On the 27th June this year a new shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was established in Gliwice, Poland. During the solemn celebrations and the proclamation of the Jubilee Year in honour of our Mother, the Provincial of the Province of Warsaw, Fr. Janusz Sok C.Ss.R said, “It is at shrines such as this that we can come to an understanding of our faith, in that we can have confidence that here we can meet God, the One who trusts in me, who believes and hopes in me”
The solemn Mass was presided over by Mons. Jan Kopiec, the bishop of Gliwice, who has been very supportive in the establishment of the new shrine. He stressed in his homily that we come to the shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to gain something that we cannot touch and acquire in our daily life. He said, “It is a sacred place, where we listen to the Word of God with a great attention, where all the chains of our sins and addictions are broken. At this place a new person is born”.
The Holy Mass was concelebrated by the Provincial Government, many confreres and local priests. Many parishioners, pilgrims and representatives of the local authorities took part and filled the Redemptorist church to capacity.
The first Novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Poland was celebrated in the church in Gliwice in 1951 and over the years many of the faithful have come to pray before the sacred icon, giving thanks for graces received and asking Mary’s intercession and help. The icon was crowned with a papal crown on June 22nd 2014 by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Cracow.
Today the Redemptorists are responsible for four of the 14 official shrines of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Poland, (Cracow, Gliwice, Elbląg and Toruń). Besides these shrines there are also around two thousand churches and chapels where the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is venerated. This is as a result of the efforts of the Polish Redemptorist missionaries, who since 1883 have gone to different parishes to proclaim the Plentiful Redemption (there are about 150 parish missions and over 700 parish retreats preached each year), taking the icon with them.
Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help is also strongly supported by Radio Maryja and TV Trwam that are national Catholic radio and television stations which belong to the Redemptorists. They broadcasted the celebration of the proclamation of the Jubilee and the establishing of the new shrine live, nationally.
The Redemptorists of the Warsaw Province also inaugurated the Jubilee Year in all their churches and parishes, encouraging local priests during this special time to organize Marian retreats in their parishes and to establish or renew the devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in their churches. The Redemptorists also published new prayer books, flyers, medallions and posters to promote the Icon of Love. United with the whole Congregation they pray daily the prayer prepared by the General Commission of the Jubilee, seeking the strength to continue carrying the icon to their brothers and sisters and to become ever anew missionaries of the Gospel.
Mariusz Mazurkiewicz C.Ss.R