It’s the eyes that get me.
With the Mona Lisa, it’s the smile. With The Scream, it’s the open mouth. And what pulls me into the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is the look in Mary’s eyes. They hold you in a steady gaze, sad and hopeful, as well as wise and loving. Also, maybe, as with any mother of a young child, a little tired. You may see the eyes of your own mother.
You’ll hear a lot about the icon this year during an important anniversary: 150 years ago, Pope Pius IX entrusted the icon to the Redemptorists, with the charge to “make her known.”
At Liguori, we’re celebrating that jubilee in many ways. We have a number of books, booklets, and pamphlets about the icon. I’m looking at the cover of one now from Embracing the Icon of Love by Br. Dan Korn, CSsR. (Br. Dan writes our regular column on the spirituality of the icon.) This issue of Liguorian is dedicated to the jubilee of this holy icon. You’ll learn about its theology and history (page 10). You’ll read inspiring, moving personal stories from our readers and a priest about their connections to the icon (page 20). Columnist Sarah Reinhard will even let you know out how to plant and enhance a Marian flower garden (page 18). And there’s more inside.
We have a lot here on one icon. But the history and meaning of the icon are deep and profound, well worthy of your time. Just look into her eyes. You’ll see what I mean.