A Solemn feast and a grand procession of the Mother of Perpetual Help in Rome

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The feast we celebrated on June 27 and June 30 revolves around the miraculous Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, also known as Our Mother of Perpetual Help. This revered image has a rich history and profound symbolism, inspiring countless faithful people worldwide. 

On Sunday, 30 June 2024, at 6.00 pm (Rome time) a solemn Mass followed by the novena was presided over by His Em. Card. Enrico Feroci, Rector of the shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love, followed by the Procession with the Holy Icon after Mass, accompanied by the Lazio Region Orchestral Band and various ethnic groups belonging to the Shrine. Archbishop Guy Desrochers, C.SS.R., Archbishop of Moncton,  Canada, were present during the celebration.

Fr. Giovanni Congiu, CSsR, rector of  St Alphonsus community in Rome, wrote in the weekly newsletter, “Today is for us the day of the solemn feast of the Mother of Perpetual Help. After intense preparation, marked by prayer, singing and meditation on the greatness of the Virgin Mother, we live this special day with joy in our hearts. They have been challenging days in which many people have sung, prayed and felt the need to change something in their daily habits and occupations, groups to dedicate their time, their attention or their voice to praising God for what He has accomplished in Mary for us.”

The Eucharist celebration was a memorable one because the Holy Eucharist began with a glorious entrance procession accompanied the song by a choir of various groups. Various groups participated in presenting offerings during the Mass. The Music and heartfelt prayers filled the church. During the Mass, the devotees sought intercession and received blessings.

His Em. Card.  Feroci, in his homily, reflected on the meaning of Jesus’ words from the cross to John and Mary: Behold your son, behold your mother. Jesus Christ, who accepted the cross and gave his life to redeem us from our sins, represented all of us.  Cardinal Feroci pointed out the profound consequences of this scene. As Saint Paul the Apostle wrote, by baptism, we all became the members of Christ’s body – He is the head, and we are the members of his body. Thus, Mary, at the foot of the cross, became also our mother. Then, the Cardinal invoked Mary, our Perpetual Help: “May we always feel that we are part of the body of Christ, that body that you bore, that body that became our salvation, that body that died on the cross, that body that you encountered as the Risen One, the Living One.”

After Mass, a peaceful procession unfolded. Various groups took turns carrying the float bearing the sacred Icon. The Lazio Region Orchestral Band accompanied the procession with Marian hymns. During the procession, the participants recited the rosary and sang hymns seeking Mary’s intercession. The procession ended with the final prayer and blessings by His Em. Card. Feroci.

The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the original icon that dates back to at least the 15th century and resides in the Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Rome. It was stolen from a church in Crete but miraculously found its way to Rome after a series of events. The icon depicts Mary as the compassionate and protective Mother, holding the Child Jesus. Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help has led to countless miracles, healings, and spiritual conversions. She is a powerful intercessor for those in distress. Pilgrims venerate this holy image, finding comfort in their spiritual mother, she has Jesus for us the Perpetual Help.

Fr. Gianni, C.Ss.R., thanked everyone in simple but heartfelt words for their great support and achievements during the Novena preparations and the procession of the Mother of Perpetual Help.

Thanks, first of all, to God, who acts in our lives and, as a loving Father, supports us and suggests times and ways to live and announce his Gospel. Thanks to all those who usually collaborate, in any way, to make the sanctuary a welcoming place, serene and solitude for prayer. Thanks to those who were involved in the choir, lending their voices to praise the Lord and the Virgin with song. Thanks to those who took care of the liturgy during these particular days. Thank you to those who organized pilgrimages to the shrine of the Mother and to those who welcomed them in the Sanctuary. There have been many groups from the most varied backgrounds that have prayed and or sung in our church in recent days! Particularly heartfelt thanks to the ethnic groups (Polish, Filipinos, Latin Americans and Italians) who regularly meet in the name of the Mother of Perpetual Help. This year, they were asked for an additional commitment, which highlighted the international character of the veneration of our Icon: the response was excellent. Finally, he wished all a Happy Sunday and happy holidays!

Scala News