Our Lady of Perpetual Help
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How do you write about Our Lady and not cry? How does your heart not fill up with emotion, so that you just want to burst? We want to share that Lady with you, the Mother whom we love, whose title tells what she has always done, help! We are referring to the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, or as She is sometimes known, Our Lady of the Passion, and how looking at it and contemplating the story behind the painting, the reality of this Mother's agony comes tragically into play, the agony of seeing Her Son growing up to make the one and final sacrifice for the salvation of the world. As you saw the signs, did you try to keep them from Your Son, Mother Mary?
According to tradition, Our Lady of Perpetual Help is considered the oldest Icon in the Church. It is believed that the first Icon of the Virgin of the Passion (or Our Lady of Perpetual Help) was in fact painted by St. Luke. And who better than he to paint this sorrowful image of Mother and Son; for St. Luke, of all the Gospel writers, wrote most personally of the Lord in His infancy up to His death on the Cross. So much so, with details that only the Mother of Jesus could know, the likelihood is that Our Lady, Herself, must have shared them with him.
It is further believed that St. Luke painted the Icon of Our Blessed Mother and Her Son Jesus, while She was still in Jerusalem. When he showed the finished painting to Her, it is said, She blessed him and the Icon, saying, Her grace would accompany the Icon. And so it has, with countless miracles accompanying the Icon wherever it has been venerated, asking the intercession of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. There were so many miracles, so many petitions answered, in the year 1207, Pope Innocent III declared that the Virgin Mary's soul had to have entered the Icon, as She was so radiantly beautiful and the Icon had been such a powerful instrument in bringing about so many miracles through Our Lady's intervention.The Icon begins its travels.
- Journeys of Faith, June 2011
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