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THE PERPETUAL NOVENA OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP

HISTORY OF THE DEVOTION

The devotion to the picture of Our Lady of perpetual Succour is of very ancient origin. It was first venerated in the island of Crete near Greece from whence it was carried to italy and placed in the Church of St.Mathew in Apostle in Rome between the Basilicas of St. Mary Major and St.John Lateran then in charge of the Augustinian Brothers. The Madonna in the picture, it would appear, had called herself, "Holy Mary of Perpetual Succour", while in Crete it was known as "Our Lady of the Angels". This was in 1499, it seems to have been painted about the year 1455 or even earlier, and it was restored or re-painted in the 19th Century , making it appear as it is at present.

In 1798 the Church of St.Mathew was destroyed and the Picture passed into oblivion till the year 1866 when it came into the hands of the Redemptorists at the express command of Pope Pius IX. Since then the Redemptorist Fathers have been the propagators of the devotion of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour wherever they preach retreats and Missions.

In India, however, the devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is more ancient than the origin of the Redemptorist Fathers. Already in the 16th Century we find a Church constructed and a village named after our lady of perpetual succour in Goa; and in 1595 a church was dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour at Manori, in the Archdiocese of Bombay. Judging from the prayers of the older people of these places one is led to conclude that this devotion was deeply rooted in our elders from very ancient times.

It can not , hoe ever be denied that the advent of the redemptorist Fathers in India gave a fresh impetus to this devotion; and the Chruch of Michael's Mahim, may be considered as the pivotal point from which it has spread all over the East, far east , middle east and even Africa . The origin of this devotion at this church clearly indicates the workings of Divine Providence in giving this great boon to the city.

In the year 1948, Fr. Edward placidus Fernandes returning from a trip to Europe , and seeing the wonderful devotion to our lady of Perpetual succour at Belfast , Ireland brought with him a picture touched to the original Picture at Rome. On the 8th of September , 1948, the Birthday of our Lady - which happened to be a Wednesday that year - after a triduum of preparation by the Redemptorist Father the first Novena services were held in the Church of St. Michael's Mahim , of which Fr. Fernandes was the vicar. Only two services were held by every Wednesday and it took three months before the devotion could take deep roots among the people. It was a very modest beginning without any pretence to citywide publicity or patronage. Msgr. Eddie Fernandes left Mahim in June 1950,but not before the Lord and the good mother had shown him the fruit of his endeavours to make her better known and loved for so rapidly had the devotion captured the enthusiasm of the people that in a sort time the services not only increased in number but the crowds that attended them far exceeded the good priest's sanguine expectations.

Today from 8:30 in the morning to 10:30 at night the unceasing streams of devotees for the thirteen services held in English, Konkani, Marathi, Tamil & Hindi and between these, acts of devotions, more than testify to the popularity of the devotion among our good people; and while in the course of years many other churches in Bombay have adopted this devotion for the convenience of their respective flocks, the crowds at Mahim show no sign of decrease.

To even a casual observe it will not be a surprise to see Our blessed Mother reward the faith of those who visit her shrine with singular favours; for people of all communities and creeds, all walks of life, all ages, all aliments and all needs find their way to the devotions proclaiming the universal Fatherhood of God and the Motherhood of our blessed Lady - and that at great inconvenience and sacrifice.

And from the Church of Mahim the devotion has spead across Continents and Oceans-her devout clients carrying with them fond recollections of the benefits they have received and in their own way proclaiming her goodness to their other needy brethren. Thus making the church at Mahim the center from whence radiates the warmth and light of this devotion, making the Mother of God really a Mother of Perpetual Succour to all.

EXPLANATION OF THE PICTURE

The picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour belongs to the group of Passion icons of the 15th century. These paintings are characterized by the symbols of the passion and the austere features of the Madonna and the Child. Around the crowned head of the Madonna are the words "Mother of God". On both sides are the two archangels Michael and Gabriel with their respective names inscribe above their head and holding the instruments of the Passion: St.Michael holding the spear and the sponge and St.Gabriel the Cross. At the sight of the Cross the Child Jesus is stuck by fear his feet strike each other and knock off a struck by fear his feet strike each other and knock off a sandal from this foot and he clings to this mother for support. The features of the Madonna are gave conveying a message of hope and an assurance of help to all those who in identical circumstances will appeal to her for help. These is also a plea in her eyes: do not hurt my Son more by sin and I will help you by his goodness.

ORDER OF DEVOTIONS

1. Invocation to the Holy Spirit
2. An Act of Contrition
3. One Our Father, Hall Mary, Glory for the Intentions of the Holy Father
4. Invocation to Our Lady
5. Summary of petitions and thanksgivings
6. Novena Prayers
7. Hymn-Mother Dear, O Pray for Me
8. Announcements and sermonette Silent Prayer
9. The "Memorare"
10. Exposition and Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
11. Blessing of the sick
12. Hymn-Mary from thy Sacred Image
13. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
14. Hymn-Mother Dearest Mother Fairest

NOVENA PRAYERS

1.COME HOLY GHOST (Stand)

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
And in our Souls take up Thy rest,
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created;
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

LET US PRAY

O God , who didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful people by sending them the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us by the same Spirit, to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort, through Christ Our Lord, Amen

2. AN ACT OF CONTRITION

( Here, O God is my sacrifice, a broken spirit; a heart that is humbled and contrite, thou O God, will never disdain; ps 50:19)

My God, I believe in Thee I hope in Thee I love Thee above all things with all my soul, With all my heart and with all my strength ; I love Thee because thou are infinitely good and worthy of being loved; and because I love Thee, I repent with all my heart of having offended Thee; have mercy on me a sinner. Amen

3. FOR THE INTENTIONS OF THE HOLY FATHER

( To gain the indulgences attached to this Novena in this Church)

THE OUR FATHER

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses , as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

THE HAIL MARY

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, JESUS Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

THE GLORY BE TO THE FATHER

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning , is now and ever shall be world without end . Amen

4. INVOCATIONS TO OUR LADY

We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God despise not our petitions in our necessities but ever deliver us from all dangers O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Priest : O Mother of Perpetual Succour, Thou whose very name inspires confidence.

People : Help me, O loving Mother.

Pr. : That I may love and serve God with all my heart.
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : That I may never neglect prayer.
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : In temptations against the holy virtue of purity.
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : That I may quickly rise again should I have the misfortune to fall into sin.
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : That I may courageously resist the seductions of the world, evil companions, bad books and films
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : That I may often and devoutly receive the Sacraments and fulfil my Christian duties and the duties of my state.
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : That I may be patient and resigned in all trials and troubles of life.
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : In sickness and pain, in poverty and distress
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : That I may not delay my conversion from day to day
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : That I may ever love and serve thee and invoke thy assistance
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : That I may be able to lead others to love serve and pray to thee
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : When death is near and I am about to pass into eternity.
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : To my last hour, to my last breath do thou watch over me.
Pe. : Help me, O loving Mother.
Pr. : Pray for us O Mother of Perpetual Succour
Pe. : That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


LET US PRAY

O Almighty and merciful God who in order to assist the human race hast willed the Blessed Virgin Mary to become the Mother of Thy only - begotten Son grant we beseech Thee That by her intercession we may avoid the contagion of sin and serve Thee with a pure heart Through the same Christ Our Lord Amen.

5. SUMMARY OF PETITIONS & THANKSGIVINGS

6. NOVENA PRAYERS

O Mother of Perpetual Succour behold me a miserable sinner at thy feet I have recourse to thee and put my trust in thee O Mother of Mercy, have pity upon me. I hear thee called by all the refuge and the hope of sinners; be then my refuge and my hope. succour me for the love of Jesus Christ; stretch forth thy hand to me, a poor sinner, who recommend and dedicate myself to thee as thy perpetual servant I bless and thank God for having in His mercy given me this confidence in thee the pledge , as I believe of my eternal salvation Alas, too often in past times have I miserably fallen because I had not recourse to thee I know that with thy help I shall conquer I know that thou will help me if I recommend myself to thee but I fear lest in the occasion of falling I should cease to call upon thee and so should lose my soul. This then is the grace I seek from thee, and I beg of thee, as far as I know how and can, to obtain it for me, namely, in the assaults of hell, always to have recourse to thee and to say to thee: O Mary help me Mother of Perpetual Succour, suffer me not to lose my God Amen.

Priest : Mother of Perpetual Succour

People : Pray for thy Children. Hail Mary...- (Repeat three times)

Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the faint hearted cheer those that weep, pray for the people, be the advocate of the clergy, intercede for all devout women, Let all feel thine aid, who implore thy perpetual succour.

Priest : Thou has been made for us O Lady, a Refuge.
People : A helper in need and tribulation.

LET US PRAY

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast given us Thy Mother Mary, whose wondrous image we venerate, to be our Mother , ever ready to succour us, grant , we beseech Thee, that we, who earnestly implore her maternal aid, may deserve to enjoy perpetually the fruit of Thy redemption Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

7. HYMN - MOTHER DEAR OH PRAY FOR ME

Mother dear, Oh, pray for me
    Whilst far from Heaven and Thee,
I wander in a fragile bark
    O'er life's tempestuous sea.
O Virgin Mother , from Thy throne.
    So bright in bliss above,
Protect Thy child, and cheer my path,
    With Thy sweet smile of love.

Chorus:

Mother dear, Oh pray for me
    And never cease Thy care;
Till in heaven eternally,
    Thy love and bliss I share.

8. ANNOUNCEMENT AND PREACHING
    SILENT PRAYER


9. THE MEMORARE

Remember, O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother To thee I come , before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful, O Mother of the word Incarnate despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

10. EXPOSITION AND PRAYER BEFORE THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

Merciful Lord whose mercies are without number and whose goodness is without end You abide with your people in wondrous manner and are with us all days even to the end of time. By your kindly presence direct our minds, with your guiding love watch over our paths, with your powerful help deliver us from every tribulation from all danger and sin that we may on earth always live with You and in You and in Your eternal dwelling enjoy Your presence for ever Amen.

11. BLESSING OF THE SICK

V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. Lord, hear my prayer
R. And let my cry come unto Thee
V. Thy Lord be with you
R. And with your spirit.

LET US PRAY

Grant , we beseech Thee, O Lord God that these Thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and by the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness through Christ our Lord. Amen

( Extending his right hand towards the people)

May the Lord Jesus Christ be amongst you, to defend you within you, to preserve you before you , to guide you after you, to guard you above you to bless you who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Through the intercession of our Mother of Perpetual Succour may the blessing of Almighty God, + Father, Son and Holy Spirit , descend upon you and remain with you forever. Amen.

12. MARY FROM THY SACRED IMAGE

Mary, from thy sacred image,
    With those eyes so sadly sweet,
Mother of Perpetual Succour!
    See us kneeling at thy feet.
In thy arms thy Child thou bearest
    Source of all thy joy and woe;
What thy bliss, how deep thy sorrows,
    Mother , thou alone canst know.

13. BENEDICTION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

Let us bow in adoration,
To this Sacrament so great
Here is new and perfect worship,
All the old must terminate,
Sense cannot grasp this marvel,
Faith must serve to compensate.
Glory, Honour, Adoration.
Let us sing with one accord,
Praised be God, Almighty Father,
Praised be Christ, His Son our Lord,
Praised be God the Holy Spirit,
Triune God-head be Adored . Amen.

Priest : Let us Pray : O God in this wonderful Sacrament you have left us the memorial of your passion. grant that we may so reverence the Sacred Mysteries of your Body and Blood, that the taste of the fruit of your redemption may ever be within us, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
People : Amen.

THE DIVINE PRAISES

Blessed be God
Blessed be His Holy Name
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man
Blessed be the Name of Jesus
Blessed be His most Sacred Heart
Blessed be His most Precious Blood
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception
Blessed be Her Glorious Assumption
Blessed be the Name of Mary, Virgin and Mother
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste Spouse
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.

14. 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

    Chorus

    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

    Mary, help in pain and sorrow
    Soothe those rack'd on bed of pain
    May the golden light of morrow
    Bring them hearlth and joy again.

    Chorus

    Help our priests, our sisters lowly,
    Help our Pope, long may he reign,
    Pray that we who sing their praises
     May in heav'n all meet again.


    Chorus

    Mary, help the absent loved ones;
    How we miss their presence here,
    May the hand of Thy protection,
    Guard and guide them far and near.

OCCASIONAL PRAYERS
( For Personal use only)

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS

In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

HE OUR FATHER

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

THE HAIL MARY

Hail Mary , full of grace , the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, JESUS. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

THE APOSTLES CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into Heven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communication of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the ressurection of the body, and the life everlasting, Amen.

THE HAIL HOLY QUEEN

Hail, holy Queen Mother of mercy, hail , our life our sweetness and our hope. Thee do we cry poor banished children of Even; to thee do we sigh mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Oh then, our advocate, turn thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O merciful, O living, O Sweet Virgin Mary.

PRAYER AGAINST EVIL SPIRITS

Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, thou didst receive from God the power and commission to crush the head of Satan, where for we humbly beseech thee, send forth the legions of heaven, that under thy command, they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their insolence and hurl them back into the pit of hell. "Who is like unto God"?

O Good and tender Mother , thou shalt ever be our hope and the object of our love.

O Mother of God , send forth the holy Angels to defend me and drive far from me the cruel foe. Holy Angels and Archangels , defend us keep us.

PRAYER IN TEMPTATION

O pure and Immaculate and likewise blessed Virgin, who art the sinless Mother of the Son, the mighty Lord of the Universe, thou who art inviolate and altogether holy, the hope of the hopeless and sinful, we sing thy praise. We bless thee as full of every grace, thou who didst bear the God-Man: We all bow low before thee; we invoke thee and implore thine aid. Rescue us, O holy and inviolate virgin, from every necessity that presses upon us and from all the temptations of the devil . Be our intercessor and advocate at the hour of death and Judgement; deliver us from the fire that is not extinguished and from the outer darkness; make us worthy of the glory of thy Son, O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother. Thou indeed art our only hope most sure and sacred in God's sight, to whom be honour and glory, majesty and dominion for ever and ever world without end. Amen

PRAYER IN AFFLICTION

O Mary Immaculate, Our Mother and Consolation, take refuge in thy loving ehart with all the confidence of which I am capable, thou shait be the dearest object of my love and veneration. To thee, who art the dispenser of the treasures of heaven, I shall always have recourse in my sorrows to have peace, in my doubts to have light, in my dangers to be defended, in all my needs to obtain thy assistance. Be therefore my refuge, my strength, my consolation. O Mary the Consoler ! at the hour of my death, graciously receive the last sighs of my heart and obtain for me a place in the heavenly home, where all hearts shall praise with one accord the adorable Heart of Jesus for ever more as well as thy most lovable heart, O Mary our tender Mother. Comforter of the afflicted prayer for us who have recourse to thee.

A PRAYER FOR COUNSEL

Most glorious Virgin, chosen by the eternal Counsel to be the Mother of the eternal World made flesh, thou who art the treasurer of divine graces and the advocate of sinners, I who am thy most unworthy servant have recourse to thee; be thou pleased to be my guide and counselor in this vale of tears. Obtain for me through the Most Precious Blood of thy divine Son, the forgiveness of my sins, the salvation of my soul and the means necessary to obtain it. In like manner obtain for holy Church victory over her enemies and the spread of the kingdom of Jesus Christ upon the whole earth, Amen.

A PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS

Almighty and merciful God, who in the blessed Mary ever Virgin hast set up a refuge and a help for sinners, grant that we, under her protection, may be absolved from all our sins and may obtain the blessed effort of thy great mercy. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen

PRAYER FOR A FAMILY

Defined, we beseech thee, O Lord, through the intercession of the blessed Mary ever Virgin, this thy family from all adversity; and as we humbly bow before Thee with all our hearts, graciously defend us, in thy mercy, from all the snares of the enemy. Though Christ our Lord. Amen

A PRAYER FOR GOOD STUDIES

Under thy patronage, dear Mother, and invoking thy mystery of thine Immaculate Conception. I desire to pursue my studies and my literary labours: I hereby solemnly declare that I am devoting myself to these studies chiefly to the following end: that I may better contribute to the glory of God and to the spread of thy veneration among men. I pray thee, therefore most loving Mother, who art the Seat of Wisdom, to bless my labours in thy loving kindness. Moreover I promise with true affection and willing spirit, as it is right that I should do, to ascribe all the good that shall accrue to me therefrom, wholly to thy intercession for me in God's holy presence. Amen

A PRAYER FOR A HAPPY DEATH

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee; O refuge of sinners. Mother of the dying for sake us not at the hour of our death; obtain for us the grace of perfect sorrow, sincere contrition, the pardon and remission of our sins, a worthy receiving of the holy viaticum; and the comfort of the Anointing of the Sick, in order that we may appear with greater security before the throne of the just but merciful judge, our God and our Redeemer. Amen

AN ACT OF LOVE

My God, I believe in Thee, I hope in thee , I love Thee above all things with all my soul, with all my heart and with all my strength; I love Thee because Thou art infinitely good and worthy of being loved; and because I love Thee, I repent with all my heart of having offended Thee; have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen (Prayer taken form the "Racotti")



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