Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help has spread since the 19th century through the work of Redemptorist missionaries.
Newsdesk (25/06/2021 23:53, Gaudium Press) On the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which will be celebrated on Sunday, June 27, a replica of the Marian icon will be exposed all day long at the Central Altar of the National Shrine of Aparecida (SP).
The faithful will also be able to participate in the Eucharistic celebrations that will take place throughout the day beginning at 6 a.m. The last Mass of the day will be celebrated at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the social networks of the National Shrine and the Aparecida Communication Network. The 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Masses will also be transmitted on the Internet.
Origin of the devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help began to spread from the nineteenth century onward, although it goes back to the Byzantine period. It was Blessed Pope Pius IX who, in the year 1866, entrusted the Marian icon to the Redemptorist Missionaries, recommending that they make this devotion known throughout the world.
Thanks to this missionary work, the small wooden painting, measuring only 54 centimetres high by 41.5 centimetres wide, has become known and venerated throughout the world. The image, made on the island of Crete, Greece, was at one time stolen and later recovered. Today it can be venerated in the Church of St Alphonsus in Rome, where it is safeguarded.
The Plentiful Redemption of the Marian Icon
According to the director of the Marial Academy of Aparecida, Father José Ulysses da Silva, the icon “represents that which we Redemptorists call copious redemption; that is, the love and mercy distributed to all those who have Jesus as their Redeemer.”
As the deacon of the National Shrine, Father Eduardo Ribeiro points out, “If we look closely at this icon, we will see that Jesus is the centre of the picture. Our Lady is pointing to Him, in a movement or depiction that we call Hodegétria”.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brazil
The Marian invocation of Our Lady of Perpetual Help became the Patroness of the Redemptorist Missions. The missionaries of this order began to carry replicas of the Marian icon during their preaching into various parts of the world.
Hundreds of churches in Brazil are dedicated to the devotion of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. In most of them, the local communities gather together to celebrate the Perpetual Novena to Our Lady. This invocation of the Mother of God has also been declared Queen of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul and patroness of various municipalities in Brazil. (EPC)