Today, Tuesday 26 April, marks the 150th anniversary of the day the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help was given to the Redemptorists’ newly-built Church of Sant’Alfonso. Blessed Pope Pius IX presented the Icon to the Redemptorists with the mandate that they were to promote devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help throughout the world. Little more than a year later, the first copy of the Icon arrived in Ireland.
Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Father Michael Brehl, wrote of the anniversary:
This is a day of great joy, hope and celebration for us. For 150 years, Our Mother of Perpetual Help has accompanied us in our mission and our ministry, drawing countless people into a deeper personal relationship with Jesus the Redeemer, and with the People of God. From St Alphonsus Church on via Merulana this devotion has spread to every continent, and thousands upon thousands of Churches, parishes, chapels, communities.
As Redemptorist Missionaries and those who share in this charism of ‘copiosa redemptio’, we know that it is no accident that Our Mother of Perpetual Help came to us through this wonderful Icon. Long before 1866, Mary accompanied us in all our missions and apostolic works. Following in the footsteps of St Alphonsus, love for Mary, the Mother of Mercy, has always been a hallmark of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. It was only natural that she would desire to be honoured in our Church under this title of Perpetual Help, and that she would continue to accompany and further our mission across the world.
To mark this special anniversary, the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help will visit all 26 Irish cathedrals.
The Diocese of Meath will welcome the Icon tonight, at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Mullingar. The Icon will continue this week to visit the Diocese of Dublin, visiting the following locations:
- Wednesday 27 April, Our Lady of the Assumption, Ballyfermot
- Thursday 28 April, Blessed Sacrament, Cherry Orchard
- Friday 29 April, Redemptoristine Church, Dublin
- Saturday 30 April, St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral
For more information on the pilgrimage of the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, visit followtheicon.ie.