Today’s Devotional: Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The name of Our Lady of Perpetual Help derives from one of the most famous of all pictures of Mary, an icon of the fourteenth century painted on walnut wood perhaps in Crete; from where it was thought to have been stolen by an Italian merchant and brought to Rome.
It was venerated, famous for miracles in the Roman Church of Saint Matthew, in charge of the Irish Augustinians for a century, when the church was destroyed by fire. The picture was saved, however, and in 1866 it was set up in the Redemptorist Church of Saint Alphonsus, on the site of Saint Matthew’s. In the following year, it was crowned. Since then numberless copies and reproductions of the icons have gone all over the world, some of them themselves wonder-working.
Two angels in the picture, Michael and Gabriel, are showing the instruments of the passion to the Child, who clings to the Mother’s hand, shaking loose a sandal. The Mother reassuringly holds tightly to the Child’s hand.
One cannot look at the picture without being struck by the anxious, pained expression on the face of Our Blessed Mother. On the child’s face is seen the same shrinking fear He had during His agony in the garden – a shrinking fear not incompatible with a perfect resignation to God’s will. And in His fear, He turns to His Mother for help.
What does the loosened sandal mean? All babies manage to kick off their shoes, and the Christ child was a perfectly human baby. There is a meaning in his act, however, for His is more than just a human baby. If it were not for this loosened sandal, the picture would not be a complete one. In the Old Law, the putting off of the shoe meant (1) the yielding of one’s right to another, (2) the wish to be treated as a servant or a captive, (3) readiness for reproach or infamy.
As the Child looks at the frightening instruments, and clings to His Mother’s hand, the little shoe slips from His baby foot and He says His Fiat – “Not my will but Thine be done.” We may even imagine the two archangels going back to heaven and being asked, “What did He say?” – and their reply would be something like this: “He was very frightened and clung to His Mother, but He took of His little shoe.”
*from The Woman in Orbit
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Behold, O Mother of Perpetual Help, at thy feet a wretched sinner, who has recourse to thee and trusts in thee. O Mother of mercy, have pity on me; I hear all men call thee the refuge and hope of sinners: be therefore my refuge and my hope. Help me for the love of Jesus Christ: hold out thy hand to a fallen wretch, who commends himself to thee and dedicates himself to be thy servant forever. I praise and thank God, who of His great mercy hath given me this confidence in thee, a sure pledge of my eternal salvation. Alas, it is only too true that in the past I have fallen miserably, because I did not come to thee. I know that with thy help I shall conquer; I know that thou wilt help me, if I commend myself to thee; but I am fearful lest in the occasions of sin I shall forget to call upon thee and so I shall be lost. This grace, then, do I ask of thee; for this I implore thee, as much as I can and know how to do; namely, that in the assaults of hell I may ever run to thy protection and may say to thee: Mary, help me; Mother of Perpetual Help, permit me not to lose my God.
O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant me ever to be able to call upon thy powerful name, since thy name is the help of the living and the salvation of the dying. Ah, Mary most pure, Mary most sweet, grant that thy name from this day forth may be to me the very breath of life. Dear Lady, delay not to come to my assistance whenever I call upon thee; for in all the temptations that assail me, in all the necessities that befall me, I will never leave off calling upon thee, ever repeating: Mary, Mary. What comfort, what sweetness, what confidence, what tenderness fills my soul at the sound of thy name, at the very thought of thee! I give thanks to our Lord, who for my sake hath given thee a name so sweet, so lovable, so mighty. But I am not content merely to speak thy name; I would utter it for very love of thee; it is my desire that love should ever remind me to name thee, Mother of Perpetual Help.
O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of every grace that God grants us in our misery; it is for this cause that He hath made thee so powerful, so rich, so kind, that thou mightest assist us in our miseries. Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners, if they but come unto thee; come once more to my assistance, for I commend myself to thee. In thy hands, I place my eternal salvation; to thee I entrust my soul. Enroll me among thy most faithful servants; take me under thy protection and it is enough for me: yes, for if thou protect me, I shall fear nothing; not my sins, for thou wilt obtain for me their pardon and remission; not the evil spirits, for thou art mightier than all the powers of hell; not even Jesus, my Judge, for He is appeased by a single prayer from thee. I fear only that through my own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to thee and so I shall be lost. My dear Lady, obtain for me the forgiveness of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance and the grace to have recourse to thee at all times, O Mother of Perpetual Help.
LOVE YOU GUYS !!!!
Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS
Today is Tuesday: We pray the Sorrowful Mysteries:
The Sorrowful Mysteries
1. Agony on the Garden (Sorrow for sin) –Matt 26:36-46
2. Scourging at the Pillar (Purity) –Mark 15:1-16
3. Crowning with Thorns (Moral Courage) –Matt 27:27-31
4. Carrying of the Cross (Patience) –Mark 15:20-22
5. The Crucifixion (Perseverance) –Luke 23:33-46
Thank you Lord for loving us so much…
Rosary Man Jim’s Sorrowful Reflection: http://beads-of-joy-blog.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-sorrowful-mysteries_11.html