Q: Could you explain the origin or history of "Our Lady of Consolation"?

A: Our Lady of Consolation is venerated in the National Shrine and Basilica of Carey, Ohio. The image venerated there is that of the patroness of Luxembourg (Europe). The title "consolatrix afflictorum" (Consolation of the Afflicted) is part of the Litanies of Loreto. The origin of this advocation is Augustinian. The Augustinian monks are the founders and propagators of this special devotion to Mary. It began with the foundation in 1436 in Bologna, Italy, of the confraternity of the Holy cincture of Our Lady of Consolation, and became subsequently very popular throughout the world. Mary and child are represented in sumptuous vestments. Mary's mantle shows a big star and her halo has twelve little stars. Her tunic is fastened with a black cincture (belt or sash) typical of the one worn by Augustinian monks. This image --venerated by said confraternity-- has its origin in a legend according to which Monica, mother of Augustine, sought help and consolation in praying to Our Lady. Mary in answer took her black belt and gave it to Monica with the promise that whoever wore this belt would receive her special consolation and protection. This memorial is celebrated on September 4.


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