Novenas to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
What could be described as a gentle melody has swelled into a vast symphony of prayer and praise that rises every Wednesday to the heights of heaven.
On September 8, 1948, the Perpetual Succour Novena at St Michael Church was started in a small way.
Today, more than 71 years later, we have a sea of devotees from all walks of life and every part of the city - and beyond. Devotees make their way to Mahim, Wednesday after Wednesday, to honour and venerate our Blessed Mother.
It all began in 1948 when Fr Edward Fernandes, who, on his return from Europe, having seen the devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour at Belfast in Ireland, brought back with him a picture - one blessed by placing it upon the original picture in Rome.
On 8th September 1948, the birthday of Our Lady, which happened to be a Wednesday that year, the first novena services were held in the church of St Michael. Fr Edward Fernandes was the Vicar at the time. Only two services were held every Wednesday, and it took three months before the devotion could take root among the people. It was a very modest beginning.
Fr Edward Fernandes was transferred from Mahim in June 1950, but not before the Lord and the Good Mother had shown him the fruit of his endeavours. Indeed he worked hard to make our Beloved Mother known and loved. The devotion captured the enthusiasm of the locals so rapidly that within a short time the services not only increased but the crowds swelled beyond expectations.
Today, from 6 in the morning to 10 at night, streams of devotees pour in for 12 services held in English, Konkani, Marathi, Hindi and Tamil. These services testify to the popularity of the devotion. Parishes elsewhere in the city have adopted this novena for the convenience of their parishioners.
People from different walks of life, across different strata of society, of all ages, communities and religions, flock to the church every Wednesday to pray to the Mother of Jesus.
The church in Mahim has become a centre from which radiates the warmth and light of this devotion, transforming the Mother of God into the Mother of Perpetual Succour, always interceding at the feet of God for our needs.
Note: This information is updated as on 1st June 2020.