Ever since the novena began in 1948, devotees have been writing letters of petitions or thanksgiving to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. On average, the shrine receives about 2,000 letters of petition and 500 letters of thanksgiving every week. All thanksgiving letters are read by the Redemptorist community every Tuesday. The letters of petitions, however, are not read because of the sheer number of petition letters received. Reading all the letters of petitions may take almost the whole week.
All letters are placed under the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help behind the altar of the shrine.
The selected letters of thanksgiving for the week are read by the commentator during the novena and masses at the shrine the following day, Wednesday.
The thousands of letters of petitions that the shrine have received throughout these years attest to the various needs that the devotees bring to Our Mother of Perpetual Help along with their trust and confidence in her loving care. On the other hand, the thousands of letters of thanksgiving that the shrine have received attest to the many favors that the devotees have received from God through the prayers of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Indeed, the shrine is a shrine of miracles.
Are you ready to write your letter? Here’s 10 guidelines on writing a letter to Our Mother of Perpetual Help
- Pray and meditate on what your want to ask or thank God for through Our Mother of Perpetual Help. You can pause for a few moments of silence in front of the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
- You can write in English, Tagalog or any of the major Philippine dialects (Cebuano, Ilonggo, Bikol, Ilokano)
- Begin the letter by addressing the letter to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
- For letters of petition, write all the petitions you want to bring to God through Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
- For letters of thanksgiving, mention all the blessings you have received through the prayers of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. You can also narrate how you received the blessings and what were the challenges and obstacles you encountered before receiving the blessings. Write how grateful you are to Our Mother of Perpetual Help and all the people who helped you realize your petitions.
- Write in your own personal style and way, like you are writing to your own mother.
- Sign your letter except when you are writing it online.
- There’s no limit to the number of letters you can send to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
- You can write your letter on any kind of paper and any color of paper and ink. You can type, print or write it in longhand as long as it’s legible so we can read your beautiful letter.
- There are 3 ways to deliver your letter
a. By mail
You can address your letter to
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Letter of Petition/Thanksgiving (please indicate)
National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Baclaran, Parañaque City 1700
b. In person
When you come to the shrine, you can drop your letter of petition on the box with the name of petition letter or you can drop your letter of thanksgiving on the box with the name of thanksgiving letter in the shrine. These boxes are located in prominent places inside the shrine.
You can write and submit your letter online. Just go to http://www.baclaranchurch.org/petitions.html for letters of petition and http://www.baclaranchurch.org/thanksgiving.html for letters of thanksgiving.
Joey Echano, CSsR
(This article is an excerpt from the book National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: Tips, Trivia and Tribute by John Maguire, Joey Echano, et. al., soon to be published)