Rome: Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in the church of St Alphonsus

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Every year, the Redemptorist Missionaries of the international community at the General Curia in Rome solemnly celebrate Our Mother of Perpetual Succour, whose original icon has been kept in the church of Sant’Alfonso all’Esquilino since 1866 and is venerated not only by those who habitually attend the shrine but also by pilgrims from all over the world.

The liturgical feast day is the 27th of June. But for a practical-pastoral matter, the solemn Mass is celebrated on Sunday closest to this date to facilitate greater participation by the people.

This year, 2023, the solemn Mass was celebrated on Sunday, the 25th of June, and was presided over by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Section for First Evangelisation and the New Particular Churches of the Dicastery for Evangelisation. He is very familiar with the devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help, having previously been Archbishop of Manila, and has been present several times at the Shrine of Baclaran. During his homily, Cardinal Tagle reflected upon the timeless message of the Mother of Perpetual Help, emphasizing the importance of her intercession and guidance in our daily lives. His words touched the hearts of those in attendance, fostering a deeper connection to the Blessed Mother and her unwavering love for all humanity.

We had a great participation of the people. The church was filled with the faithful, with nuns from different congregations. The participation of the communities that are usually received in our church was also remarkable: Italian, Filipino, Latin American, Polish and Syro-Malabar. Considering these diverse languages and cultures, the Mass also took on an ‘international’ flavour, both in the songs and in the proclamation of the Word of God.

Immediately after Mass, we had the procession, also presided over by Cardinal Tagle, around our church: Via Merulana, Santa Maria Maggiore, Via Carlo Alberto, Piazza Vittorio Emanuelle, Via dello Statuto, Via Merulana. The procession was accompanied by the Lazio Region Orchestral Band, which was performing Marian hymns and held a short musical entertainment in the churchyard at the end of the celebrations.

We are grateful to God for this beautiful celebration, and we praise Our Mother of Perpetual Help, who always brings us all the blessings and graces that God wants to give us.

Also, on the day of the liturgical feast of the Mother of Perpetual Help, the 27th of June, a solemn celebration will be presided over by Msgr. Paolo Ricciardi, Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, responsible for Deacons, Clergy, Religious Life and Ordo Virginum.

Fr. Roni dos Reis, C.Ss.R.