The History of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence- Our patroness
The seed of Providence was sown in the mind of Maria Elena, a young girl of 17 at the feet of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence at St. Charles at Catinari Church in Rome following the inspirational request of Fr. Thomas Manini, a barnabite priest . This church is dedicated to “Our Lady of Divine Providence.”
Devotion to Mary, Mother of Divine Providence began in the first house of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Bamabites) in Rome at San Carlo ai Catinari church around year 1611.
In 1663, the Barnabites were offered a remarkable painting of the Blessed Mother holding the Infant Jesus in her arms by the artist Scipione Pulzone (ca. 1550-1598). In July 1732, an exact copy of the original painting was placed in a location adjacent to the main altar of the church of San Carlo ai Catinari with the inscription above, Mater Divinae Providentiae. The exposition of the painting for public veneration resulted in a great increase of devotion among the faithful. Numerous graces and favours were obtained through the intercession of Mary.
Origin our Devotion to “Our Lady of Divine Providence”
Devotion to Our Lady of Divine Providence in our Congregation begin with the providential meeting of our Mother founder Maria Elena Bettini with the parish Priest Rev. Fr. Thomas Manini at the confessional in 1832.
One Sunday evening, as Maria Elena was on her way to the neighbouring parish church to teach Catechism, the roman sky suddenly turned dark and started pouring down. Since she hadn’t an umbrella, she found refuge right there in St. Charles at Catinari, where she stopped before the image of the Mother of Divine Providence. Here she met the young Parish Priest Fr. Tommaso Manini, a Barnabite Religious, who noticed the signs of God’s action in her life and inspired her to dedicate herself to God. Elena could not commit anything. She knelt before of the picture of Our lady of Divine Providence and implored her help and guidance. Suddenly she had a vision in which she saw many poor girls who are left alone and she heard a voice within herself; “Could you possibly refuse to become their mother? This will be your form of Motherhood. My Son needs you to save their souls”. It was clear to her and she could give an answer to Fr. Thomas Manini. Thus, on 8th September 1832 she, along with two other young girls of the same age began their mission at the service of the least and needy.
The popularity of Devotion in the Church:
This Marian chapel was a particular favourite of many Supreme Pontiffs. Pope Benedict XIV made an annual visit to the chapel. On February 2, 1815, Pope Pius VII in acknowledging that he owed his return to the Eternal City to the protection of Mary, visited the chapel and declared the altar perpetually privileged. Pope Pius IX spent the first years of his priestly life near the chapel of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence. More than once, he celebrated Holy Mass at the altar, offering to Mary the chasuble he wore on the day of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, which still remains in the church.
In 1888, Pope Leo XIII ordered the solemn crowning of the “Miraculous Lady” and approved the Mass and Office of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence. Saint Pius X showed his devotion to the Madonna of San Carlo ai Catinari by granting permission for the Votive Mass of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence on all Saturdays of the year. He also approved her scapular. Today, the love for Mary, Mother of Divine Providence, is spreading throughout the world. Churches, chapels, altars and houses are dedicated to her honour.
Feast of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence;
Pope Benedict XIV declared this feast in honour of our mother, who cares for each of her children “entrusted to her by Christ Jesus while He hung upon the cross.” He further proclaimed her the “handmaid of God’s love who interceded with her Son at Cana of Galilee for the bridegroom and bride.” Lastly, Pope Benedict XIV stated what all Catholics believe, that Mary, “now enthroned as Queen at her Son’s right hand, provides for all the needs of the Church.” We trust in the divine Providence of Our Lord, who chose Mary to bring forth the Savior of the World.
Each year the Feast of Our Lady of Providence is celebrated on the Saturday before the third Sunday of November. This title celebrates the role that the Lord entrusted to Mary, whose “loving providence is always wise and unfailing.” Established by Pope Benedict XIV in 1744 and granted to the Congregation of Clerks Regular of Saint Paul (also known as the Barnabites). The devotion to Mary as Mother of Divine Providence celebrates the wisdom of the loving mother of Christ.
We, the congregation of Daughters of Divine Providence celebrates the Feast of “Our Lady of Divine Providence” our patroness, on the third Saturday of November in great solemnity.