A record number of faithful attended this year’s first Marian Novena Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Manila, Philippines. The Filipino’s Wednesday devotion to Mother Mary with the title “Our Mother of Perpetual Help” began in the year 1946 as a response to pleas from American soldiers wounded during World War II and this year about 300,000 devotees attended the Mass, exceeding the previous year’s 230,000.

As reported by ucanews.com, Redemptorist Father Carlos Ronquillo, rector the shrine, remarked that “Every year the number of devotees attending Mass is higher and it tells us that more people are seeking the intercession of the Virgin Mother. Devotees who flooded the church compound this week came from all walks of life and the majority are poor people who submit their petitions and prayers.” Further, he added, “Most people pray for solutions to their financial problems, appeal for employment, while others pray for peace and reconciliation in relationships. The phenomenon indicates that Filipinos feel and experience the perpetual love and help of God through the intercession of Mary.”

The novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help was originally published in 1899 in Jaen, Spain.