Our Lady Of Quick Help
Year : 1943
To the Quaint town of Darjeeling, nestled in the arms of the giant Himalayan Mountains came a Russian artist to feast his eyes on God’s wonder work of massive snowy grandeur stretching far off to the north. He overstayed his time so that his pockets were empty. To help cover his bill at the ritzy hotel, he gave the proprietress, a fine Irish lady, some of his possessions; among them, a mosaic, a Russian icon of Our Lady and the child Jesus. After the lady’s death the icon was given to her nephew, the parish priest of Darjeeling. Not treasuring it too much, the priest gave it to a dentist friend who placed it in his office, where it stayed unnoticed for a number of years.
In 1943, a Jesuit scientist came to examine the icon. “Do you know, Father,” he said to Father Grant, the Irish lady’s nephew, “that icon is at least 300 years old? It is made of gold and platinum, and must be highly valued.” This was an eye-opener for the parish priest. A servant of a nearby convent was commissioned to buy it, because the nuns wanted to present it to Father Grant. He refused to accept it, but asked for the free use of the icon. He took the icon with him on his tours of conversions and it met with almost immediate popularity. Father asked one of the nuns to make a facsimile of the icon, which she did with painstaking care and great love. Now every procession is headed by the beautiful banner in gold, white and blue. On the original icon there is the inscription in Russian: “Our Lady of Quick Help, pray for us”. The right hand of Baby Jesus points to His Mother indicating, “You want help quickly? Ask My Mother. She is the Help of the Afflicted, the Help of Christians.
Devotion to Our Lady of Quick Help has spread among the hillmen. Although no miracles are claimed, several remarkable favors have been granted through Mary’s intercession.
As faith and simple devotion increase, one cannot help being reminded of other cases where Our Lady has chosen a medium of devotion to her, a painting; a whole pageant of Lady pictures come to mind: Via della Strade, Guadalupe, Our Lady of Good Counsel, to name but a few. When Blessed Rudolph Aquaviva, S.J., was sent to convert Akbar, the Great Mogul, he erected in the palace a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. It was through her intercession he hoped he would win the souls of Akbar and his people. Surely, our Lady can help us make converts, too, if we pray to her.
Our Lady of Quick Help can also make a “swift” job of converting Russia, if we pray hard enough to her for it.