Our church contains a copy of an icon first placed in the Church of San Matteo in Rome in 1499.

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

The original picture was thought lost after Napoleon’s armies sacked that church in 1798 (in fact, it had been secretly placed in the care of the Augustinians). In 1866, Pope Pius IX ordered that the icon be given to the Redemptorist order at the Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome so that it could once again be placed on public view. Since then it has been copied and venerated in churches all over the world, including our church at Gillingham.


Oh Mother of Perpetual Succour, grant that I may ever invoke your powerful name, the protection of the living and the salvation of the dying.
Purest Mary, let your name henceforth be ever on my lips.
Delay not, Blessed Lady, to rescue me whenever I call on you.
In my temptations, in my needs, I will never cease to call on you, ever repeating your sacred name, Mary, Mary.
Mother of Perpetual Succour, pray for me and grant me the favour I confidently ask of you.

[Then say three Hail Marys.]


Dear Mother of Perpetual Help, from the Cross Jesus gave You to us as our Mother. You are the kindest, most loving of all mothers. Look tenderly on us Your children, as we now ask You to help us in all our needs, especially this one…

[pause to recall your petition]

While you were on earth, dear Mother, You willingly shared in the sufferings of Your Son. Strengthened by your faith and confidence in the fatherly love of God, You accepted the mysterious designs of His Will.

We too have our crosses and trials. Sometimes they almost crush us to the ground. Dearest Mother, share with us Your abundant faith and confidence in God. Make us aware that God never ceases to love us; that He answers all our prayers in the way that is best for us. Strengthen our hearts to carry the cross in the footsteps of Your Divine Son. Help us to realise that they who share the Cross of Christ will certainly share in His resurrection.

Dearest Mother, as we worry about our own problems, let us not forget the needs of others. You always loved others so much; help us to do the same. While praying for our own intentions, and for the intentions of all who make Your novena, we earnestly ask You, our Mother to help us comfort the sick and the dying, give hope to the poor and the unemployed, heal the broken-hearted, lighten the burden of the oppressed, teach justice to their oppressors, and bring back to God all those who have offended Him.

Dearest Mother, help us to avoid sin which separates us from our heavenly Father and from one another. Full of trust in You, we place ourselves under the mantle of Your maternal protection, and confidently hope for Your powerful help. Amen.