|RMG – Together towards the Feast of Mary Help of Christians|
(ANS – Rome) – The Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians is a very special Feast for many faithful around the world and especially for those belonging to the Salesian Family. In addition to the various traditional expressions and forms of devotion in almost all centres, “Don Bosco’s Madonna” has also received some from thousands of people on the ‘digital continent’. We mention two in particular sent to the ANS Offices.
As was the case for the feast of Don Bosco on 31 January, one of the most popular channels for browsers to express their devotion was the social network Twitter. From the early hours of the day there were messages mentioning the Feast of Mary Help of Christians especially in Spanish. There were so many “postings” on the subject that by mid-morning the name of “Mary Help of Christians” was among the “trend topics” of Twitter – in other words among the top-ten – more than other “topics” concerned with politics, sport and gossip, which usually receive more attention on the web.
In particular it was members of the Salesian Family, and thousands of young people who sent messages for Mary Help of Christians: some just honouring the Virgin, recalling their time at Salesian schools, mentioning the celebrations in which they had taken part or offering a prayer.
Among the messages were also those from Church figures such as the Archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach or the Salesian Bishop of Guatemala, Oscar Julio Vian Morales.
Outstanding was the case of the Salesian Radio “FM Don Bosco” in Fortaleza, Brazil, which through the figures presented shows how much devotion to Mary Help of Christians there is in the country. On 24 May in honour of the Madonna, the programme “Clube de Amigos” on the Salesian Radio published on Facebook a banner in which beside a picture of Mary Help of Christians was written: “If you believe that Mary is always helping you, share” and Don Bosco’s words: “Mary has really been made by God the “Help of Christians.”
In less than 24 hours the banner received over 2,100 direct replies and an estimated 15,000 indirect, reaching 332,275 people, on the basis of information provided by the fan page of Facebook.
That is not counting the number of pages created to involve young people and the faithful of all ages in “off-line” activities in honour of Mary.
Once again, the social networks demonstrate their potential for involving and sharing not only the thoughts and opinions but also the faith of thousands of people.