The Perpetual Help Novena, a traditional celebration held in Redemptorist churches and shrines around the world, will celebrate 100 years in 2022.
The first novena in this type was celebrated for the first time on 11 July 1922, in the church of Sant’Alfonso, in San Luis, in the United States.
Perpetual Help Novena is one of the most surprising forms of devotion to the Icon of the Mother of Perpetual Help.
Devotion has been rooted in the Redemptorist mission for over 150 years. The original icon is located in the church of Sant’Alfonso, in Rome, the seat of the General Curia of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. From there, the love for Mary and the Perpetual Help has spread to the whole world. The history of the icon is much older, but its expansion is due to the dynamism of the sons of Saint Alphonsus.
The Perpetual Help Novena originated from Father André Browne, C.Ss.R., who was inspired by a prayer that in charge of Our Lady of Perpetual Help performed. Father André had the idea of repeating this same exercise every week and chose Wednesday as the fixed day. He proposed an order very similar to that of the Archiconfraria: requests for reading the thanksgiving and petitions, which were previously placed on the altar, preaching, prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and blessing of the sick.
Novena developed outside the United States in English-speaking countries, with a focus on Asia. So much so that nowadays, the Baclaran Shrine in the Philippines receives more than one hundred thousand people every week. It is the largest number of devotees of this novena in the world.
In Brazil, the Perpetual Help Novena is present in many Redemptorist sanctuaries and churches, like others that maintain this Marian devotion. The Redemptorist centers are in Curitiba, Campo Grande, Manaus, Belém Teresina, Goiânia, Araraquara, São João of Boa Vista, Campina Grande, Garanhuns, Campos of Goytacazes, Bom Jesus of Lapa.