The Parish Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

The Icon of the Holy Mother of God "Virgin of the Passion", better known by the title of "Santa María del Perpetuo Socorro", is a powerful focus of attraction for all the people of Madrid who come to the parish sanctuary of Our Lady of the Perpetuo Socorro, Calle Manuel Silvela, 14.

The Parish Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

The Icon of the Holy Mother of God "Virgin of the Passion", better known by the title of "Santa María del Perpetuo Socorro", is a powerful focus of attraction for all the people of Madrid who come to the parish sanctuary of Our Lady of the Perpetuo Socorro, Calle Manuel Silvela, 14. This devotion is linked to those who take care of our physical and mental health and to emergency services. For this reason, on his feast day, June 27, the SAMUR-Civil Protection services have a singular role, along with doctors, nursing staff and other health agents.

Wherever a Redemptorist religious goes, the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help accompanies him. Upon entering the current temple, a church steeped in history, on the left side we find a mobile chapel with the following legend: «Icon of the Virgin of Perpetual Help, Patron Saint of SAMUR-Civil Protection, recovered on November 22, 2013 from among the rubble of the regional hospital in Tacloban, after the passage of typhoon Yolanda, by the members of the SAMUR-P.C team in the humanitarian aid mission that traveled to attend the victims of the disaster from Madrid to the island of Leyte in Philippines.

Madrid, December 9, 2013».

This parish has a long history summarized in a beautiful brochure by the religious Laurentino Pineda Hernando, with the collaboration of Fabriciano Ferrero Centeno. The Church of the Salesas, current parish of Santa Bárbara, was the first stable location of the Redemptorist religious who arrived in Madrid. Before they were in the "Chapel of the bishop" and in the Church of San Pascual. In the "Campo del Tío Mereje", within the limits of the Chamberi neighbourhood, thanks to the generous contribution of the Countess of Egaña and her two daughters, the construction project of a Sanctuary began. The first stone was laid on March 27, 1892 by Bishop Ciriaco María Sancha Hervás. Although the architectural design was entrusted to the architect Juan Bautista Lázaro, later the Redemptorist brother Gustave Knockaert, architect, responsible for the imposing neo-Gothic style of the temple, was brought from France. The new architect, José López Salaberry, who worked with brother Gustave, certified the completion of the temple on April 27, 1898, which was inaugurated the following day by Bishop José María Cos y Macho.

In the history of this church, and of the religious community, it should be noted that in 1908 Fr. Gregorio Rodríguez founded the "Work for the Defense of the Faith in Spain" there and collaborated with Luz R. Casanova, founder, later , of the Apostolic of the Heart of Jesus.

Two elements of ornamentation and worship stand out in this temple. The first is the stained glass windows, both in the central nave and in the impressive side chapel. Work of the Maumejean house, polychrome, they represent various images of Our Lord, the Virgin and the saints of the religious Order. And the second is the impressive organ, with excellent technical resources, one of the most outstanding in Madrid. A French romantic-style Merklin, which had won the Grand Prize at the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris, installed there in 1903.

The characteristic of the service provided by the Redemptorist Fathers in this parish is the welcome and availability to the faithful. A congregation that has grown older, in a neighborhood where office buildings now predominate. The current parish priest is Fr. Damián Cubillo Ávila who lives in a community of nine religious who also care for the parish, which offers the complete cycle of formation for Christian initiation and an interesting and complete framework of faith communities for both adolescents and for young people and for married couples. The premarital course and the care group for the separated and divorced are important in pastoral care. There is also a listening unit in addition to the personal accompaniment carried out by the priests of the parish. The parish Caritas serves some 45 families weekly.

One of the priorities of attention of this parish is the youth. This summer, at the Monastery of La Espina, the meeting of young people from the Redemptorist Communities of Spain will be held again. A meeting in which the vocational dimension is also worked on. Half a month ago four young Redemptorist priests were ordained, which guarantees a certain continuity of presence of the charism in Spain.

This community of Redemptorists is, at this time of the war in Ukraine, the place where donations for the more than one hundred Redemptorist religious who are in Ukraine are centralized. The generosity of individuals and companies has made the money that is being sent to the Redemptorists who remain in that country increase every week. A fact that also speaks of the generosity of the faithful of this parish.

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