Our Lady of Perpetual Help (also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour) is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary as represented in a celebrated 15th-century Byzantine icon also associated with the same Marian apparition. The icon originated from the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery and has been in Rome since 1499. Today it is permanently enshrined in the Church of Saint Alphonsus, where the official Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help text is prayed weekly.
The original wooden icon is suspended on the altar, measures 17" × 21" inches and is written on hard nut wood with a gold leaf background. The image depicts the following symbols:
- The Blessed Virgin Mary — wearing a dress of dark red, representing the Passion of Jesus, with a blue mantle, representing her perpetual virginity, and cloaked veil, which represents her pure modesty.
- The subject shows Mary looking towards the faithful, while pointing at her son, Jesus Christ who is frightened by the instruments of crucifixion and is depicted with a fallen sandal.
- The left side is Saint Michael Archangel — carrying the lance and sponge of the crucifixion of Jesus.
- On the right side is Saint Gabriel Archangel carrying a 3-bar cross used by Popes at the time and nails.
- The Virgin Mary has a star on her forehead signifying her role as Star of the Sea while the cross on the side has been claimed as referring to the Greek monastery which produced the icon.
- Hand-Painted Gold Leaf in Greece
- Dimensions: 11.5" x 8.5"
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