the icon at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church in Albuquerque, NM in December 2002, and I had it blessed by the pastor there. It now hangs in my "icon corner" in my bedroom.

The Redemptorists, founded by the great Doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori, have spread the devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help across the world. According to tradition, when the Icon was rediscovered, after being misplaced for several decades, in the wake of Napoleon's conquest of Rome, Blessed Pius IX told the Redemptorist Superior General: "Make Her known throughout the world!" They indeed make her known, and their are churches on every inhabited continent in the world that have a copy of the icon. One such copy, blessed by Blessed Pius IX himself, sits in the Church of the Guardian Angels in Chaska, MN. It miraculously survived a fire in the church in 1902. Before they wreckovated the sanctuary, a copy of the icon sat prominently above the high altar of my home parish of St. Ann's in Wilmington, DE.

I recommend that all faithful Catholics follow the example of Blessed Pius IX and the generations of Redemptorists who have "made her known throughout the world."


Blogger Iosephus said...

There is a nice prayer, in three parts, somewhat lengthy, to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Raccolta. Are you familiar with it?

5:21 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Yes, I am quite familiar with that prayer. I have a copy of the Raccolta myself, from Loreto Pubs., but I know the first part from Bishop Fulton Sheen's Wartime Prayer Book, which was reprinted by Sophia Institute Press. That prayer, which begins, Behold at thy feet, O Mother of Perpetual Help, is special to me, since I say I try to say it every day.

5:32 PM  

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