Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Devotion to

Q: Can you tell me about devotion to Mary as Our Lady of Perpetual Help?

A: You can find plenty of information on Our Lady of Perpetual Help by writing to the Redemptorist Fathers here in the States. They also have their own website, which includes a section on Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Saint Alphonsus of Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorists, consecrated himself to Our Lady "de la Merced" in an act of total conversion in front of the image of S. Maria dei Monti (Scala, Italy). Thus Mary became the helper not only for Alphonsus but also for his congregation, the Redemptorists, and through them to millions of people all over the world. According to Liguori, all graces of conversion and salvation are given us through Mary. She is the perpetual helper. In 1865/66, the Redemptorists were given the icon of "Our Lady of Perpetual Help" and decided to promote her special cult. To this end a confraternity was founded which centered around the image crowned by the Vatican chapter in 1866. Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a typical example of a spirituality, a religious congregation, a special title of Mary anchored in a specific and concrete image of Mary. For more information see Joan Carroll Cruz, Miraculous Images of Our Lady, Tan Books/Publishers, 1993.

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