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Our Lady of Mercy holding the Child Jesus
with two angels holding up Her Clock sheltering Her children.


Our Lady of Mercy

Our Lady of Mercy

September 24th


The Blessed Virgin Mother has many Titles. This Feast Day She is called Our Lady of Mercy. This title of Our Lady of Mercy goes back well into the Middle Ages, when the Mercedarian Order invoked Her under this title.

Other Titles the Blessed Mother is given for this Feast Day:

    • Virgin of Mercy
    • Mother of Mercy
    • Madonna of Mercy
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the first and greatest recipient of the Infinite Mercy of God in the mystery of Her Immaculate Conception.  At the moment of Her conception, in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, God intervened by a special grace to preserve the Blessed Virgin Mary from ever being touched and tainted by the Original Sin.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is also the “Mother of Mercy” because She is the Mother of Jesus Christ, who is the Second Person of the Blessed Holy Trinity and the Incarnation of God’s Infinite Mercy.  By Her freely given consent to be the Mother of Christ, God the Father of All Mankind came into our world through His Son Jesus, took our flesh and blood, our humanity with its weaknesses, in order to save us from sin and death.  Our Blessed Mother played an essential role in the Incarnation, so She is the Mother of Mercy, always seeking to bring us closer to Her Divine Son Jesus.

Our Lady of Mercy is depicted in Christian art, showing a group of people sheltering for protection under the outspread cloak, or allium of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Usually the Blessed Virgin is standing alone, though if angels hold up the cloak, the Virgin Mother is free to hold Her Son the infant Christ. The people sheltered normally kneel, and are of necessity shown usually at a much smaller scale. Her cloak is our protection Her loving Mercy for us.

The entire tempera panel is called Polyptych of The Misericordia.

The central panel is called the Madonna della Misericordia.


The entire tempera panel is called Polyptych of The Misericordia.
The central panel is called the Madonna della Misericordia.

The Polyptych of the Misericordia is a painting conserved in the Museo Civico di Sansepolcro in the town of Sansepolcro, region of Tuscany, Italy.  The painting is one of the earliest works of the Italian Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca, who was born in the town.  The central panel of this painting is the common motif called the Madonna della Misericordia that was completed in two years from 1460-1462.  Piero portrays the mercifully protective gesture of Our Lady of Mercy, the Madonna della Misericordia enfolding her followers in her mantle.

The entire tempera painting panel "Polyptych of the Misericordia" took seventeen years to complete.  It was finished in the year 1462.  The oldest two panels, to the left of the central panel, depict St Sebastian and St John the Baptist. Piero painted the outlying panels of the tympanum including the Crucifixion at the top with St Benedict, the Angels,
the Madonna of the Annunciation, and St Francis in at the sides.
Towards 1450 Piero finished the figures of St. Andrew and St. Bernardino.
The predellas platform altarpiece includes five scenes of Jesus’s life.
One of the scenes shows Jesus at the tomb with St. Mary Magdalene. 

Our Lady of Mercy sheltering with Her children with Her cloak.


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    • Sheltering mantle
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