The following story is taken from The Virgin Mother of Good Counsel by Msgr. George F. Dillon. It relates the history of the devotion to Our Lady of Good Counsel and her Shrine in Genazzano. In this article, the author explains the need for counsel from Our Lady. The article has been adapted for publication –Ed.
There is an exceptional reason why the faithful should venerate Our Lady of Good Counsel, the Mother of God. She meets the special need for good counsel in the world today. This devotion is reserved for the faithful’s needs in the dangerous days approaching.
The Immensity of the World’s Departure from God
Never were the times on earth so circumstanced as to need Our Lady’s good counsel. The devil is deceiving the world by folly. The time has come that has been foretold when the evil one is unloosed to seduce the nations.
Any calm observer can see that the world is at this hour. Where among pagan nations could we find vices more apparently diabolical than those which now prevail among the civilized nations of Europe? When before was there propagandism so fierce, immoral and satanical as that advanced by secret societies, communism, socialism, nihilism and other deadly organizations that aim to destroy Christianity?
It is the old temptation of the serpent and the most effectual for his designs against man. “Ye shall be as Gods—knowing good from evil. You shall not die.” “All the empires of the earth I will give thee… if falling down, you will adore me.”
Inspired by the tempter, the world will do all things for the needy if the needy accept atheism and hatred of God and religion. If the child needs education, the world will educate him but only at the same price. If the poor are to be fed, the orphan housed, the naked clothed, the sick cared for and the imprisoned comforted, it must be still to the exclusion of religion and the acceptance of atheism and antagonism to God. If the public man is placed in pay or power, he must make a profession in some way or other of hostility to faith in Christ—a hostility never acceptable until it is complete. If youths are to be advanced, it must be by atheism in universities where open hatred and contempt for religion are made fashionable.
With a strange unity and fatality in every land, fashion, the press and public opinion have been turned against religion. The world is hostile, contemptuous, or at best contemptuously silent about the things of God. Impurity is deprived of its hideousness and, to a large extent, of its legal criminality. It is practiced unblushingly. The pride of life is rampant, and every day would seem to indicate that we are approaching the times of which Saint Paul spoke.
Our Lady’s Role in Crushing the Pomps of Satan
Prayer to Our Lady of Good Counsel is needed in like manner. If it is true that to her alone is reserved the power of crushing all heresies throughout the whole world and in all time, never was it more necessary to manifest that great power than in these days. Presently, streams of past error and malice unite with newer streams more deadly and widespread to form a vast deluge of falsehood and error meant by the devil and his agents to wash out Christianity from the minds of men.
It is the cunning of the infernal serpent which has planned all this and made it universal. It is his power and sleepless astuteness which nurture and direct it. It is Mary who is destined to crush Satan—to crush his head—to leave not one of his machinations disentangled. She will lay siege to his pomps until they are all overcome by her might.
Her role is to give the world the wisdom, counsel and strength necessary for its last and most terrible combat.
By her most pure, virginal and maternal dignity, the immensity of her merit and her share in the work of Our Redemption that she must crush the head of that deadly enemy of God.
The Need For Her Good Counsel
We cannot place too much stress upon this quality of Our Lady. Now, more than ever, we require counsel and protection of her who is “fair as the moon, bright as the sun, formidable as an army in battle array.”
All mankind should have recourse to Her as the Seat of Heavenly Wisdom. In extending devotion to the Virgin Mother of Good Counsel, they secure an infallible guide, a city of refuge and a tower of strength against the enemy.
How blessed is this devotion! Those who are vigilant, who take the trouble to keep close to the Mother of Good Counsel, find her in all her beauty and strength. She loves those who love her and gives eternal life to those who make her devotion known. May God grant that Her name and Her glory may not cease to advance until every part of the Church on earth becomes filled with devotion to the Mother of Good Counsel.
Photo Credit: © Tgwaggoner – WIKIMEDIA COMMONS