The annual feast of Our Mother Perpetual Help is a great celebration in Redemptorist shrines where the miraculous Icon is venerated. This year, due to the Covid-19 emergency any celebration with a procession and big crowd cannot be organised. However, the Redemptorists have been looking for new possibilities to mark the feast and invite the people to unite in the prayer which is so important in the current situation.
We have already informed about novena, celebrated in our shrine in Rome, and other shrines around the world as well that are broadcasted live in social media. There are numerous other initiatives, to bring the Icon closer to the people and make it possible to a bigger number of the faithful to meet directly this Sign of Hope.
The Redemptorist community in Toruń, Poland, has proposed a peregrination of the Icon in the city from June 21-27, 2020. – “This year there will be no traditional procession in the streets. Therefore, it was decided that our Mother, in the sign of her icon of Perpetual Help, will visit our surrounding parishes, so that the faithful could meet her in their churches” – explains Fr. Wojciech Zagrodzki, C.Ss.R., pastor and superior of the local community.
On Saturday, June 21, the Cathedral of St. John of Toruń was the first temple to welcome the wandering Icon. The celebration began with a customary greeting of the Icon. After the icon was brought inside the church and placed on the special throne, the pastor and a representative of the parish council said a word of welcome. Then the novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help began, during which Fr. Wojciech Zagrodzki gave a sermon.
Then followed the Mass celebration, because this is what always happens: a sincere Marian devotion opens hearts to her Son and leads to union with God. After the Mass, there was a time of individual prayer, which ended with an “Apel jasnogórski” prayer at 9 p.m. (a traditional Marian evening prayer originated in the greatest Polish national shrine in Jasna Góra).
The next day the Icon stayed in the cathedral, available to the faithful. Late afternoon, before the Icon was transferred to the next parish, an afternoon Mass was celebrated with the sermon delivered by Fr. Wojciech Bieszke, C.Ss.R.
Similarly, the Icon was continuing to visit other parish churches during the week proceeding the Feast. On the route of the visit, there was St. Nicholas co-cathedral church in Chełmża, and again the parishes in Toruń: the Queen of Poland, St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Blessed Vincent Frelichowski, and the Shrine of Divine Mercy. Apart from those two mentioned above, two other Redemptorist missionaries were involved in conducting the peregrination: Fr. Władysław Bodziony and Fr. Jarosław Krawczyk.
The peregrination was well attended by the people. Several hundred faithful usually gathered in the churches. Many people were dropping in to pray during the day. In some parishes, the program was enriched with additional services, depending on the initiative of the pastors. It also happened that the pastors from the neighboring parishes were present with a group of parishioners.
“We hope that this initiative has strengthened the bond the faithful of parishes with Our Mother of Perpetual Help, who is the main Patroness of the Diocese of Toruń, as we all prepare for the central celebration on Saturday 27 June. May it bring abundant fruits in the hearts of individuals and the entire Diocese”. – concludes Fr. Zagrodzki.
courtesy of www.redemptor.pl