|Our Lady of Graces|
|Shrine||Shrines around the world, include, among others: Santa Maria delle Grazie, Italy; Basilica of Our Lady of Graces, India; Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Grace, Philippines.|
|Patronage||Diocese of Faenza, as well as cities of Minturno, Cautano, Decimoputzu, Nettuno, Ricadi, Sanluri, Toritto|
|Part of a series on the|
of the Catholic Church
Our Lady of Graces (Italian: Madonna delle Grazie or Nostra Signora delle Grazie) or Saint Mary of Graces (Italian: Santa Maria delle Grazie) is a devotion to the Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church. Several churches with this dedication often owe their foundation to thankfulness for graces received from the Virgin Mary, and are particularly numerous in Italy, India, Australia, United States, Portugal, France and the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. Also it is related to the Marian apparitions in which was revealed the Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of Our Lady of Graces.
Our Lady of Graces is the patron saint of the diocese of Faenza. According to a legend, in 1412, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a local woman. Mary was holding broken arrows symbolizing protection against God's wrath and promised an end to the plagues. Faenza Cathedral has a chapel dedicated to Our Lady, while residents often place ceramic titles with the image on their homes.
Other Italian towns that have Our Lady of Graces as their patron saint include:
Local tradition holds that in August 1519, Mary appeared to a woodcutter and requested a church be built and dedicated to her as "Our Lady of Graces". The Church of Our Lady of Graces in Contignac was ransacked during the Revolution, but later restored.
Our Lady of Grace Parish commenced when the Archbishop of Manila, Most Rev. Michael J. O’ Doherty, granted the request of the OMI Superior in the Philippines, Rev. Fr. Gerard Mongeau, to establish a house in Grace Park. The Philippine Realty Corporation, administrators of the Grace Park Subdivision, donated the use of eight lots in Block 171 for the church. With the help of the U.S. Signal Corps, a temporary chapel was built.
The first Eucharistic Celebration was done on May 16, 1946, by Rev. Fr. Joseph F. Boyd, OMI, attended by thirty–five people. But as early as mid–1949, just three years after the inauguration of the church, the need for a bigger space was seen. In response to this necessity, the people of Grace Park launched a fund–raising campaign. After two years, a new church was ready to be blessed by the Archbishop of Manila, Rev. Msgr. Gabriel Reyes. The church co-patron is St. Eugene de Mazenod and the feast of Our Lady of Grace is observed every first Sunday of May.
There are many thousands of paintings by this name throughout Italy. One may be seen at Grosseto Cathedral (by Matteo di Giovanni, 1470), in the church of San Lorenzo at Poggibonsi, and in the cathedral of Perugia. Unlike the Madonna del Soccorso or the Madonna della Misericordia, the Madonna delle Grazie has no particular iconography, although many of these paintings represent just the head or bust of the Virgin.
There are statues of her by Antonello Gagini at Chiesa dell'Osservanza, Catanzaro and the church of Madrice Vecchia, Castelbuono, and by Vincenzo Gagini at the Church of San Martino, Randazzo. Another statue sculpted from wood by Mariano Gerada could be found in Żabbar a Maltese town dedicated to Our Lady of Graces, Il-Madonna tal-Grazzja, as known by the locals.
Festivals to her are again celebrated in many places. In Italy one of the most famous is at Catenanuova. In Stamford, Connecticut she is celebrated by emigrants from Minturno. In the Maltese Islands at Żabbar and Victoria the feast is celebrated on the first Sunday after 8 September every year and is the last feast of the Summer season.
There are many Christian pilgrimage places in India, although a systematic study of them has yet to be accomplished. One of the places, famous for healing is Sardhana near Meerut, and is popularly called the Shrine of Our Lady of Graces.