(Rome, Italy) Like every year, the Community at St. Alphonsus and the faithful of the Shrine in Rome look forward to the great celebration of the feast of the Mother of Perpetual Help on 27th of June 2018. It is a time for the community and the faithful to come as a family to the Shrine of Mary to pray together and receive innumerable blessings through the powerful intercession of our Mother who intercedes before God on our behalf.
To celebrate this feast in a meaningful way a nine-day novena begins from 18th to 26th of June. Prior to the novena, the communities from Poland, Italy, Philippines, and Latin America gather together to pay homage to Mary after the Eucharistic Celebrations on Sunday, 17th of June. The novena begins on 18th of June with the Holy Eucharist at 6.30 pm in the French language followed by the concert of accordion and guitar. The mass will be celebrated in the Italian language at 6.30 pm followed by the vocal concert on 19th of June. Similarly, on Wednesday 20th, the mass will be offered according to Melkite Greek-Catholic rite and follows the instrumental concert. There will be three masses in Polish, English and Italian languages starting from 5.30 pm onwards. Then the faithful gather together singing multi-ethnic songs in honour of our Mother of Perpetual Help at 7.30 pm.
There will be Holy Eucharist in the Italian language at 6.30 pm on 22nd of June followed by the concert of ‘Vittorio Square choir.’ On Saturday 23rd there will be two masses by Syro-Malabar rite and in Italian language beginning from 3.30 pm onwards. Then begins the international folk festival at 7.30 pm. A grand celebration awaited on Sunday the 24th, where there will be a common Eucharistic celebration in the morning 7.00 am followed by a special prayer for missionary vocation. There will be special prayers offered for the sick and suffering and the rite of anointing conducted at 11.00 am. There will be a multilingual solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by Mons. Antonio De Luca, CSsR then follows a grand procession in our neighbourhood and ends with the concert of the “Alpini Latini”.
There will be mass in the Portuguese language on Monday 25th at 6.30 pm and then follows the concert by the creator music choir and Parish of Ukraine Saints Sergius and Bacchus. On the final day of Novena, the Harp and soprano concert begins at 7.00 pm. The Holy Mass begins in the Italian Language at 8.00 pm and all the faithful join for the procession with the candles. After the nine-day novena, the liturgical feast will be solemnized. There will special mass offered for the wounded world at 7.00 am and for all the Redemptorists worldwide at 9.00 am. Finally, the Liturgical feast ends with the solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar of Rome. The community and the faithful of St. Alphonsus parish continue to prepare for the feast. Hundreds of devotees expected to join the novena and all the spiritual activities during the preparation for the feast.
Sanjay Tirkey, CSsR.