Blessed Virgin Mary: Mother of Divine Providence

“I love the image of Christ as a chubby little helpless babe in Mary’s arms–looking at His own reflection in her eyes. I love this entire image of Jesus and Mary! It reminds us that we should be like little children and trust Mary completely.” ~K. Anne, November 19, 2019.

Today, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Mother of Divine Providence.  I know of Catholics who are devoted to Our Lady under this title, and find themselves cared for by her in astounding ways. When I use the word astounding, I do so deliberately, and wish to note that the situations are astounding because they are not necessarily grave matters or what would be deemed earth moving; but the matters she looks after are often the exact opposite: small matters which would seem trivial if explanations were attempted to be given. In such personal and seemingly trivial matters, Our Lady renders due aid and care, as mothers are wont to do. When I hear of such stories, I think of the first miracle of Jesus at the wedding feast of Cana: the miracle was performed at the request of Our Lady to prevent the parents of a bride from being embarrassed.  That shows the heart of a mother: one who cares about such a delicate (and seemingly trivial) situation. The English Catholic writer, and Marian devotee,  G.K. Chesterton demonstrated his understanding of the (active) maternal role of Our Lady when he wrote the following poem:

A Little Litany

“When God turned back eternity and was young,
Ancient of Days, grown little for your mirth
(As under the low arch the land is bright)
Peered through you, gate of heaven–and saw the earth.

Or shutting out his shining skies awhile
Built you about him for a house of gold
To see in pictured walls his storied world
Return upon him as a tale is told.

Or found his mirror there; the only glass
That would not break with that unbearable light
Till in a corner of the high dark house
God looked on God, as ghosts meet in the night.

Star of his morning; that unfallen star
In that strange starry overturn of space
When earth and sky changed places for an hour
And heaven looked upwards in a human face.

Or young on your strong knees and lifted up
Wisdom cried out, whose voice is in the street,
And more than twilight of twiformed cherubim
Made of his throne indeed a mercy-seat.

Or risen from play at your pale raiment’s hem
God, grown adventurous from all time’s repose,
Or your tall body climbed the ivory tower
And kissed upon your mouth the mystic rose.”  

As noted above, the title of Our Lady celebrated today is Mary, Mother of Divine Providence. She was painted under this title in 1580 by the Italian painter, Scipione Pulzone (image above). And, as noted above, there is a long and rich history of devotion to Our Lady under the title of Mother of Divine Providence beginning at the wedding feast of Cana; and continuing to the present where she is known by the Faithful under this title as Queen of the Home. The image of Our Lady under the title of Mother of Divine Providence is lovely as it visually captures the work of Our Lady: mother.

Dale Ahlquist of the American Chesterton Society examines the poem (above), A Little Litany, where G.K. Chesterton captures the beauty of Our Lady as the Mother of Christ:

“In the poem called  ‘A Little Litany,’ Chesterton paints a word picture of the Madonna and child, with the baby Jesus crawling up from his mother’s lap, and looking her in the eye…

‘[He] found his mirror there; the only glass
That would not break with that unbearable light
Till in a corner of the high dark house
God looked on God, as ghosts meet in the night.’

Can we find in all of literature a more profound and provocative image than God looking at God in the reflection of his mother’s eye? The marvelous images go on for ever. That is why there are thousands of different Madonnas throughout the history of art, and why Chesterton says in another of poem, ‘In all thy thousand images we salute thee,’ and why in another poem he muses that if all the statues of Mary were smashed, we would still carve her image with a song. It is an inexhaustible profundity.” source

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of Christ, and she is the mother of all Catholics; and, as such, she is ever active in prayer, and deed, to see to the temporal and eternal needs of her children. As St. John Vianney (b. 1786- d. 1859) stated:

“Only after the last judgement will Mary get any rest; from now until then, she is much too busy with her children.”

There is never a need which is too small, or too large, for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ trusted in Our Lady’s maternal care while He lived on earth: dwelling in her womb for nine months, resting in her arms in infancy, and spending His childhood under her watchful eye. Her motherhood did not end when Christ attained adulthood, but she accompanied Him until the very end: to His death on the Cross. And, her work of loving maternity did not end at the Cross, as at the Cross Our Lady took up her work as Mother of the Church, the mother of all Catholics.

Yes, the Church has repeatedly declared that Mary is the mother of all Catholics, and this has been attested to by the Fathers of the Church, the saints, and Tradition. To be a child of Mary is an honor, and a person is blessed when he is mothered by her. When Catholics rest in the arms of Mary, in confidence, they are living what it means to be consecrated to Mary, to be consecrated to Jesus through Mary. It is as St. Francis de Sales declared:

“…how wonderful it is to be the child of such a glorious mother, however unworthy we are. She watches over us, we must go ahead bravely; if we are only the least bit devoted to her, she sees to it that we don’t fail in what we undertake.” 


“Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.” 

There, in her arms, you may look up, and do as Jesus instructed St. John the Apostle to do from the Cross: Behold thy mother (John 19:27). 

Mary, Mother of Divine Providence, pray for us!

May you have a good day.


~Image: source.


~Note: this is a refreshed post for this date, 2020.