May 8 – Our Lady of Grace

Our Lady of Grace is another of the several titles by which Augustinians have traditionally venerated the Blessed Virgin. In fact it is the oldest among these.

From the moment that she received the angel’s greeting and gave her consent to God’s invitation to become the mother of the Word made flesh, Mary became the bearer of Grace in this world.

This title of ‘Our Lady of Grace’ is the oldest with which the Order has shown veneration to Mary. The General Chapter of 1284 prescribed the daily recitation or chant of the ‘Benedicta Tu’ precisely in honor of Our Lady of Grace. The antiphon ‘Ave Regina Caelorum’, also dating back to the 13th Century, is in honor of this same title as well.

A confraternity with the title ‘Lady of Grace’ was established at least as early as 1401 in Augustinian friaries of Spain and Portugal, and over the subsequent one hundred years had extended widely throughout the Order. New friaries under this title began to be established in Italy and Latin America. In 1807 Pius VII, at the request of Venerable Joseph Menochio, Papal Sacristan and confessor to the pope, granted the Order the right to celebrate this Feast on June 1st.

The Virgin Mary, greeted by the angel as ‘full of grace’ became, from that moment, the Mother of Grace. As Mother of the one and only Mediator Jesus, she is Mother of the Author of Grace and dispenser of Grace.