Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Good Counsel

"...the fresco has unexplainably remained suspended in the air close to the wall of the chapel in the church of Our Lady of Good Counsel for over five hundred years."

No doubt, few Catholics continue to believe in such things...

If they do not believe in the Real Presence, I'm sure they reject such lesser miracles as the translation of the Holy House of Loreto by angels, as well as the translation of the the Holy Image of Our Lady of Good Counsel of Genazzano.
The image received its papal coronation on November 17, 1682. A canon of Saint Peter's chapter was sent to represent Pope Innocent XI. A report was written five days later describing the image as touching the wall only at the upper edge and not supported by other means. It is from this date on that the existence of the painting as such was considered miraculous, not only because of its arrival at Genazzano, but because it is for the most part suspended in the air. Eyewitnesses also testify to extraordinary phenomena regarding changing features of the image. Since that time, there have been many privileges granted to the shrine, papal visits and honors. - Source
O Mary of Good Counsel, inflame the hearts of all who are devoted to you, so that all of them have shelter in you, O great Mother of God. O most worthy Lady, let everyone choose you as teacher and wise counselor of their souls, since you are, as Saint Augustine says, the counsel of the Apostles and counsel of all peoples. Amen.
Our Lady of Good Counsel was a symbol and special patroness of lay involvement and responsibility in Counter-reformation times.  The Jesuits have been instrumental in spreading devotion to Our Lady of Good Counsel since the 1700's. 


  1. Anonymous7:45 PM

    Lovveeee this devotion!

    1. Okay I have to comment on this comment because the normal comment box is not showing up.

      Anyway, Terry, I guess I don't need to "correct" you :) - but the belief in the Real resence is NECESSARY to Catholicism and its denial is heresy- a big deal.

      These miraculous images and such - one need not believe in ANY of them. In fact, some of the relics and stuff in certain places actually HAVE to be false (John the Baptist didn't have more than one head; St. Mary Magdalene certainly did NOT go to southern France).

      I think it's best to assent to those, like this one, which have received much support from the Popes and major religious orders, though.

      One thing that is very interesting is that I always thought the claim that Cologne Cathedral contains the bodies of the three Wise Men was ridiculous, but after researching it, it's actually not at all that far-fetched (they were supposedly exhumed by the Byzantines from a tomb in Persia).

      I do have a hard time believing in the miracle of the Holy House at Loreto, for purely historical reasons. I admire the faith of those who visit the shrine and believe, though.

      At the same time, where is the line between faith and credulity? (a serious question - are those allowed ? :) )

    2. Good point Merc - faith in the Real Presence is necessary - no one has to believe these other things.

      I don't know where the fine line is.

    3. Mary T2:21 PM

      I was told by a priest that one doesn't have to believe in anything that happened after the death of the last apostle.
      Therefore, apparitions, miracles, etc. are "optional" (for lack of a better word) beliefs, to be a considered a Catholic in good standing.

  2. I believe in the pious legend of the angels bringing the Holy House of Loreto to its location. I believe the holy robe of Trier most certainly could be the seamless garment of Jesus, I believe the veil of Our Lady could very well be preserved in the cathedral of Chartres. I believe that St Mary Magdalene could very well have come to France. Such things are not the foundation of my Catholic faith. I give honor to what these things represent for I know that nothing is impossible with God.

  3. Servus - and some of those may be true.

    However, the reason I seriously doubt the Magdalene was ever in France is because there is a much older tradition in the East which is much more reliable, and that the tradition that she went to France is very late indeed.

    We have to remember that a lot of these stories were created for political purposes, to give legitimacy to certain countries and regions, especially to kings.

    I know lots of very holy people believe in the House of Loreto. the problem is that there is no evidence of such a house being known about and venerated in Nazareth before that happened, nor any word from Christians there about any important shrine disappearing.

    And my source is the Catholic encyclopedia from the early 20th century, not some skeptical source with no room in their minds for miracles.

    That's why I was asking about credulity and faith - there are pious legends I well believe, but some that I have a very hard time accepting - I don't think accepting pious legends necessarily indicates strength of faith, nor does not accepting them indicate lack of it.

    And visions are a whole 'nother matter - some I have read actually go AGAINST what the church teaches, even in faith and morals!

    Oh, and btw it was YOU who convinced me to give the Three Wise Men in Cologne a chance - I think it really is possible that the cathedral there really does contain their earthly remains.

  4. Mercury,

    it's funny you mention the three kings of Cologne. It is possible and then again it may not be. My faith doesn't hang on the credibility of relics or miracles. I don't know where the fine line is either. There is also the tradition of the Russian Orthodox transferal of a "robe" from Georgia I believe to Moscow.

  5. Is the reason Angels dont translate houses anymore because of the gas, electricity, and internet hook-ups?


    I do believe in it though... I mean why wouldn't you? That is what I don't get about some people - believe in the miraculous makes life so much more.. interesting, fun, and ... hopeful.

    1. I didn't say I don't believe in the miraculous. I said that there are perfectly good reasons not to believe in some of the pious legends out there, especially when they conflict with other, older traditions.

  6. One reason is that God wants us to believe without having to perform. Another is that the angels are busy on Facebook.


  7. When I was visiting Italy, friends took me to Loreto, to see the black Madonna, and touch her holy house. It was not angels but supposedly a family named Angeli who moved the house:
    The stones of the little house have been confirmed as being of mid-eastern origin:
    Is it Mary's house? I don't know. I believe that Mary smiles upon us, her children, and if we want this modest house to be hers so we can visit Mom's house, she will make it so.
    Oh,and I have, from Loreto, a snow dome with a glow-in-the-dark Lady of Loreto inside. Yes! A snow dome and glowing black Madonna combo!
    Oh, and Loreto has a first-rate art museum, too. One of the few Italian museums that had proper museum standard lighting and climate control. They loaned a huge Lorenzo Lotto to an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in DC; I was surprised to see it in its home.


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