Our Lady of All Graces


Our Lady of All Graces

12th June


Mother Bonnat tells us that although Our Good Father addressed Our Lady under various titles, he summed them all up in the title “Our Lady of All Graces.” 

He got to know Our Lady under this title in   the seminary of Saint-Sulpice at Issy where there is a small chapel in the grounds dedicated to Our Lady of All Graces.  This would have been the first statue of Our Lady of All Graces that he knew.  Our Lady is seated presenting  Jesus to us.  He is standing on her knee.

Our Founder  wrote his Rules for  the various  Holy Family groups in front of the  statue of  Our Lady of All Graces  in the grotto on  the  island  in   Martillac  stopping  frequently to  pray to her for guidance.   Then when he  was too ill to go to  the island,  he  had  a replica  of that  statue made  for   his room  so that he  could  continue his work  in her presence, so to speak. You may say   that the statue in the grotto is not Our Lady   of All Graces.     But it is.   Our Lady was always Our Lady of All Graces for Fr. Noailles no matter what the statue looked like. 
In fact, when the island was first blessed on 12 June (that is why 12 June is our special date) in 1844 that was the statue, which was there.  It was only later that our Founder thought it would be good to have a special statue of Our Lady of All Graces for the Association.   So, one day when he was in Martillac he asked the Sisters what kind of statue they would like – one with the baby or one without the baby like the Immaculate Conception.  Among the group, he asked were Suzanne (Mother Chantal) Machet and Virginia (Mother Eugène de Saint-Pierre) Machet, a mother and daughter who had both become Holy Family Sisters. The mother said that she would like a statue without the baby.  Virginia was quite indignant and said that, as a mother, she more than anyone else, should opt for a statue with the baby saying that she and her sister Pauline, (Mother Gonzague de Marie), her daughters, were there to remind her how important children are.  Fr. Noailles, we are told, had a good laugh. And so, we have our own special statue of Our Lady with the baby, he inviting us to look at his mother while she presents her Son to us. 





The Good Father recommends us to do the same as he did, to sum up all Our Lady’s titles in this one.  He says, for example,

It is very good and very advantageous to invoke Mary our blessed Mother under her different titles but it is a duty for the members of the Holy Family by what they do and what they say, to propagate trust in Mary under the name of Our Lady of All Graces.

Our Founder did not go into any complicated theological explanations about what he meant by the title of Our Lady of All Graces.   For him, she was simply a wonderful Mother to whom he went when he needed something, and she got it for him. He encourages us to ask for her help before God in all the circumstances of our lives and, especially in all the good works that we undertake for the glory of God in Jesus, Mary and Joseph. He actually used the gospel of the Feast’s Mass—the Wedding Feast of Cana—to illustrate the way Mary asks Jesus for what we need, and gets it. One of the things he said in that homily is that the power of Mary at the wedding feast is the image of the power, which she has today in heaven.   He said he often asked Our Lady to renew the miracle that she obtained from her Son at Cana; that as he turned the water into wine, may he turn our wayward hearts into hearts burning with love for him and for her.


Áine Hayde

Britain & Ireland