Matka Boża Nieustającej Pomocy, Poznań, Wielkopolska, PolandIn their Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Poznań, begun in 1649, Jesuits installed a copy of the miraculous icon of Perpetual Help, then in the church of St. Matthew in Rome. During the 1700s, the church evolved into a Baroque masterpiece, merging with the parish church after the supression of the Jesuits in 1773 to become the large, magnificent Church of St. Stanislaus the Bishop, co-dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene and the Mother of God of Perpetual Help. In the 1800s, both the Italian original and the Poznań copy of the icon were lost. After Redemptorists in Rome found and returned the ancient image to their new church on the site of old St. Matthew's in 1866, their order spread renewed devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help around the world. In 1952, the Church of St. Stanislaus the Bishop installed a new copy of the icon (left) in a side chapel, where the Archbishop of Poznań crowned it on October 11, 1961. Thieves stole the crown in 1988, and Bishop Jerzy Strobe recrowned the icon in 1989. (Information from "St Stanislaus (the Bishop) Church," Discover Poznań, www.poznan.pl, and other sources, including the picture source, "Kościoły pw. MBNP," Ikona Matki Bożej Nieustającej Pomocy, www.mbnp.religia.net.)
The original Byzantine icon from Crete was installed in San Matteo in Rome in 1499. The archangels Michael and Gabriel flank the Virgin's head, bearing the instruments of Christ's passion. The Holy Child looks anxiously up at the cross, as his sandal slips from his foot.
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