(Ambato, Ecuador) As the canticle was sung the sacred image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help entered the Cathedral through the main altar. The church was completely filled by the parishioners. The Holy Eucharist was presided by Monsignor Giovanny Pazmiño, bishop of the Diocese of Ambato at 12:00 noon on November 5.
Monsignor during the homily said that The Mother of Heaven is present in the daily life of her children, she is the one who guides and advises. The parents of the children are the loving people who seek to train their children in a better way and to offer tenderness, but that great love is not enough, since there are also times when parents must be tough to correct their children without losing authority.
He called to be good parishioners, because they are all children of the Blessed Mother. He invited the believers to be witnesses of life by putting into practice the teachings of the Word of God.
Monsignor said that it is a privilege to have the arrival of the icon of the Virgin of Perpetual Help. He explained that the painting was in Rome and came from Crete around the year 1500 and that for almost 300 years the picture was kept in the church of San Mateo located in the Italian capital.
When Napoleon’s troops arrived in that city in 1789, the church of San Mateo was destroyed and the icon was in a particular chapel of the Augustinian Fathers.
In 1855 the Congregation of the Redemptorists acquired the land where the old church of San Mateo was located. Soon it was known that there was the miraculous image of the Virgin of Perpetual Help. When found in 1865, the Redemptorists asked the Pope to take the image back to its former home, the request was granted and the picture returned in 1866, added Monsignor.
“We are celebrating 150 years of the handing over of the sacred image by Pope Pius IX to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, under the charge of making her known throughout the world,” explained the Redemptorist and missionary Father Angel Bernal.
The image entered Ecuador and its first stop was in Quito. In Ambato it stayed a few days and continued its pilgrimage through Chimborazo, Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabí, Azuay, Loja, until leaving Ecuador and arriving in Piura where the image will begin its journey towards the interior of Peru, added the missionary priest.
“Her presence is a blessing, that means we are not orphans because the Virgin protects and helps us and she is present in the lives of families,” a devotee of Ambato said.