Through hundreds (thousands) of years of persecution and degradation of women and the Divine Feminine, Mother Mary has survived as a beacon of love and peace, transcending religious traditions and cultures. No matter what the patriarchy has attempted in eradicating Goddess and the Divine Feminine, Mother Mary remains a light to humankind and the representation of the pure love of Mother. She infuses our hearts and brings hope to the darkest corners of our souls.
May is her sacred month and we celebrated the Blessed Mother with a free Mother Mary Devotion (see link below for archive) and the Mother Mary Novena. To continue in this beautiful energy, there will be a continued Marian Devotion on the first Saturday of each month ongoing, as well as future Novenas.
On this first Saturday of June, we reach out to Mother Mary as Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant me ever to be able to call upon thy powerful name, since thy name is the help of the living and the salvation of the dying. Ah, Mary most pure, Mary most sweet, grant that thy name from this day forth may be to me the very breath of life. Dear Lady, delay not to come to my assistance whenever I call upon thee; for in all the temptations that assail me, in all the necessities that befall me, I will never leave off calling upon thee, ever repeating: Mary, Mary. What comfort, what sweetness, what confidence, what tenderness fills my soul at the sound of thy name, at the very thought of thee! I give thanks to our Lord, who for my sake hath given thee a name so sweet, so lovable, so mighty. But I am not content merely to speak thy name; I would utter it for very love of thee; it is my desire that love should ever remind me to name thee, Mother of Perpetual Help. (Catholic Online)
The painted Byzantine image above is painted on wood and dates to approximately the 13th century. Our Lady of Perpetual Help is also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Her title as Mother of God is on the icon and she is flanked by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. They are holding the instruments of the Passion. Michael (left) has the spear, the wine-soaked sponge, and the crown of thorns, and Gabriel (right holds the cross and the nails. Notice the sandal falling off the foot of baby Jesus. Traditional symbology of this is the loss that will come at the end of Jesus’ life, but until then, he is safe in his Mother’s arms.
The icon came to Rome in 1499 (approximately) from Crete. She was venerated in Crete as Our Lady of Angels. It is said that the boat bringing Our Lady of Perpetual Help to Rome was caught in a storm and through prayers to her the crew was saved. Several other miracles and apparitions have been attributed to her as well. She resides in Rome at the Church of Saint Alphonsus under the care and protection of the Redemptorist priests. Her Feast Day on the Marian calendar is June 27 every year.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a redeemer Herself and also provides intercession for our prayers and petitions. Personally, I love the Byzantine icons of Mary and I have always resonated with the vulnerable innocence of the baby losing his sandal and hanging onto his Mother’s hand. It brings to bear that the comfort and safety of the Mother is supreme and that Mary offers us that same comfort and safety.
O’ MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP, grant that I may ever invoke Thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let Thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on Thee, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations I shall never cease to call on Thee, ever repeating Thy sacred name, Mary, Mary.
O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fill my soul when I pronounce Thy sacred name, or even only think of Thee. I thank God for having given Thee, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing Thy name: let my love for Thee prompt me ever to hail Thee, MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP.
Recite Nine Hail Marys. ~ Traditional Prayer for Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The beauty and blessing of Mary is that no matter your religious belief, she is available to us. She is a Bodhisattva just like the Goddess Kuan Yin, the Goddess Tara; perpetually listening to the prayers of her children and available on every level that we need her. If the traditional prayers are not your cup of tea, simply open your heart and speak to Mother Mary. Write your own prayers as part of meditative contemplation. She has carried the banner for the Divine Feminine in the western world for thousands of years. The titles, superpowers, and correspondences of hundreds of pre-Christian Goddesses have been absorbed and carried forth in the many aspects of Mary.
Create a shrine in your home. Offer a candle, flowers, incense. Spend a few minutes every day in prayer to Mary, to Goddess. Contemplate the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help or other aspect of Mary. Where do you “feel” this image? How do you pray for help? Does Our Lady of Perpetual Help resonate for you as an aspect of Mary, an aspect of Goddess?
May the Blessings of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mother Mary, and Goddess infuse your life.
**Our Lady of Perpetual Help is not directly syncretized to any other Goddesses. I did find a brief reference and connection to her in Trinidad with Mama Lata (Mother Earth), but nothing to expand upon.
Our next Marian Devotion is to Mother Mary as Rosa Mystica on July 7, 2018.
Recommended Books & Resources:
Free Mother Mary Devotional with MotherHouse Goddess Temple (register & look under May Event)
Titles of Mary (hundreds and hundreds!)
Circle of Mysteries by Christine Lore Weber (highyl recommended!)
Sophia by Caitlin Matthews (has some great chapters on Mary)
Goddess Meditations from Isis to Sophia by Gabriel
Mother Mary Oracle by Alana Fairchild with Art by Shiloh Sophia McCloud (highly recommended)
Mother Mary Prayer Bracelet by Ampl Creations
Deep Blue Crystal Bead Rosary from Nazareth Store (this is one that I have)