Boston Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Mission Church, 1545 Tremont St, Boston, Massachusetts, Združene države Amerike

Website of the Sanctuary

+1 617 445 2600

Every day: 8:00 a.m until 6:30 p.m

Boston Basilica 

The towering edifice of the Boston Basilica is an emblem of the ascendance of religious freedom in Boston.  The rich history of the parish extends over 140 years, founded upon the aspirations of early German and Irish immigrants. Since 1869, the religious order of the Redemptorists have maintained stewardship of this sacred place.

See more Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages in North America.

See top 15 Catholic shrines in the world

The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Since 1865, the Redemptorists have spread devotion to Our Lady under the icon and title of Mother of Perpetual Help. According to tradition, the ancient Byzantine icon was stolen from a church in Crete where many miracles had occurred.

The image remained in the private possession of a Roman merchant and his family until 1499 when it was publicly displayed in the Church of St. Matthew in Rome between the Basilicas of St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran. See also Baclaran church – National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

When St. Matthew’s was destroyed in 1789, the icon was rescued and hung in an obscure monastery chapel. In Rome, the Redemptorists were building their new headquarters on the former site of St. Matthew’s. After learning of this connection, the order sought to restore the placement of the icon upon its original veneration site.

The Redemptorists asked Pope Pius IX for permission to move the icon to their new church, San Alfonso. The pope granted his permission, and told the Redemptorists to “make her known throughout the world.” The original icon is still venerated today in the church of St. Alphonsus.

End of An Era -1998

Rev. Joseph Manton, C.Ss.R. became well known across New England as the “Novena priest”. For 59 years, he led the weekly Novena services in honor of our Lady of Perpetual Help.

His unique preaching style was appealing to all who came to the Basilica each week, listened on the radio, watched on TV, or read in one of Fr. Manton’s many books. The legacy of his vocation lives on today in the many who recall the Novena priest.

The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Since 1865, the Redemptorists have spread devotion to Our Lady under the icon and title of Mother of Perpetual Help. According to tradition, the ancient Byzantine icon was stolen from a church in Crete where many miracles had occurred. The image remained in the private possession of a Roman merchant and his family until 1499 when it was publicly displayed in the Church of St. Matthew in Rome between the Basilicas of St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran.

When St. Matthew’s was destroyed in 1789, the icon was rescued and hung in an obscure monastery chapel. In Rome, the Redemptorists were building their new headquarters on the former site of St. Matthew’s. After learning of this connection, the order sought to restore the placement of the icon upon its original veneration site.

The Redemptorists asked Pope Pius IX for permission to move the icon to their new church, San Alfonso. The pope granted his permission, and told the Redemptorists to “make her known throughout the world.” The original icon is still venerated today in the church of St. Alphonsus.

History

1878: After four years of existence, the reputation of the Mission Church grew, attracting immense crowds from all over New England. A simple wooden church was no longer practical to serve the needs of a growing parish. A cornerstone was laid in 1876 for a new grand church made of stone, the foundation of which was the native Roxbury puddingstone. On April 7, 1878 the new church was solemnly dedicated. The building’s Romanesque style was designed by well known architects William Shickel and Isaac Ditmars of New York at a cost of $200,000. The original design did not include twin spires – these were added later in 1910.

Pilates Daughter – 1902: The Passion Play “Pilates Daughter” written by Rev. Francis Kenzel, C.Ss.R. was performed for the first time in St. Alphonsus Hall in 1902. With an all female cast, the fictitious drama centers around the daughter of Pilate, Claudia, who threw a rose at Christ as he passed by carrying his cross. The flower touches Jesus and has miraculous powers that impact the lives of many. As a central attraction during Lent, parishioners acted out the play every year for over 50 years until performances ended in the late 1960’s.

World War II­­­­ Novena Devotions – 1941-1945: The impact of World War II brought over 20,000 people together to attend weekly Novena devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Help each Wednesday. Eight services were offered each week, special buses and the lower church were used to accommodate the crowds.

Mission Church Elevated to Honorary Title of Basilica – 1954: His Holiness Pope Pius XII elevated the Mission Church to the title of Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. In order to merit such an honor, a church requires an imposing architecture, a substantial number of visitors, and an important spiritual treasure. As custom requires, symbols of this title are prominently displayed in the sanctuary and include the Umbrellino , a half opened umbrella shaped canopy to shield the Pope if he should visit, a Coat of Arms, and a portable belfry to ring out to the faithful. There are 74 Basilica designations in the United States.
End of An Era -1998: Rev. Joseph Manton, C.Ss.R. became well known across New England as the “Novena priest”. For 59 years, he led the weekly Novena services in honor of our Lady of Perpetual Help. His unique preaching style was appealing to all who came to the Basilica each week, listened on the radio, watched on TV, or read in one of Fr. Manton’s many books. The legacy of his vocation lives on today in the many who recall the Novena priest.

Posted in North America and United States