Mary of the Day (October 21) – Our Lady of Holy Hope – Mater Sanctae Spei

The ORIGIN of the Image

The origin of the devotion among the Passionists is an image of Mary holding the child Jesus who has a cross in his hand, recalling the teaching of Saint Paul of the Cross that ‘the whole life of Jesus was a cross’ and the life of a disciple of Jesus means remaining on the cross with him. The original picture, described as a copper engraving believed to be the work of the neapolitan artist Sebastiano Conca, belonged to Father Lorenzo Ricci, the General of the Jesuits. When the Society of Jesus was suppressed in 1773, the image came into the possession of Saint Paul of the Cross. Paul’s successor, Father John Baptist Gorresio, had copies made and it became the custom for each religious to have one of these prints (or perhaps engravings) in his cell.

Devotion to Mary of Holy Hope
Devotion to the Most Holy Virgin under the title of Mother of Holy Hope has been practised in the Passionist Congregation from the beginning. It was promoted in a special way by the great Passionist missionary, Father Thomas Struzzieri, who later became a bishop. He carried a picture of our Mother of Holy Hope with him on missions. This picture was produced and placed in the rooms of Passionists so that they might be reminded to ask Our Lady’s assistance in their needs. The Blessed Virgin thus became the special model and support of our hope, and she remains so.


Lord, you have given to us the Blessed Virgin Mary as mother of our hope. Under her protection, may we pass though this uncertain world with our hopes fixed on heaven and so enter into your kingdom. Amen.

Sources: – by [Father Paul Francis Spencer, C.P.]