Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual help
Region of Korea
address: Redemptorists, 46, Nambusunhwan-ro 256-gil, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, 08803
contact person: Fr. Macario Lee, e-mail : email@example.com
Phase III. 2016-2017 A renewal of “Make her known”
Background/History of the Devotion of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Korea
The first apostolate of the Redemptorist community in Korea was the evangelization through the devotion to OMPH, which is called 'Novena-apostolates' in Korean Church. One of the reason that the first apostolate of Korea mission had to be 'Novena' is the kind of requirement from bishop. When Redemptorists was invited, the bishop wanted us to do 3 things. One of 3 things that he wanted us to do is to make 'proper Marian devotion' to Korean catholic faithful. And also there has been no apostolate such as Novena in Korean Church yet. Even though OMPH had been come into Korea before Redemptorist came, at the year of 1932. The name of the first native female religious congregation in Korea is 'The Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help'. It is founded by a Maryknoll Bishop in the North Korea.
Korea mission was started officially on the feast day of St. Alphonsus in the year of 1991. Three confreres from each units, which are Thailand, Philippines and Brazil were gathered to form the first community in November, 1991. And they had also two candidates who lived together in the same year. One of them, Fr. Phaiboon, Thai was invited to conduct Novena at the very small parish whose pastor was Columban priest who knew Redemptorists well. Every Tuseday, he went to say mass with the Icon of OMPH. This was the first apostolate of the devotion to OMPH. But, he just put the Icon beside of the altar and said mass for the small number of people. They did not have any proper Novena prayer booklet at that time.
The first Novena prayer booklet was made a few years later. It was the first one in Korea to pray to OMPH as a community in the liturgy. And a couple years later, two first Korean Redemptorists were ordained priests. Since then they began to try to open Novena apostolate in the other dioceses. It was nearly impossible for them to have any parish in Korea, so that they tried to do Novena a certain parish in the diocese. The first one that is out of Seoul Archdiocese is Pusan diocese. It was not easy. Nearly every time that they had to get permission from a parish priest to have Novena in his parish, they were rejected many times. However, providentially one parish opened for us. It was the time when they almost decided to give up this project. In this way, they opened new Novena apostolate in the other dioceses. Now, there are 7 Novenas in 4 different dioceses, which are Seoul, Incheon, Gwangju and Chucheon.
Once a month or once a week, they go to each parishes to have novena. It is like a little retreat or recollection. This is the time table of Novena:
- 1:00 p.m.- 1:30 : Preparation
- 1:30 - 2:00 : Rosary together(Confession is given until the closing Eucharist begins at 3:20 p.m.)
- 2:00 - 2:30 : Novena Prayer to OMPH
- 2:30 - 3:00 : Preaching. (When they prepare their preaching, they consider what the pastoral plan of the bishop of the diocese is. And the yearly plan of them are made a year before)
- 3:00 - 3:20 : Writing a letter of Thanksgiving & Petition to OMPH
- 3:20 - 4:00 : Eucharist. These letters are offered at the offertory in the Eucharist. And we pray for all of their petitions and thanksgiving in our community prayer.
It takes about 3 hours. People are happy and like it. And they are getting to know OMPH more and love Her. Even though OMPH had been in Korea by the Congregation of Sisters under the name of Her before CSsR came, She was not well known to people. As Redemptorists began to make Her known to people in this way more actively, people got to know and began to experience her providential intercession and help.
However, whenever we met people in Novena, they asked us often about the prayer booklet for personal use. Actually, the prayer booklet present is not appropriated for praying personally. Korean have tendency to pray alone with rosary in their own place. So that celebrating the 150th Jubilee of OMPH, we decided to make the new prayer booklet for personal use as well as renew the present one. For this project, we had the seminar for making this prayer booklet. We hope that this new prayer booklet comes out by the next year, Jubilee of OMPH.
This little prayer booklet will be composed of 4 parts. It's basic format is very similar to that of 『The visit to the Blessed Sacrament』 of St. Alphonsus; the beginning prayer, reflection of a certain part of Icon, rosary and closing prayer. It's beginning and closing prayer of the day are same during the week. They reflection on the different parts of Icon on each day;
DAY - A PART OF REFLECTION DAILY - ROSARY - THEOLOGICAL MEANING
Monday - the Archangel Gabriel - the mystery of Joy - Incarnation, the beginning of new life,
Tuesday - Archangel Michael-Passion & suffering(specially death) - our death for new life,
Wednesday - the Right arm(hand) of Mary - Glory - Mary leading us new life, Jesus Christ,
Thursday - Jesus Christ - Light - the fountain of new life,
Friday - two hands of Mary holding her son Jesus - Passion - Consolation from Our Mother,
Saturday - the eyes of Mary & stars of her forehead - Joy - Perpetual Help,
Sunday - all the different colors, especially Golden color - Glory - Resurrection in our daily lives.
It is nearly impossible for us to have a big shrine or parish where people comes to pray to OMPH. Instead, we, Redemptorists go to and meet them regularly to pray together and share our faith to help them. If this little prayer booklet is made, we can meet them every day in the presence of OMPH. Even though we don't have parishes or big shrine, we can meet and to be gathered everyday through the devotion of OMPH. And we are gathered physically in each diocese once a month to share our own experiences and faith. It will be the sacramental sign that we are one family in OMPH. So that we hope that we have one Novena at least in every diocese in the future. In this way, we can make Her known to all over the Korea, and lead people to new life which Jesus has given us through his Incarnation, Passion & Death and Resurrection through the devotion of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
Photos and Videos of the Devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Korea
©2014 Redemptorist General Commission of the 150th Jubilee of the Icon, All rights reserved.