Above the chapel with the miraculous image of Rosa Mistica. Down the staircase and beside the fountain.

PRAYER TO OUR LADY GIRL

Tender Maria Menina, who destined to be Mother of God, you have also become our most loving Mother, listen piously to our humble pleas.

In the needs that surround us everywhere, we place our hope in You. O holy girl, for the privileges that have been granted to you, show yourself today benevolent towards us; it shows that the favors that you continually dispense are inexhaustible, because unlimited is your power over the paternal heart of God.

You, who were privileged and enriched by the Most High, from your immaculate conception, attend, O heavenly Girl, to our supplication, and we will forever praise the goodness of your heart. Amen.

STORY OF OUR LADY GIRL


The image of Nossa Senhora Menina was modeled in wax in 1735 by Sister Isabella Chiara Fornari (1697-1744), in Todi, Italy. In 1738 this image was purchased by the Bishop of Milan, Alberico Simonetta. About a year after his death, the image was for the Capuchin sisters of the Monastery of Santa Maria dos Anjos. The nuns of this convent then came to venerate Nossa Senhora Menina because they were dedicated to the education of young people. Soon these sisters became fervent devotees to the mystery of the Nativity of Mary. During the suppression of religious congregations (in the 1800s) the image of Maria Menina came under the custody of Sister Bárbara Viazzoli, who was the last Capuchin nun to keep this image. . Shortly after his death, the image was given to the parish priest of the Church of San Marcos, Br. Luigi Bosisio, who, in turn, entrusted the image to Mother Superior Teresa Bosio of the Sisters of Charity at Hospital Ciceri, in 1842. On April 24 from 1876 the wax image was brought to the place where it is today, in the Maternity of the Sisters of Charity, in Milan. During all this time devotion to Our Lady Girl was limited to the nuns and novices of that community. The image was usually displayed in the Novitiate and only went to the chapel on the day of Mary's Nativity, September 8 and also during the Octaves (an eight-day period that included the day of the feast followed by seven more days). However, time and parties left marks on the wax image. The face has become discolored and yellowish, lifeless. The image was then removed from the Novitiate and started to be kept in a large dresser. Every year someone removed her from there and took her to the chapel, but only on the day of Mary's Nativity and in the Octaves. From September 9, 1884 Our Lady Girl began to reward her devotees. Sister Giuseppa Woinovich was interviewed and was in terrible pain due to the paralysis of her arms and legs. On September 8 she begged Mother Superior to bring the image of Our Lady Girl to the infirmary so that she could spend the night. The next morning, Mother Superior had the idea of taking that old and battered image to all the other sick in the infirmary so that everyone could venerate her. In that ward there was a very devout novice named Giulia Macario, who was unable to walk due to a serious illness. Fervorously she took the image in her arms and asked Maria Menina for the grace to have her health back. Immediately she was healed. After this miracle the image was kept in the Mother Superior's room. On October 18, 1884, they dressed the image of Maria Menina and placed her in a beautiful cradle. It was solemnly carried and placed between two chandeliers, in a room that became its temporary chapel. There the Sisters could stop to pray seated on the only bench in the room. In the following months, two other Sisters were miraculously healed by the intercession of Our Lady Girl. Many graces and miracles happened for the devotion of Maria Menina. On January 16, 1885, the Sisters began to witness an incredible transformation. From that yellowish, gray and lifeless wax image color and vividness began to emerge and the image became as beautiful as a baby's face. On September 8, 1888 Mother Superior Clementina Lachman took Maria Menina to her new chapel. On May 31, 1904, the image was solemnly crowned by Cardinal Ferrari and in September 1909 Pope Pius X granted a plenary indulgence for visits to the chapels of the Sisters of Charity every September 8. In the following years, a chain of fraternity in honor of Maria Menina and the “League of Innocence” was created. It has become the custom to give a small image of Our Lady Girl to newlywed couples as a gift. Devotion to Maria Menina spread from Milan to all of Italy. During World War II, on October 24, 1942 the convent was hit by bombs. In February 1942 they took the image to a safe place, on Via Maggianico. During the 15th and 16th of August 1943, due to the constant bombing, the sanctuary and the convent were in ruins. However, the destruction of the sanctuary did not stop the nuns and people in Milan and the celebration of the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady was celebrated. On September 4, 1945 Our Lady Girl returned to Milan. After the third day of celebration in her honor she was provisionally installed in a chapel close to the convent. On November 18, 1953 she was taken to the new sanctuary and on the 21st the new sanctuary was consecrated by Cardinal Schuster.