Our Lady of Perpetual Help has been venerated across many cultures and thus bears several titles in different languages, such as “Mother of Perpetual Succour”, Mutter von immerwährenden hilfe, Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro, Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours, Mater del Perpetuo Succursu, and Ina ng Laging Saklolo.
United States of America
In 1878, the Basilica and Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston, Massachusetts obtained a certified copy of the icon being the first in the United States. Between 1927 and 1935, the first American novena service dedicated to the icon was recited in Saint Alphonsus “The Rock” church in St. Louis, Missouri and various other Redemptorist stations around the United States.
Authorised by the Holy See to remain open 24/7 days all year, the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (also known as Baclaran Church), is one of the largest known Marian shrines in the Philippines.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help is informally known in the country as the Holy Virgin of Baclaran, and is widely venerated by Filipino Catholics and Overseas Filipino communities. A German copy of the icon is venerated in the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, Parañaque, Metro Manila. Pope John Paul II once said Mass at the shrine as cardinal, and later prayed before the icon during his first pastoral visit to the country in February 1981.
All Catholic churches and chapels in the Philippines enshrine a replica of the icon, often on a side altar, with many congregations holding recitations of the rosary and the icon’s associated novena, Benedictions, and Holy Mass every Wednesday in its honour. Copies are also commonly displayed in houses, businesses, and public transport. Devotees today still use the same Novena booklet first published by Irish Redemptorist priests, who introduced the icon and its devotion to the Philippines in the 1900s. The Filipino Diaspora have also preserved observance of the Wednesday Novena, organising and participating at novena services in their respective parishes.
The town of Almoradi, Spain invokes the patronage of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. In 1918, the son of Marquis of Rioflorido, Jose Carlos fell ill with pleurisy. His mother, the noble lady Desamparado Fontes fed him a silk fabric cloth touched to the icon of Perpetual Help in Rome which resulted in an instantaneous healing later claimed to be miraculous. As a token of thanksgiving, the lady Fontes officially donated funds to begin the Confraternity of Almoradi. On 29 May 1919, Our Lady of Perpetual Help was officially enthroned in Saint Andrew’s Parish as the official patroness of the town. In 1945, Pope Pius XII confirmed this patronage by a pontifical decree. In 1969, a canonical coronation of this image was held and the crowns were made by Santero artist Jose David.
In addition to this, Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the designated the national patron saint of Haiti. According to Roman Catholic Bishop Guy Sansaricq, former Haitian president Élie Lescot and his cabinet petitioned the Holy See to make Our Mother of Perpetual Help the national Patroness of Haiti in 1942. Many Haitians credit the Virgin Mary under this title in performing miracles to prevent a cholera and smallpox outbreak which ravaged the country in 1882. The Holy See approved the request for patronage under the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII. The Our Lady of Perpetual Help is also present in numerous Haitian public stamps used by the Haitian postal office. In January 2010, Pope Benedict XVI invoked Our Lady of Perpetual Help for Haiti’s earthquake relief through Archbishop Louis Kébreau.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help is also the patron of the Diocese of Middlesbrough, in England.