Novena in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help

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Colours of the Icon Lead us to contemplate the mystery of Redemption in the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help

We at Scala News announce the Novena in preparation for the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. This year in preparation for the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help we will have a 9-day novena with a reflection on the Colours of the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The Colours of the Icon are extremely significant and each colour used by the Icon painter has a depth of meaning which draws the person reflecting on the Icon into the mystery that the Icon signifies. 

The Colours of the Icon lead us to understand and appreciate the wonder of Mary Our Mother of Perpetual Help who leads us to Jesus her son, who brings colour and joy to our lives.

We will reflect and pray each day during this 9-day novena with Fr Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R., Consultor General from the Sanctuary of the Church of St. Alphonsus and the Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Rome. 

Introduction

Day One: The Colour Gold

We reflect on the First day of the Novena on the Colour Gold in the Icon. The Icon is bathed in the colour of gold. The figures in the Icon too have gold all over them. The golden background is a synonym of heaven, of endless joy, of paradise, resurrection, the state of glorification. Therefore, the colour is a reminder to us that this is the plan of God, our salvation. 

Day Two: The Colours of Mary, Ultramarine or Blue

We reflect on the Second day of the Novena on the Colours of Mary in the Icon, beginning with the colour Ultramarine or Blue. Mary is clad in a dark blue (ultramarine) mantle. Blue is a very important colour in the artistic traditions of Christianity and has deep spiritual meanings that bring out different attributes of the Blessed Mother. It is a sacred colour, one that reminds us of Mary’s faithfulness and her privileged role in salvation history.

Day Three: The Colour Green, the lining of the mantle covering the Virgin Mother

We reflect on the Third day of the Novena on the Colour Green. Mary’s mantle has a green lining as well as on the Virgin’s head, under the veil, we can see a sea-green bonnet covering her hair. In spiritual terms, the colour green implies beginnings, new growth, vibrant health, and other ideas connected with life, rebirth, and renewal.

Day Four: The Colour Red

We reflect on the Fourth day of the Novena on the Colour Red in the Icon. In the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Mary is depicted wearing a Red Tunic. Red is used in Christian symbolism to denote sacrifice, blood, and martyrdom on the one hand and the colour of the Spirit of God who descended in tongues of fire on Pentecost. The Colour Red is the colour of Pentecost. Red is also the colour of Motherhood.

Day Five: The Green Colour of the Tunic of Jesus

We reflect on the Fifth day of the Novena on the Colours of the garments of Jesus. We begin with the colour green of his tunic. As we have already reflected on the colour green, we note that the colour denotes new beginnings, new growth, vibrant health, and other ideas connected with life, rebirth, and renewal. It is the colour of new life and hope.

Day Six: The Colour Brown of the outer garment of Jesus

We reflect on the Sixth day of the Novena on the Colour of the outer garment of Jesus, Brown. Brown is often associated with the EARTH. In a Christian context, it has come to mean a dying to self, or a segregation or death to the world because some groups of monks, friars, etc… wear brown. It has come to be associated with humility and a modest lifestyle.

Day Seven: The Colour Red of the Girdle of Jesus

We reflect on the Seventh day of the Novena on the Colour Red of the girdle of Jesus in the Icon. As we have already reflected, the colour Red is used in Christian symbolism to denote sacrifice, blood, and martyrdom on the one hand and the colour of the Spirit of God who descended in tongues of fire on Pentecost.

Day Eight: The Colours Green Red and Brown together on Jesus

We reflect on the Eight day of the Novena on the Colours Green, Red, and Brown together used for the robes of Jesus. The painter of the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help using the colours of Green, Brown and Red for the garments of Jesus has very aesthetically offered a deep theological reflection of the grace and gift of Salvation in Jesus, Son of Mary, Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

Day Nine: All the Colours of the Icon in one grand colourful mystery

On this last day of our novena in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help we reflect on the symphony of colours that the painter of the Icon used to invite the pilgrim into a deep reflection on the mystery of Redemption which is a very precious gift that the Spirit of God makes possible here and now through the Icon.

All the Colours used from Aquamarine Blue, to Green, to Brown to Red and then the whole Icon bathed, dressed, adorned in Gold sum up for us the meaning of Redemption. It is a heavenly Gift of God the Father through the Spirit of God which descended on the Virgin Mary making her the Mother of Jesus, the Son of God, Our Perpetual Help. It is he who is our Way to the Father, the Truth of the Father and It is he who offers us the pure divine Life of the Father.

Feast Day: Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Dear Confreres, Redemptoristine sisters, Sisters associated with our mission and charism, Our lay collaborators, associates and missionaries, and dear devotees of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, we invite you on this the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help to gaze into the icon, look at it, contemplate it, and be drawn into the mystery of God that it represents.

It represents God’s love in sending his Son Jesus, born for us, through Mary’s response to the Spirit of God, and Jesus’ mission in leading us back to the love of God. This is the mystery of Redemption.

On this the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help we invite you to prayer and contemplation of Our very special Icon, the Icon on the mystery of Love, the mystery of Redemption, the mystery of a God made human, Jesus, in the arms of his mother Mary

In God’s great providence we Redemptorists, Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, the Lord Jesus our Redeemer in the arms of Mary his Mother, sons of the great St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, announcers of the Good News of Redemption are custodians of this beautiful icon in our Redemptorist Church of St. Alphonsus on the Via Merulana in Rome from where we have conducted the novena for this special feast and from the very sanctuary of the Church under the high altar that has the Original Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

We wish each one of you on behalf of Fr. Rogério Gomes our Superior General and the entire General Council here in Rome and the Community of Redemptorists at San Alfonso in Rome a wonderful and joy-filled feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

MAY OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP INTERCEDE FOR US ALL!