Our Lady of Providence

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Our Lady of Providence, Scipione Pulzone
"Mater Divinae Providentiae," by Scipione Pulzone

Our Lady of Providence or Our Lady of Divine Providence is a title of Mary. Her feast day is celebrated on November 19.


The title of "Mary, Mother of Divine Providence" is often traced to her intervention at the wedding in Cana. Christ's first public miracle was occasioned in part by the intercession of his mother. She helped through her foresight and concern to avoid an embarrassing situation for the newlywed couple. Our Lady of Providence is sometimes also identified as Queen of the Home.[1]

Devotion to Our Lady of Divine Providence originated in Italy, and spread to France and Spain. The devotion was brought to Puerto Rico in the early 1850s by the Servite Fathers. According to tradition, Philip Benizi (1233 – 1285) prayed to Mary for help in providing food for his friars, and subsequently found several baskets of provisions left at the door of the convent.[2] Our Lady of Providence was declared the patroness of Puerto Rico by Pope Paul VI on November 19, 1969. Her feast day is celebrated in many Puerto Rican communities.[3]

Around 1580, the Italian painter Scipione Pulzone created a work titled "Mater Divinae Providentiae," which depicted the Blessed Mother cradling the Infant Jesus. Devotion to Mary, Mother of Divine Providence in the first house of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Barnabites) in Rome at San Carlo ai Catinari church began around year 1611,[4] when one of the clerics traveled to Loreto to pray for assistance in finding the financial resources to complete the Church of San Carlo. Upon his return, they received the necessary assistance, and the Barnabites began to promote devotion to Our Lady of Providence.[2]

Pulzone's painting was given to the Barnabites in 1663. It was placed on the altar of a chapel on the first floor of the Saint Charles rectory behind the main altar. In 1732, a copy of the painting was placed in a location adjacent to the main altar of the church of San Carlo ai Catinari in Rome, where it drew many faithful visitors.[5]

In 1774, Pope Benedict XIV authorized the Confraternity of Our Lady of Providence, a lay organization created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety. Pope Gregory XVI elevated it to an Archconfraternity in 1839.[5] In 1888, Pope Leo XIII ordered the solemn crowning of the "Miraculous Lady" and approved the Mass and Office of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence.[4] On August 5, 1896, Superior General of the Barnabites Father Benedict Nisser decreed that every Barnabite have a copy of the painting in their home.[4]


Our Lady of Providence is the patroness of Indiana and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island. The chapel of Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts is dedicated to Our Lady of Providence.[6]

Our Lady of Divine Providence is the patroness of St. Benedict's Abbey in Atchison, Kansas.

Our Lady of Divine Providence is also the patroness of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.

National Shrine Our Lady of Providence[edit]

National Shrine Our Lady of Providence
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana

Devotion to Our Lady of Providence came to the United States after a chaplain of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, Monsignor A.J. Rawlinson, saw a reproduction of "Mater Divinae Providentiae" at Catholic University of America. During a trip to Rome in 1925, Rawlinson gathered historical information on the devotion to Our Lady of Providence and then brought back prints of the painting to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.[5]

On May 1, 1925, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Providence was canonically erected at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods with the purpose of encouraging families to make Mary the queen of their homes. A Confraternity of Our Lady of Providence was erected, and later a certificate of affiliation of the American Confraternity was established with the Archconfraternity in Rome.

The hymn "Our Lady of Providence," by Sister of Providence Cecilia Clare Bocard, is sung by the sisters at various special celebrations.[7]


  1. ^ Tierney, J. C., "Who is Our Lady of Providence?", Marian Library, University of Dayton
  2. ^ a b Ruiz, Vicki L. and Korrol, Virginia Sánchez. Latinas in the United States, Indiana University Press, 2006 ISBN 9780253111692
  3. ^ "A community honors Our Lady of Divine Providence", The Georgia bulletin, Archdiocese of Atlanta
  4. ^ a b c "Origin of the devotion to Mary, Mother of Divine Providence", Barnabites
  5. ^ a b c "History of devotion to Our Lady of Providence", Sisters of the Divine Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, March 19, 2009
  6. ^ "Our Lady of Providence Chapel", St. Vincent's Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts
  7. ^ McCammon, Connie (Summer 2009). "Bringing beauty into the world". HOPE Magazine. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana: Sisters of Providence. 4 (3): 4–5.

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