|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 of Our Lady of Grace, Philippines.|
|Patronage||Diocese of Faenza, as well as cities of Minturno, Cautano, Decimoputzu, Nettuno, Ricadi, Sanluri, Toritto|
Our Lady of Graces (Italian: Madonna delle Grazie or Nostra Signora delle Grazie) or St Mary of Graces (Italian: Santa Maria delle Grazie) is a devotion to the Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church. 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, France and the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland.
Our Lady of Graces is the patron saint of the diocese of Faenza. According to a legend, in 1412, Mary appeared to a local woman. Mary was holding broken arrows symbolizing protection against God's wrath and promised an end to the plague. 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:
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. A full-figure Madonna Lactans, with both of Santa Maria's breasts fully exposed and showering lactating grace down upon souls in purgatory, was painted in Ravello, Italy, by bequest of Don Pietro Marciano (1 October, 1572), and placed in a chapel he had built to hold it on Punta Paradiso (1576), overlooking Minori. A gift to the Madonna for the miraculous deliverance at Lepanto, this village-style icon was restored in 2014. A renewal of its lost devotion and the restoration of the chapel were underway as of 2016.
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 ?abbar 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 ?abbar 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.