Celebrate the Marion Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on June 27.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a 15th-century icon, originally from Crete, a main source of religious imagery in Europe at the time. Renowned Spanish painter El Greco (The Greek) was initially trained in the style of the Cretan school.
The icon came from the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery in Crete, Greece, but has been in Rome, Italy at the church of San Matteo in Via Merulana since 1499.
What is She Telling Us?
A colonizer might say that her people are needy and always need help, but that’s not her message. That’s colonial thinking.
The Virgin represents Mother, and your Mother is always there to help. Mother Earth will always help us. We are her children. All we have to do is love and respect her.
Patroness of Haiti
Haitians credit Our Lady of Perpetual Help with performing miracles during a cholera and smallpox outbreak in 1882. She was confirmed patroness of Haiti in 1942 under Pope Pius XII.
There is another meaning in the Haitian context. The nation is one of the centers of African culture in the Americas. This is so true that the best living examples of West and Central African drum, song and dance traditions lives today in Haiti, not Africa.
Africa is the mother of all humanity, and African American communities are always ready to help.
Patroness of Almoradi, Spain
In 1918, a mother in Almoradi, Spain fed her sick son some silk which had been touched to the icon in Rome. His respiratory infection was immediately cured. Pope Pius XII confirmed her patronage in 1945.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Restoration
The icon was restored in 1866 and 1990.
Carbon dating during the second restoration placed the icon’s creation between 1325 – 1480.
In New York City
New York City has several churches devoted to Our Lady.
Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
526 59th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220
(at Fifth Avenue)
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
526 East 29th St, Brooklyn, NY 11210
(at Foster Avenue)
East Flatbush, Brooklyn