Saturday, June 21, 2014

Feast Days of Our Lady


Photo: R. Massaro-Walsh University Canton, Ohio

  The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is an authentic expression of Byzantine art from ancient times. The gold background represents the Kingdom of God and the gold shining through the clothing reflects deification. The icon invites us to become sharers in this glory. The persons portrayed are: the Mother of God, Jesus Christ, the Archangel Michael, and the Archangel Gabriel. Mary's head is tilted with maternal affection toward the Christ Child on her left arm. Mary's eyes are not fixed on her Child or on the instruments of the Passion which the two angels hold out to Christ. Rather, she gazes toward those who are looking at the icon. With eyes and attitude of sorrow and love she invites all to consider Our Savior.

    The Christ Child has the appearance of apprehension when presented with the instruments of His Passion. In His mother, he finds the greatest comfort and tenderness. In his haste to run into her protective arms, He almost loses one of his tiny sandals thereby signifying to us that we should hasten to seek her loving assistance in our troubles. Christ's fingers hold his Mother's right hand, yet they rest quite loosely there. In this lies another lesson. Through the protection of His Most Holy Mother, Our Lord grew to His adulthood and initiated His Saving Work. As she protected Him, she prays for us still to Her Divine Son!

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Oh Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke your powerful name, the protection of the living and the salvation of the dying. Purest Mary, let your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, Blessed Lady, to rescue me whenever I call on you. In my temptations, in my needs, I will never cease to call on you, ever repeating your sacred name, Mary, Mary. What a consolation, what sweetness, what confidence fills my soul when I utter your sacred name or even only think of you! I thank the Lord for having given you so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely uttering your name. Let my love for you prompt me ever to hail you Mother of Perpetual Help. Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for me and grant me the favor I confidently ask of you. Amen (Then say three Hail Marys).

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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