In his book My Brother the Pope, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict XVI, boasts that he, his sister Maria,
and his younger brother Joseph, were all born in the vicinity of the famous Marian shrine of the Black Madonna at Altötting
in Bavaria. It is known as the Lourdes of Germany and its history goes back to the Carolingian period. Yet the family visited
there frequently- not for its historical value, but because of the profound spiritual experience it was for them. Their father,
a policemen, even belonged to the Mens’ Sodality attached to the shrine. Msgr. Georg states that these pilgrimages to the
Black Madonna were among their most cherished childhood memories!
Each evening, the Ratzinger family knelt around the kitchen table- with a chair in front of each for support- and recited the
rosary and other Marian prayers. Growing up near the Marian shrine had a profound influence on their lives. Msgr. Georg maintains:
“We could always entrust our cares and worries to our Lady; however small they may have been, we always felt protected by her.”
We in this eparchy and in the Pacific Northwest are fortunate to have a beautiful shrine dedicated to our Lady under the title
of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. She is someone who is close to us, to whom we can turn in all of our trials, frustrations, and
temptations, knowing that she will not abandon us. She is always there for us, ever waiting for us to call on her for her powerful
intercession and protection.
She is truly a “perpetual help,” one that we can always count on. In this Year of Faith we especially look to Mary for guidance
and inspiration. Her whole life was a lesson in faith and love. We have much to learn from her holy example and we see her as a
model of faith upon which we can model our own lives.
Come join us August 8-10 as we honor Our Lady of Perpetual Help and seek her powerful intercession in all of our needs. Never
was it known that anyone who fled to her for help, guidance, comfort, and support was left unaided. Whatever your needs and
concerns, may you find in the Theotokos great protection, healing, and support. May she deepen our faith and love for Jesus Christ,
her Son, and enable us to bring His light to dispel the darkness in our world today.
With summer upon us, it’s time again for the annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine.
The 2014 pilgrimage will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 8-10. We hope to see you there.
Prayer for the Pilgrimage:
O Mother of Perpetual Help, our most beloved Theotokos, intercede for us. Ask your Son, Our Lord Jesus
Christ, to pour out His blessings upon your shrine. Our dear Patroness and Protectress, beg God the Father
to bless the pilgrims and benefactors of this shrine and grant their holy intentions. Ask the Holy Spirit
to grant us a time of great spiritual growth and mercy at this pilgrimage in your honor. Lead us always to
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God. Amen
By Lori Baron
You may find the Pilgrimage schedule and
directions to the Shrine using the links to the left or below.
The Directions page also lists accomodations and amenities. Camping is available on the Shrine grounds.
You may also find out more about the annual pilgrimage, the Shrine, its visitors, and the continuing efforts to
complete the construction of the shrine by reading the newsletters. The current newsletter is the
Summer 2012 edition. Join us this month in giving honor
and praise to Our Mother of Perpetual Help and her divine Son!