We had the blessing of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (OMPH)’s icon at our Church on Saturday, 23 July 2022. It was held before the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Novena prayer to Our Lady. We placed the images of both OMPH and Divine Mercy side by side, on the right wing of the Church.
On 31 July 2022, our Adoration Room, which is situated next to the Parish Office, was officiated and blessed by His Grace Archbishop Julian Leow. The Blessed Sacrament is currently exposed in the temporary tabernacle while waiting for the completion of the construction of the Minangkabau-designed Tabernacle – which is expected to be soon.
We restored and replaced the icon of OMPH, which was previously in the sanctuary with a framed OMPH image. Both the old-framed images of OMPH and the Divine Mercy, which were hanging on the church’s wall, are now in our Adoration Room.
This icon of OMPH came from Chiangmai in Thailand, along with the 4-foot statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. The ivory-coloured statue being appropriate for the outdoors, will be placed at the grotto, to replace the worn-out existing one. The statue is scheduled to be blessed on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 15 August at 7:30 pm, when we gather at the grotto for Rosary before Mass.
Here is a little explanation about the iconography of OMPH, which is also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour: it represents the Mother of God, holding the Divine Child aged around 2-3 years old, seated in his mother’s left hand. The Child Jesus holds his mother’s hand tightly and seeks comfort from His mother, as He visualises the instruments of passion.
Hovering on the upper corners, we have two Archangels - Michael and Gabriel - who symbolise instruments of passion. The Archangel Michael is in the left corner, holding a spear with the wine-soaked sponge and the crown of thorns. Whereas, the Archangel Gabriel is in the right corner, holding the cross and the nails. It is an expression of the vision of Jesus’ future passion and death. That passion and agony trigged Him and caused the loss of grip on His right sandal. If you see a portrayal of OMPH, you will notice that the background is coloured in gold. It symbolises the triumph of Christ over sin and death, and the sign of the glory of the resurrection.
The Child Jesus and Mother Mary have golden halos, but Christ’s halo is decorated with a cross as a sign of His divinity. Our Lady and Child Jesus are clothed in colours of royalty. The Greek initials ‘MP OV’ (left and right) next to Our Lady represents “Mother of God” whereas the “ic xc” is an abbreviation for “Jesus Christ”. The eight-pointed Star on Our Lady’s veil symbolises that she is the Star of the Sea, the star that leads us to Jesus Christ. A small, decorated cross to the left of the star highlights that the Star leads to Jesus.
Let us always devote ourselves to the novena prayer to OMPH every Saturday, as she plays a role in the plan of salvation as Mother of God and our Spiritual Mother. She guides us to her Son Jesus Christ, and she is our interceding help. She grants us her maternal care and protection from all evil, all danger and all distress.