The Province of Naples “Welcomes” Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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(Naples, Italy) – During the provincial retreats (September 7-11, 2015) the Confrers of the Province of Naples wanted to respond to the invitation of Pope Francis to re-read their past with gratitude, to live the present with passion, to embrace  the future with hope.

The issues proposed by some Confrers of the same Province  were fortified by a fruitful sharing of the participants. From the ancient it came up the central role  given to Christ by Alphonsus M. de Liguori and a great friendship with him, source of a simple and renewed brotherhood in community. The passion of the present leads us to discover the monitoring role of the messengers of good news. The hope necessary to embrace the future will be effective only if it will be operative, in other words if it will be able to move  the curtains  as Abraham did, without pretending all will be clear. A final reflection inspired to  the  “Advices to the religious calling”  so beloved to Saint Alphonsus, highlighted  the biblical dimensions of a true call: personal and community experience of God, liturgical dimension and desert, acceptance of failure etc.

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The retreats will be also an opportunity to celebrate the profession’s anniversary of some Confreres. Another significant moment will be the delivery of the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help  to the different communities, with the mandate to love her and “Make her known to the world”.

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The history of the Province of Naples in this regard is eloquent: for different reasons the Icon until do not create a missionary tradition and worship like others that we can see elsewhere. We know that in Italy especially in the South the marian devotion it is linked to the names with which Mary is venerated, of course, in different way in each town or city. Moreover, Saint’Alphonsus was devoted to Mary Mother of the Counsel and the marian redemptorist iconography was so rich of many images to us so beloved , such as Santa Maria dei Monti,  the Alma Redemptoris Mater, la Madonna del De Alteriis, la Madonna dei Sette Veli etc.

Besides the different initiatives for the study of the Jubilee of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, there is a wish that we want to convert in a very commitment: to take the missionary and catechetical strength of this image entrusted to us, and to ensure that the people of God fall in love  more and more with her.

Serafino Fiore

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