Our Lady of Providence is a Marion devotion that began at the church of San Carlo ai Catinari in Rome, Italy.
The Virgin of Providence is the patron saint of Puerto Rico. Her feast marks the traditional start of Puerto Rico’s Christmas Holiday Season – the world’s longest.
Feast of Our Lady of Providence
The Feast of Our Lady of Providence is November 19.
Devotion to Our Lady of Providence is based on the protective care of God
The devotion began around 1611 when a cleric traveled to pray for help funding the completion of the church. When he returned, the financing was received.
This is Our Lady of Providence. She represents the protective care of God, but not just in the giving of gifts. As Benjamin Franklin famously quoted in 1736, “God helps those who help themselves.”
This is the idea behind Our Lady of Providence, that God will help you if you help yourself.
Mater Divinae Providentiae
Late Renaissance painter Scipione Pulzone painted “Mater Divinae Providentiae” around 1580. It shows the Virgin Mary cradling the baby Jesus.
The painting was given to the Clerics of St. Paul (Barnabites) and installed in the Chapel of the Mother of Divine Providence in the church of San Carlo ai Catinari in 1663.
A copy of the painting was placed on the church’s main altar in 1732. It inspired great devotion.
The painting looks surprisingly modern.
Our Lady of Providence is the Patroness of Puerto Rico
The devotion followed Catholic monks around the world. It was brought to Puerto Rico in the 1850s.
In 1969, Pope Paul VI declared Our Lady of Providence to be the Patroness of Puerto Rico.
It’s a strange coincidence that Hurricane Maria recently caused such damage to the island of Puerto Rico.
The faithful will ask, “what does it mean?” After the Federal Government failed to protect its citizens in Puerto Rico, perhaps the meaning is that we have to help ourselves. In doing so, we will be blessed by Our Lady of Providence.
Our Lady of Providence in New York City
There is usually an Our Lady of Providence Mass in Spanish at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown East, Manhattan around her feast day.