With the imminent arrival of the Sisters in Australia in March, there is much work to be accomplished. Please join with us in praying a Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help for the following intentions:
for the success of the work and preparation of the Monastery for the Sisters;
for the guidance and protection for all those and their families who are assisting in the establishment of the Monastery; and
for the safe travel of the the Sisters to the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes.
We are commencing the Novena today, Friday 25th January, and will finish on Saturday 2nd February, the Feast of the Presentation and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Candlemas). We also encourage those who are unable to join us with today, to commence the Novena as soon as possible.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the patroness of the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes.
We are very grateful to Bishop Columba for his support in our endeavours and particularly welcome his press release last week, in which he formally welcomed the Sisters to the Diocese.
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes ,
I would like to take this opportunity to officially announce that in early March the Carmelite Nuns of Jesus, Mary and Joseph will be arriving from the United States to set up their new community in the Diocese. In 1927, the Community established a Carmel in California. Later, monasteries were founded in Nevada, then Nebraska, Pennsylvania and, most recently, in Idaho. This community of Nuns will live a pure contemplative life, nourished through the Extraordinary form of the Liturgy. The community approached me four years ago and I made an official invitation for them to begin a community in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes.
After a lengthy process headed by a independent committee and with the approval of the Holy See, the Nuns are ready to begin their lives in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes. The Nuns will be located in between Deniliquin and Mathoura.
I ask that you join with me in thanksgiving and prayer for the Nuns. May their life of contemplative prayer be of much spiritual fruit for our Diocese.
Yours in Christ
Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE DD
Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The miraculous picture of Madonna and Child rests on the main altar of the church of the Redemptorist Fathers in Rome. It was first in the possession of a wealthy Cretan merchant, then brought to Rome and eventually enthroned in St. Matthew’s Church. For three hundred years crowds of pilgrims have journeyed far to see this picture, the source of many cures. In 1812, St Matthew’s Church was razed, and for fifty four years the picture’s location was not known. When it was found, Pope Pius IX gave it to the Redemptorist Fathers for their church on the spot where Mary first had been revered in this special manner as Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The miraculous picture is painted like an icon. Two angels designated as Sts Michael and Gabriel are seen beside the Virgin’s head, carrying in their veiled hands the instruments of Christ’s Passion, the Cross, the spear and the sponge, The picture was probably painted by a Greek artist of the thirteenth or fourteenth century.
Mary is invoked as Our Lady of Perpetual Help because she affords help to Christians even in all temporal needs. Although she is now enthroned in heaven, she still takes an interest in our misery and relieves our wants.
Mary brings us help especially in our spiritual needs. She is a most merciful Mother who rejects no sinner. She lovingly interests herself in our behalf and tries to reconcile us to her Son when we have sinned. She assists us in temptation. She confirms us in good and obtains for us the grace of making progress in the path of virtue, for she desires nothing more ardently than that we all become partakers of the fruits of redemption, won for us by her Son. In our efforts to reach holiness, she supports us and obtains for us the grace of perseverance. We can ask nothing of her that will give her greater pleasure or that she will grant more willingly than the grace to do good.
Above all, Mary will assist us in the hour of death, which is a crucial moment in our life because it is then that we prepare for the judgement. As the exalted Queen of Heaven she takes the souls of her faithful servants under her protecting mantle, accompanies them to the judgement seat of her Son, and there she becomes their intercessor.
Mary is still the Mother of God in heaven as she was on earth; Jesus, who is omnipotence itself, remains her Son for all eternity. Her love for us is now even more intense and more compassionate, because she knows our misery better in heaven. She obtains gentle rest for all who are laden with trouble and pain; she gives comfort to the afflicted and healing to the sick.
Mary is our Mother of Perpetual Help, and therefore we should have an unbounded confidence in her. She can help us, for her prayer is all-powerful with God, and she will help us, for she is our Mother and she loves as her children.
The Word of God
“Can a woman forget her infant and be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Yet even if she should forget, I will never forget you.”
“The wine ran out and the Mother of Jesus ….. said to the attendants, ‘Do whatever He tells you.’”
“Blessed are they who watch daily at my gates …. for those who find me find life and shall have salvation from the Lord.”
– Prov 8:35-35
Mother of Perpetual Help, behold at your feet a sinner who has recourse to you and has confidence in you. Mother of mercy, have pity on me. I hear all calling you the refuge and hope of sinners. Be, then, my refuge and my hope. For the love of Jesus Christ, your Son, help me.
Give your hand to a poor sinner who commends himself to you and dedicates himself to your lasting service. I praise and thank God Who in his mercy has given to me this confidence in you, a sure pledge of my eternal salvation.
It is true that in the past, I, miserable and wretched, have fallen into sin because I did not have recourse to you. But I know that with your help I shall be able to overcome myself, I know, too, that you will help me, if I commend myself to you. But I fear that in the occasions of sin, I may neglect to call upon you and thus run the risk of being lost.
This grace, then, I seek of you; for this I implore you as much as I know and as much as I can: that in all the attacks of hell I may ever have recourse to you and say to you: “O Mary, help me. O Mother of Perpetual Help, do not let me lose my God.”
3 Hail Marys
Mother of Perpetual Help, aid me ever to call upon your powerful name, since your name is the help of the living and the salvation of the dying. Mary most pure, Mary most sweet, grant that your name from this day forth may be to me the very breath of life. Dear Lady, do not delay in coming to help me when I call upon you for in all the temptations that trouble me, in all the needs of my life, I will ever call upon you, repeating: “Mary, Mary.”
What comfort, what sweetness, what confidence, what consolation fills my soul at the sound of your name, at the very thought of you! I give thanks to our Lord, Who for my sake has given you a name so sweet, so lovable, and so mighty. But I am not content only to speak your name: I will call upon you because I love you. I want that love to remind me always to call you mother of Perpetual Help.
3 Hail Marys
Mother of Perpetual help, you are the dispenser of every grace that God grants us in our misery. For this reason he has made you so powerful, so rich, and so kind that you might help us in our needs. You are the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners, if they but come to you. Come to my aid, for I commend myself to you.
In your hands I place my eternal salvation; to you I entrust my soul. Count me among your most faithful servants. Take me under your protection; that is enough for me. If you protect me, I shall fear nothing. I shall not fear my sins, because you will obtain for me their pardon and remission. Neither shall I fear the evil spirits, because you are mightier than all the powers of hell.
I fear only that through my own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to you and so lose my soul. My dear Lady, obtain for me the forgiveness of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace to have recourse to you at all times, Mother of Perpetual Help.
3 Hail Marys
(Saint Alphonsus Liguori)
Source: Catholic Book of Novenas, Lovasik (Catholic Book Publishing Corp, 2013)