“In a time of great sorrow, not knowing where to take refuge, fearing to be misled by the evil one, I remembered the heart of the Mother of Perpetual Help, and I placed myself in her care, like her child, like her property. I begged her, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, to carry me, as she carried Jesus when he was a child, and to make me become, not what I would like to become, but what she herself would like for the greatest glory of her Son, according to his will, according to what she read in his heart.”
– Bl. Charles de Foucauld
Devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help is a tradition deep in the Catholic faith throughout the world. Prayers of intercession are often asked of the Blessed Virgin. Our Mother has several names in various other languages such as Perpetuo Succursu, Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Soccoro and Mother of Perpetual Succour.
The icon seen below shows the Blessed Virgin protecting Jesus with her arms around him. Her solemn face isn’t looking directly at him, but at us. The two archangels Michael and Gabriel carry instruments of Christ’s crucifixion, a lance and sponge, a 3-bar cross and nails. The letters beside each figure identify their names using the Greek alphabet.
Remember that when we pray this novena to our Lady of Perpetual Help, that we are not choosing to worship her over her Divine Son. She is “our Mother on the order of grace,” according to a Vatican II document, and all the graces Mary gives us come directly from our Lord. She is always ready to intercede with Him on our behalf, but never for anything contrary to His wishes.
As long as we approach her as we do Him, with sincerely humble and contrite hearts, we can count on her aid and guidance. Mary’s last spoken words in the Gospels concerned her Son when she said at the wedding feast at Cana “Do whatever he tells You” (John 2:5). If we persevere in our intentions to do Christ’s will for us, we are doing hers as well.
At Our Lady of Mercy Parish, we have Novenas to our Mother of Perpetual Help on Wednesdays, after morning mass and at 6:30pm