MARIA, REFUGIUM PECCATORUM MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
O most holy and pure virgin! O my mother! You who are the mother of my Lord, the queen of the world, the advocate and refuge of sinners! I, a most wretched sinner, now come to you. I honor you, great queen, and give you humble thanks for the many favors which have come to me in the past through your intercession. I love you, Lady most worthy of all love, and by the love which I bear you, I promise ever in the future to honor you, and to do what lies in me to win others to your love. Receive me as your servant, and cover me with the mantle of your protection, you who are the mother of mercy! And since you have so much power with God, implore him to deliver me from all temptations, and to give me the grace ever to overcome them. Pray for me that I may love Christ in this world as you love him, and intercede for me that I may have the grace of a good death. O my mother! by your love for God I beseech you to be at all times my helper, but above all at the last moment of my life. Cease not your supplications until you see me safe in heaven, there for countless ages to bless you and, your holy company, to worship and adore your son, for ever and ever.
Amen.

* Refugium Peccatorum meaning Refuge of Sinners is a Roman Catholic title for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its use goes back to Saint Germanus of Constantinople in the 8th century
In the Roman Catholic tradition, Eve is viewed as being responsible for the sufferings of humans since their fall and expulsion from paradise while the Virgin Mary is viewed as the source of all healing. She is the new Eve, who cannot eliminate the damage created by Eve, but limit it. Her fullness of grace, her position among the disciples of Christ and her title as Mother of God are seen as assurances that the Virgin Mary is a powerful intercessor.
Prayer
Refugium Peccatorum is one part of four Marian advocations in the Litany of Loreto, the others being Salus Infirmorum (healer of the sick) Consolatrix Afflictorum (consoler of the sad) and Auxilium Christianorum (help of Christians). Each advocation extolling Mary’s role as advocate for spiritual and corporeal mercy has a rich history, but in general, the notion of asking the Blessed Virgin Mary for help in temporal needs dates back to Saints Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Ambrose of Milan.
Community
The Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of Sinners was established at Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in the 19th century, and spread throughout the world.
Art 
Further information: Madonna (art)
The 18th century Jesuit preacher Antonio Baldinucci had a particular devotion to the Refugium Peccatorum image of Virgin Mary in the Church of the Gesu (Frascati) in Italy and commissioned a copy which he considered miraculous and carried it with him in his travels. The Jesuits spread copies of the image of the Madonna of Refuge in Mexico by the 19th century, and it began to be depicted in missions there, often with clouds surrounding the lower portion of the image of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus.

In some 19th-century images, biblical scenes are included below the image of the Madonna, e.g. Peter's visions as well as the depiction of a safe harbor (Psalm 108:30).
The term "Refugium peccatorum" is also used other works of Roman Catholic Marian art. For instance, there is a marble statue representing the Virgin Mary, on the grand staircase of the old municipal palace in Venice, Italy. The name came from the fact that the convicts were allowed to stop in front of the Virgin Mary’s statue to pray for their soul on the way to the scaffold.
Feast
The traditional feast day of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners is August 16. In Mexico, the feast day is observed on July 4. She is the patroness of California, where the (arch)dioceses there celebrate the feast on July 5.
Apparitions
Our Lady of Laus, which the Vatican approved in 2008, is named Refuge of Sinners because she asked for the conversion of sinners.

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