Q: Who is "Our Lady of the Fire"?

A: Marian titles are abundant and frequently of surprisingly down-to-earth origin.  Such is the case with Our Lady of the Fire.  The origin and focal point of the devotion to Our Lady of the Fire was an old and ordinary woodprint fixed to a panel and hung on the wall of a school in Forli, Italy.  On the evening of February 4, 1428, the building caught fire and burned to the ground.  Great was the surprise and amazement of the population when they discovered that the image was still fixed to the wall and unscathed.  From that day on, a devotion developed centering on the image of Our Lady (see right), protectress of Forli.  The invocation of Our Lady of the Fire expanded most naturally to encompass not only earthly fire, but also the fire of eternal damnation as shown in the following prayer:

O Lord, You miraculously protected and preserved the image of the Mother of Your beloved Son from the destruction of fire.  Grant that through her merits and intercession, we may escape the fire of hell thanks to the fire of Your love.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Our Lady of the Fire
Beata Vergine del Fuoco
Protettrice di Forli

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