(academic.ru) - Our Lady of Perpetual Help (or of Succour) or "Sancta Mater de Perpetuo Succursu" (Official Latin Title) Holy Mother of Perpetual Help is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pope Pius IX, associated with a Byzantine icon of the same name dating from the 15th century. The icon has been in Rome since 1499, and is currently in the church of Sant'Alfonso di Liguori all'Esquilino. In the Eastern Orthodox Church this iconography is known as the Virgin of the Passion or Theotokos of the Passion. Some Roman Catholics believe the icon to be a true copy of the painting that according to legend was painted from the life by Saint Luke using the meal table of the Holy Family in Nazareth, and in Eastern Orthodox tradition was often identified with the Hodegetria icon, and consider it to be a miraculous imprint of the Blessed Virgin Mary both in the Latins and Orthodox communities. The icon is unique and renowned due to Mary looking towards the faithful, while pointing at her son, Jesus Christ who is frightened by the instruments of crucifixion and is depicted with a fallen sandal.
Due to the Redemptorist Priests who had been appointed as missionaries of this icon, the image has become very popular among Roman Catholics in particular, and has been very much copied and reproduced. Modern reproductions are sometimes displayed in homes or elsewhere. For many centuries, Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians have prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary for intercession on their behalf to Jesus Christ. On the current feast of Roman Catholic calendar of saints Our Lady of Perpetual Help is commemorated on June 27 while common novena prayers are customarily held on Wednesdays.