Working closely with and under the authority of the Redemptorists Community in Limerick, Ireland artist and professional photographer, David DeJonge reproduces icons made from scans of the originals housed in Rome. Icons are known as doors or windows to the Divine. The original icon of “Our Mother of Perpetual Help” belongs to a family of icons known as Hodegetria- meaning “guide” or “leader of the way”. Invoking the Mother of the Lord to lead our way to Him in all things is at the forefront of presenting this image. The Church of St. Alfonso in Rome, is the home of the original icon. The original wooden icon suspended in the altar measures 17" × 21" inches and is painted on hard nut wood with a gold leaf background.
Depicted is the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing a dark reddish-purple dress, representing the Passion of Jesus; a blue mantle, signifying her perpetual virginity; and a cloaked veil, which represents her modesty. Mary is looking toward the faithful, while pointing at her son, Jesus Christ who seems startled and solemn concerning the instruments representing the Passion that are held by the angels. On the left side the Archangel Michael, carries the lance and sponge of the crucifixion of Jesus, and on the right the Archangel Gabriel carries nails and a 3-bar cross. The hands of the angels are covered with a protecting veil as a sign of reverence in handling sacred objects. The Child Jesus is shown with an adult face and a high brow, indicating His divine mind of infinite intelligence. As God, He knew that the angelic apparition was a prophecy of His future passion. Our Lady holds Him close, and in His rush to seek refuge in her arms,He clings to her hand while His sandal dangling by its’ strap.
This ‘art with a purpose’ is handmade by carpenters of the finest caliber. The Standard board is made of durable MDF and has a wooden veneer on the back. The finest 100% cotton, PH-neutral, archival museum-quality paper is used in the process. Lastly, a series of custom sealants protect the image from fading, sun damage, water, and other outside elements.