Our Lady of Confidence

Today in my work, I found a beautiful little prayer card of Our Lady of Confidence, which I have never heard of before.  So I decided to find out more about this image and where it came from...

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady of Confidence can be traced back to Sr. Chiara Isabella Fornari who was a Poor Clare in Todi, Italy. The image is especially noteworthy in that Christ points to his mother, and Mary's intercession is typically invoked through the short prayer "Mater Mea, Fiducia Mea" (My Mother, My Confidence).   That Abbess, today Venerable Sister Clara Isabel Fornari, embraced a severe life of penance and was favored with many mystical graces; she even received the Sacred Stigmata of Our Lord’s Passion. Sister Clara Isabel had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother, like all the saints, and a very special attachment to this maternal image of Our Lady with the Divine Infant. For Our Lady had made a remarkable promise to Sister Clara Isabel that would win special graces for herself, her sisters and all those through the ages who would venerate this image.

Many persons, especially converts, would like to increase their devotion to Our Lady, and wonder how to go about it. In this promise lies a simple solution: simply go to Our Lady of Confidence and ask her. Let me transcribe in Sister Clara Isabel’s own words the special promise Our Lady made her with regard to this image: “My Heavenly Lady, with the love of a true Mother, assured me that She would give a special tenderness and devotion toward Her to everyone who contemplated this image.” (This promise applies, of course, not only to the original picture, but also to all the copies of it that circulate). Due to numerous cures and conversions worked through the intercession of Our Lady of Confidence, copies of the portrait were made and circulated. One of these copies was placed in the small chapel of St. Mary’s Seminary at the Lateran Basilica in Rome. The seminarians soon realized that their prayers and needs were always attended to by the Madonna della Fiducia.

The Patroness of Rome's Major Seminary is the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Madonna della Fiducia. A miraculous copy of Our Lady of Confidence resides at the Roman Major Seminary located in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran complex. Pope John Paul II started the papal tradition of venerating this miraculous image each year, subsequently Pope Benedict XVI has carried on the tradition. During his visit on the feast day of Our Lady of Confidence on February 9, 2002, Pope John Paul II ended his time at the seminary commenting on the devotion his predecessors had to Mary under the title Madonna della Fiducia saying,

We heard how Our Lady of Confidence guided the steps of Pope John XXIII on a path that brought him from this Seminary to the Second Vatican Council, which was also a great seminary, the seminary of the bishops of the world. Let us thank Our Lady of Confidence for all that she did to assist Pope John XXIII in the preparation for and in the adventure of the Second Vatican Council. I wish all of you the grace to find her guidance in your lives: from the image of Our Lady of Confidence to the goals that Providence foresees for you and even asks of you to be accomplished through you


O Mary Immaculate, the precious name of Mother of Confidence, with which we honor you, fills our hearts to overflowing with the sweetest consolation and moves us to hope for every blessing from you. If such a title has been given to you, it is a sure sign that no one has recourse to you in vain. Accept, therefore, with a mother's love our devout homage, as we earnestly beseech you to be gracious unto us in our every need. We pray that you will make us live in constant union with you and your divine Son, Jesus. With you as our guide, we are certain that we shall walk in the right way and that it will be our happy lot to hear you say on the last day of our life those words of comfort: "Come then, my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord." Amen.

References from http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/a005rp.htm  & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Confidence

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