This portrait of Our Lady was given by the painter, Carlo Maratta, to a young noblewoman who would become the Abbess of the Convent of Poor Clares of St. Francis in the city of Todi, Italy. In the image, the Christ Child points towards His Mother, the source of graces and confidence.
The Abbess, today Venerable Sister Clara Isabel Fornari, embrace a severe life of penance and was favoured with many mystical graces such as the Stigmata. "My Heavenly Lady, with the love of a true Mother, assured me that She would give a special tenderness and devotion toward this image." Combined with the aspiration, "My Mother, my confidence," this devotion has proven especially efficacious.
One of many copies was place in the chapel of St. Mary's Seminary at the Lateran Basilica in Rome. Our Lady of Confidence granted the seminarians full protection against the scourge of the Asiatic flu. Then, during World War I, when over 100 seminarians were forced into the armed services of Italy, they placed themselves again under Her special care. All returned home safely.
"The inner life of another that is known to God alone becomes to a much less degree open to us through friendship. It partially fills the desire of our incomplete, lonely hearts for completeness in another. Friendship brings out the best in a person through forgetfulness of self." - St. Thomas Aquinas