Devotion Prayers

        Opening Hymn
        Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest

        Mother dearest, Mother fairest,
        Help of all who call on thee,
        Virgin purest, brightest, rarest,
        Help us, help, we cry to thee.

        Mary help us, help we pray;
        Mary help us, help, we pray;
        Help us in all care and sorrow,
        Mary help us, help we pray.

        Lady, help in pain and sorrow,
        Soothe those racked on bed of pain
        May the golden light of morrow
        Bring them health and joy again

        Mary help us, help we pray;
        Mary help us, help, we pray;
        Help us in all care and sorrow,
        Mary help us, help we pray.

(All kneel to recite the following prayers together if in a congregation or family)


Behold at thy feet, O Mother of Perpetual Help, a wretched sinner, who has recourse to thee, and confides in thee. O Mother of mercy, have pity on me. I hear thee called by all the refuge and the hope of sinners: be, then, my refuge and my hope. Assist me, for the love of Jesus Christ; stretch forth thy hand to a miserable fallen creature, who recommends himself to thee, and who devotes himself to thy service for ever. I bless and thank almighty God, Who in mercy has given me this confidence in thee, which I hold to be a pledge of my eternal salvation. It is true that in the past I have miserably fallen into sin, because I had not recourse to thee.
I know that, with thy help, I shall conquer; I know, too, that thou wilt assist me, if only I recommend myself to thee. But I fear, dearest Mother, that in time of danger I may neglect to call on thee, and thus lose my soul. This grace, then, I ask of thee, and this I beg, with all the fervor of my soul, that, in all attacks of hell, I may ever have recourse to thee. O Mary, help me! O Mother of Perpetual Help! Never suffer me to lose my God!
(3 Hail Marys)

    O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on thee, for in all my temptations I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name: Mary, Mary. Oh, what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence fills my soul, when I pronounce thy sacred name, or even only think of thee. I thank God for having given thee, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing thy name; let my love for thee prompt me ever to hail thee, Mother of Perpetual Help.

(3 Hail Marys)

    O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of all the goods which God grants to us miserable sinners, and for this reason, has He made thee so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful, that thou mayest help us in our misery. Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners who have recourse to thee; come, then, to my help, dearest Mother, for I recommend myself to thee. In thy hands, I place my eternal salvation and to thee do I entrust my soul. Count me among thy most devoted servants; take me under thy protection, and it is enough for me; for, if thou protect me, dear Mother, I fear nothing; not from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me the pardon of them; nor from the devils, because thou art more powerful than all hell together; not even from Jesus, my Judge Himself, because, by one prayer from thee, He will be appeased. But one thing I fear; that, in the hour of temptation, I may neglect to call on thee, and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me then the pardon of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace always to have recourse to thee, O Mother of Perpetual Help.

(3 Hail Mary's)

Priest: Thou has been made for us, O Lady, a refuge.
People: A helper in need and tribulation.
Priest: Let us pray: O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast given us thine own Mother Mary, whose glorious image we venerate, to be a mother ever ready to help us; grant, we beseech thee, that we who constantly implore her aid, may merit to enjoy perpetually the fruits of Thy Redemption, Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

Prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori

    Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin and my Mother, Mary, to thee, Who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the Advocate, the Hope, and the Refuge of sinners, I have recourse today. I who am the most miserable of all. I render thee my most humble homage, O Great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces thou has obtained for me until now, and in particular for having saved me from hell which I have so often deserved. I love thee, O most Amiable Lady; and, for the love which I bear thee, I promise to serve thee always and do all in my power to make others also love thee. I place in thee all my hopes and I confide my salvation to thy care. Accept me for thy servant and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or, rather, obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask a perfect love for Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. O my Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me at all times but especially at the last moment of my life. Leave me not, I beseech thee, until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen, so I hope; so may it be.

Act of Consecration
(to be said once each month)

    Desiring to consecrate myself entirely to the service of the ever Blessed Virgin Mary, from whom, after God, I expect all help and assistance in life and in death, I unite myself with the members of this pious confraternity, which has been erected in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. As my special patron I choose the glorious St. Alphonsus, that he may obtain for me a true and lasting devotion to the ever Blessed Virgin, who is honored by so sweet a name.
    I promise, moreover, to renew my consecration to the Mother of God and to St. Alphonsus once a month and frequently to receive the holy sacraments.
    O Mother of Perpetual Help, receive me as thy servant, and grant that I may ever experience thy constant motherly protection. I promise to have recourse to thee in all my spiritual and temporal necessities. My holy patron, St. Alphonsus, obtain for me the grace of an ardent love for Jesus Christ, and the grace of ever invoking the Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen.

    When possible, it is most efficacious for Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament to follow these devotions. When that is not possible, recital of the Holy Rosary is ideal.

Understanding the Icon's symbols

  • Greek Initials for Jesus Christ - to the right of the Child Jesus and even with His eyes below the Archangel Gabriel.

  • Greek Initial for Mother of God - Theotokos in upper right hand corner.

  • Greek Initial for St. Michael the Archangel on the left. Below is an image of St. Michael depicted holding the lance and sponge of gall to symbolize the Passion of Christ.

  • Greek Initial for St. Gabriel the Archangel on the right above the image of St. Gabriel depicted holding the cross and nails to also symbolize the Passion of Christ.

  • Star on Our Lady's veil. She is the Star of the Sea - Stella Matutina - who brought the Light of Christ to the darkened world...the star that leads us to the safe port of Heaven.

  • Mary's Mouth is small to symbolize silent recollection. She speaks little.

  • Mary's eyes are large for all our troubles and preoccupations that blind us to her divine Son. Her eyes are turned toward us always and she is looking for and at us.

  • Mary's Red Tunic, the color worn by virgins at the time of Christ.

  • Mary's Dark Blue Mantle, the color worn by mothers in Palestine. Mary is both Virgin & Mother.

  • Mary's Left Hand supporting Christ possessively: She is His Mother. It is a comforting hand for everyone who calls on her.

  • Christ's Hands, turned palms down into His Mother's hands to indicate that the Graces of Redemption are in her keeping.

  • Loose Sandal slipping off Christ's foot Perhaps the symbol of a soul clinging to Christ by one last thread: devotion to Mary.

  • Entire Background is a golden symbol of Heaven, where Jesus and Mary are now enthroned. The gold also shines through their clothing, showing the heavenly joy They can bring to tired human hearts.

  • Crown on Mary's head. This was added to the original icon in 1867 as a tribute to Mary as Queen and in recognition and thanksgiving for the many favors and miracles wrought through her intercession and what one with a sincere heart can expect when one invokes Blessed Mary as Our Mother of Perpetual Help.


              Information below provided by the Redemptorists of New York, 294 East 150th St. Bronx NY


    Briefly, at the close of the 15th century a merchant stole the picture from its shrine on the island of Crete, miraculously weathered a tumultuous sea voyage and finally brought it to Rome there, before he died he gave it to a Roman friend, begging to have it placed on a worthy church. This friend neglected to do.

        Our Lady then appeared, urging the Roman to comply with the request, threatening him even with death. At his wife's bidding, however, the man paid little heed to the apparition. Shortly after, he died.

        Next Our Lady appeared to the little daughter of the family. "Go to your mother and grandfather." She commanded," and say to them: Holy Mary Of Perpetual Help warns you to take Her from your house; else all of you will soon die." The girl relayed the message to her mother. Panic stricken, the woman promised to obey.

        Our Lady then told the little girl just where the picture should be placed: in the church "between the basilica of St. Mary Major and that of St. John Lateran." In solemn procession, on March 27 1499, it was carried to the church of St Matthew the Apostle. The same day a miracle occurred: a man's arm, crippled beyond use, was completely restored.

        So, for 300 years, the picture hung over the main altar in the church of St. Matthew the Apostle, loved by all, renowned far and wide for miracles.

        Then came June, 1798. Napoleon entered Rome. The church of St. Matthew was leveled to the ground. The picture disappeared.

        For sixty-four years it remained hidden, almost forgotten, until… one day at recreation, in the Redemptorist house in Rome, one of the Fathers mentioned having read, in an old tomb, that their present church, San Alfonso, was built on the ruins of St Matthew's where once was enshrined a miraculous picture: Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The name startled Father Michael Marchi. He recalled as a boy having served Mass in the oratory of the Irish Augustinians at Santa Maria in Posterula. There he had seen the picture. An old Brother had pointed it out to him.

        Some month later, in February, Father Francis Blosi, S.J., preaching in the Gesus on "the lost Madonna of Perpetual Help," told how it was Our Lady's wish that the picture be enshrined in the church" between the basilicas of St. Mary Major and St John Lateran." Word got back to the Redemptorist. The Superior General was informed But he waited three more years. He want to be certain.

        Finally, on December 11, 1865 the whole matter was presented to Pope Pius IX. On January 1866 the miraculous picture was brought once more to the site of its former glory the church between the two basilicas, now that of San Alfonso. Three months later, it was solemnly enshrined. And on June 23 1867, it was crowned with a golden crown, placed on picture by order of the Holy See in 1867 as a token and witness of the miracles wrought by Our Lady invoked under the title of "Perpetual Help".

    Devotions of Our Mother of Perpetual Help