Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro (Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church) is another of the notable and historic Roman Catholic churches in Medellín.
The sizable Gothic style church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The church is located outside the chaos of downtown, near the Exposiciones metro station in Barrio Colón, which is part of La Candelaria (El Centro).
History of the Church
Paulina Uribe donated part of the land where the church now stands to the Archdiocese of Medellín in early 1944 and the rest of the land needed for construction was acquired to enable building the church.
The donor wanted the donated property to be used to build a temple dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the title of “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” and for the church to be completed within five years.
In April 1944, Archbishop of Medellín at the time, Monsignor Joaquin Garcia Benitez, directed the construction of the church. Construction of the church began in 1945.
The church is on land that is soft and marshy due to proximity to the Medellín River. As a result, construction started out slowly as excavation and design of deep foundations to support the church were required.
Enough construction was completed by 1951 to begin using it as a church with its first pastor Joseph J. Galeano C.
Construction continued over the following few years with several additions and several significant donations: Rosa Angel Escobar had donated the right side altar in 1947, the main altar was donated by Doña Julia Velasquez in 1955, and the left side altar was given by Lucia Angel Escobar in 1953.
Wealthy families also provided much of the artwork found in the church.
Inside the Church
The interior of Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro is yellow and white, and many beautiful pieces of art can be found in the church.
The most notable feature inside the church is its main altar, which is quite different from the altars found in other churches in the city.
The church also has confessionals found along the left aisle. It also has many stained glass windows found throughout the church.
How to Get There
Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro is located on Calle 35, which is conveniently located a few blocks from the Exposiciones metro station on Line A.
You can see the sizable church from the metro before you get to the station if you are going north. The church is also located about three blocks from the Centro Comerical San Diego shopping mall.
This is a safer area than the more chaotic parts of El Centro close to metro stations San Antonio or Parque Berrio.
To get to the church you could also ask any taxi driver in Medellín to take you to “Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro cerca Exposiciones,” just about every taxi driver will know where it’s located.
The doors to the church are not open all the time to enable seeing inside. The mass schedule for the church looks to change by day and is posted on the website of the church.
However, the first mass on the schedule seems to be consistently at 7 a.m. on every day except on Sunday when it is 7:30 a.m. The church also has a special mass for mothers scheduled a couple of times each week.
Note to Readers
This is the eighth notable church in Medellín we have looked at in a new series looking at the most remarkable churches in the city.
We previously looked at:
- Iglesia de la Veracruz,
- Iglesia Jesús Nazareno,
- Catedral Basílica Metropolitana,
- Iglesia de La Candelaria,
- Iglesia San Jose,
- Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, and
- Iglesia San Antonio
The first eight churches we have looked at in Medellín have all been in El Centro and all could be seen in a few hours time. Most of the churches are within a few blocks of a metro station.
The majority of notable churches in Medellín are in El Centro. We plan to look at one more church in El Centro, Iglesia de San Ignacio, which is a beautiful church that was recommended by a reader of this website.
We also plan to look at several other notable and historic churches in Medellín in other neighborhoods in the city.
We are covering the churches in Medellín in a series on this website as we have found that most of the beautiful churches in the city are unfortunately missing from the travel guidebooks of Colombia.