Amidst the many difficulties, problems and afflictions that surround us, how often do we seek some form of solace! However, in a world awash with turmoil and violence, where can we find consolation? “Voice of Christ, mysterious voice of grace that resounds in the silence of our souls, you murmur in the depths of our hearts words of sweetness and of peace.”1 Divine grace! It alone can give us a true serenity of conscience, peace of soul and spiritual sweetness.
Grace, this most precious gift of God, has a tabernacle from which it overflows and is poured out on all those who desire it: Mary Most Holy. “God the Father gathered all the waters together and called them the seas. He gathered all His graces together and called them Mary.”2
A verse from the Gospel hymn the Magnificat proclaims the cause of the countless wonders of which Our Lady became the receptacle and dispenser: “He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1:48). The Immaculate Virgin emptied herself completely of self and remained without the slightest shadow of ambition; for this reason, the Most High was able to fill her soul with precious and incomparable streams of grace, the sign of His love.
From this perspective, the image of Our Lady of Graces evokes her special relationship with both the Creator and creatures.
Her attire is most simple and unadorned; She is portrayed as She presents herself before God. Mary Most Holy acknowledged herself as powerless before the Almighty; humble before Grandeur, nothing in face of Him who is everything!
At the same time, this image allows us to see Her as the Lord reveals Her to humanity: overflowing with grace, rich in every gift, always welcoming “with open arms, [with] a smile on her lips, transmitting a loving invitation to draw near and converse with Her a little.”3 She is the Mediatrix of heavenly gifts, Mother of those who beg for favours, of the miserable, the afflicted, of those who need her triumphant intercession.
Another remarkable aspect of the statue is its whiteness. She appears all white, because She harbours only the purest intentions. She also conveys an idea of luminosity, of someone coming down from on high, while the gesture of her hands indicate her proximity and desire to be present so as to favour and enrich us with benefits, by means of a maternal, majestic and affable intimacy.
Would the reader not agree that the posture of the Queen of the Universe manifests a slight inclination towards the faithful at her sacred feet? Kneeling before Her, we feel the unfailing solicitude that is poured out over each one of us, however sinful we may be, ready to lift us up, to support us in her arms, to caress us with her most beautiful hands, to cover us with her silken mantle, to surround us with the tender affection that overflows from her Immaculate Heart.
Therefore, with complete confidence, let us place ourselves in the hands of this august Queen, so rich in every gift, but at the same time our most intimate Mother, always ready to meet our every need. ◊
1 SAINT-LAURENT, Thomas de. O livro da confiança. São Paulo : Retournarei, 2019, p.13.
2 ST. LOUIS-MARIE GRIGNION DE MONTFORT. True Devotion to Mary, n.23. In God Alone, Bayshore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1987, p.296.
3 CORRÊA DE OLIVEIRA, Plinio. 27 de novembro de 1830: Uma porta do Céu se abriu para o mundo [November 27, 1830: A Gate of Heaven Opened for the World]. In: Dr. Plinio. São Paulo. Year VIII. N.92 (Nov., 2005); p.25.