Mater Boni Consilii
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, an image of Mary venerated in Genazzano near Rome.
Records dating from the 1460s relate that the image miraculously appeared in Genazzano’s church of Santa Maria on the feast of St Mark, 25 April 1467.
Some weeks later two Albanian men arrived in the city. They had fled from the Ottoman armies that had occupied Albania. According to the men the image had been venerated in a church in their home town Scutari, now known as Shkodra. While the city was under siege they saw the image being transported on a cloud in the direction of Italy. The men decided to follow the image and embarked on a journey which eventually led them to Genazzona.
The old church of Santa Maria in Genazzano soon became of place of pilgrimage. The devotion of Our Lady of Good Counsel spread rapidly. It has been popular with many saints and popes, many of which have visited the shrine. The Augustinians greatly promoted the devotion: they chose Our Lady of Good Counsel as their patroness and erected churches and shrines in her honour in many countries around the world.
Para la rebeldía desorientada tenemos una obligación de claridad. Para dar rumbo a los sueños, botaremos la nave de nuestras conquistas al agua y al azul infinitos y enarbolaremos una bandera nueva, que es un jirón de ilusiones con la cifra de siempre –el lábaro de la Fe– en lo alto del mástil.
José Luis Fernández del Amo.