More than twenty thousand people, including children, youth, adults and the elderly, meet every Tuesday in open spaces and at the Church of St. Joseph the Worker in Villa Obrera, in the north of the city of Teresina, capital of the Brazilian state of Piaui. From early afternoon to late evening, they live together moments of prayer, catechesis, meetings and other activities organized by the Redemptorist missionaries, who for over 50 years have been engaged in evangelization and the pastoral care of this area.
They are preparing themselves for June 27, the feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, when they will spiritually join all the Redemptorist communities in the world on the occasion of the Jubilee Year that commemorates 150 years since the restoration of the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help for public veneration.
On December 11, 1865, Pope Pius IX entrusted the icon to the Superior General of the Redemptorists, Father Nicholas Mauron, with the exhortation to “make her known throughout the world”. Since April 26, 1866, the original icon, after the restoration, was exposed to the worship of the faithful in the Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome. Thanks to the work of the many missionaries, the devotion spread throughout the world. This icon is in fact considered one of the most famous images of Mary, venerated in the Cathedrals and Basilicas and also in small rural churches and chapels, and now also through radio, television and Internet, worldwide. Such devotion is not only carrried out in the Roman Catholic Church, but also in the Eastern, Catholic and Orthodox Churches.