Our Lady of Perpetual Help is an ancient Marian devotion that Catholic and Orthodox Churches have venerated over the centuries.

An icon is a Christian image very rich in symbols, which helps us contemplate the sacred mysteries. Each element of the icon has great catechetical meaning.

The Our Lady of Perpetual Help icon is also rich in symbolism.

Here's the meaning of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help icon:

Note: The image below features numbers, along with a list explaining its meaning underneath.

our lady of perpetual help, Our Lady of Perpetual Help icon meaning, Our Lady of Perpetual help meaning
Public Domain

1. The Greek initials "Θεο τόκος"

"Θεο τόκος" or "Theotokos," means Mother of God.

2. The Golden Crowns

Our Lady's crown represents the many miracles she performed under the title of “Our Lady of Perpetual Help.”

The crowns on both Jesus and Our Lady represent royalty.

3. The Star

The Star on the Virgin's veil reminds us that she is the Star of the Sea that leads us to the safe harbor, which is Christ.

4. Greek initial for “Saint Michael the Archangel”

Underneath these Greek letters, the Archangel holds the spear and sponge of Christ's Passion.

5. Greek initial for “Saint Gabriel Archangel”

Underneath these letters, Saint Gabriel holds Christ's cross and nails.

6. Mary's mouth

Mary's mouth is small to signify her silent recollection and prayer.

7. Mary's sorrowful eyes

Our Lady's eyes gaze away from Jesus and upon us. She is sorrowful and pleads with us to avoid sin and love her Son, Jesus, who died for us. Our sins resulted in His suffering. She wants and pleads with us to love Him.

Another interpretation includes her large eyes, which see our problems and needs. She always watches us.

8. Red tunic

The color that virgins wore in the times of Christ. According to another interpretation, this color also represents royalty.

9. Greek initials ICXC

ICXC means "Jesus Christ."

10. The hands of Christ

Christ's palms face downwards. He places them in Our Lady's, which indicates that the graces of surrender are in her hands.

11. Yellow background

Yellow symbolizes heaven, where Jesus and Mary are enthroned. Yellow also shines through their clothing, thus showing that they can bring heavenly happiness to weary human hearts.

12. Dark blue mantle

Mothers wore a dark blue color in Palestine.

13. Mary's left hand

She holds the hand of Christ in a posture of possession, which possesses the Christ. It is a consoling hand to all those she helps.

14. Loose sandal

The fallen sandal holds various interpretations.

In one interpretation, the loose sandal represents Jesus running in haste to His mother, while gazing at the angels holding the instruments of His Passion and Death.

The sandal also represents Christ's Divine nature, "untied from the bounds of earth."

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, please pray for us!

Share this post