Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Nostra Mater de Perpetuo Succursu) also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Help and more formally as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pope Pius IX, associated with a celebrated Byzantine icon of the same name dating from the 15th century.
The esteemed icon has been in Rome since 1499, and is permanently enshrined in the church of Sant´Alfonso di Liguori in the Esquiline Hill. In theEastern Orthodox Church this artistic iconography is known as the Virgin of the Passion or Theotokos of the Passion due to the Archangels surrounding the image.
Due to the Redemptorist Priests who had been appointed as both custodians and missionaries of this icon, the image has become very popular among Roman Catholics in particular, and has been very much copied and reproduced. Modern reproductions are sometimes displayed in homes, business establishments, and public transportation. The Redemptorist priests are the only religious order currently entrusted by the Holy See to protect and propagate a Marian religious work of art.
The icon has merited two Papal endorsements, one from Pius IX who entrusted the icon to the Redemptorist in December 1865, and another fromPope John Paul II, who presented an icon to a Muslim cleric in May 2001 during his first-ever visit to the Umayyad Mosque.
Today, Our Lady of Perpetual Help´s solemn feast day is celebrated annually on June 27, with novena devotions held every Wednesday of the weeks of the year. Under Pope Pius XII´s Pontificate, our Mother of Perpetual Help is also honored and designated as the national Patroness of the Republic of Haiti.