Our Lady of Graces

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Our Lady of Graces
Our Lady of Graces.jpg
LocationFaenza, Italy
Date1412
ShrineShrines around the world, include, among others: Santa Maria delle Grazie, Italy; Basilica of Our Lady of Graces, India; Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Grace, Philippines.
PatronageDiocese of Faenza, as well as cities of Minturno, Cautano, Decimoputzu, Nettuno, Ricadi, Sanluri, Toritto

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.

Patronage[edit]

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 plagues. Faenza Cathedral has a chapel dedicated to Our Lady, while residents often place ceramic titles with the image on their homes.[1]

Other Italian towns that have Our Lady of Graces as their patron saint include:

Churches[edit]

Italy[edit]

The Baroque church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Casale Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy

India[edit]

Philippines[edit]

The old facade of the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Grace of the Diocese of Kalookan.
The old statue of Our Lady of Grace inside the church
  • The Oblates of Mary Immaculate established Our Lady of Grace Parish on May 5, 1946, making it the oldest among the five parishes under the Vicariate of the Our Lady of Grace of the Diocese of Caloocan. The creation of the parish 72 years ago on a 3, 964 sq. m donated lot on the former 11th Avenue, now known as St. Eugene de Mazenod Avenue marked the beginning of the evangelization of the Missionary Congregation in the heart of Caloocan City.

The Our Lady of Grace Parish was once a small hut where religious services were held in the presence of few people. It commenced when the Archbishop of Manila, Most Rev. Michael J. O’ Doherty, granted the request of the OMI Superior in the Philippines, Rev. Fr. Gerard Mongeau, to establish a house in Grace Park. The Philippine Realty Corporation, administrators of the Grace Park Subdivision, donated the use of eight lots in Block 171 for the church. With the help of the U.S. Signal Corps, a temporary chapel was built.

The first Eucharistic Celebration was done on May 16, 1946, by Rev. Fr. Joseph F. Boyd, OMI, attended by thirty–five people. The small church was blessed on September 1946, with the Good Shepherd Convent taking care of the choir and the church decoration.

But as early as mid–1949, just three years after the inauguration of the church, the need for a bigger space was seen because the number of parishioners can no longer be accommodated. In response to this necessity, the people of Grace Park launched a fund–raising campaign. After two years, a new church was ready to be blessed by the Archbishop of Manila, Rev. Msgr. Gabriel Reyes.

The parish, a product of the Second Vatican Council (1963 – 1965), responded to the call of mounting the dignity of man, being the “People of God”, by renewing the way of Christian Life and Church Structure. Through the active leadership of the OMI Fathers and the Oblates of Notre Dame (OND) Sisters, Basic Ecclesial Communities were organized in eight specific areas of the parish, in order to aid the people regarding the political, environmental, and socio–economical issues. It is also in this period that, the Notre Dame of Greater Manila was established, a school governed by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate that aims to form people of aptitude and morals.

Today, Our Lady of Grace Parish is a clear reflection of what people living in Kalookan are like; industrious, helpful, loving, and faithful. Time may move on, but the spirit of St. Eugene de Mazenod and of our Mother will continue to stir through the lives of his priests and her parishioners.

The church co-patron is St. Eugene de Mazenod and the feast of Our Lady of Grace is observed every first Sunday of May.

Switzerland[edit]

Malta[edit]

Chapels, oratories and other sanctuaries[edit]

Paintings[edit]

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 Madonna Lactans, with both of Santa Maria's breasts fully exposed and showering lactating grace down upon souls in purgatory, was painted in Ravello, Italy, by bequest of Don Pietro Marciano (1 October 1572), and placed in a chapel he had built to hold it on Punta Paradiso (1576), overlooking Minori. A gift to the Madonna for the miraculous deliverance at Lepanto, this village-style icon was restored in 2014. A renewal of its lost devotion and the restoration of the chapel are being contemplated.

Statues[edit]

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[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brochure of Faenza Cathedral
  2. ^ Comune di Anghiari, S. Maria delle Grazie, Terracotta invetriata di Andrea della Robbia.
  3. ^ Comune di Anghiari, Itinerari Artistici, Chiesa di S. Maria delle Grazie o della Propositura.
  4. ^ Regione Toscana. "Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Arezzo", Turismo in Toscana.
  5. ^ clarissefarnese.it, Monastero delle Clarisse "S. Maria delle Grazie" Farnese (Viterbo).
  6. ^ Thayer, Bill (2007), "S. Maria delle Grazie di Giano", Churches of Italy.
  7. ^ The National Geographical Journal of India. National Geographical Society of India. 1987. There are many Christian pilgrimage places in India, although a systematic study of them has yet to be accomplished. One of the places, famous for healing is Sardhana near Meerut, and is popularly called the Shrine of Our Lady of Graces.
  8. ^ Bellinzona Turismo, Church of S. Maria delle Grazie.