Apr 242016

There are a number of paintings depicting the Madonna del Buon Consiglio, (Our Lady of Good Counsel). I hadn’t given much thought or had much interest until my visit to Italy. After waiting a number of years to return to Italy I was able to get there in 2013 and kept it simple with a visit to Rome, Assisi and Abruzzo (for a short visit with relatives). It was mainly a pilgrimage for me, although I preferred to call myself a Pilgrim/Tourist on that trip.

On my visit to Assisi I came across a small painting on display at the Sacro Convento Museum at the Basilica of San Francesco. It immediately caught my eye and I fell in love with it. It was a beautiful depiction of Our Lady of Good Counsel painted by Pasquale Sarullo. Sarullo (1828 – 1893) was a 19th-century Franciscan friar, priest and artist. He was from Ciminna, in the province of Palermo, Italy; his work was appreciated by his contemporaries and had an international circulation. I can’t find detailed information about this artist or images of other works he painted but his painting of Our Lady of Good Counsel is a popular one, and I came home with a souvenir of Our Lady of Good Counsel – a small plaque with the image by Sarullo.

Our Lady of Good Counsel by Sarullo

Our Lady of Good Counsel by Sarullo

Devotion to the Mother of Good Counsel is associated with the story of a miraculous icon. The sacred image is found in a church in Genazzano, a beautiful town on a hill, south-east of Rome. The church dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel was built there in the fourth century. The fresco image was painted on a sheet of plaster that was very thin and delicate. It has survived through the centuries, withstanding several earthquakes and the bombing during World War II. Even though altars and walls around it were destroyed and the roof caved in, the icon was not destroyed.

Our Lady of Good Counsel fresco at Genazzano Italy

Our Lady of Good Counsel fresco at Genazzano Italy

The icon at Genazzano is approximately 30 centimetres wide and 46 centimetres high. The Christ Child nestles close to his mother. Mary supports Jesus with her left arm. She bends her head toward him, and their cheeks touch tenderly. The left hand of Jesus gently grasps the rim of her dress, indicating the intimacy of nursing……reflecting Mary’s concern for both Jesus and his Church. It is the most famous fresco in Augustinian possession. There is an annual feast day on 26th April.

Madonna del Buon Consiglio by Sarullo

Madonna del Buon Consiglio by Sarullo

This is the painted version by Sarullo that I was drawn to… it’s beautiful, and I love it.

Feb 212009

Must be time to display another beautiful painting.

This one is titled Our Lady of the Angels

Our Lady of the Angels

by William Bouguereau

A copy of this beautiful painting is hanging in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels on the Holy Mountain of Praise in Carngham. It’s an exquisite artwork reproduced as a canvas print.

I don’t have any information on Our Lady of the Angels but I do know of a tiny little chapel in Assisi which stands inside a Basilica.

Early in his life about 1212, St. Francis of Assisi was given a small, ruined chapel by the Benedictines for his repair and eventual use near Assisi, where he later died. It was on a very small piece of property, a small portion—a ‘porziuncola’ in Italian. Later on, this place of worship became a centre of pilgrimage, devotion and repentance. A fresco was painted on the wall behind the altar depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary surrounded by angels. Thus the chapel, which is now surrounded and sheltered by a monumental Papal Basilica, took the name: ‘Saint Mary of the Angels at the Little Portion’.

Don’t you think this is a beautiful painting?

Sep 122008

Oil painting of Our Lady of the Southern Cross by Paul Newton – Commissined by Cardinal George Pell for World Youth Day Sydney 2008.

This beautiful painting of the patroness of Australia now hangs in St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians is also patroness of WYD08.

Although the painting is of Mary she is focused completely on the child Jesus who is the centre of this work, and the centre of our focus – our saviour. Also included in this painting are typical Australian symbols -the Southern Cross in the night sky, a garland of wattles and Australian landscape as a background which has been inspired by the works of Australian artists such as Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts.

This is such a beautiful painting I just had to post about it.  At the end of the Opening mass at Barangaroo in Sydney, a tall, unknown man came up to me and in great excitement he pointed out the Southern Cross in the night sky. The reason for his excitement was because the Southern Cross was directly above the alter….. and the WYD cross and icon were directly under it. Coincidence? I prefer to believe it was God-incidence. It’s one of those signs that sends an annointing through your body, and you just know it’s all part of God’s plan and that He has His hand over everything.

Wherever Jesus is present His blessed mother is also close by… it’s a special feeling to know this and to sense this at WYD08.

Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians – Pray for us.