Our Lady of Good Counsel
Tomorrow, April 26th, is the liturgical memorial of Our Mother of Good Counsel. The shrine church of Our Mother of Good Counsel in Genazzano, Italy was entrusted in 1356 to the Augustinian Fathers. It remains a place of pilgrimage to this day. In the changes and chances of my own life, I have often had recourse to the Blessed Virgin under this most consoling title.
In 1893 the Congregation of Sacred Rites approved the form for blessing and investiture with the scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Good Counsel. The scapular is made in the usual way of two pieces of white wool joined by cords or bands. One part bears the image of the Blessed Virgin with the inscription, Mater Boni Consilii. The other part bears the papal arms (tiara and keyes) and an inscription of the words of Pope Leo XIII, “Son, follow her counsel.”
Old and New
The Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary has a fine new Mass with a proper Preface. For my part, I have often found solace in the texts of the Mass given in the 1962 Roman Missal among the Masses By Special Grant In Certain Places.
Never Depart From Her Counsels
The petition of the Collect is especially beautiful. We beseech God to grant that we may never depart from the counsels of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and by this means order our lives after His own Heart:
O God, who hast given the Mother of Thy Beloved Son
to be likewise unto us a mother,
and hast made famous this her beauteous image,
by causing it miraculously to appear in our midst:
grant unto us, we beseech Thee, never to depart from her counsels and,
by this means ordering our lives after Thine own Heart,
one day happily to reach our heavenly fatherland.
One who seeks counsel of the Mother of God is never disappointed and never without hope. She is the most compassionate and effective of all counselors. The liturgy takes a wonderful promise from the book of Proverbs, and places it in Our Lady’s mouth: “He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord” (Prov 8:35).
Discernment of Spirits
The verse that follows is also significant: “But he that shall sin against me, shall hurt his own soul. All that hate me love death” (Prov 8:36). One who sins against Mary, hurts his own soul. One who hates Mary loves death. The place given — or not given — to the Virgin Mother of God is a fundamental criterion in the discernment of spirits. The love of Mary is a wellspring of healing and of life. Love Mary, then, and all the rest will be given you besides.