Our Lady of Graces
|A series of articles on|
|Dogmas and doctrines|
|Expressions of devotion|
|Key Marian apparitions|
Our Lady of Graces (Italian: Madonna delle Grazie or Nostra Signora delle Grazie) or St Mary of Graces (Italian: Santa Maria delle Grazie) is a devotion to the Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church. Churches with this dedication often owe their foundation to thankfulness for graces received from the Virgin Mary, and are particularly numerous in Italy, India, Australia, United States, France and the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland.
Our Lady of Graces is the patron saint of the diocese of Faenza. According to a legend, in 1412, Mary appeared to a local woman. Mary was holding broken arrows symbolizing protection against god's wrath and promised an end to the plague. Faenza Cathedral has a chapel dedicated to Our Lady, while residents often place ceramic titles with the image on their homes.
Other Italian towns that have Our Lady of Graces as their patron saint include:
- Nettuno (where Nostra Signora delle Grazie e Santa Maria Goretti is part-dedicated to her)
- Our Lady of Graces icon, Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Grace, Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalookan.
- Bellinzona, Canton Ticino : A late fifteenth-century church which was attached to a Franciscan convent.
Chapels, oratories and other sanctuaries
There are many thousands of paintings by this name throughout Italy. One may be seen at Grosseto Cathedral (by Matteo di Giovanni, 1470), in the church of San Lorenzo at Poggibonsi, and in the cathedral of Perugia. Unlike the Madonna del Soccorso or the Madonna della Misericordia, the Madonna delle Grazie has no particular iconography, although many of these paintings represent just the head or bust of the Virgin. A full figure image with the possibly unique attribute of having both the Madonna's breasts fully exposed and showering lactating grace down upon souls in purgatory was painted in Ravello, Italy, by bequest of Don Pietro Marciano (21 May 1576), and placed in a chapel he had built to hold it at Punta Paradiso, overlooking Minori. The icon was restored in 2013.
There are statues of her by Antonello Gagini at Chiesa dell'Osservanza, Catanzaro and the church of Madrice Vecchia, Castelbuono, and by Vincenzo Gagini at the Church of San Martino, Randazzo. Another statue sculpted from wood by Mariano Gerada could be found in Żabbar a Maltese town dedicated to Our Lady of Graces, Il-Madonna tal-Grazzja, as known by the locals.
Festivals to her are again celebrated in many places. In Italy one of the most famous is at Catenanuova. In Stamford, Connecticut she is celebrated by emigrants from Minturno. In the Maltese Islands at Żabbar and Victoria the feast is celebrated on the first Sunday after 8 September every year and is the last feast of the Summer season.
- Brochure of Faenza Cathedral
- Comune di Anghiari, S. Maria delle Grazie, Terracotta invetriata di Andrea della Robbia.
- Comune di Anghiari, Itinerari Artistici, Chiesa di S. Maria delle Grazie o della Propositura.
- Regione Toscana. "Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Arezzo", Turismo in Toscana.
- clarissefarnese.it, Monastero delle Clarisse "S. Maria delle Grazie" Farnese (Viterbo).
- Thayer, Bill (2007), "S. Maria delle Grazie di Giano", Churches of Italy.
- Bellinzona Turismo, Church of S. Maria delle Grazie.