Project Description

A Message of Peace and Love

125 years have passed since April 26, 1866, when Pope Pius IX entrusted your institution with the spread of worship to the Virgin of Perpetual Assistance. From then on you have not ceased to love this Byzantine icon, coming from the Orient, and has become a reference point for the faithful who come to pray in this temple.

As I wrote in my Apostolic Letter Duodecimum saeculum (1987), “today’s believer, like yesterday, must be helped in prayer and in the spiritual life with the vision of works that seek to express the mystery without concealing it” (John Paul II, Duodecimum saeculum, 11) The icon recalls the mystery of divine maternity, and while inviting to trust, it exalts the role that the Virgin plays in the life of every believer. Mary is the mother of hope and goodness; mother of mercy and grace. “If God wants to redeem mankind,” says St. Alfonso Maria de ‘Liguori, inspired by St. Bernard, “he has put all the redemption value in Mary’s hand, for she has delivered him to his will” (Sant’Alfonso M. de ‘Liguori, Ascetic Works, Rome 1936, vol. VI, p.109).

In this icon, Mary gives us this value with the happy announcement that the New Covenant is in you fully realized and by means of you is offered to all men. Jesus shakes his right hand, almost to convey the primacy of redemption and to witness the extraordinary way of cooperation of the Mother of God to the salvation of humanity. The eyes of the Virgin look to the people and radiate on it the gift of divine grace (John Paul II).