Anyone who knows the story of Our Lady of the Garden would remember that her devotion started in the 14th century, when Genoa was suffering a devastating epidemic.
In the spring of 1493, the northern part of Italy was suffering from a terrible plague that reached the whole region. In Chiavari, a pious woman, Maria dei Quercio, had recourse to the Mother of God, promising Her to give a mark of public gratitude if she was spared from the disease. She did no contract it, and in gratitude, paid a known artist to paint a picture of the Blessed Mother in a public place, so that people who passed by might more easily praise and honor her.
The artist, Benedetto Borzone, succeeded in expressing marvelously the idea of the goodness and power of Mary. The Virgin Mary is represented in the act of holding up the Infant Jesus’ arm that He may bless the city and whomever may be passing by.Through the years, hundreds of people obtained graces through the Blessed Mother’s intercession and a church was built. Today the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Garden is the Cathedral of the city of Chiavari.
Prayer to Our Lady of the Garden
O Mary, for your fruitful virginity,
you were made an “enclosed garden and a sealed fountain”
by the Holy Spirit.
Because you bound yourself completely to God,
look upon us with motherly care.
For the particular love with which you revealed yourself
as a garden filled with graces for our salvation,
obtain for us from your Son, whom you are holding in your arms,
a continuous conversion of heart,
a growing love for God’s will
and a diligent charity toward our brothers and sisters.
Grant me also … (mention your need), for Christ Our Lord. Amen
Pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be. Our Lady of the Garden, Pray for us.