Tuesday, September 25, 2012



The Devotion to Our Lady Of Perpetual Help is deeply rooted in our culture that the Filipino people have long adopted the Blessed Mother to be their Divine Comforter in their hour of need. This religious tradition is very much alive and still widely practiced every Wednesday where multitudes of devotees attend the all day Novena Masses held almost hourly at the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran, Philippines.

The popularity of this Devotion owes much to the fact that by the numerous testimonies of miraculous healings and granted petitions, the Blessed Mother is truly the Spiritual Comforter of those who seek Her Maternal Assistance and Divine Intercession. As a matter of fact, She is the greatest Intercessor of all, being the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The interesting history of how the Image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was relocated to its present site at St. Alphonsus Church beside the International headquarters of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, the Redemptorists; attests to the series of miraculous intervention by the Blessed Mother, who had earlier appointed this same place to be Her permanent shrine.

Despite the fact that the Image had been numerously moved to different places due to the French occupation in Rome, it is undoubtedly by Our Lady’s intervention that it would find itself installed in the same original site from where it was first enshrined.

For a better appreciation of one's Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, we contemplate on the interpretation of the symbolisms of the Icon as reprinted in bold letters and explained fully here.

One artistic manifestation of it was the emergence of the class of icons called Cardiotissa, from the Greek word kardia, meaning heart.  Cardiotissa means “having a heart” or showing sympathy and mercy and compassion.  In them the face of Our Lady appears full of sorrow, yet supremely dignified in her contemplation of the sufferings of her Son. His passion is represented by angels holding instruments of His passion, most often the cross, the lance, the sponge, and the nails.  Icons of this type in Russia were called Strastnaya (from the verb to suffer).

The Our Mother of Perpetual Help icon is of this type.  The angels holding the instruments of the Passion have their hands covered with a protecting veil as a sign of reverence in handling sacred objects.  In some Eastern rites, for example the Armenian, the deacon has his hand covered with a silken veil when he carries the gospel book.  And in the Roman Rite, the priest covers his hands with the humeral veil when blessing the people at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Child Jesus is shown with an adult face and a high brow, indicating His Divine Mind of Infinite Intelligence.  As God, He knew that the angelic apparition was prophetic of His future passion.  Yet in His human nature as a small child, He is frightened and runs to His Mother for protection.  Our Lady hastily picks Him up and clasps Him to her bosom. 

This action is indicated by the fact that the Lord’s right foot is nervously curled about the left ankle and in such haste that His right sandal has become loosened and hangs by a single strap.  Further action is indicated by the way the Child Jesus clasps His Mother’s right hand with both of His, holding tightly to Our Lady’s thumb.

Our Lady is clothed in a dress of dark red which was long reserved in the Byzantine world for the Empress alone, indicating the Queenship of Mary.  We know that reddish purple was considered the noblest color in the ancient world.  Recall that Our Lord said “Those who are clothed in purple and fine linen are in the houses of kings.”


What is even more intriguing are the symbolisms of the various inscriptions that are evidently located at the upper left and right side portion of Our Lady’s head. After a detailed search over the Internet, I was elated to discover that the meaning of the said inscriptions were fully explained in a December 2007 book titled “The Modern Temple” which was written by Sister Clarice Evelyn Seville Suarez of Kidapawan City, Philippines.

Sister Clarice is an active member of the Congregation of the Universal Sovereign Church of the Blessed Name 01230-6-4 Jesus Joseph or USCBN which began with the establishment in 1975 of the Shrine of My Catholic Faith by its founder, Reverend Mother Victoria Vera Piedad.

In her book, Sister Clarice explains why the Philippines was already a chosen nation that is consecrated to the Blessed Mother and her Infant Child Jesus and why it is destined to be the next Holy Land.

A complete PDF copy of The Modern Temple can be downloaded here.

The following statements in bold letters are lifted from her book The Modern Temple:

Reverend Mother Victoria Vera Piedad, OPM-OPR, the founder of the Universal Sovereign Church of Blessed Name 01230-6-4 Jesus Joseph, came as a person, manifested Herself in many locations, lived with the people from all walks of life, built the universal cathedral, personally taught Her children and revealed the secrets of the Living God. Her relics and memorabilia are intact in the USCBN Cathedral and in many living witnesses with whom She has closely interacted.

Her apparition in physical form is in fulfillment of the forgotten promise about the coming of the Holy Spirit - the Third Person of the Godhead - the Highest Spirit.

She came as a woman and as a mother because “as a mother, I can reach out and be close to everybody without causing any problem because a mother is for all.” (Mother)

Reverend Mother Victoria Vera Piedad, OPM-OPR is the Blessed Virgin Mary at the time of Jesus Christ. She is the Third Order of the Holy Trinity. She personifies the Holy Spirit.

As the Blessed Virgin Mary, she is also known by many names: as Mother of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Fatima, Mother or Our Lady or Virgin of Barangay, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Mediatrix, Our Lady of Peace, Our Lady of Rosary and many other names in Her numerous apparitions in different places and countries around the world. “Ang lahat ng Virgins ay ako rin (All the Virgins, I am the original”). (Mother)
Her order is Order of Perfection of Mankind (OPM) and Order of Person Reparation or Redemption (OPR). According to Mother, Her Order is the Third Order of Reparation - Mediatrix between God and Man. Her truth endures to all generations.

The letters OPM-OPR are embossed on the upper left and right sides of the image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The other letters around the Image are OY - Order of Youth; MP - Mother Philippines while the Roman numerals symbolize the number, 01230-6-4.

Her name, Victoria, means “Victory"; and Vera Piedad means “bring me to eternity.” As the promised comforter, She is the Spirit of Truth, the Sanctifier and the Advocator.

If the MP inscription is solely meant to be Mother Philippines, then there can be no doubt that from the time this Icon was initially painted, it was already revealed by our Blessed Mother that the Philippines is truly an anointed Nation that is close to Her Heart and is therefore consecrated to Her and Her Son Jesus Christ.

One fact remains to be indisputable, by way of the present traditions of Wednesday Novenas to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Filipino people have shown their great love to the Blessed Mother whom they consider to be their Spiritual Comforter and Perpetual Provider of Divine Help.

Makati City, Philippines

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