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Our Lady of Perpetual Help is an ancient Marian devotion and is famous for an icon that has been revered for centuries by both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.
An icon is a Christian image very rich in symbols that help us to contemplate the sacred mysteries and each element of the icon has a deep meaning with great catechetical richness.
We want to present to you the meaning of all the elements of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. You will be amazed!
For this we will use this icon with numbers in each symbol. Below you will find what each one of them means.
1. Initials in Greek for “Mother of God” = Θεο τόκος = Theotokos.
2. The crown is a tribute to the many miracles performed by Our Lady under the title “Perpetual Help.”
3. The star in the veil of the Virgin reminds us that it is the Star of the Sea that leads to the sure safe haven that is the Christ.
4. Greek initials for “St. Michael the Archangel”. Under the letters is the Archangel holding the spear and the sponge of the Passion of Christ.
5. Greek initials for “St. Gabriel the Archangel”. Under the letters we can see him holding the cross and the carnations.
6. The mouth of Mary. It is small to signify a silent gathering. She said little.
7. The eyes of Mary. They are great for all our problems. They are always watching us.
8. Red tunic. The colors used by the virgins in the times of Christ.
9. Greek initials for “Jesus Christ”.
10. The hands of Christ. With palms facing down and inside your mother’s, they indicate that the graces of surrender are under your custody.
11. Yellow background. It is the symbol of heaven, where Jesus and Mary are now enthroned. The yellow also shines through his clothes, thus showing the heavenly happiness he can bring to the tired human hearts.
12. Dark blue robe. It is the color that mothers used in Palestine. Mary is both at the same time: virgin and Mother.
13. Maria’s left hand. Hold the hand of Christ in a posture of possession, which possesses the Christ. It is a comforting hand for all who are helped by it.
14. Falling sandals. Two senses: The first is that, with the scare of the Boy to see the Archangels announcing his suffering, he turns quickly to his mother and, thus, one of his sandals hangs. The second is that the hanging sandal represents all those who are faltering in faith, bound to Jesus by only a thread, which is devotion to Mary.
Is not it fantastic ?!