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April 26, 2010

Let us Rejoice in the Lord Celebrating a Feast Day in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Good Counsel on whose Soleminty the Angels Rejoice and Give Praise to the Son of God! Introit

According to tradition, in 1467, during festivities for the Feast of Saint Mark, the townfolk suddenly heard "exquisite music." A mysterious cloud was then said to have descended and obliterated an unfinished wall of the parish church. In front of the populace, the cloud dissipated and a beautiful fresco no thicker than an egg shell and no more than eighteen inches square, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christ Child was revealed. The venerated icon is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster little thicker than a host, and was observed to hang suspended in the air without the slightest apparent support. Early tradition, tells how one might have passed a thread around the image without touching it. Many miracles are said to have occurred in the portrait's presence, and it was widely believed that it had been miraculously transported from a church in Albania on whose wall a blank section with the exact deminsions of the icon in Italy is visible. This thin layer of porcelain or plaster the thickness of an eggshell, could not have been removed from its original surroundings by human hand. To this day it stands upright without any support of any kind  except for a narrow ledge on which it rests. All of Italy came to visit the blessed image. Whole cities and towns came in pilgrimage and many miracles have taken place over the centuries that were recorded in a register that was opened April 28, 1467 two days after the event took place.

Remember, O Virgin Mother
to Speak Good Things Before God's
Face in our Behalf, so that He May
Turn Away His Anger from us.
Offertory Prayer

Our journey through life is beset with many dangers. Often we are in need of direction in our difficulties and trials. We must remember  when we have no one to turn too Jesus gave us a Counselor who will never fail us. Let us go to Our Lady with childlike trust and abandonment. Entrusting ourselves to her prudent guidance,for she is indeed Our Mother of Good Counsel.

May the Intercession of your Glorious Mother, Mary ever Virgin, Mother of Good Counsel, help us we beseech you O Lord, that those on whom she has lavashed unceasing favors may percieve what they ought to do and strength to perform it. Amen Post Communion Prayer

In 1630 Pope Urban VIII went to Genazzano on a pilgrimage, as did Pius IX in 1864. In 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, the anniversary of the apparition, elsewhere the feast was observed a day later so as not to conflict with that of St. Mark the Evangelist. The numerous miracles at the shrine increased the cult of Our Lady of Good Counsel over the centuries. On April 22, 1903, Pope LEO XII included the invocation "Mater boni consilii" in the Litany of Loreto and In 1939 Pope Pius XII placed his pontificate under the maternal care of Our Lady of Good Counsel and composed the following prayer to her.

 Prayer to Our Lady

of Good Counsel

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 or error and of evil that plots 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. Amen.

Photo of Original Fresco

The miraculous image is still suspended in the air by itself.
One can pass a thread around the image and not touch it!
Our Lady of Good Counsel original fresco
from the church at Genazzano
about 25 miles southeast of Rome. 
The image is a fresco executed on a thin layer
of porcelain no thicker than an egg shell.

O God You have given us the Mother of of your beloved Son to be Our Mother, and you have been pleased to give honor to her beautiful picture by a wonderful sign; grant, we beseech You, that by always adhering to her counsels, we may be able to live after your own heart and happily win our heavenly country.  Mass Prayer

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