(Rome. 27/06/2015) The Superior General of the Redemptorists, Fr. Michael Brehl, CSsR, officially proclaimed the Jubilee year of Our Mother of Perpetual Help during a solemn ceremony held in the Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome where the original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is venerated.
The memorable moments of this historic event started with a solemn celebration of evening prayer by the Redemptorists who gathered in the shrine at 5.40 pm. Present along with the members of the St. Alphonsus community, Rome, were visiting Major Superiors from the different parts of the world.
Fr. Michael Brehl, Superior General of the Congregation presided at the Solemn Mass which began at 6.30 pm and before the homily he formally read out the official proclamation of the Jubilee Year which begins on June 27, 2015 and ends on June 27, 2016.
In announcing the Jubilee Year in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Fr. Brehl highlighted the providential coincidence of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that has already been proclaimed by the Holy Father.
During the homily Fr. Michael emphasised that the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is indeed the icon of love – God’s love for us and also the love of a Mother for her children and so it is worth celebrating this anniversary with joy, hope and love.
He went on to say that the Church, with the granting of the plenary indulgence by Pope Francis also recognizes the importance of this jubilee year. This is why all of us – Redemptorist Missionaries, religious devoted to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, together with many lay associates celebrate with great joy 150 years of devotion to Mary who is our Perpetual Help – this is an important anniversary.
In conclusion he asked that we might reflect on what this might mean for us this year? He went on, I encourage everyone to follow the example of the beloved disciple in the Gospel of this evening and to once again welcome Mary into our hearts, into our homes, into our lives.
How do we do this?
1. By deepening our personal relationship with Mary through talking to her familiarly, as a son or daughter to a mother. Contemplating the icon in order to appreciate more deeply the mystery of our redemption.
2. Mary will teach us to know her Son, our Redeemer, through helping us to be more appreciative of the Word of God that she kept and pondered in her heart.
3. Mary can show us how to live the gospel, especially in regards to the abandoned and the poor, those who are in the suburbs, all those in need … as Pope Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium, ‘Mary teach us the power of tenderness and affection – of love and mercy.’
O Mary of Perpetual Help, we want to be under your protection. May this jubilee year be for each of us a pilgrimage with you to experience the Plentiful Redemption obtained for us by your Son.
The feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help will be celebrated in the shrine on Sunday, 28th June 2015 when His Eminence Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, will preside at the liturgical celebrations; these celebrations will be followed by a solemn procession with the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
As part of the celebrations for the Jubilee Year in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, by the Mandate of the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Apostolic Penitentiary has granted a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions. As the rescript reads, the plenary indulgence “can be gained here in this Church of St. Alphonsus, Rome and the individual Churches of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (The Redemptorists), by the Christian faithful who are truly penitent and moved by charity, make a pilgrimage to the icon of Blessed Virgin Mary of Perpetual Help and there devoutly take part in the properly configured jubilee rites or at least a suitable time in pious reflections, concluding with the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and invocations of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
The pdf files of the official proclamation and the rescript of plenary indulgence can be read and downloaded here: Official Proclamation of Jubilee Year-EN