Meditation: MARY OUR PERPETUAL HELP OF THE CHURCH
The Church is the spouse of Christ, whom He has purchased with His most Precious Blood; she is therefore most closely allied to Mary the Mother of Christ. Mary moreover co-operated with her Divine Son in the formation of the Church. Finally Mary was by her Divine Son crowned Queen of heaven and earth and is therefore the Queen of GOD's universal Church. Hence St. Antonious rightly remarks that the Church has been placed by God himself not only under the protection but under the very dominion of Mary. Will a Mother even abandon her child in the hour of trial or will a queen deliver up her dominion to the enemy? For this reason the Apostles after the death of Jesus, looked upon Mary as their perpetual help. To her they had recoursed to be enlightened in their doubts, to be comforted in their afflictions, and to do in our sorrows and tribulations will be encouraged in their difficulties. Yet she too was to die. By a special ordinance of Divine Providence, all the Apostles were present at her death. Did she leave them without some parting words of consolation? We may rightly therefore represent to ourselves Mary on her death bed thus addressing the Apostles: "My dear children! I will not leave you orphans. I am about to leave you, yet not to abandon you, but rather to assist you all the more effectually. Moreover, I bequeath unto you more than my heart; for I leave you my Divine Son in the Holy Eucharist. Labour to propagate the true faith and gather men into the true Church; and I shall be your perpetual help." -- Mary has indeed ever been the perpetual help of the Church. The Church on her part has never ceased to implore Mary's aid in the hour of trial, while Mary on her part has never failed to come to her aid by crushing the power of the enemies of God's Church.
PRAYER TO BE SAID EACH DAY AFTER THE MEDITATION
O Mother of Perpetual Help, behold me a miserable sinner at thy feet; I have recourse to thee and put my trust in thee. O Mother of Mercy have pity upon me. I hear thee called by all the refuge and the hope of sinners, be then my refuge and my hope. Help me for the love of Jesus Christ; stretch forth thy hand to me, who recommend and dedicate myself to thee as thy perpetual servant. I bless and thank GOD for having in His mercy given to me this confidence in thee, the pledge as I believe of my eternal salvation. Alas! Too often in past times have I miserably fallen, because I had not recourse to thee! I know that with thy help I shall conquer. I know that thou will help me if I recommend myself to thee; but i fear lest in the occasions of falling I should cease to call upon thee and so should lose my soul. This, then, is the grace I seek from thee; and I conjure thee, as far as I know how and can, to obtain it for me; namely, in the assults of hell always to have recourse to thee and to say to thee: O Mary help me; Mother of Perpetual Help, suffer me not to lose my God.
Five "Hail Mary's" to obtain the special favours you seek -- then: -- Holy Mary, assist the miserable, help the faint hearted, cheer those that weep, pray for the people be the advocate of the clergy, intercede for all devout woman; let all feel thine aid who implore thy perpetual help.
V. Thou has been for us, Our Lady, a refuge.
R. A helper in needs and tribulation.
LET US PRAY
Oh almighty and merciful GOD, who hast given us to venerate the picture of Thy most Blessed Mother, under the special title of Perpetual Help, graciously grant that, amidst all the changes of our journey through life, we may be so defended by the continual protection of the same Immaculate, ever Virgin Mary, that we may deserve to obtain the rewards of Thy eternal Redemption; Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit; world without end. Amen.