The famous picture now known as our Lady of Good Counsel appeared under miraculous circumstances in Genazzano, a town which is about thirty miles southeast of Rome, on St. Mark's Day (April 25), 1467 in the old church of our Lady. This church had been under the care of the Augustinians for over a hundred years. At once people began to pray before this picture; miracles and graces are noted in a register that was opened the second day after the event.

Two Bishops, who had been sent in July of that same year by Pope Paul II, found that the picture was painted on a very thin layer of plaster and that, except for the support at its base, the picture was without any support. At the same time the picture was judged to be the same one that has been venerated for centuries in Scutari in Albania.

Pope Urban VIII and Pope Pius IX went on pilgrimage to this Shrine. Pope Benedict XIV approved a Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel and became its first member. And it was Pope Leo XIII who authorized the insertion of the invocation "Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us" into the Litany of Loreto.


Prayer to Our Lady of Good Counsel

Most glorious Virgin, chosen by the eternal Counsel to be the Mother of the eternal Word made flesh, thou who art the treasurer of divine graces and the advocate of sinners, I who am thy most unworthy servant have recourse to thee; be thou pleased to be my guide and counselor in this vale of tears.

Obtain for me through the Most Precious Blood of thy divine Son, the forgiveness of my sins, the salvation of my soul and the means necessary to obtain it. In like manner obtain for Holy Church victory over her enemies and the spread of the kingdom of Jesus Christ upon the whole earth. Amen.

(Indulgence of 500 days)


Novena to Our Lady of Good Counsel
by St. Francis De Sales

Mary, Virgin Immaculate and my Mother, who art the Mother of Good Counsel and Mother all-powerful, take me under your guidance, because ignorant and blind as I am, I am scarcely able to discern the truly good from that which is evil, on account of the seductions of the devil, my own passions and the false maxims of the world, which draw me from the ways of grace to the paths of perdition. Unless you direct me with the light of your heavenly wisdom I shall not certainly be able to escape eternal misfortune. You, who had the privilege of being on earth the counselor of the Apostles in the establishment of the Church, assist me also by your wise counsels to the end, that I may faithfully discharge all the duties I owe my God and my neighbor. I firmly promise to follow always your counsels, and in my doubts to have recourse to you with confidence. I also promise to cherish a tender devotion to you, as Mother of Good Counsel, so that being guided by your assistance I hope, after the grace of a good life and a happy death, I may be permitted to share in the incomparable glory with which God has crowned you, by praising, blessing and rendering thanks to you for all eternity. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Mother of Good Counsel.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Most Blessed Virgin, worthy to be made mother of God, faithful dispenser of the graces which thy Son deigns to bestow on us in this life, I beseech thee by the love of thy divine Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ, to obtain for me of the Holy Spirit, thy heavenly Spouse, celestial light and good Counsel by which I may know all I ought to do and how I ought to conform myself for the glory of God and the furtherance of my own salvation.

Most sacred Virgin, I hope to receive this favor of heaven through thy intercession; for next to God Himself in thee I place my trust.

Litany of Our Lady of Good Counsel

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Pray for us. *

August Mother of God the Son, *
Blessed Spouse of God the Holy Ghost, *
Living temple of the Holy Trinity, *
Queen of heaven and earth, *
Seat of Divine wisdom, *
Depositary of the secrets of the Most High, *
Virgin most prudent. *
In our doubts and difficulties, *
In our tribulations and anguish, *
In our discouragements, *
In perils and temptations, *
In all our undertakings, *
In all our needs, *
At the hour of death, *
By thy Immaculate Conception, *
By thy happy Nativity, *
By thy admirable Presentation, *
By thy glorious Annunciation, *
By thy charitable Visitation, *
By thy Divine Maternity, *
By thy holy Purification, *
By the sorrows and anguish of thy maternal Heart, *
By thy precious Death, *
By thy triumphant Assumption, *

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lard.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God:
R. And obtain for us the gift of good counsel

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus, Author and Dispenser of all good, Who in becoming incarnate in the womb of the Blessed Virgin hast communicated to her lights above those of all the heavenly intelligences: grant that in honoring her under the title of Our Lady of Good Counsel we may merit always to receive from her goodness counsels of wisdom and salvation, which will conduct us to the port of a blessed eternity. Amen.


The Virgin Mother of Good Counsel
by Monsignor George F. Dillon, D.D., 1884

There is a very special reason, why, under the title of Our Lady of Good Counsel, the Mother of God should be now worshipped; for under that title She meets a special need. That need is the want of Good Counsel in the world. The devotion is, as the devotion to Jesus Christ in His Sacred Heart, and as the devotion to St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, a devotion reserved for the wants of the faithful in the dangerous days coming towards the end of time. Devotion to Our Lady of Good Counsel is needed in like manner: for if it be true that to Her alone is reserved the power of crushing all heresies throughout the whole world and in all time, never was it more necessary to manifest that great power than in these days when all the streams of past error and malice unite with newer streams more deadly and wide-spread, to form a vast deluge of falsehood and error, meant by its author and his agents to wash out Christianity from the minds of men. It is the cunning of the infernal serpent, which has planned all this and made it universal. It is his power and sleepless astuteness which nurture and direct it. It is, for it must be Mary, therefore, Who is destined to crush him--to crush his head, to leave not one of his machinations disentangled and obliterated until all are effaced by Her might. It is Hers to give the world that Wisdom, and Counsel, and strength necessary for its last and most terrible combat. By her Most Pure, Virginal, and Maternal Dignity, by the immensity of Her merit and Her share in the work of Our Redemption, She must end in crushing to atoms the head of that deadly enemy of God and man, who desires to strangle Her Child in the souls of those for whom that Child died upon Calvary. --pages 509

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