The novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help begins today! The icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as Our Lady (or Our Mother) of Perpetual Succor, has been an instrument of miraculous intercession for centuries, and is one of the most well-known icons of Our Lady. It depicts Our Lady holding the Christ Child, while the archangels Gabriel and Michael display the instruments of Christ's passion and death.
The icon resided in San Matteo in Rome from its discovery in 1499 until Napoleon's troops sacked Rome in 1798. The Augustinian friars preserved the icon from looters, and kept in in hiding until Pope Pius IX transferred it to the care of the Redemptorists in 1866. Since then, the icon has resided at the Church of San Alphonsus de Liguori in Rome.
The novena runs from today through June 27 (next Wednesday), the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Here is the prayer for the novena:
Oh Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke your
powerful name, the protection of the living and the salvation of the
dying. Purest Mary, let your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay
not, Blessed Lady, to rescue me whenever I call on you. In my
temptations, in my needs, I will never cease to call on you, ever
repeating your sacred name, Mary, Mary. What a consolation, what
sweetness, what confidence fills my soul when I utter your sacred name
or even only think of you! I thank the Lord for having given you so
sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with
merely uttering your name. Let my love for you prompt me ever to hail
you Mother of Perpetual Help. Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for me and
grant me the favor I confidently ask of you.
(Then say three Hail Marys).
We are praying the novena this year for the baby and me, that the delivery be free of complications and that we both come out of it in good health.