Home Blog Page 3

News at the Monastery

0

150th jubilee of ‘Mother of Perpetual Help’ begins

The Redemptoristine Nuns  hosted the  launch of the 150th anniversary celebrations of veneration to Our Mother of Perpetual Help on Monday the 18th January 2016.  After reciting the Novena Prayer to our Mother of Perpetual Help the Redemptorists explained how the Pope Pius IX mandated the Redemptorists  to promote devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help throughout the world.

Jubilee pilgrimage will begin in Limerick on the evening of 4 April 2016 and the icon will then travel to every cathedral in the Irish Church’s 26 dioceses.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin launches 150th anniversary celebrations of veneration to Mother of Perpetual Help. Photo: Paul Sherwood.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin launches 150th anniversary celebrations of veneration to Mother of Perpetual Help. Photo: Paul Sherwood.

As part of the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the veneration to the icon of ‘Mother of Perpetual Help’ Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin on Monday launched a jubilee pilgrimage which will see the popular icon visit every cathedral in the country between April and May.

Speaking at today’s launch, Archbishop Martin said, “The pilgrimage of this icon will certainly bring help to many who are troubled, and will hopefully lead those of us tempted to be closed in our own security to open our hearts more fully to those in need and to change our Church for it to be more fully a true icon of God’s mercy.”

He commended the Redemptorists for organising the jubilee pilgrimage, which he said would undoubtedly have the support of people on all parts of the island.

Fr Seamus Enright CSsR, Rector of Mount St Alphonsus in Limerick and Chair of the 150th Jubilee celebrations, explains in a recent article in Reality magazine that Blessed Pope Pius IX presented the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to the Redemptorists for veneration in their newly-built Church of Sant’Alfonso in December 1865.

“It was much in need of restoration so it was April 26th 1866 before it was solemnly installed there.The Holy Father gave the Redemptorists a mandate: they were to promote devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help throughout the world. Just over a year later, the first copy arrived in Ireland.”

According to the Fr Enright, the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help has a long connection with Ireland.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin with Fr Seamus Enright, CSsR, Fr Dan Baragry, CSsR, Redemptorist Provincial, Sr Lucy Conway, OSsR Redemptoristine Prioress. Photo: Paul Sherwood.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin with Fr Seamus Enright, CSsR, Fr Dan Baragry, CSsR, Redemptorist Provincial, Sr Lucy Conway, OSsR Redemptoristine Prioress. Photo: Paul Sherwood.

It had been in the care of Irish Augustinians since 1656, first in the Church of San Matteo and later in their Churches of Sant’Eusebio and Santa Maria in Posterula.

It had been available for public veneration until 1819, when it was placed in the community oratory of the Augustinians. This broke with a tradition of public veneration going back to 1499 when the Icon was first venerated in San Matteo.

The Irish connection was restored in December 1867 when one of the first copies of the icon to be made was received in Mount St Alphonsus, then the only Redemptorist church in the country.

It was from Limerick that devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help spread in time to new Redemptorist communities, first in Dundalk and then Belfast, as well as to churches and homes throughout Ireland.

Irish Redemptorists setting out off from Limerick took copies of the icon with them to Australia and New Zealand (1882), to the Philippines (1906), to Sri Lanka (1939) and India (1940).

Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help was already well established in Teresina (Brazil) when Irish Redemptorists replaced their American brethren there in 1964.

“The spread of devotion from Limerick shows how faithfully Irish Redemptorists have taken the mandate of Blessed Pope Pius IX,” Fr Enright said.

In his address at the launch of the Jubilee Pilgrimage, Archbishop Martin said that, “Despite a growing interest here in Ireland in icons, there is still a lack of widespread understanding of what an icon is in religious art. Icons are not photographs.”

Mother of Perpetual Help

Mother of Perpetual Help

“They are not attempts by an artist to portray his or her personal ideas of how Jesus or the Blessed Virgin or a Saint may possibly have looked like. They are more like an impressionist portrait than a photograph: their task is to lead us in contemplation into the mystery of God.”

An icon speaks to the heart and evokes prayerful reflection, the Archbishop explained.

“An icon is an attempt to draw us into something deeper, rather than define a static flash-photographic image. That is why the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help has touched hearts all around the word.”

He added that it is an attempt to draw us into the Mystery of a God who wishes to be close to us in all things and especially in those times when we are in distress or anxiety or troubled by a sense of helplessness.

“It is not an image which tries to cover up our powerlessness, an opium of the people. It is an image which enables us to realise that in every moment of distress God is there with his compassion and care.”

“In that way, the icon of the Mother of Perpetual Help is an icon of the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis: a reminder of the fact that compassion and care are icons of who God is and who we should become.”

At the launch, Fr Enright said the Redemptorists have learned through their ‘Annual Novenas’ in Limerick and elsewhere that “many people on this island still value the opportunity to pray together and show devotion. Devotion to the ‘Mother of Perpetual Help’ is important to many people here in Ireland and all around the world – and these 150th anniversary celebrations reflect this reality.”

The 150th Jubilee Pilgrimage will begin in Limerick on the evening of 4 April. The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown will bless a new outdoor ‘Mother of Perpetual Help’ shrine in the grounds of Mount St Alphonsus.

The statue was carved by Seamus Murphy for the Redemptorists in 1959 and is being relocated to Limerick as part of the Jubilee celebrations.

The Pilgrim Icon of the ‘Mother of Perpetual Help’ will be taken in procession from the Redemptorists to St John’s Cathedral where Archbishop Brown will be the chief celebrant at a Jubilee Mass at 7.30pm.

This will be followed by an evening of prayer and an all-night vigil.

The Pilgrim Icon will be taken to a Limerick centre for the homeless on the morning of 5 April, after which the Redemptorists will host a lunch for the homeless.

The pilgrim journey of the icon will conclude in Clonard Monastery in Belfast on 15 May.

Full programme of jubilee events can be found at: www.followtheicon.ie

Fr Seamus Enright, CSsR Rector of Mount St Alphonsus in Limerick and Chair of the 150th Jubilee celebrations. Photo Paul Sherwood.

Fr Seamus Enright, CSsR Rector of Mount St Alphonsus in Limerick and Chair of the 150th Jubilee celebrations. Photo Paul Sherwood.

Article on the History of the Mother of Perpetual Help Icon in Reality Magazine – October 2015 by Fr Seamus Enright.

Blessed Pope Pius IX presented the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to the Redemptorists for veneration in their newly-built Church of Sant’Alfonso in December 1865. It was much in need of restoration so it was April 26th 1866 before it was solemnly installed there. The Holy Father gave the Redemptorists a mandate: they were to promote devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help throughout the world. Just over a year  later, the first copy arrived in Ireland.

The icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help has a long connection with Ireland. It had been in the care of Irish Augustinians since 1656, first in the Church of San Matteo and later in their Churches of Sant’Eusebio and Santa Maria in Posterula. It had been available for public veneration until 1819, when it was placed in the community oratory of the Augustinians. This broke with a tradition of public veneration going back to 1499 when the Icon was first venerated in San Matteo.

The Irish connection was restored in December 1867 when one of the first copies of the icon to be made was received in Mount St Alphonsus, then the only Redemptorist church in the country. It was from Limerick that devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help spread in time to new Redemptorist communities, first in Dundalk and then Belfast, as well as to churches and homes throughout Ireland. Irish Redemptorists setting out off from Limerick took copies of the icon with them to Australia and New Zealand (1882), to the Philippines (1906), to Sri Lanka (1939) and India (1940). Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help was already well established in Teresina (Brazil) when Irish Redemptorists replaced their American brethren there in 1964. The spread of devotion from Limerick shows how faithfully Irish Redemptorists have taken the mandate of Blessed Pope Pius IX.

Limerick En Fete to Welcome Mary

The arrival of the icon in Limerick in December 1867 was greeted with great festivity, culminating in a three-week long “Mission for Men” and the foundation of the Holy Family Confraternity. The people of Limerick took Our Lady of Perpetual Help into their hearts and homes from the very beginning. A beautiful shrine was built to house the icon, to which members of the confraternity generously contributed. It was opened for prayer on the Feast of the Assumption, 1869. The shrine rapidly became the spiritual heart of Limerick and the surrounding areas. Additional decorations and mosaics were added in 1893 under the direction of the architect George Ashlin.

The shrine is an artistic treasure, glowing with mosaics and gold leaf. One can contemplate and be inspired by the entire Catholic tradition of devotion to Our Lady as one prays in the shrine. The main decorative scheme is inspired by the Litany of Loretto. Various symbols from the Litany can be seen in the plasterwork, the mosaics alternate symbols of Mary with titles from the Litany and the side walls develop the Marian themes of rosa mystica (mystical rose) and lilium agri (lily of the field). The words of the Hail Mary in Latin are inscribed on the roof windows.

The shrine continued to be developed and embellished over the years. A notable development took place in 1959 when the women of Limerick donated their jewellery, notably their wedding and engagement rings, to make crowns for the images of Jesus and Mary in the Icon. The images were crowned on the Feast of the Assumption that year.

Changing Devotion

Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help has been a constant feature of life in Mount St Alphonsus since December 1867, but the forms of the devotion have changed. The Redemptorists in St Louis developed the weekly or “perpetual novena” in the 1930s. It was brought Clonard Monastery in Belfast in 1943 Fr Matthew Meighan, an American Redemptorist serving as a chaplain with the American forces. From Belfast, it spread from Clonard to Limerick and to many other centres in Ireland.

An annual nine-day novena in preparation for the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help had been celebrated in Limerick for many years. Fr Vincent Kavanagh decided it needed refreshing, and re-launched it as the “Solemn Novena” in 1973. Fr Vincent highlighted the celebratory and festive side of the event. He also recognized how important prayer of petition and intercession was for the people celebrating the novena. People were encouraged to write their prayers of petition and thanksgiving, as they always had been, and samples of these were read at each novena celebration. These are truly the prayers of the faithful.

Fr Kavanagh was ahead of his time in harnessing the talents of professional people in both developing and promoting the novena. He believed in the power of advertising and began using such forms of advertising as road signs and information flyers in a way that was regarded as revolutionary at the time. The Limerick Redemptorists, inspired by the pioneering work of Fr Vincent, launched a digital advertising campaign in the lead up to this year’s Solemn Novena. The campaign – Limerick’s Novena – was very well regarded and received extensive media coverage, as did the decision to advertise the novena on the city busses. When Jesus told us to preach the Gospel on the highways and the byways, he surely intended us to take to the digital highway as well.

Travelling Madonna?

Celebrated each year in June, the Solemn Novena continues to attract more than 10,000 people to its ten daily celebrations, from 7am and until 10.30pm. There is also a satellite novena in Holy Family Church, Southill, each evening.

The Redemptorists worldwide are celebrating the 150th anniversary of their relationship with the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and of the mandate of Blessed Pope Pius IX to make Mary known to the world as Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The centrepiece of the celebrations in Ireland will be a pilgrimage with a copy of the Icon to all of the 26 Irish Cathedrals. This pilgrimage will begin in Mount St Alphonsus on Monday April 4th 2016 and conclude in Clonard Monastery on May 15th. The pilgrimage website –www.followtheicon.ie – will go live on the First Sunday of Advent, November 29th, 2015.

An ancient prayer inscribed in Latin on the archway over the icon captures much of what devotion to Mary has meant to the people of Shannonside: Dear Mother of the Redeemer, help the fallen people who strive to rise again.

Beatification 18th June 2016 for our Foundress Venerable Maria Celeste Crostarosa

0

Pope approves decrees for 17 on path to sainthood.

(Vatican Radio) On Monday, 14 December 2015, Pope Francis received Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in a private audience. In the course of the audience, the Holy Father authorised the Congregation to promulgate decrees regarding:

The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Maria Celeste Crostarosa (née Giulia), Foundress of the Sisters of the Most Holy Redeemer; born in Naples, Italy, on 31 October 1696, died in Foggia, Italy, 14 November 1755.

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-approves-decrees-for-17-on-path-to-sainthood

IMG_0191.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

INSPIRING ART by Sr Gabrielle

0

Some beautiful paintings by Sr Gabrielle

20151105_140748

 

20151105_14065320151105_140718

20151105_140839IMG_1119

PERPETUAL HELP ROSARY

0

PERPETUAL HELP ROSARY (Sr Maria Victoria Flores MPS)

Introduction:

This Icon is indeed a window to the Divine. Meditating on the Icon is to open our hearts to the experience of God. All are welcome to this experience – so simple and yet so deep. No one needs to feel excluded, alienated or rejected. Neither those who feel unworthy to come before God because of their sin. Not even those of other faith traditions or religions. A welcoming Mother and a gentle Child extend their loving compassion in whatever situation we may find ourselves in. Through this Perpetual Help Rosary divided into five Mysteries, we focus on different sections of the Icon. By doing so, we draw on the richness of God speaking to us, to our lives, through this ‘Painted Word’. More than embracing this Icon, let us allow the Icon to embrace us. Through Mary and Jesus, let us allow ourselves to be strengthened by the enveloping experience of communion with the God of Love.

First Mystery: Our human heart longs for God (Ps. 42; Mt. 19:16-30) In the lives of most people, there is always some kind of empty space that needs to be filled, some pain that needs healing, a feeling of despair that cries for hope, a reality which seeks justice, encouragement, peace, reconciliation, love… Each person finds himself/herself in front of a Mother who lovingly calls out to Her beloved child. As we meditate on this first mystery, we recognize ourselves as an active part of the whole Icon and allow the life in it to touch our very heart, our mind and soul. We begin a spiritual journey where we enter into the depth of ourselves. We look deeply into ourselves and ask these questions: How am I? How do I feel? How is my life? Where am I going and where is my life directed to? What do I have/possess and what do I do with it? What do I really need in my life? How is my personal relationship with God? How do I allow God to actually fill that emptiness in me? After each decade:Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, we trust in You. Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us.

Second Mystery: God send His angels (Luke 22:40-43) God always wants us to be union with Him that we may truly find happiness and meaning in our life. God respects the free will that He gives us. But He also helps us know what is best for each one of us by sending us His angels. In the Icon, we find the Archangels Gabriel and Michael announcing to Jesus His Father’s message. At the same time, the Archangels reassure Him of God’s constant presence, protection and guidance. In this second mystery, we thank God for giving us angels as another expression of His great love for us. We also thank the Lord for the presence of angels in our life through the different persons who are sent or come to us. They help us recognize God’s will, experience God’s protection and guide us in our journey. We thank God for both the invisible and the visible angels in our life. We pray that we, too, may serve as angels to other people as we make God present in and through our words and deeds. This is best experienced when they desire to seek and do His holy will. (Luke 2:14; Matthew 4:11; Luke 22:43; John 20:12; Matthew 18:10; Matthew 24:31).

Third Mystery: Mary, Mother of the Redeemer and the Redeemed (Lk.1:26-38; Jn.2:1-6; Jn. 19:25-27) In this mystery, we allow ourselves to receive the loving, comforting and yet captivating gaze of Mary. At a young age, Mary said a deep and personal “Yes” to God in the Annunciation. She lived it all her life. For this full and openhearted response to God’s plan, she became the Mother of the Redeemer. Mary was ever conscious of God’s presence. She pondered on God’s saving action and treasured everything in her heart. Mary, as Mother, lovingly welcomed and embraced us as her children when Jesus said to His beloved disciple: “Here is your mother” and to her: “Here is your son”. Here we are, her children. She is our Mother…She is the Mother of the Redeemed. As we contemplate her in this icon, let us ask for the grace to be always open to attentively listen to the Word of her Son. Mary, our Mother, teach us to continually open our heart to the call of the Father, to the action of the Holy Spirit and to the Word of Jesus. Help us to always learn from you, our Mother, that we may also always respond to God: “Be it done unto me according to Your Word”.

Fourth Mystery: Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, our Perpetual Help (Lk. 4:18-19) We come to the very center of this Icon on which we meditate: Jesus! It is on Him that the angels are focused. It is to Him that Mary’s protective embrace is centered, that even as she looks at us, it is with the intention of making us aware of Her Son, our Lord and Redeemer. He is the only One who can give meaning to our life, the true Perpetual Help…for this reason we address her in this icon: Mother of Perpetual Help. Christ has redeemed us and will always be our Redeemer. He is Emmanuel, our God-with-us. His unconditional love for the weak, suffering and poor brought him opposition – for which he suffered his Passion and Death. Such was the depth of his love. But death did not have the last word. He rose again in glory to give us new life. This then is Jesus, the Redeemer, who is humble and yet ever steadfast in giving us His abundant redemption. In contemplating this mystery, let us be fully drawn by the immense love of the Redeemer and let us experience the Perpetual Help of Mary.

Fifth Mystery: That we may be one! Living in communion with God and one another (Jn. 19:27; Acts 1:14; Jn.17:21; Lumen Gentium #63) Communion! Isn’t it so beautiful when there is full sharing and oneness? Isn’t it wonderful, where despite diversity, we strive to live as one? In this part of the Icon, we see Jesus’ hands clasp Mary’s hand. It expresses the communion between the Mother and the Son. We see the total commitment of Mary to Jesus and His mission. Here, we recall that Mary holds us also in her hands as her children while Jesus lovingly accepts the mission from His Father to redeem us. Mary, in this Icon, says to us: “Do whatever He tells you”. We also need to hear Jesus’ words echoing in our hearts: “I am with you until the end of time”. In this contemplation of the Icon of our Mother of Perpetual Help, we are offered the experience of communion with the Redeemer, with the Mother of the Redeemer and with all the Redeemed in whatever situation each one of us may be. In this decade, let us allow Jesus and His Mother to make us instruments of communion by generously and genuinely living to the full, the vocation we are called to, as Christians. Let us pray that we may truly live and spread in our midst – the peace, reconciliation, justice, joy and love that Jesus and Mary are radiating to us through this Icon of Communion.

Concluding Reflection: These 5 points of contemplation in this Perpetual Help Rosary, give a sense of a spiral that invites us to go deeper within ourselves. It invites us to take a journey to our heart where we can encounter the Lord and the gentle protection of Mary. By going deeper and opening our hearts to the Icon, we are offered an experience of communion with God. The spiral dynamic of contemplating the Icon reminds us that every event and the whole of creation have a place in the plan of God. The circular shape that this dynamic presents, symbolizes that we are all one. And as one, we are called to build the Kingdom that Jesus inaugurated. It is a Kingdom, where at its very heart, we find the God who in and with His Love binds us together in Communion with all humanity and creation. As we conclude this Rosary Prayer with the Icon of our Mother of Perpetual Help, let us recall that in the history of this Icon, it was under the care of a merchant who was on a journey. We, ourselves, are all travellers/pilgrims …each in a different way according to the kind of life which God has called us to. Sometimes, we make steady progress, sometimes we stumble with our struggles. For this, we need the Icon of our Mother of Perpetual Help to be our companion in our life journey because the journey within every heart and the journey towards full communion goes on and on.

Sr Ann Liguori – A life well lived

0

1 001 (1024x729) 12                                 3                                   4                                 5 6                                   7                                 8                                   9                                 10                                 11                                   12                                   13                                   14