History of the Devotion

Help of Christians

At all times, Christians have experienced the efficacy of Mary’s help. For this reason in all their trials, public as well as private, they have confidently approached her, certain of obtaining protection and aid.

In 1571, Christians triumphed over the Turks at the naval battle of Lepanto with the help of Mary through the praying of the Holy Rosary.

Pope Saint Pius V ordered that the celebration of the feast of the Most Holy Rosary, and the addition in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the invocation:

Auxilium Christianorum, ora pro nobis. 

Help of Christians, pray for us.

In 1683, Mary intervened again in favor of the Christians in a battle against the Turks near the wall of Vienna, Austria. In thanksgiving, Pope Innocent XII formed the first Confraternity of Mary Help of Christians.

In may 1814, Pope Pius VII consecrated the date, May 24, to our Blessed Mother, by instituting her feast under the title, Help of Christians as a sign of his gratitude to her after his long exile under Napoleon.

Devotion of Saint John Bosco

In 1863, Don Bosco began to honor Mary under the title, Help of Christians. Through this, he has worked many miracles and labored for the salvation of thousands of youth. He worked feverishly to spread this devotion encouraging all to have confidence in
Mary’s intercession.

In 1868, St. John Bosco, grateful for the several miracles, erected the grand Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, Italy.


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