Amid the pandemic, natural disasters, wars, unemployment and the future of our children’s education, we may wonder why God has abandoned us.

He hasn’t. Our loving and all powerful God is with us. Are you afraid? He was afraid too, at Gethsemane. But his Father did not abandon him. Jesus suffered, died and rose again, all because he wanted us to enjoy eternity with him.

I want to share with you a special devotion to the Mother of Perpetual Help. Through her powerful intercession, she has walked with me at the most trying times in my life. Look at the icon.

The outlines of mother and child blend into one another, denoting the closeness of Jesus and Mary. The child’s sandal hangs loose. His left leg is crossed over his right as he presses close to his mother. His hands clasp those of his mother, seemingly in fear. His face is turned toward the Angel Gabriel who threatens him with the cross and nails of crucifixion.

Just as the child Jesus found help in his anxiety in the arms of his mother, we, too, who are the spiritual children of this good mother and will always find in her the help we need to face the spiritual and material trials of life.

I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. My parents instilled in their seven children the importance of the family rosary and daily Mass and a devotion to the Mother of Perpetual Help. We attended the weekly devotions at a church filled with hundreds of devotees; Catholics, Christians of all denominations, Buddhists and Hindus. The novena consisted of hymns, prayers and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

We went through difficult times, especially during the 1958 civil war. While we were in a shelter, we found a woman clinging to the picture of the Mother of Perpetual Help. All of us went to our knees and recited the novena prayers. We were spared in the fighting and that was a miracle.

We knew our children would not be safe in Sri Lanka and since we wanted them to have a good education, we were sponsored by my brother and emigrated to the United States in 1974. Here is another miracle, in my view: We found an apartment close to a church in the Sellwood district of Southeast Portland. I asked my husband to see if it was Catholic. It was St. Agatha’s, which has a parish school. We always went to daily Mass and we were very blessed.

This was one of the churches that had the Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions every Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. The devotion prayers, hymns and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament were exactly the same as the novena we attended in Colombo. We have been attending these devotions every Tuesday for many years.

Because of the pandemic and lockdowns, we had to close the church, but with the support of Fr. Luan Tran, pastor of St. Agatha, we have started this weekly devotion again every Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Thirty years ago, this same parish started eucharistic adoration. We are able to go for daily Mass and adoration. We attribute all this to Our Mother of Perpetual Help’s powerful intercession.

Please join us every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at 7983 SE 15th Ave. in Portland.

Bosco is a longtime member of St. Agatha Parish in Southeast Portland.