Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

Today was the beautiful feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. I have a very ‘old’ love for this image. It is probably the most familiar image of Our Lady to me as I was growing up (besides the Immaculate Heart of Mary.)

When we were living in the country Victorian town of Benalla, St Joseph’s had a weekly holy hour in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and my childlike love grew from those weekly devotions. Many of the beautiful hymns to Our Lady I learnt there, “I’ll Sing a Hymn to Mary” “Mother of Christ” and the sorrowfully beautiful, “Mother of Perpetual Succour.” When you learn them in childhood, you never forget the tunes, you often can sing many verses from heart even if you haven’t heard them in many years...

There was always petition time during the hour where the petitions were read from the pulpit and I have to confess that my petitions featured strongly. As I made quick visits during the week (my school was next door to the church) it meant that I would usually not leave, until I had placed a petition.

When I was expecting my oldest, I would pray and beg my mother’s heavenly intercession in front of this image. Asking for answers to all my needs and fears as an approaching new mother and she did not let me down! A little miracle was granted, is all I can say, the day my boy was born.

My darling little 2year boy, fractured his arm yesterday afternoon and you would rather suffer their agonies for them...I know you will all understand what I mean there. Today we were just grateful for the things that could have happened but didn’t and I had been anticipating this beautiful feast, hoping to do something special. So I decided to buy a beautiful caramel mud cake. The exact colour of the distinctive background of this ancient picture. The children were so excited!

This beautiful picture hangs in our bedroom and draped around it always, is my Mexican rebozo. (Brought it as a birthing aid, but yet to use it..) Rebozos are used by mothers to wrap their young in and of course it makes me think of the most beautiful motherly words in the world, “Are you not in the folding of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms?”

I wanted to finish with the words to the beautiful hymn I had mentioned, I have also put a recording of the first verse so you can hear the tune. It is a lovely hymn to learn! It would also make beautiful copywork for the feastday.

Mary, from Thy sacred image,
With those eyes so sadly sweet,
Mother of Perpetual Succour!
See us kneeling at Thy feet.
In Thine arms Thy Child Thou bearest
Source of all Thy joy and woe;
What Thy bliss, how deep Thy sorrows,
Mother, Thou alone canst know.

On Thy face He is not gazing,
Nor on us is turned His glance
For His anxious look He fixes
On the Cross, the Reed, and Lance.
To Thy hand His hands are clinging
As a child would cling in fear
Of that vision of the torments
Of His Passion drawing near.

And for Him Thine eyes are pleading
While to us they look and cry;
Sinners spare my Child! your Saviour,
seek not still to crucify
Yes, we hear Thy words, sweet Mother
But, poor sinners we are weak;
At Thy feet Thy helpless children,
Thy Perpetual Succour seek.

Succour us when clouds of sadness
Hide the light of heaven above
Hope expires and faith scarce lingers,
And we dare not think we love.
In that hour of gloom and peril
Show to us Thy radiant face,
Smiling down from Thy loved image
Rays of cheering light and grace.

Succour us when stormy passions
Sudden rise within the heart;
Quell the tempest, calm the billows,
Peace secure to us impart.
Through this life of weary exile,
Succour us in every need;
And when death shall come to free us,
Succour us, ah! then indeed.

I had to add this darling little picture, these two can down the hallway just before dressed with whatever they could find....Jesus, Mary and Joseph I place all my trust in you!


Jane Ramsey said...

Oh Annie, what a beautiful picture, a beautiful feast day, and a beautiful hymn! Is that you singing? What a lovely voice you have!

Anne (aussieannie) said...

It is a beautiful hymn, not one you hear often but our wonderful organist and cantor had this hymn as our offertory hymn at Sunday Mass today!

It is me aussie accent?