Prayer to Our Mother of Good Counsel
We turn to you, our Mother of Good Counsel, as we seek to imitate your faith-filled life. May we be led by the same Wisdom which God sent forth from Heaven to guide you along unfamiliar paths and through challenging decisions. Keep us in mind and heart as we go forward in joyful hope toward the grace-filled freedom that Saint Augustine recommends. O Virgin Mother of Good Counsel, hear our prayer as we look to you for guidance. Pray for us to our loving and merciful Father, to your Son, Our Lord Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, giver of all Wisdom, one God forever and ever.
We honour Mary in the Church under many titles. Today’s celebration is one particularly dear to Augustinians.
Augustinian devotion to Our Mother of Good Counsel has its origin in the hill-town church of Genazzano, Italy, where the Augustinians have been located since the 13th Century. Originally, their monastery was situated outside the town, but a century later, they were invited to take charge of the parish church of Our Mother of Good Counsel in the town centre. When the friars decided to renovate and enlarge the church, there occurred an event that came to be considered miraculous and drew the attention of great crowds of people. On April 25, 1467, as a side wall was being repaired and a marble figure of the Madonna was removed, there appeared, where the figure had hung, an image of Mary and the Child Jesus. From that moment, the church’s title was also applied to the image. Since then, the church has been the destination of many pilgrims, including several popes and saints. Pope John XXIII was a pilgrim to the shrine on the eve of the Second Vatican Council, and Pope John Paul II visited it before going to Albania to re-establish the hierarchy there following the collapse of communism. Leo XIII declared the church a Minor Basilica and introduced the invocation ‘Mother of Good Counsel’ to the Litany of Loreto.