Mother of Perpetual Help Devotion
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions are held every Tuesday after the 5:15 p.m. Mass at Holy Redeemer Church. The practice of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions at Holy Redeemer began when the church was founded. Notably, the devotions were prayed by parish women during World War II for the safety of parish men who were away at war; remarkably, all of the men returned from the war alive.
An icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help dates back to the 13th century, depicting our Blessed Mother holding the Infant Jesus accompanied by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The icon was moved to the church of St. Matthew in Rome in the 15th century and venerated there for over 300 years before the church was destroyed in the Napoleonic invasions. The icon disappeared for over 50 years but was discovered through the intercession of our Mother of Perpetual Help. Pope Pius IX solemnly enshrined the icon in the church of St. Alphonsus, built at the site of the former church of St. Matthew.
Our Mother of Perpetual Help is a symbol of Eternal Hope. Through the Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions, we ask for the intercession of our Blessed Mother. One prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help that describes each detail of the sacred image is as follows:
"Mother of Perpetual Help, Woman of Eternal Hope, your wordless gaze tells us so much about you. Knowing eyes look upon us with tender love. The slight bend of your head reveals such maternal concern. While your left hand supports the Child, your right hand is ready to receive us, too. Just as He feels the beating of your heart, so you encourage us to lead a life of hope and holiness. Just as His sandal will fall on your lap, through your intercession may God pick us up as we stumble and fall. Never let us be parted from you and your son, Jesus. Lady of love, you invite us to place our hand where His fingers touch yours — near a heart of endless hope — so that we may be united often in prayer here on earth and joined forever with you in heaven. Amen."