May 9th: Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help also has a fascinating story. It too has been traced back to the portrait painted by Saint Luke. It also features the archangels Michael and Gabriel, and the infant Jesus sits on the same side of Mary as in the famous “Our Lady of the Way” icon. However, the angels hold the cross and nails, instruments of the passion of Christ, and Jesus is seen leaning into Mary. Mary's hands hold the child Jesus possessively and lovingly, because she is his Mother. Her hand does not clutch the hands of Jesus' tightly, but remains open, inviting us to her son, Jesus. Finally, Jesus' hands are turned downward, a symbol of His placing the Graces of Redemption in her hands. These Graces are available to any and to all who implore her through prayer.
Between it’s discovery and it’s final resting place, the famous icon had an epic journey: it was stolen, hid, put in a church, almost destroyed, hid again, lost, and Mary had to appear at least four times to two different people before the icon finally found it’s resting place: the church of Saint Alphonsus, in the hands of the Redemptorists.
Countless miracles are attributed to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the devotion to this wonder-working icon quickly spread around the world.
Mary, you to whom God has entrusted all things, we come to you and confide our most precious intentions…
Rejoice, for you make the meadow produce contentment.
Rejoice, for you prepare a haven for souls.
Rejoice, acceptable Incense of intercession.
Rejoice, Oblation for all the world.
Rejoice, Favour of God to mortals.
Rejoice, Access of mortals to God.