Saturday before Ash Wednesday
Madonna della Fiducia, Rome, Italy
Blessed Clara Isabella Fornari, Abbess of the Poor Clares in Todi, venerated a picture of Mary, Refuge of Sinners, which the artist Carlo Maratta was said to have given her. A stigmatic mystic, Mother Clara reported that Mary herself blessed the picture: “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.” After the nun's death in 1744, the painting remained at the convent. As its reputation for miracles grew, copies of it circulated. A copy enshrined in the Pontifical Seminary in Rome acquired the title Madonna della Fiducia, Our Lady of Confidence. Students and faculty prayed to the Madonna della Fiducia during an epidemic that spared them in 1838. In World War I, the prayer phrase “My Mother, My Confidence” spread from the Seminary into Catholic usage, indulgenced by Pope Benedict XV, and with it devotion to Our Lady of Confidence. Information from Marian Therese Horvat, “Religious – Our Lady of Confidence,” www.traditioninaction.org/religious/a005rp.htm. Picture from the Seminary's site, www.seminarioromano.it.
Also commemorated this date: