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Special Programme Organized to Honour Icon of Mother of Perpetual Help

Published On : 22 Oct 2016   |  Reported By : C V Joseph

Bengaluru, October 21: The Icon of Mother of Perpetual Help goes throughout the world on the occasion of the jubilee of 150 years since the Icon was handed over to the Redemptorists with the charge to “Make Her Known to the Whole World”. The particular honouring was done on Friday at St. Joseph’s Church, Lingarajapuram, Bengaluru.

Fr Jacob Britto, CSsR, Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Church, presented a reflection on the entire theme and explained to the large gathering the meaning of the Icon step by step. Initiating the day’s programme, he said, “we are gathered before the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, to praise and thank God, our Father for the blessings He has given us through our Lady’s intercession. On this day that we honour her and give her our homage, once more, we ask her to pray for us.”

FrBritto, who is also Spiritual Director, Bangalore Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (BCCRS), pointing towards the Icon depicted her life on earth which was full of crosses and trials. But she could handle them, face them and overcome them. She had faith and trust in God.She relied on His loving fatherly goodness.FrBritto reminded the congregation to be like the Mother as all have trials and troubles. Besides, people are worried and confused. To tide over sucha situation, he told them to ask her to ‘give us courage, to strengthen our faith, to help us to make more efforts and to seek help when we are swayed and tended to despair. Mother stood at the foot of the cross, found it hard to see how God could allow His Son to suffer such agony, yet she never lost faith.

Mother went out of her way to help others in need, forgetting herself and her problems. FrBritto urged the gathering to attend to the troubles and sorrows of others which are sometimes greater than our own. We need to learn from her example to face our trials. While praying with Mother Mary for each person’s intentions, one should include all others in need, particularly the sick and the dying, the lonely and the broken-hearted, the poor and the oppressed, in short, all who need Mother’s perpetual help.

While describing the Icon, FrBritto said the Icon reminds us of Mary and Jesus facing the reality of suffering, particularly Jesus’ suffering and death. The Icon also reminds us of the salvation brought to us by Jesus Christ and the cooperation of Mary. The expression on Mary’s face is that of a mother, that knows pain and suffering, she offers her help unconditionally. The Archangel Gabriel of the Annunciation appears in the Icon(right)carrying the cross and nails.It was he who announced to her the incarnation that the Son of God, by the act of the Holy Spirit, will become a man in her womb. She said ‘yes’ to God and God became one of us, to live among us. The Archangel Michael, the leader of the heavenly army and the zealous defender of the glory of God is seen on the left of the Icon. The Archangel holds a sponge and a lance in the folds of his green mantel. The lips of Jesus were moistened with the sponge and his side was pierced with lance from which blood and water flowed.

On both sides of her haloed head are the initials that mean “Mother of God”. Next to the head of her Divine Son are the initials which mean “Jesus Christ”. The child Jesus in her arms is a reminder of the family life she lived in Nazareth which formed a simple and ordinary family. She dedicated herself to her domestic work as well.Lastly, the eyes. As we look at her Icon we come to know the reason of her name. It is present in her eyes. “You are Our Mother of Perpetual Help because of your eyes. Those eyes that carefully see us from any point from which we seek you. They are eyes that watch us with maternal affection. They follow us wherever we go. Those eyes follow us whatever our situation is, in our happiness, in our sorrows, in our failures, in our sinfulness and in our return to her”.

Fr Jacob Britto who was earlier Parish Priest, Holy Ghost Church, made an impassioned appeal to Mother Mary, assumed into heaven, and is with her Son, to lead us in her maternal concern to her Son she loves.

Earlier, after the Thanksgiving Prayer, but prior to the Mass, the Icons were placed on the side altars. He urged all present to join Mother in thanking God for all the wonderful things He has done for us, particularly for having given us Jesus His Son, as our Redeemer. He also thanked for the gift of life and all the gifts of nature, our senses and faculties, our talents and abilities. Thanked God for creating us in His image and likeness, for giving us this earth to use and develop, to respect and cherish.

Those concelebrated the Mass were the members belonging to the community of Nava Spoorthi Kendra. They include FrS Muthu (Director), Fr J N Paul (Administrator), Fr Francis Pinto (Programme Coordinator) and Fr Jacob Britto (Parish Priest).

To conclude the programme, FrMuthu recalled how Mother Mary helped him during his studies to become a priest. Despite his being a late vocation, he lacked nothing in life which came through the intercession of Mary. Even his wish to celebrate Thanksgiving Mass on Mother’s Feast Day also became a reality. After a prayer, FrMuthu gave the final blessings.

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