Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and Our Mother of Perpetual Help is the title given to a 15th-century icon that originated in the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery and has been in Rome since 1499. Due to the promotion of the image by the Redemptorist Priests since 1865 many reproductions have been made and venerated.
Here is a list of the meaning of some of the elements of the icon:
• Mary’s eyes, filled with compassion and love, are directed toward us.
• Our Lady is clothed in the colors of virgins (red) and of mothers (blue). These are also royal colors.
• The star on Mary’s veil reminds us that she is the dawn announcing the coming of Christ.
• The Christ Child grasps his mother’s hand as though he is frightened by what he sees.
• In His hurry to reach his mother, Jesus has almost lost one of his sandals. He became human, like us, in all things but sin.
• On Our Lady’s left and right, we see the reasons for the child’s fear. On the right is the Archangel Gabriel, holding a cross and four nails. On the left is the Archangel Michael, holding a lance and a gall-sop of Christ’s Passion. This vision of the instruments of the crucifixion has driven the young Jesus to his mother’s protective embrace.