Our Lady of the Way (Santa Maria della Strada) is a feast celebrated by the Society of Jesus in its communities, schools and parishes.
The late medieval mural of Santa Maria della Strada was on an external wall of the small chapel of Our Lady of the Way in Rome. It was here that Ignatius prayed and eventually set up the headquarters of his new Society. Ignatius would have known the image well and, throughout his life, had a particular devotion to Our Lady under whose patronage he placed the Society of Jesus.
The small chapel of Santa Maria della Strada was demolished to make way for the Church of the Gesù, begun in 1568 and consecrated in 1584. The image was preserved and is today in the north chapel, having recently undergone restoration.
Our Lady of the Way
Late medieval mural
Church of the Gesù, Rome
Image © 2013 Society of Jesus
The Ministries of St Ignatius
and the first Companions
in the Church of Our Lady of the Way, Rome
Engraving by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
Mass of Our Lady of the Way
Memorial in Jesuit schools and churches
This feast day was restored to the Proper Calendar of the Society of Jesus in 2014
|Lord, holy Father,
you revealed to us the way, the truth, and the life
in your belove Son.
Grant that by faithfully following his example and teaching,
and through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
we may be led in safety to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
|Reading: Proverbs 4:10-18 (I have taught you the way of wisdom and led you in the paths of uprightness)
Psalm: 118: 1-2, 12, 14, 36-37, 41-42 (Response: Happy are they who walk in the law of the Lord)
Alleluia: Let the word of Christ, rich as it is, dwell in us, so that we sing gratefully to God from our hearts.
Gospel: Luke 2:1-14 (She gave birth to a son, her first born)
or Luke 2:41-52 (Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father's affairs?)
or John 2:1-11 (His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.')
lovingly accept the offerings of your family.
Grant, we beg of you,
that through the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
sinners may be brought back from their evil ways,
and the good may be strengthened in your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right and just.
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
as we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit,
she became the virgin mother of your only Son,
our Lord, Jesus Christ,
who is for ever the light of the world.
Through him the choirs of angels
and all the powers of heaven praise and worship your glory.
May our voices blend with theirs
as we join in their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts . . .
we rejoice in your sacraments
and ask your mercy
as we honour the memory of the Virgin Mary.
May her faith and love inspire us to serve you more faithfully
in the work of salvation.
Grant this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.