Friday 22 March 2019

Devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston and W. Raemers CSsR

Devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
W. Raemers CSsR
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860829284
eISBN 9781784694333
CTS Booklet D779

This book was originally written by W. Raemers CSsR, in 1997. It was later revised and edited by Glynn MacNiven-Johnston and the eBook edition was released in March of 2017. This book was a very fascinating read. The history of the painting, the devotion to it. It trading hands, and eventually being placed in a new church on the original site of the devotions was exciting to read. To read about the spread of the devotion, about replica paintings being touched to the original and sent all over the world, literally completely surprised me. I was enjoying this booklet so much on my way to work I nearly missed my stop, as I was so engrossed in the read.

The description of this booklet is:

“From the cross, Christ gave his mother to be mother of all Christians and of the whole Church. Her tender care and intercession in turn have long been sought by means of this devotion, and captured in the image of the celebrated icon dating from the fourteenth century.

The devotion’s history is here explained and accompanied by a rich collection of appropriate prayers, litanies and novenas, for private and communal use.

Cardinal Nichols has written a preface to this edition because he was created Cardinal-Priest of the Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Rome, where the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour can be found, on February 22nd 2014.”

Cardinal Nichols states:

“… the original image of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, which, now widely reproduced, is venerated in churches throughout the world. It movingly depicts the Christ-child, his redeeming Passion already in view, tenderly clasping his blessed Mother’s hand. Mary looks upon her son with such loving compassion. The image has inspired, and still inspires, immense comfort and hope in the hearts of millions. Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour powerfully helps the Church’s universal mission to lead everyone into that joy flowing from a living relationship with Jesus. I therefore very much welcome this new edition of devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour published by the CTS.”

And reading this booklet I could not help but feel my heart and spirit stirred to even greater devotion to Jesus and Mary.

The chapters in this booklet are:
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
The Icon
The History of the Icon
The Icon and the Redemptorists
Morning Prayer
Act of Consecration
Litany of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
Prayer for Perseverance
The Perpetual Novena
Prayers to Our Lady
Perpetual Novena Prayers with a Leader
The Simple Novena
Prayer to Our Lady
Nine Prayers for a Novena
More Prayers to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
Daily Devotions
Hymn: O Blessed Mother

The book begins with these words:

“This icon was painted in the fourteenth or fifteenth century; it was given the name Mater de Perpetuo Succursu in 1867 by Pope Pius IX. The name is literally translated into English as Mother of Perpetual Help, but it is also variously rendered as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and Our Lady of Perpetual Help. This name reminds us that when we need help, the Virgin Mary will be there to guide us to see God’s presence in our problems or suffering. The icon reminds us she saw her own son die in a cruel and horrible manner. She understands suffering and she is with us to support us in the suffering of our lives.”

And as mentioned reading this book drew me closer to Jesus and our lady. This book is part history, history of icons, and of this specific icon. It is the history of the devotion which bloomed in popularity, faded and has had a great resurgence. It is part prayer book, and it is part devotional. Because of the size of the volume it can easily be read in a single sitting. Or you can take your time and work through it section by section, prayer by prayer. 

Of the nearly 70 books from CTS that I have read over the last few years, This one is one of the best. I have come back to it and reread it already. And know that I will be using it as a prayer book for years to come. It is a wonderful little read and so I encourage you to pick it up and give it a try.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Glynn MacNiven-Johnston:
Maria Goretti Teenage Martyr
Pier Giorgio Frassati Inspiration for Students
Father Damien Apostle to the Lepers
Martin de Porres

Rita of Cascia 
A Book of Novenas

Prayer Books:
Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
The Infant of Prague
Handbook of Novenas to the Saints: Short Prayers for Needs & Graces
Handbook of Scriptural Novenas: For Various Needs and Intentions
Devotion to St Jude: Patron of Hopeless Cases


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