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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Monday

Perpetual Help Novena now available for your iPhone & iPad

The ancient icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is among the most recognized images of Mary in the world. Generations of Catholics grew up attending weekly perpetual novenas that attracted standing-room only crowds.

This golden image of Our Lady has spread worldwide on prayer cards, medals, in colorful framed prints, on booklets, bumper stickers and pocket calendars.

Now, this inspiring image and this time-honored method of prayer are just a tap away for iPhone and iPad users. The OLPH Novena app invites the user to pray with the icon for nine days. Each day’s prayer, written specifically for the app by Redemptorist Father John Hamrogue, is both a meditation on the icon and a call to personal conversion. Prayers can be shared via email and Facebook. The app is available from the iTunes App Store for $0.99.

“For the first time ever, it will be possible to pray a novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help on iPhones and iPads,” said Father Daniel Francis, director of the Redemptorist Office for Mission Advancement, which produced the app. “Our hope is that it will turn viewers into pray-ers, and curious Catholics into devotees of Mary.”

Father Francis continues: “Wherever we go, preaching the Good News of God’s bountiful love, Redemptorists also introduce people to Our Mother of Perpetual Help and share with them our confidence in her prayers. We have brought her with us on our missions around the world, and now we are bringing her on our missions in the digital world.”

The original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, which hangs above the main altar in the Redemptorists’ San Alfonso Church in Rome, dates from at least the 14th century. According to legend it was stolen from a church in Crete where it had a reputation for being miraculous. The icon was eventually displayed in a church run by the Augustinians, but it fell into obscurity in the late 18th century. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that a young Redemptorist who had grown up with the Augustinians remembered the icon and encouraged the Redemptorists to display it in their new church, which was built on the site of the icon’s original home.

In 1866, Pope Pius IX entrusted the icon to the Redemptorists and commissioned them to “make her known.”