Feast Day of Our Lady of Good Counsel
Saturday, April 26, 2016, marks the feast day of our patroness, Our Lady of Good Counsel.
As Catholic women, let us promise to honour, invoke and imitate our patroness on this blessed occasion.
How did the title of Our Lady of Good Counsel come about? In 1910, the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (WUCWO) was organized in Brussels, Belgium. Following the organizational meeting of the League on June 20, 1920, in Montreal, an invitation was received from WUCWO inviting the League to affiliate with the world-wide federation. Historical records indicate Mary, under the title Our Lady of Good Counsel, had been chosen as the patroness of WUCWO. Subsequently, at the annual national convention in 1923 in Halifax, a resolution was passed to adopt Our Lady of Good Counsel as the League’s patroness. It is interesting to note, from church records, that the title Mother of Good Counsel had been inserted into the Litany of the Blessed Virgin in the early 1900s by the pope of the day. The history and recognition of the picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel is explained in the National Manual of Policy and Procedure.
History of the Picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel
In the small Italian village of Gennazzano, some 30 miles from Rome, is the shrine of this Marian painting. This old sanctuary was given by Prince Colonna to the Augustinians in the 15th 17 century and the monks set about rebuilding their church. A wealthy woman named Petruccia came to their support in the restoration of the old church Our Lady of Good Counsel. The work ran into difficulty and the villagers mocked the efforts of the monks. Before her death, however, Petruccia saw the opening of the church on April 26, 1467, at which time the picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel was unveiled. The people stood in wonder before its beauty! Mostly peasants, they were convinced it had come from paradise. They were reluctant to accept the story that the beautiful fresco had come from the walls of a church in Scutari, Albania. A recent discovery seems to confirm the Scutari origin. Restoration work was done on the famous painting by Professor de Compos between 1957 and 1961. At the time, letters were noticed on the edge of the child’s robe that seemed to be a signature. They were deciphered as reading – “A. Vivanini made this.” De Compos concluded that the fresco was the work of the illustrious Antonio Vivanini, a master of the Veronese school of art in the first half of the 15th century.