Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our Lady of La Leche (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery)

When I was still pregnant, I heard lots of stories about moms who weren’t able to breastfeed their children not because they don't want to breastfeed but because according to them, no matter what they do, "they don't have milk".  To my surprise, even my OB-GYNE, who I dearly love, confessed to me that she wasn't able to breastfeed her children.  She said she tried everything to have milk but all efforts failed.  Now, if a doctor wasn’t able to breastfeed, what are the chances that I won't be able to breastfeed?

I diligently studied all that I have to know about breastfeeding.  I read books, articles in the internet, blogs and even free leaflets.  I interviewed mommy friends and relatives who were able to successfully breastfeed their children.  I attended countless seminars about breastfeeding.  I compared notes with other preggy friends in case I missed something.  Two months before my due date, I started taking malunggay capsules prescribed by my OB-GYNE.  My mother also made dried malunggay leaves which I added to my food.  I avoided vinegar and anything that is sour because they said that it can lessen milk supply.  I bought all the necessary breastfeeding and pumping paraphernalia.  In short,  I prepared myself physically and emotionally while I was still pregnant to BREASTFEED!  Why?  Because I am full of doubts that I will have milk!  Eventhough I read that practically all mothers have milk, still, what if I don't have milk or what if it's too painful for me or what if baby doesn't want to latch? What if? What if? What if?

Then one day, I was surfing the internet and I saw for the first time an image of Mama Mary breastfeeding Baby Jesus.  I uttered a prayer, "Please Mama Mary, give me enough milk for my baby and some extra so I can share it also to those who are in need."  On the same day, I received a phone call from a friend who also saw the image of Mama Mary.  Even my friend doesn't know about Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto.  We talked about where we can find her image.  We both don't know.

A week later, it was a Sunday in September, my husband and I decided to go to mass to a nearby church with parking spaces.  We went to the Immaculate Conception Church in Tayuman.  We don't usually go to that church.  After the mass, it was announced that there was an ongoing exhibit of the different images of Mama Mary.  We went to the exhibit and there I saw the image of Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto!  Wow!  I got really excited!  I prayed for me and my friend for milk, I took her picture and called my friend to tell her that our prayers will be answered.  We will have milk!  From then on, all doubts were gone.  I bought milkbags after that because I knew that I will be needing a lot of them for donation!

This is the photo I took of Our Lady of La Leche
As expected, our prayers were answered.  My friend and I are proud breastfeeding moms!  As for me, I had an oversupply and as of this date of writing, I was able to donate more than a thousand ounces of breastmilk to friends and mostly to strangers who have premature or sick babies.

Just this month, I attended again a breastfeeding seminar and I was given a copy of a "Prayer of a Breastfeeding Mother." You can download this or print this.  Please feel free to share it.

About Our Lady of La Leche
What is the history of "Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto"? (Source: Our Lady of La Leche)

The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary breastfeeding the infant Jesus dates back to the 16th century in the Spanish city of Madrid where she is called Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery).  In 1598, the image was rescued from irreverent hands and enthroned in the home of a married couple.  The woman and her unborn child were to die and her husband prayed intently to our Lady of La Leche to grant his wife a safe delivery.   Our Lady heard his prayer and thereupon, his dying pregnant wife and child were saved.  Together, the couple spread the news to other families about our Lady’s power with God. Soon after, the  devotion  became famous throughout Spain.  Becoming aware of our Lady’s intercession, King Philip III, who was the ruler during that time, personally undertook the erection of a shrine in honor of our Lady of La Leche.   

More than twenty years later, the early Spanish settlers brought a replica to the United States and enshrined it at the Mission of Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine, Florida. It was the first shrine ever to be dedicated to the Blessed Mother in the United States and was established on the very spot where the first parish Mass was offered 55 years earlier.  The original chapel, built around 1615,  was destroyed by gunfire during the colonial days and later, by a hurricane. The present chapel now houses a replica of the original statue that was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War of March 13, 1936.

NOVENA PRAYER  (Source: Our Lady of La Leche)

Lovely Lady of La Leche, most loving Mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and my Mother, please listen to my humble prayer.  Your heart knows my every wish, my every need.  I trust, dear Mother, that you will shelter me beneath your protecting mantle, like what you did to your Son.  Intercede to Him that I may have the courage and the strength to overcome whatever difficulty surrounds me.  Give me the grace to be faithful to you always and  may you be my shining inspiration now and forever.

Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us.


Lord  have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.

Lord have mercy on us. Christ hear us.                         
Christ graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven,                                           
Have mercy on us

God the Son, redeemer of the world
God the Holy Spirit,       
Holy Trinity, one God.   
Holy Mary                                                                           
Pray for us

Chaste daughter of the Father
Chaste spouse of  the Holy spirit
Chaste mother of the Son of God
Vessel of election
Throne of the divine Majesty
Tabernacle of the Divine Word
Chalice of the Divine Life
Mother of God
Mother of the infant Christ
Consecration of womanhood
Hope of Christian womanhood
Model of Christian womanhood
Blessed in your motherhood
Inspiration of holy motherhood
Consolation of motherhood
Protector of motherhood
Blessing of all Christian motherhood
Exaltation of motherhood
Sanctification of motherhood
Queen of the most holy family
Queen of chaste family life
Queen of mothers
Mother of mothers
Mother of happy delivery

Lamb of God who take away the sins of the world           
Spare us, Lord

Lamb of God who take away the sins of the world           
Graciously hear us, Lord

Lamb of God who take away the sins of the world           
Have mercy on us

Our Lady of Happy Delivery                             
Pray for us who have recourse to you

Let us pray:
Cherished Virgin, heaven’s queen, chosen before all women to be the mother of the Son of God, Mary, my mother, who in your maternity so sanctified the state of holy motherhood, imploringly I come to you; humbly I beseech you; confidently I trust in you.  I know that, by your powerful intercession, you can help me in my need.  In you I take refuge, dear virgin.  Poor and needy, I turn devoutly to you and place all confidently in your hands.  Accept my humble trust, hear my petitions and come to my aid, dear Mother of mothers.

V.         Behold the handmaid of the Lord
R/.        Be it done unto me according to your Word!

Nihil Obstat:
(Sgd)  Fr. Sanny de Claro
Vice-chancellor & Censor

(Sgd)  Msgr. Socrates Villegas
Vicar General

Manila, August 18, 2000        

Thank you Our Lady of La Leche.  Thank you for making me an instrument to touch other people's lives.  Thank you for helping me help other people.


Mommy Edel 


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