Memorial of Our Lady of Good Counsel ~ April 26
Our Lady of Good Counsel is our patron of enlightenment, the Council of Catholic Women, and the country of Albania.
On the Feast of Saint Mark, April 25 in 1467, the people of Genazzano, Italy, witnessed a marvelous sight. A cloud descended upon an ancient church dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel. When the cloud disappeared, an image of Our Lady and the Child Jesus was revealed which had not been there before. The image, on a paper-thin sheet, was suspended miraculously.
Soon after the image’s appearance, many miracles were attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Because of this, Pope Paul II ordered an investigation, and the results have been preserved.
It was later discovered that the very same image had been seen in a church dedicated to the Annunciation in Scutari, Albania. The image in this church was said to have arrived there in a miraculous manner. Now, the image had been transported from Albania miraculously to avoid sacrilege from Moslem invasion. A commission of enquiry determined that a portrait from the church was indeed missing. An empty space the same size as the portrait was displayed for all to see.
Many miracles continue to be attributed to Our Lady of Good Counsel. Pope Saint Pius V, for example, credited victory in the Battle of Lepanto to her intercession.
Several Popes have approved the miraculous image. In 1682, Pope Innocent XI had the portrait crowned with gold. On July 2 in 1753, Pope Benedict XIV approved the Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel and was the first to wear it. In 1884, a special Mass and Office of the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel was approved by Pope Leo XIII.
For more than 500 years the image has continued to attract countless pilgrims to that Church in Italy. Although much of the church was destroyed during World War II, the image has remained intact — and continues to be suspended miraculously.
Source: Catholic Culture