Sunday, April 26, 2015
Our Lady of Good Counsel
The following comes from the Patron Saints Index:
Records dating from the reign of Paul II 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, Italy, a town about twenty-five miles southeast of Rome, on 25 April 1467, in the old church of Santa Maria, which had been under the care of Augustinians since 1356. The venerated icon itself, which is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster little thicker than a visiting-card, was observed to hang suspended in the air without support; early tradition says that one could pass a thread around the image without touching it. Devotion to Our Lady in Santa Maria sprang up at once. Pilgrims began to pour in, miracles began and continue at the shrine.
In July 1467, Pope Paul deputed two bishops to investigate the alleged wonder-working image; no copy of their report is known to have survived. Devotion to Our Lady increased. In 1630, Pope Urban VIII made a pilgrimage to Genazzano, as did Pope Blessed Pius IX in 1864. On 17 November 1682 Pope Blessed Innocent XI had the picture crowned with gold by the Vatican Basilica. In 1727 Pope Benedict XIII granted the clergy of Genazzano an Office and Mass of Our Lady for 25 April, the anniversary of the apparition, elsewhere the feast being kept a day later so as not to conflict with that of Saint Mark the Evangelist. On 2 July 1753 Pope Benedict XIV approved the Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful at large, and himself enrolled therein as its pioneer member; Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII were both later members. On 18 December 1779, Pope Pius VI, while re-approving devotion to Our Lady, granted all Augustinians an Office with hymns, lessons, prayer and Mass proper of double-major rite; with a plenary indulgence also for the faithful, to which Pope Pius VIII added another for visitors to the shrine. On 18 December 1884, Pope Leo XIII approved of a new Office and Mass of second-class rite for all Augustinians, while on 17 March 1903, he elevated the church of Santa Maria - one of the four parish churches in tiny Genazzano - to the rank of minor basilica. On 22 April 1903 he authorized the insertion in the Litany of Loreto of the invocation Mater Boni Consillii to follow that of Mater Admirabilis. The same pontiff on 21 December 1893 had sanctioned the use of the White Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful.