Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Lady of Good Counsel



The miraculous image.
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"The ancient painting of Our Mother of Good Counsel is an Eleousa, (the Mother of Tenderness). The Christ Child nestles close to his mother. The image is a half figure. The Christ Child rests on Mary's left arm, her head bends toward him, their cheeks touch tenderly. The left hand of the child gently grasps the rim of her dress, indicating the intimacy of nursing.
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The image as it is known in the West is traced to the year 1467 to Genazzano, Italy, a small town ca. thirty miles southeast of Rome. It is presently located in a side chapel, built between 1621 and 1629, in the church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, whence the image derives its name. Measuring approximately 15-1/2 inches by 17-1/2 inches, the painting is a fresco executed on a thin layer of plaster or porcelain not much thicker than paper. One writer describes it as a fresco painted on a material resembling egg shell. It appears suspended in mid-air in its frame, with approximately an inch of space between it and the wall behind it. The only support is on the lower edge where it "rests on a small base on one of its sides, i.e. from the center to the extreme right." (Joao S. Cla Dias, p. 42) - Source
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Prayer
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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 of error and of evil that plots our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.
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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.
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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.
(By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953) - Source
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April 26 is the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
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Art:  Devotional image of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

6 comments:

  1. T, The devotional image of Our Lady of Good Counsel that you posted is beautiful. Our Lady and Our Lord look so happy to be together!

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  2. I prefer the devotional images much more than the original fresco.

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  3. I do, too, though I feel sort of guilty about that, not sure why. :)

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  4. Maria8:10 PM

    Terry: Lovely...Do you know why Our Lady is referred to as the Star of the Sea? Thanks.

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  5. Maria - From what I remember, 'Star of The Sea' is thought to have originated in reference to the episode in 1 Kings when from Mt. Carmel Elijah beheld "a cloud rising from the sea" signifying the end of the drought for Israel, while more deeply prefiguring the coming of the Messiah through Mary. It may have been a transliteration of 'stilla Maris' from St. Jerome - meaning "drop from the sea" or something like that. Later on it was popularized by sailors who sought Our Lady's protection at sea. Likewise medieval mystics appropriated it spiritually.
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    An ancient antiphon also praises Mary's virginity declaring, "the star of David has risen, the root of Jesse has blossomed..." Also, the stars on the garment of Our Lady in Byzantine icons symbolize her perpetual virginity, while the Book of Revelation speaks of Our Lady crowned with 12 stars.

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  6. Maria7:53 PM

    Oh Terry-you are too, too kind. I cannot tell you how much appreciate this. How I love learning these things. Am always just fascinated by how you know all of this stuff...Stella maris--I think, is star of the sea==if I remember my Latin...

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