The icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is perhaps the oldest actual icon of the Blessed Virgin. According to tradition, St. Luke wrote an icon of Our Lady while she was still living in Jerusalem. When she saw the beautiful icon of herself holding the Child Jesus in her arms, she blessed both the artist and his work proclaiming, “My grace will accompany this icon.”
The passage of centuries has proven that Mary did not forget this promise. So numerous were the miracles and favors granted by means of this Holy Icon, Pope Innocent III in 1207 stated that Mary’s soul seemed to have entered into this icon since it was so beautiful and so miraculous.
When St. Luke completed the icon, tradition tells us he gave it to his personal friend and patron, Theophilus. In the middle of the Fifth Century, St. Pulcheria a shrine in its honor in Constantinople. The icon remained there for a thousand years where it was venerated by countless Christians – kings and emperors, saints and sinners, rich and poor; and where it was the source of many graces.
The original icon disappeared from human history during the siege of Constantinople in 1453. Tradition tells us that, on the night before the fall of the Holy City, the Holy Mother of God, took both the icon and the Imperial Crown to Heaven! Many copies that existed at the time have been preserved to this day. The spirit and miraculous power of the icon still live in the present day icon. The Holy Mother of God still lives among us, anticipating needs, saving, ministering, mothering – leading us to the Throne of Her Son in the Heavenly Kingdom.
Come join us August 7-9 as we honor Our Lady of Perpetual Help and seek her powerful intercession in all of our needs. Never was it known that anyone who fled to her for help, guidance, comfort, and support was left unaided. Whatever your needs and concerns, may you find in the Theotokos great protection, healing, and support. May she deepen our faith and love for Jesus Christ, her Son, and enable us to bring His light to dispel the darkness in our world today.
With summer upon us, it’s time again for the annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine.
The 2016 pilgrimage will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 19-21. We hope to see you there.
Prayer for the Pilgrimage:
O Mother of Perpetual Help,
Listen to our pleading souls,
You can help us in our needs,
Mary, with hope, we call on you.
O Mary, help us!
You may find the Pilgrimage schedule and directions to the Shrine using the links to the left or below. The Directions page also lists accomodations and amenities. Camping is available on the Shrine grounds.