Prayer to Our Mother of Good Counsel
O Mary, Mother of Good Counsel,
you are the first and most faithful
of the disciples of Jesus.
Our Father chose you
to present his Son to the world;
guide me on the path that leads to him.
In this passing world our hearts are fearful
and our judgments uncertain.
I come to you for guidance
that I may know Jesus
and for confidence
that I may put all my trust in him.
Instruct me in the way of generous giving
that I may share his and your love for all.
O Mary, the dwelling place of God’s wisdom, guide me in all I do
and set my footsteps on the way of peace.
Our Mother of Good Counsel, pray for us.
Third Saturday Devotion to Our Mother of Good Counsel (Nuestra Madre del BuenConsejo)
Short History of the Devotion (from the 2012 Augustinian Missal)
Augustinian devotion to Mary under the title of 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 they later were invited to take charge of the parish church of Our Mother of Good Counsel in the town center. When the friars decided to renovate and enlarge the church there occurred an event that came to be considered miraculous, and which 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 title of the church was applied also to the image. According to an old tradition, this very icon, venerated in Albania under the name Our Lady of Scutari or Our Lady of the Albanians, is said to have suddenly disappeared from a church as Albania was being invaded by infidels. Legend says that it floated from the church and was followed by two Albanian men until they reached Genazzano and recognized the image as their own. The news of the “appearance” of the image, coupled with the story of the Albanians, has caused the church, from that time, to be the destination of many pilgrims, including several popes, saints and blesseds. 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 had declared the church a Minor Basilica in 1903 and in April of that year introduced the invocation ‘Mother of Good Counsel’ to the Litany of Loreto. Blessed Stephen Bellesini was pastor of this church for nine years until his death in 1840. His venerated remains are preserved in a side chapel of the basilica.
We note the ‘good counsel’ of Mary in several scenes of the Gospel, especially that of Cana, when the mother of Jesus says, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn. 2, 5). Saint Augustine reminds us that while Mary is blessed for being the mother of Jesus, she is even more blessed for being his disciple. In fact, as the first disciple of her son she presents him to us as our teacher, our way, our truth and our life – even as he was for her.