Mother of Perpetual Help - June 27
Mother of Perpetual Help
Historical records indicate that around the year 1490, the picture was located in St. Matthew's Church in Rome. Although it was a relatively small church located on the Via Merulana between the great Roman basilicas of St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major, people came from miles around to pray before the picture because of the many miracles attributed to this sacred icon. For three hundred years the picture hung over the main altar in the church of St. Matthew the Apostle and the miracles continued to occur. In 1798, the picture was taken into hiding by the monks who fled the city of Rome to avoid being captured by Napoleon's invading armies. The picture resurfaced some years later in an Augustinian monastery chapel. Meanwhile the Redemptorists had built the new church of San Alfonso near the site of St. Matthew's which had been destroyed by Napoleon's invasion force. In time the Redemptorists learned about the miraculous picture of Our Mother of Perpetual Help that had been enshrined on that site for several centuries. They requested that the picture be placed there once again. The Holy Father Pope Pius IX agreed and on April 26, 1866, the original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help was placed above the high altar in the Church of San Alfonso. To this day, the miraculous picture is there for all to see. Millions of copies of the picture can be seen around the world in churches and homes. Each week hundreds of thousands of people gather to pray the novena prayers to Our Mother of Perpetual Help while in their homes each day millions of people invoke the assistance of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.