For one hundred years, the icon of the Mother of Perpetual Help has received special veneration in the Redemptorist Church of Gliwice in Poland. On June 27, 2023, the feast of the Mother of Perpetual Help, the perpetual novena, and Mass were presided over by Msgr. Sławomir Oder, bishop of the diocese of Gliwice.
In his homily, the Bishop shared with the faithful how close he feels to Mary in this very image. She accompanied him from the first years of his life, first in the former diocese of Chełmno, in Toruń, in Rome, and now in Gliwice. He also indicated Mary as a model of love and mercy, sensitivity and tenderness toward others. He explained how important it is for us to be there for one another in our families, communities, and in the Church today and to have time, understanding, and love for one another.
The local priests and the Vicar of the Provincial Superior, Fr. Mariusz Mazurkiewicz CSsR, took part in the current celebrations. We thank everyone for their wholehearted participation and praying together.
The story of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help from Gliwice
The history of the Gliwice icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, venerated in the Church of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, is linked to the arrival of the German Redemptorists in Gliwice in 1921, belonging to the then Vice-Province of Wroclaw.
The image of the Mother of Perpetual Help arrived in the Redemptorist church in Gliwice thanks to the efforts of Father Helmut Schultz CSsR, the then superior of the community. At his request, in 1923, Father Patrick Murray CSsR, superior general, donated a copy of the famous Roman icon of the Mother of Perpetual Help, painted by the Roman painter and convert, Joseph Burchardt.
Since the Perpetual Help icon was brought to Gliwice, the cult of Mary in this icon became more alive every year, and not even the Second World War could weaken it. This cult has survived to the present day, despite the fact that the Redemptorist monastery and the population of Gliwice were undergoing profound changes.
In 1951, the first-ever perpetual novena was celebrated in front of the icon of Our Lady in Gliwice as a public devotion in Poland. In 2014 the coronation ceremony of the Mother of Perpetual Help icon took place and the Redemptorist church in Gliwice was declared a diocesan shrine.
The editorial board: www.redemptor.pl, photo: parish archive