Mangaluru, May 7, 2017: The Mangaluru based redemptorists received the miraculous Icon of ’Mother of Perpetual Help’ in the city on May 6, Saturday morning and presented it at the Bishops house in Kodialbail. It was honoured and blessed by Bishop Rev.Dr.Aloysius D’Souza, at the Bishop’s Chapel and remained there till 3 PM. As per the announced programme it was brought to it’s first pilgrim halt at Valencia church at 4 PM.
Valencia church has special cause in this devotion. It’s the parish priest Rev Alyosius Rebello, on January 1, 1956, that first started the Novena devotion on Saturday evenings in Konkani, hundreds used to attend, the devotion grew and it spread from here to many churches in the region. To date this continues and in most churches here this Novena is conducted one day in the week. On arrival at Valencia the icon was installed and special prayers recited with a huge gathering devoutly attending, the Novena was conducted at 5 PM by Rev Fr Fr. Eugene D’Silva CSsR and he officiated at the solemn mass along with priests of the parish. He also preached a soul stirring sermon and gave the huge congregation present the historic and devout beliefs about this venerated Icon of Mother Mary. the pilgrimage will continue to various places till May 21.
The Miraculous Icon: On the occasion of the 150 years of the handing over of the Miraculous Icon of Mother of Perpetual Help to the Redemptorists by Pope Pius IX in 1866 with the charge to “Make her known to the entire world”, the Redemptorist religious presented a few copies of the Miraculous Icon to Pope Francis for blessing. One of these copies blessed by Pope Francis on this special occasion of the 150 year Jubilee has now come to Mangalore and is in the custody of the Redemptorist Vice Province of Majella and in the Redemptorists institution at Nityadhar Niwas in Alangar. This copy of the Icon will be on display at the ordinations to the priesthood of three young Redemptorists on the 8 th of May at Moodferar church and then in different parishes in the Diocese of Mangalore until the May 21, 2017. This is an occasion to renew one’s knowledge of the history and story of the Icon of Mother of Perpetual Help, the theological and spiritual meaning of the Icon and to visit the Icon and pray before it and seek the intercession of Mother of Perpetual Help for one’s personal and family life.
On April 26th, 1866, the re-discovered and restored Icon of the Mother of Perpetual Help (‘Mater de Perpetuo Succursu’) was hung over the high altar at San Alfonso Redemptorist Church on Via Merulana, in Rome. This year, the Jubilee continues. Pope Pius IX, when giving the picture into the care of the Redemptorists, said to them ‘Make her known to the World’ and Redemptorists all over the world have been doing this ever since. Since 1866, the Redemptorists have spread devotion to Mary the Mother of Christ under the icon and title of ’Mother of Perpetual Help’. According to tradition, the ancient Byzantine icon of Mother of Perpetual Help was stolen from a church in Crete where many miracles had occurred. The image remained in the private possession of a Roman merchant and his family until 1499 when it was publicly displayed in the Church of St. Matthew in Rome
The ’Redemptorists’: Since 1732 the Redemptorists, who use the letters ’CSsR’ after their names, have followed Christ, preaching the Word and serving the poor and abandoned. They are a congregation of missionary priests and brothers founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori, who was renowned for his devotion to Mary. Their mission and joy is bringing the message of salvation to all people. The spirituality is based on the incarnation, the cross, the Blessed Mother, and the Eucharist. These Redemptorists mainly go about from parish to parish and preach ’Missions’ or ’Retreats’. They specialize in ’redemptive’ service and their oratory and preaching skills are highly trained and capture the attention of the audience whenever they speak. Today more than 5000 Redemptorist priests are carrying out the mission of Christ in more than 75 countries. Rev. Michael Brehl CSsR, is the present Superior General. In India, the Redemptorists have 2 provinces (Bangalore and Kerala) and a vice-province. The vice-province of Majella, covers the coastal areas of Gujarat, Mumbai, Goa and Mangalore. The Redemptorists have a minor seminary in Alangar Moodbidri and a parish at Palke, Saverapura, near Belvai. At Alangar, Moodbidri they have their community called ‘Nithyadar Nivas.’ This community has 4 priests and Fr. Eugene D’Silva CSsR is the Superior of this community. Nithyadar Nivas, Alangar, Moodbidri, Post - 574227. Mobile-9448911177. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.