The Our Lady of Divine Providence, Indiana ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods exists to promote the humanness of Mary and her family of Joseph and Jesus. Through it the Sisters of Providence offer spiritual support and guidance for the real needs of families today.
Dedication to Mary under the title Our Lady of Providence began with the first shrine dedicated to her in Italy in 1664. In May 1925, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods established the National Shrine of Our Lady of Providence in the United States.
In April 2014, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Providence was rededicated in a new location, the vestibule of the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
Sisters of Providence and others gather at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Providence to pray for the many intentions sent to the shrine. Special prayers are offered for the needs of all families, asking for the protection and intercession of Our Lady of Providence as Queen of the Home.
Our Lady of Divine Providence, Indiana – Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, often called St. Mary’s, is an unincorporated community in Sugar Creek Township in north-western Vigo County, in the U.S. state of Indiana. The community is part of the Terre Haute Metropolitan Statistical Area. A large portion of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods along U.S. Route 150 is taken up by the grounds of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, which contain the motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence as well as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Although Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 47876. It had a population of 797 at the 2010 census.
History of Our Lady of Divine Providence, Indiana
The earliest land records in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods date back to 1825, when George and Polly Smith acquired a land patent signed by Andrew Jackson. It is likely that this was a land grant for military service, as George Smith served as an aide and dispatch bearer to George Washington during the American Revolution. In the following years several other settlers acquired acreage from the United States government. From the Smiths, a Joseph Thralls and his family acquired a significant parcel of land in 1835.
Records from 1838 show a purchase of land transferring from Joseph and Sarah Thralls to Bishop Simon Bruté of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vincennes for a sum of fifteen dollars. Bruté was concerned with establishing a Catholic mission for the surrounding Terre Haute area and built a small frame church, the first in Vigo County.
In 1840, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin arrived in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods with several companions and found a dense forest with few buildings. There she established the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, a Roman Catholic congregation of women. Originally, the Thralls family provided housing for the sisters.
As the Sisters of Providence grew in number, the town of St. Mary’s also expanded. In April 1850, twenty men from the village had left for California in search of gold. Despite this, by 1851, Sister of Providence Sister Saint Francis Xavier wrote, “Now we have quite a little country town… We have in the village a post office, two little inns, three or four stores, wheelwrights, coopers, carpenters, blacksmiths, shoemakers, cabinet makers, etc.”
A post office was established under the name St. Mary’s in 1846. It was renamed to Saint Mary Of The Woods in 1912, and is still in operation.
Architecture of The Immaculate Conception
The Church of the Immaculate Conception, (Our Lady of Divine Providence, Indiana) consecrated in 1907, is a majestic limestone structure filled with beautiful paintings, stained glass, sculpture and art. Construction of the church began in 1886 with the laying of the cornerstone. D.A. Bohlen and Son of Indianapolis, architects, completed the exterior of the Indiana limestone building in 1891. By June 1892, plastering had been done and the installation of a temporary wooden floor, seats and altars permitted the sisters to worship in the Italian Renaissance style edifice. It would be another sixteen years to complete the interior of the church.
In 1902, the General Council, under the leadership of General Superior Mother Mary Cleophas Foley, focused its attention on the interior decoration of the church. Mother Mary Cleophas and General Councilor Sister Mary Alma O’Donald visited numerous churches in Europe, gathering many ideas for their church nestled in the Woods. Inspired by their travels, the two sisters returned home and soon artisans and craftsmen were employed to transform the church from a building to a truly sacred place of worship.Religious dignitaries, including Bishop Francis Silas Chatard, and guests poured into the church Oct. 23, 1907, when it was consecrated.
Art in the Church
Thaddeus von Zukoynski painted all of the paintings in the church. He was Polish and graduated from the Academy of Arts in Munich, Germany. There are four major paintings. In the semi-dome in the front section of the church is a painting of The Immaculate Conception and the four Evangelists. There is a painting of The Ascension of Our Lord on the ceiling above the main seating area. The two other paintings located near the front of the church are The Return from Calvary and The Flight into Egypt.
Our Lady of Divine Providence, Indiana – Stained glass windows can be seen on each side of the church. They were made by the Bavarian Art Institute of Munich, Germany. They portray events of Christ and his mother Mary, as well as scenes from the Old Testament. The stained glass windows in the upper balcony display scenes of angels.
Some of the first items installed in the church were the Stations of the Cross. They were made in Munich, Germany.
The Our Lady of Divine Providence, Indiana is the home of an organ purchased from William Schuelke Church Organ Builder of Milwaukee.
Appearing to rise from the crucifix, the figure of Jesus is located up high at the front. Harry Breen of Champaign, Illinois, sculpted it and it was installed in 1991.
Our Lady of Divine Providence, Indiana – One hundred years after the laying of the cornerstone, the church underwent a transformation not only to conform with the liturgical norms of the Second Vatican Council, but also to strengthen the floor joists. As with the building of the church, this renovation was accomplished with the monetary assistance of many donors.
Our Lady of Divine Providence
Our Lady of Providence or Our Lady of Divine Providence is a title of Mary.
The title of “Mary, Mother of Divine Providence” is often traced to her intervention at the wedding in Cana. Christ’s first public miracle was occasioned in part by the intercession of his mother. She helped through her foresight and concern to avoid an embarrassing situation for the newlywed couple. Our Lady of Providence is sometimes also identified as Queen of the Home.
Devotion to Our Lady of Divine Providence originated in Italy, and spread to France and Spain. The devotion was brought to Puerto Rico in the early 1850s by the Servite Fathers. According to tradition, Philip Benizi (1233 – 1285) prayed to Mary for help in providing food for his friars, and subsequently found several baskets of provisions left at the door of the convent. Our Lady of Providence was declared the patroness of Puerto Rico by Pope Paul VI on November 19, 1969. Her feast day is celebrated in many Puerto Rican communities.
Around 1580, the Italian painter Scipione Pulzone created a work titled “Mater Divinae Providentiae,” which depicted the Blessed Mother cradling the Infant Jesus. Devotion to Mary, Mother of Divine Providence in the first house of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Barnabites) in Rome at San Carlo ai Catinari church began around year 1611, when one of the clerics traveled to Loreto to pray for assistance in finding the financial resources to complete the Church of San Carlo. Upon his return, they received the necessary assistance, and the Barnabites began to promote devotion to Our Lady of Providence.
Pulzone’s painting was given to the Barnabites in 1663. It was placed on the altar of a chapel on the first floor of the Saint Charles rectory behind the main altar. In 1732, a copy of the painting was placed in a location adjacent to the main altar of the church of San Carlo ai Catinari in Rome, where it drew many faithful visitors.
In 1774, Pope Benedict XIV authorized the Confraternity of Our Lady of Providence, a lay organization created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety. Pope Gregory XVI elevated it to an Archcon fraternity in 1839. In 1888, Pope Leo XIII ordered the solemn crowning of the “Miraculous Lady” and approved the Mass and Office of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence. On August 5, 1896, Superior General of the Barnabites Father Benedict Nisser decreed that every Barnabite have a copy of the painting in their home.
History of Our Lady of Divine Providence
The shrine of Our Lady of Divine Providence, or the Santuario Madonna della Divina Provvidenza, is located in a rural district of the diocese of Fossano, Italy, called Cussanio. According to tradition, in the year 1521 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a deaf mute, Bartolomeo Coppa, (sometimes spelled Bartholomew Cup), who had been both deaf and mute since birth. The man was a shepherd who drove cattle to pasture, was said to be of vulgar appearance and stature, and who could always be found dressed in his coarse robe.
Not that anyone would look for him, because no one cared about Bartolomeo at all until the 8th of May in 1521, when he saw a great lady dressed in white who approached him with maternal affection. Blessing him, the lady instantly cured Bartolomeo of his disability and gave him a mission. The lady told Bartolomeo to preach penance to the inhabitants of Fossano, and to proclaim the righteousness of God, warning them of a deadly scourge if they did not do penance. The lady then simply vanished.
Bartolomeo went through the streets of the city as a preacher of repentance, calling Christians to leave the path of sin, threatening the chastisement of God. For three days he preached unheeded, until tired and hungry after these days, he dejectedly returned to the scene of the miracle and fell asleep on the open ground.
And it is here that a new prodigy took place. Our Lady, who does not abandon her faithful, appeared to Bartolomeo a second time. No longer dressed in white, she was now attired in blue, and knowing of Bartolomeo’s hunger, she brought with her three loaves of fresh bread. When Bartolomeo awoke, the lady gave him the bread and again asked him to preach penance to the people of Fossano before vanishing again.
Bartolomeo took the bread, giving a part to his master and some to those in the neighborhood. Renewed in spirit, he returned to Fossano and reminded them of the Lord’s threats, but again he was only ridiculed and not believed.
After just six months, in October of that year, a hideous plague broke out in and around Fossano. There were thousands of victims, death, sadness, and desolation, before they remembered the words of poor Bartolomeo, who had foretold their punishment. They decided to follow his warning, though late, and had recourse to Our Lady and did penance. The plague subsided, and a small chapel was erected at the scene of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary which was known as Our Lady of Divine Providence. Over the years this chapel started the awakening of devotion to the mother of God and pilgrimages began to the chapel.
In 1600 the Augustinian Brothers of the Congregation of Genoa came to Cussanio and the friars built the great monastery complex next to the sanctuary. During the French Revolution the convent and church were suppressed and the buildings forcibly abandoned.
Then, in the year 1872, the bishop Emiliano Manacorda, a personal friend of Saint Don Bosco, arrived at the diocese and claimed ownership of the monastery that had been wrongfully confiscated by the state and decided upon the complete renovation of the sanctuary.
Work began shortly after 1875 and continued for about twenty years, and included the elevation of the majestic dome and the reconstruction of the entire façade. The nave was extended, two aisles built and the interior was adorned with altars, sculptures and paintings. Two of the paintings, attributed to the painter Giuseppe Barotto, depict the two scenes mentioned above and are now preserved in the church.
Our Lady of Divine Providence, Indiana – Our Lady of Providence is the patroness of Indiana and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island. The chapel of Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts is dedicated to Our Lady of Providence.
Our Lady of Divine Providence is the patroness of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, Kansas.
Our Lady of Divine Providence is the patroness of the Our Lady of Divine Providence House of Prayer, Inc., a organization and ministry in Clearwater, Florida. The organization is dedicated to fostering spiritual growth among clergy and laity alike.
Our Lady of Divine Providence is the patroness of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, where a parish is dedicated to her.
Santa Maria Madre della Provvidenza a Monte Verde is a church in Rome, built in 1937 and a titular church since 1969.
Puerto Rico National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Providence
The National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Providence (Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora Madre de la Divina Providencia) is a pilgrimage center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The center aims to empower and educate members of the Roman Catholic faith. The site regularly hosts religious and cultural events for groups and families.
On the first Saturday of every month, the center hosts an Early Risers (madrugadores) event in which the rosary is prayed and the Catholic sacraments of Confession and Eucharist are administered. Two weeks before Holy Week, the center prepares for its Lenten Mission, which attracts around 10,000 pilgrims a year. Occasionally, a Night With Mary Under The Stars (Con María Bajo Las Estrellas) event is held.
Feast Day – 19th November
Our Lady of Divine Providence, Indiana – Our Lady of Providence or Our Lady of Divine Providence is a title of Mary. Her Annual feast day is celebrated on November 19th.
Mondays & Saturdays
1 Providence Pl, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods,
Indiana, IN 47876, United States
Tel : +1 812-535-3131
How to reach the Shrine
Terre Haute Regional Airport in Terre Haute, in Vigo County, Indiana is the nearby airport to the Shrine.
Crawfordsville Train Station is an Amtrak intercity rail station in Crawfordsville, Indiana is the nearby rail station to the Shrine.