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All About Mary

Our Lady of Grace

– Answered by Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Q: Where does the title, Our Lady of Grace, originate?

A: The title Our Lady of Grace is of French origin. The title corresponds to what we call a miraculous image. The image represents mother and child in tender embrace (eleousa style), and is an icon of italo-byzantine origin which found its way form Rome to Cambrai, France in 1440. It is here that the icon received the title "Notre Dame de Grâce" and was and still is venerated as patroness of the city of Cambrai, also called "Cité-Notre Dame" (Town of Our Lady). Attributed to Saint Lucas, the icon of modest dimensions (35.7 cm x 25.7 cm) was crowned in 1894, and is annually carried in procession through the streets of Cambrai on the day before the Assumption (August 15). Our Lady of Grace has been witness to many historical events, such as the so called "Paix des Dames" 1529 which put an end to the war between France and Spain. The image/title of Our Lady of Grace is venerated in many countries throughout the world.

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