Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ
Mary is ever at our side and is invoked in so many ways – Queen of Peace, Queen of Heaven, Queen of Angels and so many more. Servant of God Father Paul of Graymoor, Founder of the Friars of the Atonement had a long and deep devotion to Mary.
In 1901, Fr. Paul initiated for his Friars of the Atonement devotion to the Blessed Mother and invoked her by the title, “Our Lady of the Atonement” focusing on Mary at the foot of the Cross when Christ made her the mother of all humanity, and emphasized her work for unity and her intercession on behalf of all people with God, in Christ.
Father Paul wrote: “In her wonderful condescension and love the Mother of God has been pleased to reveal herself to the Children of the Atonement under a new name, thus giving remarkable evidence of the honor, love and prayers to her as Our Lady of the Atonement.” In a sermon he said, “When, therefore, we address the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Atonement, we think of her as the connecting link between ourselves and God…to bring about that blissful state of Unity which will constitute the joy of Heaven.”
Fr. Paul’s Prayer to Our Lady of the Atonement
We salute you, Holy Mary, Daughter of God the Father, and entreat you to obtain for us a devotion like your own to the most sweet Will of God.
We salute you, Virgin Mother of God and Son, and entreat you to obtain for us such union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus that our own hearts may burn with love of God and an ardent zeal for the salvation of souls.
We salute you, Immaculate Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, and entreat you to obtain for us such yielding of ourselves to the Blessed Spirit, that He may, in all things, direct and rule our hearts and that we may never grieve Him in thought, word or deed.
As Our Lady of the Atonement, she is depicted wearing a golden crown or a crown of 12 stars and red mantle to signify the Precious Blood of Jesus, which brought about the atonement for sins and enabled humanity to be at one with God. She holds in her arms the Christ Child who holds a cross in his right hand.
Her image was painted by Giovanni Martini in 1929 and by Mother Margaret Mary Nealis in 1933. Several shrines and statues at Graymoor are dedicated to the devotion of Our Lady of the Atonement. Stained glass windows at the St. Francis Chapel at Graymoor commemorate the Friars and Sisters devotion to Our Lady of the Atonement.
Her Feast Day
On June 14, 1946, the Sacred Congregation of Rites approved the Mass and Office for Our Lady of Atonement to be celebrated annually on July 9, in recognition of the date on which Fr. Paul had received the name for his Society and the Scripture text: “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:11).
Devotion to Our Lady of the Atonement
The intercession of Our Lady of the Atonement will aid in obtain the fullness of reconciliation through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, her son, our Lord and in following God’s will to preserve unity and peace. Her loving and merciful example guides us and gives us strength.