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Our Lady of Good Counsel



Our Lady of Good Counsel

Feastday April 26


The devotion to Our Lady of Good Counsel originated near Rome,  where for centuries, an Augustinian Church, which contains a miraculous image of Mary, has been a place of pilgrimage.

Your earthly pilgrimage is beset with many dangers.
You are in need of advice in the serious problems of life.
Remember that Jesus gave you a Counselor who will never fail you.

Go to your Heavenly Mother with childlike confidence and abandonment. Entrust yourself to her prudent guidance,
for she is your Mother of Good Counsel.

Records dating from the reign of Paul II (1464-71) relate
that the picture of Our Lady, at first called "La Madonna del Paradiso"
and now better known as "Madonna del Buon Consiglio",
appeared at Genazzano, a town about twenty-five miles
southeast of Rome, on St. Mark's Day, 25 April, 1467,
in the old church of Santa Maria, which had been
under the care of  The Augustinians since 1356.

The venerated icon itself,
which is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster
was observed to hang suspended in the air
without the slightest apparent support;
thus early tradition, tells how one might have passed a thread
around the image without touching it.

At once devotion to Our Lady in Santa Maria sprang up;
pilgrim-bands began to resort there;
while miracles in ever-increasing numbers, were wrought,
as they still continue to be, at the shrine.

In July following, the Pope deputed two bishops to investigate the alleged wonder-working image. The devotion to Our Lady increased.

The reigning pontiff at the time, Pope Paul II (1464-1471),  ordered an immediate and thorough investigation into the miraculous nature of the image and the events surrounding its arrival in Genazzano.
The following determinations were made:

The original painting entitled Mother of Good Counsel is in the Augustinian Church in Genazzano, Italy.
This picture portrays Mary holding the child Jesus.
Her veil is around Jesus' shoulders, and Mary,
caring mother that she was, is giving some good counsel to her son.

1) The painting which had been done
on a thin layer of porcelain or plaster, the thickness of an eggshell, could not have been removed from its original surroundings (wherever that may have been no one knows) by human hand.

2) This thin layer of porcelain or plaster stands upright without any support of any kind
except for a narrow ledge on which it rests.

3) The image had indeed disappeared from its church of origin
and that an empty space of exact dimensions was still present in the Albanian church.

 -          -           -

In 1630 Urban VIII himself went to Genazzano on a pilgrimage,
as did Pius IX in 1864.

On 17 November, 1682, Innocent XI had the picture crowned with gold by the Vatican Basilica.

In 1727 Benedict XIII granted the clergy of Genazzano
an Office and Mass of Our Lady for 25 April,
anniversary of the apparition,
elsewhere the feast being kept a day later
so as not to conflict with that of St. Mark the Evangelist.

On 2 July, 1753, Benedict XIV approved of the
Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel
for the faithful at large,
and was himself enrolled therein as its pioneer member;
Pius IX was a member, and also Leo XIII.

In the United States there are many churches and institutions
in honor of Our Lady of Good Counsel.



All of Italy came to visit the blessed image;
cities and towns came in pilgrimage.
Many wonders occurred, many favors were granted...
The very beautiful image of Mary appeared on the wall
without human intervention.

So great was the number of healings that a notary was appointed
to make a register of the more important cases.
This record, which is still preserved, notes that
from April 27 until August 14, 1467, 171 miracles occurred.

Conversions, healings, and specially requested graces
are among the numerous accounts of extraordinary occurences
related in connection with the image.





 Many pilgrims visit the church in Genazzano,
and many take part in the annual spring procession
of spectacular beauty.
The miraculous image is still, to this day,
and has been for more than 500 years, suspended in the air by itself.

Countless miracles have been attributed
to the prayerful intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel.





Prayer of  Pope Pius XII

Holy Virgin, moved by the painful uncertainty
we experience in seeking and acquiring the TRUE and the GOOD,
we cast ourselves at Thy feet and invoke Thee
under the sweet title of MOTHER OF GOOD COUNSEL.
We beseech Thee: come to our aid at this moment
in our worldly sojourn when the twin darknesses of error and of evil plot our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.

Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the victims of doubt and of error so that they may not be seduced by evil
masquerading as good; strengthen them
against the hostile and corrupting forces of passion and of sin.

Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from Thy Divine Son
the love of virtue and the strength to choose,
in doubtful and difficult situations, the course agreeable to our salvation.

Supported by thy hand we shall thus journey without harm
along the paths taught us by the word and example
of Jesus our Savior, following the Sun of Truth and Justice
in freedom and safety across the battlefield of life
under the guidance of thy maternal Star,
until we come at length to the harbor of salvation
to enjoy with thee unalloyed and everlasting peace.













Prayer image: Prayer image: Given by St Vincent Pallotti in Rome to Fr Roderindo Salvado, later Bishop Salvardo, the founder of New Norcia Abbey.