The saint for April 26
Our Lady of Good Counsel
 
Memorial
Augustinian Religious, Possibly Regional, Local, Patronal

The church that enshrines the original painting of Our Lady of Good Counsel is located in Genazzano, Italy, about 30 miles southeast of Rome. The people of Genazzano have been greatly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary since the early days of the Church, building a Church in her honor in the 5th century, which was entrusted to the care of the Augustinian Fathers in 1356.

During the 15th century it became necessary to renovate the church, and it was while this construction was being completed that the miraculous event of April 25, 1467 is said to have occurred.

According to legend, the town was participating in the feast of honor of St. Mark the Evangelist when, at about four in the afternoon, the townspeaople saw a mysterious cloud descend upon the church. The church bells rang of their own accord and the cloud parted revealing the portrait. The image, 15 inches wide by 17 inches high, came to rest on a narrow ledge in the church and remains in that position to this day. The painting is a fresco, painted on a thin layer of plaster no thicker than a notecard. The church renovations were complete soon after the miraculous event of April 1467, and became a place of pilgrimage. Within six months, over 170 healings and miracles were recorded.

During World War II, a bomb crashed through the roof of the shrine, destroying the sanctuary and high altar. The fragile image of Our Lady of Good Counsel was only a few yards away but was miraculously undamaged.

Pope Paul II ( 1464-1471 ) gave approval to devotion to Our Lady of Good Counsel, while Pope St. Pius V ( 1565-1572 ) attributed the victory in the Battle of Lepanto to her help. In 1779 Pope Pius VI granted the Augustinian Order the special privilege of celebrating the Feast day each year on April 26.

Pray to Our Lady of Good Cousel in Any Necessity; also in Decision Making
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