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I left Rome for Turin. I am meeting a group of young people who will be going to Swaziland in August. In the morning I decided to visit the Consolata Shrine and entrust the Vicariate of Ingwavuma, the Diocese of Manzini, my service as bishop and you all to the intercession of Our Lady Consolata.
Our Lady of Consolata is the patroness of the city of Turin.
Men and women, young and old, prayed and light candles in front of one of the images of our Lady Consolata. While I was there, there was a constant procession of people coming for a short prayer.
On the side chapel instead people, the chapel of the "graces", people were staying for a long time.
It is always moving to see the small pictures around the shrine where people thanked the intercession of our Lady at their time of sorrow. Like the one above thanking the "Consolata" for being able to see again...
who recovered after a sickness or...
who survived an accident.
The devotion to Our Lady of Consolata dates back to early years of Christianity. Her titles as Our Lady of Consolata reflects the attitude of early Christians towards Mary as a loving mother to whom, they would turn to in times of difficulties, tribulations and persecutions. The early Christians had may problems and in Mary they had a consoling mother a source of love, encouragement and hope.
Just as we receive consolation form Mary, she also expects consolation from us by our becoming Christ-like, so that, we would feel that she sacrifices and Christs death were not in vain.