How to write a Letter to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

letter-to-OMPH

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

  1. 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.
  2. You can write in English, Tagalog or any of the major Philippine dialects (Cebuano, Ilonggo, Bikol, Ilokano)
  3. Begin the letter by addressing the letter to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
  4. For letters of petition, write all the petitions you want to bring to God through Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
  5. 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.
  6. Write in your own personal style and way, like you are writing to your own mother.
  7. Sign your letter except when you are writing it online.
  8. There’s no limit to the number of letters you can send to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
Redemptorist Road,
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.

c. Online

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)

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How to Consecrate the Whole Family to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

family-consecration

Consecrating the whole family to Our Mother of Perpetual Help before praying the novena regularly as a family is always a good thing. It ensures that the devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help is not only private and individual but by the whole family. It also strengthens the unity of the family as it gathers the family through prayer. As the saying goes, “The family that prays together, stays together.”

Here are some helpful tips for the family in preparing for it’s consecration to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

  1. Decide a time where as much as possible all members of the family can get together for the consecration.
  2. Prepare an icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help or a copy of the icon and place it on the family altar. Adorn it with candles and some fresh flowers.
  3. Prepare Holy Water. You can get Holy Water from the shrine or from your local parish.
  4. Provide a copy of the rite of consecration to each member of the family.
  5. You can invite your neighbors or friends to witness the consecration. This is optional. The most important is that the whole family is present.
  6. You can invite a priest to lead the consecration. But if there is no priest available, a lay minister or the head of the family can lead the consecration.
  7. After the consecration, have a simple and joyous meal together as a family. 

family-at-prayer

Here is the rite for the consecration:

BLESSING OF A FAMILY AND
CONSECRATION TO 
OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP

ORDER OF BLESSING

INTRODUCTORY RITES

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Priest:      The grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

All: And also with you.

Or

(If Lay Minister):   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all, now and for ever.

  1.   Amen.

Leader:    My dear friends, from the sacrament of marriage the family has received newness of life and the grace of Christ. The family is specially important to the Church and to civil society, for it is the primary life-giving community.

In our celebration today we call down the Lord’s blessing upon you, so that you may continually be instruments of God’s grace to one another and witnesses to faith in all the circumstances of life.

With God as your help you will fulfill your mission by conforming your entire life to the Gospel and so witness to Christ before the world.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians12:12-14

We are all one body.

As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many.

The Word of the Lord.

Or:

Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians 4:1-6

Bear with one another lovingly.

I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 128

  1. Happy are those who fear the Lord.

Happy are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; happy shall you be, and favored. R.

Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life; May you see your children’s children. R.

INTERCESSIONS

L:    Christ the Lord, the Word coeternal with the Father, lived among us and chose to be part of a family and to enrich it with his blessings. Let us humbly ask for his favor and protection on this family.

  1.   Lord, keep our family in your peace.

L:    Through your own obedience to Mary and Joseph you consecrated family life; make this family holy by your presence. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    Your heart was set on the concerns of your Father; make every home a place where he is worshiped with reverence. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    You made your own family the model of prayer, of love, and of obedience to your Father’s will; by your grace make this family holy and make it rich with your gifts. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    You loved those who were close to you and they returned your love; bind all families together in the bonds of peace and of love for each other. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    At Cana in Galilee, when a new family was beginning, you gladdened it with your first miracle, changing water into wine; alleviate the sorrows and worries of this family and change them into joy. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    In your concern for the integrity of your family you said: “Let no one separate those whom God has bound together”; bind this husband and wife ever more closely together in the bond of your own love. (For this we pray:) R.

Let us pray with confidence to the Father in the words our Savior taught us:

All: Our Father…

PRAYER OF BLESSING

L:    O God, you have created us in love and saved us in mercy, and through the bond of marriage you have established the family and willed that it should become a sign of Christ’s love for his Church.

Shower your blessings on this family gathered here in your name. Enable those who are joined by one love to support one another by their fervor of spirit and devotion to prayer. Make them responsive to the needs of others and witnesses to the faith in all they say or do.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

  1.   Amen.

Or:

L:    We bless your name, O Lord, for sending your own incarnate Son to become part of a family, so that, as he lived its life, he would experience its worries and its joys.

We ask you, Lord, to protect and watch over this family, so that in the strength of your grace its members may enjoy prosperity, possess the priceless gift of your peace, and, as the Church alive in the home, bear witness in this world to your glory.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

  1.   Amen.

Sprinkle the family with holy water.

CONCLUDING RITE

Act of Consecration to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

(To be prayed by all the members of the family)

Immaculate Virgin Mary, * Mother of God and Mother of the Church, * you are also our Mother ever ready to help us. * With hearts full of love for you * we consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart * so that we may be your devoted children. * Obtain for us true sorrow for sins * and fidelity to the promises of our Baptism.

We consecrate our minds and hearts to you * that we always do the Will of our heavenly Father. * We consecrate our lives to you * that we may love God better * and live not for ourselves * but for Christ, your Son * and that we may see Him * and serve Him in others.

By this humble act of consecration, * dear Mother of Perpetual Help, * we pledge to model our lives on you, * the perfect Christian, * so that, consecrated to you in life and in death * we may belong to your Divine Son for all eternity. Amen.

L:    May the Lord Jesus, who lived with his holy family in Nazareth, dwell also with your family, keep it from evil, and make all of you one in heart and mind.

  1.   Amen.

Priest:      And may almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.

  1.             Amen.

You can print a copy of this rite of consecration in Tagalog @ http://www.baclaranchurch.org/assets/pagtatalaga-ng-pamilya-sa-omph.pdf

family_shrine

(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)

How to Pray the Novena at Home

family_novena2

Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help is usually prayed in the shrine at Baclaran or in your local parish every Wednesday. Novena is a communal devotion not a private or individual devotion, thus, this is a prayer done with fellow devotees.

If there is a serious reason that you are not able to attend the novena at the shrine or in your local parish, like you are sick or some very important circumstances prevented you from attending the novena, then you can pray the novena at home.

Here are some important directions to praying the novena at home:

  1. Place an Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help or a copy of the icon at the altar of your home. Adorn it with candles and some flowers.
  2. Prepare the novena booklets. You can download a copy of the new Revised 2016 novena @ http://www.baclaranchurch.org/assets/revised-novena-tagalog.pdf
  3. Invite your whole family or mates at home in praying the novena.
  4. Appoint a prayer leader to lead the prayers and hymns of the novena.
  5. Give some time for silence to contemplate or gaze at the icon during the novena.
  6. If you have not yet done so, consecrate the whole family to Our Mother of Perpetual Help before the novena or at a different time. You can download a copy of the Consecration @ http://www.baclaranchurch.org/assets/pagtatalaga-ng-pamilya-sa-omph.pdf
  7. You can omit in the novena the Benediction prayers and hymns since you are doing the novena at home but you can pray the prayer for the sick. Then conclude the novena with the hymn, Hail Mary …

family_novena

(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)

How to Pray the Novena at the Shrine

novena3

Novena is the traditional and popular prayer that the thousands of devotees recite and sing together every Wednesday at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran. Although, the Novena is the main attraction for the thousands of devotees, it is essentially linked to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and reconciliation. Thus, attending Eucharist and receiving communion and making a good confession is an essential part of praying the novena. Writing letters of petitions and thanksgiving is also an essential part of the novena.

Here are the instructions for praying the novena in the shrine:

  1. Attend the Perpetual Novena devotions to our Mother of Perpetual Help for nine consecutive Wednesdays. Check out the schedule of the Novena and Masses every Wednesday at the shrine @ http://www.baclaranchurch.org/home.html
  2. Bring your novena booklet with you and join in the prayers and hymns.
  3. Before or after the Novena make a good confession.
  4. Write your petition to our Blessed Mother and place it in the box marked, “Petitions.”
  5. Do not leave after the novena. At the conclusion of the Novena there may be Benediction or Holy Mass.  
  6. Attend the Eucharist and receive Holy Communion as often as possible.
  7. When your petition has been answered, write a letter of thanksgiving to our Blessed Mother and place it in the box marked, “Thanksgiving Letters”, so that others also may be inspired to experience God’s perpetual help through the prayers of our Blessed Mother.

novena-english

(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)

10 Tips to a Trouble-Free Shopping at Baclaran

20170108_151956

After the novena, Baclaran is most famous for cheap and affordable goods. Everything is very affordable from shoes, t-shirts, DVD’s, cell phone accessories, charger, etc. A lot of dresses, pants, shorts, cardigans, beddings, curtains, flowers and any other stuffs that you might need is here. Even trendy clothes which you can’t find in SM Malls or any other Malls, you can find in Baclaran. Many fruits like apples, oranges, bananas can also be found here.

If you are on a budget, Baclaran is the place to go. But shopping is not all that smooth sailing in Baclaran. So here’s 10 tips to a Trouble-Free Shopping at Baclaran.

Tip #1: Drop by the Shrine. Before shopping, first of all, attend the novena and mass or pray. Ask for guidance and protection from God through the prayers of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. After all, all the stores and vendors selling cheap goods in Baclaran wouldn’t be there if not for Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

Tip #2: Do not wear any jewelleries, expensive sunglasses and eye-catching attire or accessories. These only attract the bad elements and you will not get any good bargains. So don’t overdress, dress casually.

Tip #3: Make sure all your money, cell phone and any other valuable items are secured. Hold onto your handbag.

Tip #4: Take a few hours to just soak in the hustle and bustle. Be sure to ask price around first, if you want the lowest price for the same item, before deciding where to buy. Yes, you can make good buys on clothes if you know how to haggle.

Tip #5: Bring some face towel because you will get very sweaty brushing shoulders with the crowd and also as a protection from the smoke from vehicles.

Tip #6: On any day, the best time to go around and buy is around 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. The sun is not yet scorching, the streets are not yet so crowded. If you can tolerate the heat, shop anytime from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Tip #7: If you are a tourist, blend in as a local. If you can’t help it and you stand out like a tourist in the crowd ask a local to accompany you.

Tip #8: If you get robbed don’t try to chase them. There are too many small alleys and places to run after they snatch. Besides, they’re all one big family there. You’ll just end up hurt. Go to the nearest police station, and immediately report the incident instead.

Tip #9: In case it rains or it’s too sunny and you forgot to bring umbrellas, cheap umbrellas are available everywhere.

Tip #10: If you get hungry after all the shopping, go to the Sinirangan Coffee Shop at the ground floor of the Carillon Bell Tower of the shrine. You’ll enjoy a nice hot or cold coffee and pastries as well as helping the poor farmers from Eastern Samar.

Top 10 to do list after Attending the Novena and Mass at the Shrine

 

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  1. Light a candle at the candle chapel.
  2. Write a letter of petition or thanksgiving
  3. Buy an icon or a novena booklet of OMPH and let it touch the original icon
  4. Attend the blessing of religious articles at the outside corridor on the top left side of the shrine during Wednesdays and Sundays. Bring your icon, rosaries, novena booklets, crucifix, statue and other religious objects to be blessed. You can also ask blessing for yourself.
  5. Offer masses for your petitions and thanksgiving.  All your intentions are offered in the masses celebrated at the shrine and in many dioceses and parishes all over the Philippines.
  6. Relax and enjoy the fresh air at the shrine surroundings. Sit and admire the trees and plants at the garden. Bring your own food and have a picnic underneath the trees.
  7. Visit and appreciate the wall art on the southern wall of the shrine near the candle chapel. It is the longest wall art in a church composed of murals, mosaic and mixed media art.
  8. Make a wish and drop a coin at our wells and fountains around the shrine. All coins and notes dropped at our fountains and wells goes to the box for the poor which funds many projects benefitting the poor all over the Philippines.
  9. Drink coffee at Sinirangan coffee shop. You can enjoy hot or cold coffee, chocolate and smoothies while at the same time helping the poor farmers of Eastern Samar.
  10. Climb to the top of the Carillon Bell Tower. It is a good exercise and you will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of Baclaran, MOA and the bayside reclamation area. You can even bring your coffee at the top, or better still, ask the Sinirangan staff to bring your order at the top. What else can outshine an experience of drinking coffee while watching the famous sunset of Manila Bay?