Our Lady of Peace


Our Lady of Peace, Mother of Peace, Queen of Peace or Our Lady Queen of Peace is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church. She is represented in art holding a dove and an olive branch, symbols of peace. Her official memorial feast is celebrated on January 24 each year in Hawaii and some churches in the United States. Elsewhere, the memorial feast is celebrated on July 9.

The traditional story holds that in the early 1500s in France, a certain Jean de Joyeuse presented the statue as a wedding gift to his young bride, Francoise e Voisins. The statue was known as the “Virgin of Joyeuse” and became a cherished family heirloom.

Around the year 1588, Henri Joyeuse, grandson of Jean de Joyeuse, joined the Capuchin Franciscans in Paris and brought the statue with him, where it remained for the next 200 years. With the olive branch in her hand and the Prince of Peace on her arm, the statue was called - Notre Dame de Paix - (Our Lady of Peace). In 1657 the Capuchin community erected a larger chapel to accommodate the growing number of faithful who sought her intercession. On July 9 that year, before a large crowd which included King Louis XIV, the papal nuncio to France blessed and solemnly enthroned the Blessed Mother’s statue. Pope Alexander VII would later designate this date for the Capuchin community to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Peace.

During the French Revolution, which erupted in 1789, the Capuchins were driven from their monastery. They took their beloved Madonna with them to prevent her destruction by the ransacking rebels. When peace was restored in the land, the statue was brought out of hiding and entrusted to PeterCoudrin,a priest in Paris. He gave it to a nun, Mother Henriette Aymer de la Chevalerie, who, on May 6, 1806, enshrined it in a convent chapel in the Picpus district of Paris. In 1800 they had been the co-founders of a community of sisters, brothers and priests — the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The members were also known more simply as the Picpus or Sacred Hearts religious.