Our Lady of Providence
This title of Mary has roots in Scripture. It is often attributed to Mary’s intervention at the wedding in Cana. Christ’s first public miracle was occasioned in part by the intercession of his mother. She helped through her foresight and concern to avoid an embarrassing situation for the newlywed couple. Our Lady of Providence is sometimes also identified as Queen of the Home.
Among the master artists of the sixteenth century, Italy produced one Scipione Pulzone (1550-1588) who, because of the excellence of his works, has been styled by connoisseurs the “Roman Van Dyke.” Born at Gaeta, he is commonly known as “Gaetano.” Surpassing in fame his Crucifixion in the Vallicella, his Assumption in the church of San Sylvester on Mt. Cavallo, and his other works in the Palais Borghese and the gallery of Florence is his now-immortal Mater Divinae Providentiae. In 1664, this exquisite painting fell providentially into the hands of the Barnabite Fathers in charge of the church of San Carlo a Catinari in Rome, who thereupon erected a humble shrine. Soon all Romans came to visit it and were rewarded with extraordinary favours. Grateful pilgrims left votive tablets which today are so many historical pages proving the intercessory power of the Mother of God. In 1774, His Holiness Benedict XIV established the Confraternity of Our Lady of Providence. Endowed in succession with many privileges by Pius VII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, and Pius XI, the Confraternity spread from Italy to Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, China, South America, Mexico, the Isles of Crete and Malta. Tourists to Puerto Rico may see, over the main altar of the cathedral of San Juan, the statue of Our Lady of Providence, the Patroness of the Island. Continue reading