A Patroness for the Council? Building a Movement for Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Aid of Church Unity
This chapter examines a little-known movement to make the Our Lady of Perpetual Help icon the patroness of the proceedings of the Second Vatican Council. Begun by American Redemptorists, it sought to integrate a Marian piety into the conciliar ethos, but one that was decidedly cross-cultural and ecumenical. Explicit in its mission for unity between Roman Catholics and the separated churches of the East, the movement promoted the icon as the key to repairing centuries-old wounds. Insofar as 2015 begins the sesquicentennial year of the icon’s association with Redemptorists, as well as its value as an ecumenical tool, the author explores whether OLPH can lend new impetus for unity between Orthodox and Catholics ahead of the proposed joint synod in 2025.