Parishes of the Region of St. Gerard (Russia and Kazakhstan) are being visited by the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help from March 18 to May 7, 2017. It is part of the celebrations of the Jubilee Year of the Icon – for over 150 years (1866) it was entrusted by Pope Bl. Pius IX to the Redemptorists. The copy of the icon is one of the 12 icons blessed by Pope Francis at the Vatican in May 2016.
The pilgrimage of the icon started in Togliatti in the European part of Russia in our Parish of Our Lady of Fatima during the parish Lenten retreat. On March 27 the icon was handed over to the Confreres in Orenburg (a city at the border of Europe and Asia). The next places of the visit will be Orsk, Petropavlovsk (Kazakhstan), Kemerovo (Siberia) and Pioniersk.
In each of the cities, the icon will stay around 10 days to be venerated by the communities of the Redemptorists and other religious congregations, by the faithful in our churches and even at the chapels in remote areas. There is also a chronicle of the visitation kept where people may testify graces they receive through the intercession of OLPH.
The Redemptorists work on the huge territories of Russia and Kazakhstan since 1993, in 2006 they established the Region of St. Gerard. Currently, there are 1 3 fathers from the Province of Warsaw and one from the Province of Dublin working in the region. From the very beginning, they promoted the devotion of the icon of OLPH. Many of the copies of the icon were brought in there from Krakow, Poland, where Fr. Eugeniusz Karpiel CSsR creates them.
The pilgrimage of the icon is a good occasion to give thanks to Out Mother of Perpetual Help for the faithful from our parishes, churches, chapels and houses, and also for all the people who found their path to God through the ministry of the Redemptorists. We entrust our future into the hands of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
Zenon Gieniec CSsR, Superior of the Region of St. Gerard