Have you ever heard of Mary’s title “Our Lady of the Way?” If not, let me introduce her to you.
Our Lady of the Way (Santa Maria della Strada) is a feast celebrated by the Jesuits on May 24th. The late medieval mural of Santa Maria della Strada was on the external wall of the small chapel of Our Lady of the Way in Rome. It was here that Ignatius prayed and eventually set up the headquarters of his new society. Ignatius would have known the image well and, throughout his life, had a particular devotion to Our Lady under whose patronage he placed the Society of Jesus. The small chapel of Santa Maria della Strada was demolished to make way for the Church of the Gesu, begun in 1568 and consecrated in 1584. The image was preserved and is today in the north chapel in the Church of the Gesu in Rome, having recently undergone restoration. http://jesuitinstitute.org/Pages/OurLadyOfTheWay.htm
In March/April 2019, Mike and I went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Rome, and Lourdes to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. While we were in Rome, a priest friend of our son Nathan, took us on a tour to some sites. He took us to the Church of the Gesu. It is a beautiful church and St. Ignatius is buried there. In one of the side chapels was this image of Our Lady of the Way. I had never heard of that image or title of Mary before. After Fr. Andrew explained it to us, I said, “Can I please just take a few minutes to pray here?” He said, “Sure, go right ahead.”
To backtrack a minute here — the day before we left on this pilgrimage, our son, Justin, called me to say that he did not get the Resident Assistant (R.A.) job in his college dorm that he had been interviewing for (and had really hoped to get) to help pay for his last year of college. We were disappointed but I told him not to worry that something would work out. We just need to keep praying.
So as I knelt before the image of Our Lady of the Way, I asked her to please “make a way” for Justin to get the money for his senior year of college. I left it with her.
A couple of days later, I got a text from Justin saying that one of the R.A.’s dropped out of their job and that Justin was given the job!!
I was sold on Our Lady of the Way. Since then I have often asked her intercession to make a way for this or a way for that. Those prayers are answered more frequently than not.
Nathan says the Jesuits often pray to Our Lady of the Way for safe travels when they get in a vehicle asking her protection.
May we also call on her intercession for protection and guidance on our way to heaven so as to arrive safe and sound to our celestial home where we can meet her and her son face to face.
Doesn’t that sound good!
Mary Ann / Mother Hen