(Brazil) – In the year that Mato Grosso do Sul turned 40, the state won a patroness as a present: Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The bill passed at the MS Legislative Assembly to establish “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” the patroness of Mato Grosso do Sul was approved last Wednesday, December 20th.
The Law includes in the Official Events Calendar of the State, the 27th of June, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Day, as the festive date of honour for the Patroness. Under the law, it will not be a holiday on the date.
“It’s a great achievement for our state. The novenas receive people from various regions of Campo Grande and even from other municipalities. It’s almost cultural. We were very happy. May the Mother of Perpetual Help, Our Patroness, be protecting our entire population,” said Father Dirson Gonçalves.
The devotion for Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Mato Grosso do Sul is recognized by all and began many years ago. But it was spreading more and more in Mato Grosso Uno in 1930, when three icons of the Mother were brought from the United States. The icons belonged to the American Redemptorists and today those are in Campo Grande, Aquidauana and Curitiba.
In Campo Grande, it is the central icon of the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help that has been here since 1941 when the church was built. The history of the Sanctuary and devotion go hand in hand with the development of the state.
The Parish was founded on January 2, 1939, and was founded by the Bishop of Corumba, Dom Vicente Priante, under the care of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, of the Redemptorist Missionaries, to serve the population of the region above the river. The temple began to be constructed in 1940 and concretized in 1941. This same church that receives until today thousands of devotees.
On January 10, 1999, at the request of the Redemptorist Missionaries who were re-assuming the administration of the Perpetual Help church, after six years with diocesan priests and the Military Ordinariate, Dom Vitório Pavanello, then Metropolitan Archbishop, zealous pastor of the Archdiocese of Campo Grande, made the decree of erection of the Church to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. This decree came after realizing the great devotion that was in full growth.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in Campo Grande, is the one that most novenas in the whole world: 18 by Wednesday. The novenas attract about 25 thousand people.
Parallel to all this happening in Campo Grande, in the interior of the State devotion was also growing. In many communities, sometimes the furthest away, people learned how to make the Novena, acquire the little book of prayers and affection for the Mother of Perpetual Help. In some of these cities, devotion was so marked that Our Lady of Perpetual Help was became official patroness of the city, as is the case of Bodoquena, Itaquiraí, Sete Quedas, Antônio João and Caracol.