Project Description


(seated / a copy of the icon be given to each pilgrim)

The icon of OMPH reminds us of Mary and Jesus facing the reality of suffering, particularly Jesus’ suffering and death. At the same time the icon reminds us of the salvation brought to us by Jesus Christ and the cooperation of Mary.

The expression on Mary’s face is that of a mother that knows pain and suffering, yet, she offers her help unconditionally. With serenity and tenderness, she invites us to trust in God and to accept the will of God, even when we find in it the Cross, and to offer our lives in the service of others.


  1. The Archangel Gabriel

(Please focus your attention on the Archangel Gabriel – the one on the right side as you face the icon.)

Dear Mother of Perpetual Help, the Archangel Gabriel of the Annunciation, appears in your icon carrying the cross and nails. It was he who came to your house, delivered to you the joyful message from God. He announced to you the incarnation – that the Son of God, by the act of the Holy Spirit, will become a man in your womb.

Because you said “yes” to God, God became one of us. God lived among us.

Glory to the Father, unto the Son . . .


  1. The Archangel Michael (on the left as you face the icon)

We see the Archangel Michael, the leader of the heavenly army and the zealous defender of the glory of God.

The archangel holds a sponge and a lance in the folds of his green mantel. With the sponge, the lips of your dying Son were moistened as his mouth and throat burned with thirst. With the lance, his side was pierced and from it blood and water flowed. But your Son did not die a failure. The tomb was found empty. He was raised to life on the third day. From then on, the instruments of the passion have become symbols of the victory of Jesus.

Dear Mother, help us to understand that in the pain and darkness of suffering there lays the seed of new life – our growth, our salvation. Help us to trust and to believe that in the hopelessness of the cross the resurrection becomes a reality.

Glory to the Father . . .


  1. The Greek Letters in the Icon

On both sides of your haloed head are the initials that mean “Mother of God”. Next to the head of your Divine Son are the initials which mean “Jesus Christ”.

You are the Mother of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, HE indeed who is our Perpetual Help. But you are his mother. At the foot of the cross, the Lord Jesus gave you to us to be our Mother. We are confident that you are Our Mother of Perpetual Help. You are a mother ever ready to help us, who love us, and perpetually leading us to your Son.

We honor you. We venerate your sacred icon. Mother of God, you are “blessed among all women”.

Glory to the Father . . .


  1. The Child Jesus in Your Arms

The child in your arms did not remain a child. He grew up. He became a man.

The child Jesus in your arms is a reminder of the family life you lived in Nazareth. You dedicated yourself to your domestic work. With Joseph and Jesus you formed a simple and ordinary family. Dear Mother, teach us to love our homes and to fill them with understanding and joy.

Dear Mother, help us to recognize the presence of God even in the drudgery of life and in the weariness of daily work. Remind us that God never let go of us even when our faith seems to falter or when we are overcome with pain and anguish.

Glory to the Father . . .


  1. The Eyes of Mary of Nazareth

As we look at your icon dear Mother we come to know the reason of your name.

It is present in your eyes. You are Our Mother of Perpetual Help because of your eyes. Those eyes that carefully see us from any point from which we seek you. They are eyes that watch us with maternal affection. They follow us wherever we go. Those eyes follow us whatever our situation is, in our happiness, in our sorrows, in our failures, in our sinfulness, and in our return to you.

Dear Mother, assumed into heaven, you are now with your Son. In your maternal concern lead us to the Son you love.