Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 29 June |
The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Meet Our Lady’s gardener

Our Lady of Divine Love

© Antoine Mekary/ALETEIA

Our Lady of Divine Love © Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

Marinella Bandini - published on 05/11/17

Our tour of Rome's Little Madonnas brings us today to Piazza Carpegna.

We continue with our daily tour this month through a particular artistic expression of Marian devotion: Rome’s “Madonnelle” (“little Madonnas”). These are images of Mary—some of them miraculous—scattered throughout the streets and alleyways of the city. They are the object of much popular devotion. Follow the series here: Little Madonnas of Rome
Our Lady of Divine Love
© Antoine Mekary/ALETEIA
Our Lady of Divine Love © Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

Mario is 78 years old. After traveling the world as a chef, he finally retired in Rome. Now, for nearly a decade, he has been working on a very special garden: a small plot of ground in front of the image of Our Lady of Divine Love, in Piazza Carpegna, a few kilometers from the Vatican and a stone’s throw away from Via Aurelia. In a wall surrounding the local public park, overlooking a crossroads of intensely busy streets, we find this beautiful mosaic depicting the Madonna of Divine Love.

Our Lady of Divine Love
© Antoine Mekary/ALETEIA
Our Lady of Divine Love © Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

The little nook for Our Lady was built in 1956. In those years, shrines to Our Lady of Divine Love sprang up all over Rome, as signs of gratitude for her protection of the city during the Second World War. On a marble plaque we read: “Gift of Comm. Antonio Giampaoli to the parish of St. Pius V and the parishioners of Our Lady of Repose,” with the date 1956 in roman numerals. The mosaic, embedded in the wall, is protected under a glass case. At the base of the image we read: “Mother of Divine Love, pray for us.”

“I come here every day; I can’t miss it,” Mario says. “I feel bad if I skip a day.” His words reveal a mixture of gratitude and devotion to Our Lady, who answered his prayers for his wife. A private man, Mario didn’t want to recount the details, but since then he has served Our Lady with love and devotion.

Our Lady of Divine Love
© Antoine Mekary/ALETEIA
Our Lady of Divine Love © Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

Mario’s only regret is seeing people walk by seemingly distracted or indifferent, and wondering who will take care of the image when he is gone. Every day around 9:30 a.m., you can find him here cleaning the small garden around the shrine, watering and arranging fresh flowers, and putting the lights in order. Every now and then he cleans the marble shelf inside the nook: his wife is the one who washes and irons the doilies he places under the mosaic.

~

Follow the series here: Little Madonnas of Rome

See more articles like this at Aleteia’s Art & Travel section.

Tags:
Little Madonnas of RomeVirgin Mary
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.