The miraculous Picture of the Mother of Perpetual Help is of Eastern Origin and was brought from Crete to Rome at the close of the 15th century. After the arrival in Rome, extraordinary events took place. One such event was an apparition of Our Lady to a little girl. The Mother of God told her favoured child that she wished to have her picture exposed for veneration between the Basilica of St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran. Between these two Basilica stood the Church of St. Matthew, served by the Augustinian Fathers and in this Church the Picture was enshrined over the High Altar.
There the sacred image was venerated for 3 centuries. In Rome, the title given to this image was “The Mother of Perpetual Help”, because the Blessed Virgin when giving the message to the little child, said she was ‘ Mary of Perpetual Help.’
In 1798, St. Matthew’s Church was destroyed by the French Army and the Augustinian Fathers transferred the Picture to a neighbouring monastery. Afterwards they placed it in their own Oratory at St. Martin in Posterula, where it remained hidden until the year 1866.
Meanwhile a new church was built by the Redemptorist Fathers almost on the site of the old church of St. Matthew. Through God’s providence the Miraculous Picture was discovered and in the year 1866 Pope Pius IX, having learned the history of the picture, commanded that it should be restored to its former place of honour, and entrusted its guardianship to the Redemptorist Fathers. On that occasion he commissioned the Redemptorists to spread everywhere devotion to the Picture.
Since the school is managed by the Redemptorists whose Patroness is the Mother of Perpetual Succour, she therefore becomes the Patroness of the School.
Updated on: [December 17, 2017]