Greetings in Jesus and Mary;
Below is an article taken from the site "Tradition in Action" written by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Her feast day was yesterday, but since it fell on a Sunday, today would be proper to celebrate it!
"Devotion to Our Lady of the Perpetual Help was born on the Island of Crete. This explains the Byzantine influence one notices in the picture. The persons represented in this picture may shock the modern sensibility accustomed to saints depicted with the faces of dolls. This picture was made in different times and is very expressive.
The devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help was spread in the Church by the Redemptorist priests. It is a very beautiful invocation since it expresses Our Lady’s unflagging mercy toward us. Perpetual help means an assistance, an act of mercy, an act of uninterrupted piety that never ceases toward us. The word never means that this assistance will not cease anywhere, any time or for any reason. That is, even if a person is in the worst possible situation, Our Lady always will help one who prays to her.
The picture, as you see, has a gold background. These unadorned gold backgrounds were characteristically used in paintings of the old Eastern Roman Empire and during part of the Middle Ages. The Angel Musicians of Fra Angelico, for example, have golden backgrounds. The gold background was used when very important personages were painted. Western art normally places a great dignitary on an ornate chair in an elegant room, standing next to a gracefully draped window or in a beautiful outdoor scene. The Eastern mentality prefers to set them out of the time, immersed in full glory, that is, with a golden background.
The gold, therefore, represents the glory of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven. She has a halo around her head, which is also gold, as does the Divine Infant. Over the halo is a gold crown inlaid with precious stones. The crowns of Our Lady and the Christ Child have a similar shape. The base of each sits close to the head, has a thin rim, and is topped with fabulous ornate designs. On the rim are inlaid rubies, on ornate arches in the middle layer are sapphires, and on the highest level is a row of emeralds or diamonds - I can't distinguish precisely which it is on this particular reproduction. The crown of the Child follows the exact same pattern.
Our Lady is wearing a deep blue mantle that covers her shoulders and head. Below the crown and over her forehead is a refulgent star made of precious stones; to its left is a golden design that looks like either a star or a cross.
If you note carefully, you see that Our Lady is wearing a red tunic under her blue mantle. The red appears at her neck and the ends of her sleeves. This red tunic closes at her neck with an exquisite band of diamonds.
The Child Jesus is seated on Our Lady's left arm. He rests easily in her arms, like a child who is very used to being near his mother and enjoys being there. He is, however, distracted by something else to which he turns his gaze. In my opinion the artist made a mistake in his representation of the Child. He appears more like a seven- or eight-year-old boy rather than a baby who should be carried in the arms of his mother. By the way, this picture is not considered a work of art. It is regarded as an excellent work of piety with some very good artistic points and some defects.
The Child has a rose belt with a greenish tunic. He also has a mantle that falls naturally near the left hand of Our Lady making numerous beautifully folded pleats. Almost all the pleats in the picture seem to me very well placed and natural.
There are two Angels presenting the Infant with the instruments of the Passion; at left an Angel with a red tunic and a green mantle shows Him the lance and the gall-sop, at right an Angel wearing a red tunic shows him a three-armed cross and the nails.
What can be said about all this?
The features of Our Lady are very expressive. The picture shows her in a very maternal attitude. She is a mother who holds her Son with an extraordinary intimacy and a remarkable affection. It shows the familiarity of Our Lady with the God-Man. At the same time, she has a profoundly recollected gaze that transmits the respect and veneration she has for Him. She is praying to Him while she holds Him. She is certain that she is holding God Incarnate Himself in her arms.
Parts of the face of Our Lady are not well painted. Her neck appears somewhat too rigid. The mouth is delicate but the nose is perhaps a bit too long. These are several points that do not allow the picture to be considered a perfect work of art. But they are secondary defects, because an authentic art is present in the recollected expression of her physiognomy, in her noble pose, and in the affection the pose reveals.
The picture is rich in symbolism. The dark blue mantle represents mothernood, while the red tunic symbolizes virginity. Therefore, depicting her wearing both red and blue shows that she is both Mother and Virgin. It is a delicate way to insinuate the miracle of her virginity before, during and after the parturition.
For me, the most touching symbolism is the gesture of the Child holding Our Lady's hand. His right hand is behind her thumb and his left hand inside her hand in a way that gives Our Lady's hand control over the hands of the Divine Infant. Symbolically, one who holds the hands of another holds him entirely. So, this way of presenting the Infant's hands expresses that she can do everything she wants with Him; everything she asks He agrees to; it expresses the power of her prayer. With great facility the artist represents the dependence of the Child-God upon Our Lady.
One characteristic of this Byzantine icon is that while the symbolism is very rich, it does not say the same to everyone. The symbols are there to be discovered by those who spend time analyzing them and contemplating them.
The two Angels represent the Passion that the Child will have to face. They are prophesizing the Passion to Him. That is, we are invited to see in Him the Redeemer of mankind, the One who was awaited by the Prophets to save mankind.
There is also a very picturesque detail: It is the sandal hanging from the Child's right foot by only one string. It symbolizes the sinner who is still linked to Our Lord by one last string: devotion to Our Lady.
The Greek initials at the top on either side of the crown stand for “Mother of God.” The initials over the angel at top left reads “St. Michael the Archangel,” at right, “St. Gabriel the Archangel.” Under the angel at right are the Greek initials for “Jesus Christ.”
The star on the veil of Our Lady indicates that she is the Star of the Sea, the guide in this life to lead all who desire to the port of Heaven.
Let us always ask Our Lady to protect us with her perpetual help and mercy."
Greetings in Jesus and Mary!
When our Blessed Mother appeared in Fatima on June 13, 1917, the first direction she gave was to continue to pray the Rosary daily.
She added to the Rosary a prayer to be said. In 1208, Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic and gave him the Rosary — the weapon to achieve victory over a raging heresy. Here she was at Fatima a little over seven centuries later to enhance another part to the Rosary.
“I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day,” she told the children on June 13. Then she gave them this new addition. “And after each one of the mysteries, my children, I want you to pray in this way: ‘O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Take all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need."
Our Lady spoke about her Immaculate Heart to Lucia who she said had to stay on earth longer “since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart.”
Because Lucia asked if she was to remain in the world alone, Our Blessed Mother told her she must not be sad. “I will be with you always, and my Immaculate Heart will be your comfort and the way which will lead you to God.” The Immaculate Heart will not only be our comfort, but the way that will lead us to God. Wow! You can’t have it clearer than that — reason enough why we should be devoted to the Immaculate Heart.
On July 13, Our Lady gave the children this short prayer — “Make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Then Our Lady tells the children after she’s shown them hell where poor sinners go — “It is to save them that God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace.”
During the same apparition, Our Lady refers twice more to her Immaculate Heart. First, she says the war (WWI) will end, but if people don’t stop offending God, a more terrible one will break out (WWII).
“To prevent this, I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart.
Our Blessed Mother didn’t give the details of the Five First Saturdays yet. That was to come later. But she makes it unmistakable what will happen concerning the devotion to her Immaculate Heart.
“If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, then Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; certain nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
The triumph will come through her Immaculate Heart. No way or no one will prevent this.
For Sister Lucia, apparitions continued on this same theme. On December 10, 1925 Our Lady appeared in the convent in Pontevedra, Spain to Lucia who described the visit: she was holding Her Immaculate Heart in her hand, and by her side stood the Child Jesus on a luminous cloud. Jesus said: “Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.”
Then the Blessed Virgin Mary said to Lucia: “Look, my daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to Me.”
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy upon us!
Greetings in Jesus and Mary!
This is written in response to the article posted in Talks today. This message
of Our Lady of Fatima is needed today and the below video is a very good presentation of the last interview of Lucia with Fr. Fuentes. "OUR LADY HAS GIVEN A GREATER EFFICACY TO THE PRAYERS OF THE MOST HOLY ROSARY !"
Either we are for God or we are for the devil....there is no middle ground.
Listen to Our Mother -- pray the Rosary -- Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by wearing your Brown Scapular -- offer Prayers of Reparation!!
Take care and God bless!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!