The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary As Set Forth in Her Litany – Mother of Good Counsel

“He that is mighty hath done great things to me” (Luke 1:49). We shall know only in the Kingdom of God the wonderful things He did for the Mother of His Divine Son.

Mary was prominently before the mind of God from all eternity, and in her “He hath showed might in His arm” (Luke 1:51). She is the masterpiece of His creation. He endowed her mind, heart and soul with all graces. He hailed her through one of His ministering spirits, “full of grace” (Luke 1:29). Is there, then, room for surprise at the many endearing titles by which Holy Mother Church invokes her help in the litany she recites in honor of Mary. All the invocations used in this form of prayer are fitting tributes of respect to her.

In vision she appeared to Saint Dominic and counseled him that in order to overcome the heresy of the Albigenses he should preach the devotion of the rosary, hence we invoke her as Queen of the Holy Rosary.

She appeared to two simple and humble children of the people and gave them as her name, the one so dear to her and her God, and by which she desired to be known and honored: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Queen conceived without sin, our Queen Immaculate.

Four hundred years and more have come and gone since the day when, midst the chanting of angels and the spontaneous pealing of bells, a picture, venerated under the title of our Blessed Mother of Good Counsel, made its appearance in the place where it is held in great benediction. This miraculous picture, the source of numerous miracles, was first honored in a small sanctuary dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin at Scutari in Albania.

Misfortune visited the place, because its people failed to recognize and profit by the many favors Heaven bestowed upon them. Pride and the delirium of pleasure wrecked Albania’s reason. It persecuted the children of God, rejected His holy word, and after many unrighteous conflicts, fell from the unity of the faith. Weary of its evil ways, God visited it with a scourge terrible in its consequences. As Atila in his day proved to be the scourge of God, so now the Turks were the means in His Hands to chastise the wayward Albanians. Many of the inhabitants preserved their piety and held steadfastly to the faith in the midst of a deluge of sin. Some of these resolved to quit a land where they were not free to worship their God as they felt it their duty to do, and seek a place where they would not be molested in their religious obligations.

Of those who had determined to leave Albania, there were two devoted clients of Mary, Mother of Good Counsel, Georgeio and De Sclario. It was the practice of these two devoted servants of the Blessed Virgin to kneel in prayer before the picture of our Lady of Good Counsel to obtain a blessing upon unfortunate Albania and counsel in their undertakings.

It pleased Mary to advise them to seek a home elsewhere, and that she herself in the picture which they revered, would also depart from a land so inimical to her and her Divine Son. Genazzano of Latium, in Italy, was the place chosen by our Lady of Good Counsel where she would be henceforth honored.

It was on the twenty-fifth of April, 1467, that the miraculous picture, from out of a lightsome cloud, rested on an unfinished wall of the Chapel of Saint Biagio.

The multitudes who were gathered there on that day and saw the venerated picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel settling upon their church, were overcome with awe and admiration. Since then Genazzano has been the mecca of armies of pilgrims from Italy and other countries, who seek temporal and spiritual favors through Mary, the Mother of Good Counsel.

She is the seat of wisdom, which she possessed from the beginning. Through her inspirations we are enabled to turn aside from evil paths, into the only secure way of life. She admonishes us, by both word and example, to seek above all things the Kingdom of Heaven. She is its gate, and to enter it we must heed her wise counsels, and follow her life as closely as it is in our power to do.

Our vocation is to be saints. To reach the goal, Mary, Star of the Sea, will guide us over the troubled waters of life, if we allow the light of her wisdom to enter our souls.

The will of God is our sanctification, which we cannot fail to obtain, if we follow the inspiration of Mary’s counsels in humbly accepting the dispensations of His divine providence towards us.

In joy, in sorrow; in poverty, in riches; in happiness, in afflictions; in sickness and in health, let us seek the advice of our sweet loving Mother of Good Counsel, that we may possess with her the virtue to keep our soul in peace, and to bless the name of God in our greatest distresses.

She will be our life, our sweetness, our hope; and the beneficent influence of her ways of wisdom will prove her to be our Mother of Good Counsel.