PARAÑAQUE City, June 29, 2015 —Filipino Catholics, especially Marian devotees, have an entire year all to themselves in order to avail of a plenary indulgence Pope Francis granted recently to those who venerate the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, dubbed the “Icon of Love”, at her shrine in Baclaran or any other churches run by the Redemptorists.
‘Icon of Love’
According to the Redemptorist International website, the Holy Father offered this opportunity to all Catholics who want the temporal punishment due to their sins remitted in keeping with the celebration of 150 years since Pope Pius IX placed the much-beloved picture in the care of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (C.Ss.R.).
It reads, “The indulgence is available to all who make a pilgrimage, between the 27th June 2015 and 27th June 2016, to the Church of St. Alphonsus [Maria de Liguori] in Rome or in any Redemptorist church anywhere in the world to venerate the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.”
As usual, the plenary indulgence can only be had provided pilgrims meet these conditions:
- The celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation
- Eucharistic communion
- Prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father
- The visit should conclude with the recitation of the Our Father, the Creed and prayers to Our Blessed Mother.
The Code of Canon Law (Can. 992) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471) define an indulgence as a “remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”
‘Making her known’
Meanwhile, all roads led to the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran on Saturday, June 27, as devotees joined the local Redemptorists in celebrating the start of the Jubilee Year of “making her known.”
In his homily, Parañaque Bishop Jesse E. Mercado hailed the Blessed Virgin using her title, the Mother of Perpetual Help, for continuing to intercede before Christ on behalf of her “little ones” on earth.
He said that since devotion to her was introduced in the Philippines sometime in 1948 by Fr. Leo English, C.Ss.R., she has always become a source of strength and inspiration to untold number of faithful Filipinos who constantly seek her maternal comfort and protection. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)