The Evangelical Life of Mary
Br. Daniel Korn,CSsR / Fr. Ken Sedlak, CSsR
The icon of our Mother of Perpetual Help continues to be an instrument of evangelization. Pope Francis speaks of Mary as the “Star of Evangelization.” He presents Mary as the pilgrim of proclamation because of what is said of her in the Gospel of Luke about her visitation to Elizabeth.
The first two chapters of St. Luke’s Gospel, the story of Cana from John, Mary’s presence at Calvary written about in the Gospels, and the story of Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles together form the “gospel” of our Blessed Virgin.
Icons give us the opportunity to enter the space of the holy. As we look at the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help and place ourselves in a space of prayer, Mary’s gaze draws us to her and inspires us to give ourselves over to the divine presence within.
Through our devotion to the icon, we are drawn into the maternal, human image of Mary. We call her Mother and Our Mother of Perpetual Help. We come before her with our needs and ask her to assist us in living lives of peace and joy.
The star on her veil is the symbol that she is the shinning light that leads to Christ. She points to Jesus and invites us to imitate his attitudes and virtues and, by doing so, perpetuate the redeeming love of Jesus in the world.
The more we give ourselves to the prayer of gazing into the icon, the more we are led to imitate what we see in Mary. She stands before us as an icon presenting the Word of God. She invites us to do the same with those we meet in our daily lives: to present Christ through acts of generosity, love, and compassion. We are encouraged to give our time, treasure, and talent to serve those who are in the greatest need. We are asked to be a perpetual help to others. This is what our Catholic tradition refers to as living a “Marian attitude” of life.
May our devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help lead us to a deeper union with her divine Son. With the words of St. Louis de Montfort, we can pray: Glory to Jesus living in Mary! Glory to Mary living in Jesus! Glory to God alone! —DK