At the heart of Catholic tradition lies a title for the Blessed Virgin Mary known as “Our Lady of Consolation” or “Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted.” This revered title epitomizes the solace and comfort she brings to the faithful, especially during their most trying times.
The roots of this devotion trace back to the Augustinian friars who were pivotal in spreading this special veneration. Alongside Saints Augustine and Monica, Our Lady of Consolation stands as the trio of patrons for the Augustinian orders. Her title, “Consolatrix Afflictorum,” featured in the Litany of Loreto, highlights her role as a beacon of comfort for those in distress.
Significantly, in Augustinian congregations, the revered “Augustinian Rosary” is sometimes called the “Crown of Our Mother of Consolation.” Traditional depictions in Augustinian houses often portray Mary with the Child Jesus on her lap, both holding the Augustinian cincture, symbolizing their deep connection with the order.
Our Lady of Consolation’s feast is celebrated in various Catholic orders and countries, and in particular regions, like Turin and Reggio Calabria in Italy, the veneration of specific images of Our Lady of Consolation holds great significance. The image in Turin, known as “Sancta Maria de Populo de Urbe,” is deeply cherished, while in Reggio Calabria, a revered canvas depicts Mary with significant saints, mirroring the deep-rooted faith in her comforting presence.
Among Catholic monks, the devotion has time-honored pious tradition associated with it too: by the early 18th century, it became widespread for monks to seek the final blessing before death in the name of Our Lady of Consolation. This practice still continues today, a reminder of Mary’s comforting and protective role at life’s end.
Our Lady of Consolation, pray for us!
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