Mass Intentions

Wednesday, July 23
6:15 am
The unemployed
8:30 am
The terminally ill
Thursday, July 24
6:15 am
† Claudia Gallardo
8:30 am
† Rena Johnson
Friday, July 25
6:15 am
An increase in vocations
8:30 am
† Lupe Escamilla
6:00 pm
Guadalupe Gutierrez-In thanksgving to God
Saturday, July 26
8:30 am
Anita DeLaCruz-Birthday
5:00 pm
† Leonardo and Claudina Gallardo
7:00 pm
† Valente Fernandez
Sunday, July 27
6:30 am
OLPH Community
8:30 am
† Matthew Garduño
10:00 am
† Cesario y Macario Delgado Flores
10:30 am
Thanksgiving to St. Jude
12:30 pm
† Angel Ruben Rodriguez Hernandez

Icon History

History, Tradition, and Interpretation of
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Icon

1.  The Merchant Who Stole “Our Lady”
The Icon of Perpetual Help was painted on the isle of
Crete by an unknown artist between the 14th and the 15th Century.  A Cretan merchant in the 15th century stole from Crete, the icon taking it from a church where it had worked many miracles.  He hid it among his wares and set out westward. It was only through Divine Providence that he survived a wild tempest and landed on solid ground. After about a year, he arrived in Rome with his stolen picture.

It was there he became mortally ill, and looked for a friend to care for him.  At his hour of death, he revealed his secret of the picture and begged his friend to return it to a church.  His friend promised to fulfill his wish, but because his wife did not want to relinquish such a beautiful treasure the friend also died without fulfilling the promise.  At last, the Blessed Virgin appeared to the six year old daughter of this Roman family and told her to tell her mother and grandmother that the Picture of “Holy Mary of Perpetual Help” should be placed in the Church of St. Mathew the Apostle, located between basilicas of St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran.

The tradition relates how, after many doubts and difficulties, the mother obeyed after consulting with the clergy in charge of the church.  The picture of the Virgin was placed in St. Matthew’s, on the 27th of March, 1499.  There it would be venerated during the next 300 years; Thus began the second stage of the icon, and devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help began to spread throughout the city of Rome.

2.  Three Centuries in the Church of St. Mathew
St. Mathew’s church was not grand but it possessed an enormous treasure that attracted the faithful: the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.  From 1739 to 1798, the church and adjacent monastery were under the care of the Irish Augustinians who had been unjustly exiled from their country and used the monastery as a formation center for their Roman Province.  The young students found an asylum of peace in the presence of the Virgin of Perpetual Help while they prepared themselves for priesthood.

In 1798, war raged in Rome and the monastery and church were almost totally destroyed.  Several Augustinians remained there for a few more years but eventually they, too, had to leave.  Some returned to Ireland, others to new foundations in America, while the majority moved to a nearby monastery.  This last group brought with them the picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Thus began the third Stage of her history, the “Hidden Years” in 1819, the Irish Augustinians moved to the Church of St. Mary in Posterula, near the “Umberto I” bridge that crosses the Tiber River.  With them went the “Virgin of St. Mathew’s”.  But as “Our Lady of Grace” was already venerated in this church, the newly arrived picture was placed in a private chapel in the monastery where it remained, all but forgotten, but for Brother Augustine Orsetti, one of the original friars from St. Mathew’s.

3.  The Old Religious and the Young Alter Boy
The years passed and it seemed that picture that had been saved from the war that destroyed St. Mathew’s Church was about to be lost in oblivion.  A young altar boy named Michael Marchi often visited the Church of St. Mary in Posterula and became friends with Brother Augustine.  Much later as Father Michael, he would write: “This good brother used to tell me with a  certain air of mystery and anxiety, especially during the years 1850 – 1851, these precise words: “Make sure you know, my son, that the image of the Virgin of St. Mathew is upstairs in the chapel, Don’t ever forget it… Do you understand?  It is a miraculous picture”.  At that time the brother was almost totally blind.  “What can I say about the venerable picture of the ‘Virgin of St. Matthew’, also called ‘Perpetual Help’ is that from my childhood until I entered the Congregation (of the Redemptorists) I had always seen it above the alter of the house chapel of the Augustinian Fathers of the Irish Province at St. Mary in Posterula {..}, there was no devotion to it, no decorations, not even a lamp to acknowledge its presence … it remained covered with dust and practically abandoned.  Many were the times, when I served Mass there, that I would stare at it with great attention”.

Brother Augustine died in 1853 at the venerable age of 86, without seeing fulfilled his desire that the Virgin of Perpetual Help be once again exposed for public veneration Elis prayers and boundless confidence in the Virgin Mary seemed to have gone unanswered.

4.  The Rediscovery of the Icon
In January of 1855, the Redemptorist Missionaries purchased “Villa Caserta” in Rome, converting it into the general house for their missionary congregation that had spread to Western Europe and North America.  On this same property along the Via Merulana, were the ruins of the Church and Monastery of St. Matthew.  Without realizing it at the time, they had acquired the land that, many years previously, had been chosen by the Virgin as her Sanctuary between St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran.  Four months later, construction was begun on a church in honor of the Most Holy Redeemer and dedicated to St. Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Congregation.  On December 24th, 1855, a group of young men began their novitiate in their new house; one of them was Michael Marchi.

The Redemptorists were extremely interested in the history of the new property.  But more so, when on February 7th, 1863, they were puzzled by the questions from a sermon given by the famous Jesuit preacher Father Francesco Blosi, about an icon of Mary that “had been in the Church of St. Matthew on Via Merulana and was known as ‘The Virgin of St. Matthew’ or more correctly as ‘The Virgin of Perpetual Help’.”

On another occasion, the chronicler of the Redemptorist community “examining some authors who had written about Roman antiquities, found references made to the Church of St. Matthew.  Among them there was a particular citation mentioning that in the church (which had been situated within the garden area of that community) there had been an ancient icon of the Mother of God that enjoyed “great veneration and fame for its miracles”.  Then “having told all this to the community, a dialogue began as to where they could locate the picture.  Father Marchi  remembered ah that he had heard from old Brother Augustine Orsetti and told his confreres that he had often seen the icon and knew very well where it could be found”.

5.  The Reception of the Icon by the Redemptorist
With this new information, interest grew among the Redemptorist to know more about the icon and retrieve it for their church.  The Superior General, Father Nicholas Mauron, presented a letter to Pope Plus IX in which he petitioned the Holy See to grant them the icon of Perpetual Help and that it be placed in the newly built Church of the Most Holy Redeemer and St. Alphonsus, which was located near the she where the old Church of St. Matthew has stood.  The Pope granted the request on December 11, 1865.

According to tradition, this is when Pope Plus IX told the Redemptorist Superior General:  “Make her know throughout the world!”  In January 1866, Fathers Michael Marachi and Ernest Bresciani went to St. Mary’s in Posterula to receive the picture from the Augustinians.  Then began the process of cleaning and retouching the icon, the task was entrusted to the Polish, Leopold Nowotny.  Finally, on April 26th 1866, the image was again presented for public veneration in the Church of St. Alphonsus on the Via Merulana.   With this event, the fourth stage of her history began:  the spread of the icon throughout the World.

6.  The Latest Restoration of the Icon
In 1990, the picture of Our Mother of Perpetual Help was taken down from above the main altar to satisfy the many requests for new photographs of the icon.  It was then that the serious state of deterioration of the image was discovered, the wood as well as the paint had suffered from environmental changes and prior attempts at restoration The Redemptorists decided to bring about a general restoration of the icon.
The first part of the restoration consisted of a series of tests and analyses.  The results of these analyses especially a Carbon – 14 test, indicated the wood of the icon of Perpetual Help could safely be dated from the year 1325 – 1480.
The second stage of the restoration consisted of the physical work of filling the cracks and perforations in the wood, cleaning the paint and retouching the affected sections, strengthening the structure that sustains the icon, etc.

What is Church?

Written by Fr. Michael Straley on July 20, 2014


I want us to think about a question: What is Church? It's an important question, it's a difficult question, and yes, it is a "loaded" question. Of course, Church is many things so let me simplify: Is Church a place to go to get something, or is it something more.

For many people, Church is a place to go to receive communion. For others it is a place to send their children for religious education or to prepare for the sacraments. And most of us enjoy the friendships and fellowship we receive from the Church. Yes, it is all of these, but, receiving isn't what Church is all about.

I would propose that Church is a place to grow. It is the place to prepare for eternal life. Growing means changing, not staying the same. Church is the place to learn the Way, the Truth and Life itself. Many in our society are trying to teach us a way, a truth, and a life, but we are talking about the Way of God, the Truth-not something that changes from day to day, and the Life as God created it and intended it.

This is an important consideration as we prepare to come to Church: why I am coming?

Fr. Mike

Read More

¿Qué es Iglesia?

Que tal,

Quiero que pensemos sobre una pregunta: Que es Iglesia? Es una pregunta muy importante, una pregunta muy difícil, y una pregunta cargada de implicaciones. Desde luego que Iglesia implica muchas cosas. Permítanme hacerlo un poco mas sencillo: Es la Iglesia un lugar para ir y obtener algo, o es algo mas.

Para muchas personas, Iglesia es un lugar a donde ir para recibir la comunión. Para otros, es un lugar a donde mandar a sus hijos a recibir educación religiosa o los sacramentos. Y, muchos de nosotros disfrutamos de las amistades y hermandad que recibimos de la iglesia. Si, la iglesia es todo esto pero no solo se trata de recibir.

Yo propondría que la Iglesia es un lugar para crecer. Es un lugar para prepararnos para la vida eterna. Crecer significa cambiar, no quedarse en el mismo lugar. Iglesia es el l ugar donde podemos aprender el Camino, la Verdad, y la Vida misma. Muchos en nuestra sociedad están tratando de enseñarnos un camino, una verdad, y una vida, pero estamos hablando de el Camino - de Dios, la Verdadno algo que cambia día a día, y la Vida tal como la creó Dios y como lo tenia previsto.

Algo importante de considerar al prepararnos para venir a la iglesia: por que vengo?

Padre Mike

Read Less

Help Wanted: Volunteers to take communion to the sick

We definitely need more volunteers to help take communion to the sick. We have an increase in requests by family members to bring communion to their loved ones. Call the rectory and leave your name and phone number and we will be pleased to call you to be part of this ministry.

[ Help Wanted ]

It is now time to update your Safe Environment Class!

If you have internet access, please go to and renew your class. The name for this year’s class is: Created in God's Image.

Es tiempo de actualizar su clase de Ambiente Seguro para este año.

Si tiene acceso a internet, por favor vaya a y renueve su clase. El nombre de la clase de este año es: Creados a Imagen de Dios.

[ Called to Protect ]

Clases de Renovación Ambiente Seguro, en Espanol para todos los voluntarios

Jul 30, 2014 (7:00p)

Clase de Renovación para voluntarios ya activos, 30 de Julio, 7:00pm, Salón Parroquial. Por favor, quienes aún no han tenido su entrevista Cara a Cara (entrevista obligatoria), llegar al menos 15 o 20 minutos antes de empezar esta clase para poder hacerla este mismo día; y, si aún no completa sus referencias, por favor traerlas ese día o dejarlas ya en la Rectoría.

[ Called to Protect ]

Clase de Preparación para Nuevos Voluntarios

Aug 6, 2014 (6:00p - 9:00p)

Clase de Preparación para Nuevos Voluntarios, 6 de Agosto, 6:00pm, Salón Parroquial. Esta clase tiene una duración de al menos 3 horas. Por favor traer tres nombres completos, con dirección y teléfono de personas que lo conozcan y puedan servir como sus referencias personales.

[ Called to Protect ]

Journey to Rome for Diaconate Ordination of Fernando Camou

Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 6, 2014

You are invited to join us on a once-in-a-lifetime 'Journey to Rome & Assisi,' 8-days, Mon, Sep 29 to Mon, Oct 6.

Includes visits to Rome, Diaconate Ordination at the Basilica of St. Peter, Assisi & more! Only $2,599 from Phoenix (PHX), plus airport taxes and tips. Under the Spiritual Direction of Fr. Michael Straley of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale, Arizona.

To download the free color brochure and registration form, visit, or for more information, please contact Soledad de la Rosa at 623-939-9785. Space is limited. Register today!

[ Ordination ]