VIRGEN ALTAGRACIA -OUR LADY OF THE HIGHEST GRACE


feast day April 2 

Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our
Patroness.
Look at us here, prostrate in your presence, desiring
to offer you this novena as a testimony of our love
for you and in thanksgiving for the innumerable
favors that we have received from your hands.

You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our
needs.

You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to
learn from the example of your holy life.

You are our Mother, and like children, we come to
offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive,
dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively
to our supplications. Amen

[Here ask for one of the graces you would like to
obtain from the Holy Virgin of Altagracia]

Supplications

1. Oh sweetest Mother of Altagracia,
all pure and Immaculate from your Conception! We
beseech you to bless us, your children, with the grace
to love the purity you practiced and to preserve the
innocence of our children.

Hail Mary…

2. Oh sweetest Mother of Altagracia,
admirable model of Christian mothers and wives in the
humble house of Nazareth, we beseech you to bless our
homes, making them flourish in the holiness of
matrimony.

Hail Mary…

3. Oh sweetest Mother of Altagracia,
you received into your arms the Holy Infant who died
for us on the Cross, we give you all of our
sufferings, so that at the hour of our death we may
die with the name of Jesus on our lips and in our
hearts, and fly to heaven with the help of your
maternal arms.

Hail Mary …

Final Prayer

Holy Virgin of Altagracia!

From your hands and your maternal heart we receive
each day the sustenance that you give to us from Our
Father in heaven.
You are our defense in danger,
our indispensable help in our necessities and our hope in the sacrifices required of the Christian
life.
Through your Immaculate Heart we desire to pay tribute
to God with a hymn of thanksgiving for all the
benefits you have distributed.
We promise you, Oh Mother, gratitude and fidelity.
You will always reign in our homes and in our town,
where all venerate you as Our Lady and Mother, you who
make all virtues increase and thrive.
We are honored to be called your children.

We hope to finish our lives serving God and you until
we reach the highest grace possible, the grace you
will help us to attain, the great gift of heaven
itself.

Amen

Before the Spaniards began their conquest of America, pilgrimages were already being made to the shrine of Our Lady of the Highest Grace in the town of Higuey in the Dominican Republic.

Ponce de Leon relates that he and his crew were saved from shipwreck through their prayers to this Virgin. Mary’s miracles have continued down to the present; a multimillion dollar ultra-modern Basilica erected at Higuey in Mary’s honor, where the image is still displayed, gives testimony of this.

Ponce de Leon’s daughter, La Nina, also had a great devotion to the Mother of God. Our Lady appeared to Nina while she prayed before the statue in their home chapel, and told her to request from her father a gift, a painting of Our Lady of Highest Grace.

Ponce de Leon was struck with amazement at the request, for he had never heard of Our Lady under that title.

He asked Nina, “How could I identify this image?”

“By the white scapular over her robe,” Nina replied.

Ponce de Leon searched and inquired everywhere in order to fulfill his daughter’s request.

One day while returning from a three-day trip, he asked for lodging at a small hut; his host granted this at the same time to an old man with a long white beard; the latter crouched against the walls, carefully guarding an apparent treasure in his saddle-bags. 

Ponce de Leon, forgetting the old man, told his host of his daughter’s wish, and added that the Bishop of Domingo had told him no such painting existed.

The old man hearing this, exclaimed, “The Virgin of Highest Grace does not exist? I have brought the painting with me.”

He then took from his saddle-bags a parchment, unrolled it and displayed a beautiful painting of Our Lady in simple tones of blue, white and red. Mary was depicted adoring the Christ child, while Saint Joseph holding a lighted taper hovered in the distance. Over the Virgin’s starred blue robe hung a white scapular. Ponce de Leon offered all he possessed in exchange for the painting, but the stranger waved aside the offer, saying, “Take it to La Nina.”

The two men fell on their knees to give homage to the holy image. When they again looked up, the old bearded stranger had vanished. When Ponce de Leon arrived home, his daughter awaited him under an orange tree in the plaza, stretching out her hands she begged:

“The painting, Papacito! Please, let me see it!”

When it had been unwrapped, La Nina fell on her knees, covering Our Lady’s face with kisses. Then she cried:

“This is exactly how our Mother of Highest Graces appeared to me!”

The painting of Our Lady of Highest Grace was placed in the chapel where the townspeople came to venerate it. Not long afterward La Nina died and was buried beneath the orange tree, which she loved, for it was there she had received the image.

Later the painting of Our Lady of Highest Grace disappeared from the chapel and was found in the branches of the orange tree. After this had happened three times, the people were convinced that Our Lady wished a shrine erected on the spot. Countless miracles began to occur there.

*from The Woman in Orbit

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