Rome: Church of Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help)
About the Image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help:
The original painting of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is, perhaps, the most widely-recognized icon in the world. The history of the image is an interesting one…involving theft, war and visons of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can read the full story here, but the fascinating part of the story is that Our Lady had requested that the image be placed in a certain church located between St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran, which was the Church of Saint Matthew. The image hung here where for some years.. Then in 1798, the church was destroyed by Napoleon’s forces, although the image was saved.
In January 1855, the Redemptorist Order purchased a villa located here for their headquarters. They were unaware of the fact that the land they had purchased was actually the location of the church and monastery of Saint Matthew–the very place which the Virgin Mary had specified for the image to be placed!
About the Church of Saint Alphonsus Liguouri:
Rome has so many churches that no one seems to even have an accurate count of them. Is it 300, 400, 800, or more? Even with so many, surely the Church of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri stands out among them.
The church itself offers much to admire, and certainly becuase it is where you will find the original image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour) hangs above the main altar.
It is not very large, about 16 x 20″. But it is of great significance to many Catholics who have sought the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To stand in front of the icon–quite often un-disturbed by other visitors– is a wonderful experience.
We celebrate the Feast Day of the Image of Perpetual Help on June 27.
Location of the Church of St. Alphonsus Liguouri in Rome:
The Church is located on via Merulana between the Basilica of Saint Mary Major and Saint John Lateran, and is usually open to the public. It is easy to bypass….which is a shame, since it is so beautiful, in addition to housing the icon.
Address: Via Merulana, 26, 00185 Roma, Italy
Tel: +39 (06) 4949 0685
email: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the Church of St. Alphonsus Ligouri in Rome
There is also a Church devoted to Our Lady of Prompt Succor in New Orleans, Louisiana that has an interesting background.