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Novena To Our Mother of Perpetual Help

The Meaning Behind the Icon

The picture, first placed in the Church of San Matteo in Rome in 1499, was thought to be lost at one point after Napoleon's armies sacked that church in 1798. Fortunately, however, it was in the care of the Augustinian fathers until Pope Pius IX ordered that the icon be given to the Redemptorist order at the Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome in 1866 for public viewing once again. Since then it has been copied and venerated in churches and homes all over the world.

Note in this picture how Jesus, while safely cradled in his mother's arms, looks anxiously at St. Gabriel the Archangel, who holds the cross and nails for His Crucifixion. (St. Michael the Archangel, at left, holds the lance, spear, and the vessel of vinegar and gall for our Lord's Passion as well.) The Blessed Mother looks at us solemnly, perhaps as if in contemplation of her beloved Son's future Passion and death for our salvation!

Remember that when we pray this novena to our Lady of Perpetual Help, that we are not choosing to worship her over her Divine Son. She is "our Mother on the order of grace," according to a Vatican II document, and all the graces Mary gives us come directly from our Lord. She is always ready to intercede with Him on our behalf, but never for anything contrary to His wishes.

As long as we approach her as we do Him, with sincerely humble and contrite hearts, we can count on her aid and guidance. Mary's last spoken words in the Gospels concerned her Son when she said at the wedding feast at Cana "Do whatever he tells You" (John 2:5). If we persevere in our intentions to do Christ's will for us, we are doing hers as well.


Immaculate Mother

Immaculate Mother, 
To you do we plead 
To ask God. our Father
For help in our need. 
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria 
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria

We pray for our country, 
The land of our birth; 
We pray for all nations. 
That peace be on earth. 
Ave. Ave, Ave Maria 
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria

OPENING PRAYERS: (Remain standing)

PRIEST: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
ALL: Amen
PRIEST: Brothers and sisters, as children of our Blessed Mother, we are gathered before her miraculous picture to honor her and to pray for all our needs. Unworthy children that we are, let us first of all ask God's mercy and pardon.
ALL: Merciful Father * you sent your Divine Son * to redeem us by his death and resurrection and to give us new life. By this you make us your children * to love one another in Christ. How many times in the past * we have forgotten this sublime dignity. We have sinned against our brothers and sisters; * we have offended you. Merciful Father, forgive us. Repenting sincerely of our sins, we ask your mercy; * may we always live as your truly devoted children.

Reading of Petitions and Thanksgivings

SERMONETTE (In keeping with the liturgical season)

Mary Immaculate, star of the Morning

1. Mary Immaculate, star of the morning,
Chosen before the creation began,
Destined to bring, through the light of your dawning,
Conquest of Satan and rescue to man.


Bend from your throne at the voice of our crying,
Look to this earth where your footsteps have trod
Stretch out your arms to us, living and dying,
Mary Immaculate, Mother of God.

2. We sinners honor your sinless perfection:
Fallen and weak for God's mercy we plead.
Grant us the shield of your mighty protection.
Measure your aid by the depth of our need.

Novena Prayer

Dear Mother of Perpetual Help * from the cross Jesus gave you to us for our Mother. You are the kindest, the most loving * of all mothers. Look tenderly on us your children as we now ask you to help us in all our needs * especially this one... (Pause to recall your petition). While you were on earth, dear Mother * you willingly shared, in the sufferings of your Son. Strengthened by your faith and confidence * in the fatherly love of God * you accepted the mysterious designs of His Will. 

We too have our crosses and trials. Sometimes they almost crush us to the ground. Dearest Mother * share with us your abundant faith and confidence in God. Make us aware that God never ceases to love us: * that He answers all our prayers * in the way that is best for us. Strengthen our hearts to carry the cross * in the footsteps of your Divine Son. Help us to realize * that he who shares the cross of Christ * will certainly share his resurrection. 

Dearest Mother, as we worry about our own problems * let us not forget the needs of others. You always loved others so much; * help us to do the same. While praying for our own intentions * and for the intentions of all here present at this Novena * we earnestly ask you, our mother * to help us comfort the sick and the dying * give hope to the poor and the unemployed * heal the broken hearted * lighten the burden of the oppressed * teach justice to their oppressors and bring back to God all those who have offended Him. 

Dearest Mother, help us to avoid sin which separates us from our heavenly Father * and from one another. Full of trust in you * we place ourselves under the mantle of your maternal protection * and confidently hope for your powerful help. Amen.

Prayer for the Home

Mother of Perpetual Help * we choose you as Queen of our homes. We ask you to bless all our families * with your tender motherly love. May the Sacrament of Marriage * bind husbands and wives so closely together * that they will always be faithful to each other and love one another as Christ loves his Church. 
We ask you to bless all parents. May they love and cherish the children * whom God has entrusted to them. May they always give them the example * of a truly christian life. Help them to bring up their children * in the love and fear of God. Bless all children that they may love, honor and obey * their fathers and mothers. To your loving care * we especially entrust the youth of today. 

Give us all a sense of responsibility * that we may do our part * in making our home a haven of peace * like your own home at Nazareth. We take you as our model. Help us to grow daily in genuine love of God and neighbor * so that justice and peace may happily reign * in the entire family of mankind. Amen.

Petitions to our Mother of Perpetual Help

Holy Mary ….. Pray for us
Holy Virgin, conceived without sin ….. Pray for us
Our Mother of Perpetual Help ... Pray for us 
We sinners call to you ... Loving Mother, Help us

That we may prepare like you for the coming of Christ ... Loving Mother, Help us
That we may give our hearts completely to Christ this Christmas...
That we may be faithful to the promises we made at Baptism...
That we may rejoice with you at Christ's victory over sin and death...

Other weeks:
That we may be filled with the Holy Spirit and become courageous witnesses of Christ's love for men… Loving Mother, Help us
That we may be more and more like our Divine Lord, as you were...
That we may be meek and humble of heart like your Son, Jesus...
That we may fear losing God's friendship forever by unrepented sin...
That we may seek Christ's mercy and forgiveness constantly in the sacrament of Penance...
That we may be aware of God speaking to us in the events of daily life...
That we may pray daily with love and trust, especially in moments of temptation...
That we may realize the value of worshipping God together in the Eucharist...
That we may grow in the love of Christ and neighbor by frequent Communion... 
That we may reverence our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit...
That we may strive to be true Christians by our loving concern for others...
That we may proclaim the dignity of work by doing our own work conscientiously...
That we may forgive from our heart those who have wronged us...
That we may see the evil of seeking our own interest at the expense of others... 
That we may work for the just distribution of this world's goods...
That we may share our talents with others for the good of the community...
That we may accept our responsibility in the community in a spirit of genuine service...
To pray, that the Holy Spirit may guide and strengthen Pope (John Paul II), the Bishops and the clergy...
That we may be blessed with an increase of priestly and religious Vocations...
That we may bring the knowledge and love of Christ to those who do not know him...
That we may be aware of our dependence on God in the midst of human achievements…
That we may be ready at death to enter the home of our heavenly Father...
That we may die at peace with Christ and our fellowmen...
That we may be comforted at the death of our dear ones by our hope in the risen Lord...
To pray that our departed brothers and sisters quickly share in your Son's resurrection...

Let us pray in silence for own personal intentions. (Pause)

ALL: Holy Mary * help us in our needs * pray for all the people of God; * may all experience your perpetual help.
PRIEST: Lord, you gave us Mary to be our Mother ever ready to help us; grant us the grace to have recourse to her in all our needs.
ALL: Amen.

(1st Wednesday of the month)

Immaculate Virgin Mary * Mother of God and Mother of the Church * you are also our Mother of Perpetual Help. With hearts full of love for you * we consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart * so that we may be your devoted children. Obtain for us true sorrow for our sins * and fidelity to the promises of our Baptism. 

We consecrate our minds and hearts to you * that we may always do the Will of our heavenly Father. We consecrate our lives to you * that we may love God better * and live not for ourselves but for Christ your Son * and that we may see him and serve him in others. 

By this humble act of consecration * dear Mother of Perpetual Help * we pledge to model our lives on you * the perfect christian * so that consecrated to you in life and in death * we may belong to your Divine Son for all eternity. Amen.

Mother of Christ

Mother of Christ. Mother of Christ, 
What shall I ask of thee? 
I do not sigh for the wealth of earth 
For the joys that fade and flee. 
But, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This do I long to see, 
The bliss untold which your arms enfold 
The treasure upon your knee.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, 
I toss on a stormy sea, 
Oh, lift your Child as a beacon light
To the port where I fain would be. 
And, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This do I ask of thee.
When the voyage is o'er, O stand on the shore,
And show Him, at last to me.

O Saving Victim

O saving Victim op'ning wide
The gate of heaven to men below!
Our foes press on from ev'ry side
Your aid supply, your strength bestow.
To your great name be endless praise.
Immortal God head. one in three;
Oh, grant us endless length of days
In our true native land with thee. 

Silent Prayer (Pause)

Thanksgiving Prayer

ALL: Lord Jesus Christ * truly present in the Most Blessed Eucharist * we adore you. It has pleased the Father * that in you all his fullness should dwell and that through you * he should reconcile all things to himself. Grant us the grace to be truly grateful * for all that our Father has done for us. Grant that we may be truly sorry for our sins and do penance for them.

Through you, we thank the Eternal Father for the gift of life. He has created all the wonderful things of this world for us. May we learn to use them well so that through them * we may grow in love for him.

Above all, we thank our Father * for sending you to us * as the greatest expression of his love * to save us and all creation * by your death and resurrection.

We thank you Lord * for giving us your own Mother to be our Mother of Perpetual Help. May the countless favors we have received through her intercession, * and especially through the Novena * inspire us to greater confidence in God's loving mercy and her perpetual help. * Grant that we may always do the holy Will of God * and persevere in his love.

To the Most Holy Trinity * Father, Son and Holy Spirit * be honor, glory and thanksgiving forever and ever. Amen

Silent Prayer (Pause)

Prayer for the Sick

ALL: Lord Jesus Christ * you bore our sufferings and carried our sorrows * in order to show us clearly * the value of human weakness and patience; * graciously hear our prayers for the sick. Grant that those who are weighed down * with pain and other afflictions of illness * may realize that they are among the chosen ones * whom you call blessed. Help them to understand * that they are united with you in your sufferings * for the salvation of the world. Amen.

Let us Raise our Voice

Let us raise our voice 
To proclaim our faith 
Christ the Lord for us has died. 
Dying, He destroyed our death. 
Rising, He restored our life. 
O Lord Jesus, we await 
Your last return in glory. 
When we eat the bread 
And we drink the cup 
In the Blessed Eucharist, 
We meet You, our Risen Savior, 
Giving life to us anew. 
Through life's journey, be with us 
To strengthen us forever. Amen.

V. You have given them bread from Heaven. (Alleluia)
R. The source of all happiness. (Alleluia)


Lord God, by the paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Your only Son You accomplished the work of man's redemption. Full of trust, we proclaim that paschal mystery in the sacramental signs of the Eucharist. Help us to see ever growing in us the fruits of Your saving work through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

The Divine Praises

Blessed be God:
Blessed be His holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be Her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be Her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, Her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints.

O Sacrament Most Holy

O Sacrament, Most Holy, 
O Sacrament divine. 
All praise and all thanksgiving 
Be every moment thine. (2x)

Hail Mary (Sung)
ALL: (Stand)

Hail Mary, full of grace 
The Lord is with you 
Blessed are you among women, 
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. 
Holy Mary, Mother of God. 
Pray for us sinners, 
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help and sought year intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I hasten to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you, I come; before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, do not despise my petition, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Prayer for Financial Aid

Realizing, dear Mother, that you are our perpetual help, not only in spiritual but also in temporal necessities, we ask you to help us in our present financial worry. Because of unavoidable circumstances which have arisen in our lives, we are in great want and financial embarrassment since we are unable to meet our honest debts. We are not asking, dearest Mother of Perpetual Help, for wealth, if the possession of it is not in accordance with the holy will of God; we merely ask you for that assistance which will help us to settle our present obligations. We believe, dear Mother of God, that you are extremely kind and generous to all your loving and devoted children. We plead with you, therefore, dear Mother, to obtain for us the help we so urgently need. We are trying so earnestly to solve our problem but we believe in your powerful intercession with Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son and our Redeemer. Amen.


Mary, my Mother, your love for us could not be greater or more powerful. You are rich in love and your power brings us relief. You want everyone to be saved. I beg you therefore. protect me in temptation and strengthen me when I weaken. I struggle daily to be faithful to Jesus your son. Help me my Mother at every moment. But above all take me by the hand when you see that I am wakening and about to fall. I will have to battle with temptation till the day I die. My Lady, you are my hope, my refuge, my strength; never let me lose the grace of God. In every temptation I resolve to turn to you at once and pray: Mary help me. (St. Alphonsus)

Prayer for Company-Keepers

Eternal Father, through the powerful intercession of our Mother of Perpetual Help, I come to beg Your guidance and strength, during the important time of courtship.

Help us to realize, that genuine love, deep and lasting, is Your own gift to those who respect and reverence one another. Take from our hearts all trace of selfishness, so that in all things we may help each other to grow in true friendship. Convince us that true love will not hurt … use … or abuse the one loved.

To this end, keep ever growing in us an ardent love of Your Son and our Savior Jesus Christ, by means of constant prayer, and frequent Holy Communion.

May the bright hope of a happy marriage, make us determined to prepare well, by avoiding sin, and the dangers that can so easily lead us into sin.

We thank You for our love, and we desire to consecrate it to You. Keep it always pure, so that we may continue to live as worthy children of Mary our Mother and you our heavenly Father. We ask You this through the Spirit of Jesus, the holy spirit of perfect Love. Amen.

The Angelus

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary 
R. And she conceived of the Holy spirit …

Hail Mary…
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. 
R. Be it done unto me according to your word…

Hail Mary…
V. And the Word was made flesh 
R. And dwelt among us …

Hail Mary…
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen. 



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