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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mother of Good, Counsel pray for us!

Feast of the Miraculous Image
Our Mother of Good Counsel
enshrined in the town
Genazzano In this image we see
Our Mother of Good Counsel
venerated by Blessed Stephen Bellesini, Augustinian,
and Saint Alphonsus Maria, Redemptorist.
The Holy Augustinian, Blessed Stephen Bellesini lived for many years as Master of Novices and as curate of the parish of St. Mary's at Genazzano. It would take a volume to record all that he did to spread devotion to Our Mother of Good Counsel. Genazzano is full of the fame of his miracles. His body is incorrupt.
Providence has been pleased for both
Augustinians and Redemptorists
to share in devotion to both
Our Mother of Good Counsel
Our Mother of Perpetual Succour
(since the latter was cared for by the Augustinians
for 300 years before the Redemptorists received Her in 1866).

The miraculous image, almost paper-thin,
is as light and fine as egg shell.
Since 1467 it has been standing on its bottom edge
unsupported and without its back touching the wall.
St Alphonsus and the Mother of Good Counsel
The desk of St. Alphonsus
At the foot of the crucifix you can make out
the image of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
The Saint wrote all his works before Her image.
He invoked Her with the Hail Mary
before every new action
whenever the clock struck the next quarter of an hour.
A brief account
of the history of
Our Mother of Good Counsel
The year is 1467 and the Mohammedans were invading Albania. Two soldiers who had served under the brave Skanderbeg both had the same dream in which the Blessed Mother, who had been venerated near the city of Scutari, communicated to them that they should prepare all that they needed for a journey because they should leave Albania and also that Her holy image would also leave to escape from the sacrilegious hands of the Turks and avoid desecration. The names of these men were Georgio and De Sclavis. They took heed of the dream and went to pray for the last time at the shrine of the miraculous image of the Blessed Mother.
As they knelt in prayer they saw the image detach itself from the wall. It was veiled in a little cloud and proceeded towards the doors to leave the church. The men followed. The image, borne no doubt by the angels, now began to move in the direction of the coast. The followed the little cloud for nineteen miles from Scutari to the Adriatic coast.
When the arrived at the coast the cloud continued on, out to sea. Here the soldiers must have wondered what to do. As they began to wade into the sea, following after the cloud and their beloved image of the Mother of God, they found that, like St. Peter of old, they were actually walking on the sea. The water became hard beneath their feet. Feeling neither hunger, cold nor any natural need, intent only upon following the image that was wrapped in the luminous cloud before them, they journeyed on foot over the Adriatic Sea during that night until, in the morning, they could see the coast of Italy. Ashore, the continued on as before, but, as they neared Rome, She who had ordered them to follow Her, now abandoned them. Search as they did, they could not find Her.
Meanwhile on April 25th 1467,
during the festivities held
in honour of St. Mark,
in the town of Genazzano:

“About the twenty-first hour of the Italian day, or about four o’clock in the afternoon, according to our computation, the dense multitude assembled in the piazza of Santa Maria was astonished to hear, high in the clear atmosphere of their country, strains of celestial harmony. Never had they heard such sounds before. It seemed as if the portals of paradise were flung open, and that the choirs of angels were permitted to give mortals some knowledge of the joys of the blessed. With eyes upturned, in breathless attention, and ravished by such exquisite melody, they anxiously sought to find out whence the sounds came. Soon ... they beheld a beautiful white cloud, darting forth vivid rays of light in every direction, amidst the music of heaven and a splendour that obscured the sun. It gradually descended, and, to their amazement, finally rested on the furtherest portion on the unfinished wall of the chapel of St. Biagio.
Suddenly the bells of the high campanile, which stood before their eyes, began to peal, though they could see that no human hand touched them. And then, in unison, every church bell in the town began to answer in peals as festive. The crowd was spell-bound, ravished, and yet full of holy feeling. With eager haste they filled the enclosure; they pressed round the spot where the cloud remained. Gradually the rays of light ceased to dart, the cloud began to clear gently away, and then, to their astonishment, there remained disclosed a most beautiful object. It was the image of Our Lady, holding the Divine Child Jesus in Her arms, and She seemed to smile upon them and say: ‘Fear not; I am your mother, and you are and shall be my beloved children.’
“All who had come there, to their astonishment, saw the beautiful Image of Our Lady still suspended in the air, without any visible support whatever, and heard from those present of the miraculous circumstances that accompanied its coming. The princes of the house of Colonnna, the captains of their forces, the magnates of the town, the Augustinian Fathers, and the secular clergy, all flocked to admire the wonder. And throughout that night, on bended knees, an immense multitude remained in the presence of their blessed treasure, filled with most intense feelings of love and gratitude to God’s Virgin Mother of Good Counsel, who thus had honoured their land.” -(The Virgin Mother of Good Counsel, Mgr. George F. Dillon, D.D., Missionary Apostolic, Dublin, M.H. Gill & Son, 1885, Ch.5, p. 60)
When the two pilgrims who had lost their treasure heard of its arrival at Genazzano they hurried thither. They told the inhabitants of the 200 years that the image had been venerated in Scutari. They did not know where it had been before then.
Between 27 April and 14 August 1467 there were recorded 171 miracles before the image of Our Mother of Good Counsel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HOw wonderful that we share this devotion to Our Blessed Mother. The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer have special memento in my Mass today. Fr. John, S.S.A.

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