Mother of Perpetual Help
June 27th 2012
Watercolor and Ink
8.5 inches by 11 inches"Loving Mother of the Redeemer,
Gate of heaven, star of the sea,
Assist your people
who have fallen, yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us, poor sinners."~ Alma Redemptoris Mater ([link]
I had been wanting to do my own version of Our Lady of Perpetual Help for some time now, and only just got around to finishing it. I spent a great deal of time working on trying to get it all laid out in such a way that I was happy with it. Well, I suppose I'm fairly happy with it, but I must also admit that I am rather disappointed in how it turned out, considering how much I was trying to get everything to look just the way I wanted it to. It came out fairly close, but there are just some things that are off, like the eyes of Mary and Jesus, which got rather bungled up. They're not very arresting, so that was a bit disappointing.
Also my gold ink is not cooperating much anymore. I shall probably have to go out and buy some more, because my current gold ink has the rather annoying habit of congealing into a thick mass that makes it difficult to mix. Anyway, here is the icon, I hope you all enjoy it.
A little bit about the icon itself. This particular icon is known in the East as the "Theotokos of the Passion." It is in the Hodegetria
iconic style, meaning "She who shows the Way"
, which is a depiction of the Blessed Virgin holding the Christ Child in one arm and pointing to Him with the other. In this posture Mary holds the viewer's attention and points beyond herself to the Child in her arms to show that He is "the Way and the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6).
In this icon, the Child Jesus views the Archangels Michael (on the left, bearing the spear and gall) and Gabriel (on the right, bearing the Cross and nails) bearing the instruments of His Passion. Frightened of this vision, He runs to His Mother so quickly that His little sandal has almost fallen off, and He grasps her hand for comfort and assurance. Mary holds our gaze steadily, looking at the viewer with love and compassion, pointing to Christ, while also clutching Him close to herself. In this posture, Our Lady shows us that she is our Mother, and that she will comfort us in our afflictions as our Mother of Perpetual Help.
Catholic Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help was popularized by the most awesome Saint Alphonsus Ligouri (1696 – 1787).
This is the original icon crowned: [link]
And this is the Original Icon without other embellishments: [link]Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual HelpMother of Perpetual Help, you have been blessed and favored by God. you became not only the Mother of the Redeemer, but Mother of the redeemed as well. We come to you today as your loving children. Watch over us and take care of us. As you held the child Jesus in your loving arms, so take us in your arms. Be a mother ready at every moment to help us. For God who is mighty has done great things for you, and God's mercy is from age to age on those who love God. Intercede for us, dear Mother, in obtaining pardon for our sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace always to call upon you, Mother of Perpetual Help. The Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is June 27th.Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us!
O God, Who hast willed that the Mother of Thine Only-begotten Son should be the perpetual succor of Christians on earth, grant us grace to call on her with confidence in all our necessities of soul and body, so that, saved through her protection and assistance, we may be brought to the everlasting vision of Thy glory in Heaven, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.