RMG - The devotion of Pope Paul VI for Mary Help of Christians

23 May 2018

(ANS - Rome) - The blessed, and soon Saint, Pope Paul VI was full of benevolence towards the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco. This predilection, exhibited in many circumstances of his life and his pontificate, was also manifested in the devotion to Mary Help of Christians and in the attention to her anniversaries.

On May 23, 1976, Paul VI, before the prayer of the "Regina Coeli", drawing inspiration from the Salesian calendar that indicates the eve of the feast of Mary Help of Christians, states:

"We must not forget (...) that we are close to the feast of Mary Most Holy honored as 'Help of the Christian People': the Salesians, with their faithful calendar, remind us of this with special piety and filial trust.

We also receive (...) the invitation to a religious and almost familiar thought, cordially addressed to Mary. (...) To Mary, the 'admirable' (...) and to Mary, the 'Help of Christians', she who has an incomparable power of prayer; of prayer which includes with a maternal heart all our necessities, all our suffering, all our supplication; and then of prayer that obtains with prophetic virtue from Christ, as She, as Mother, as Associate, what his plan of salvation, asks of her."

Pope Montini had words of great depth even on the occasion of the centenary of the consecration of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, exactly 50 years ago, in 1968, when he sent a letter to the then Rector Major, Fr Luigi Ricceri:

"This commemoration is bound by the title of dutiful gratitude to the Queen of Heaven who wished to surround with special predilections this temple, opening in it a rich source of graces, and rendering it a living testimony of her succorable mercy. (…)

The hundred years of history of the dear sanctuary will not only remind them of the most salient and most sacred moments of the life of the Congregation, but will also be an invitation to rethink the reasons why the Holy Founder wanted his nascent religious family to be so intimately bound to the name and protection of the One whom he had always proclaimed as inspirer of all his works. (...)

As long as its members will know to inspire their feelings, their zeal, their lives in the image and the examples of Mary Most Holy, it will never be able to grow arid in that source of generosity and dedication, of interiority and fervor, of holiness and grace which has so far animated the Salesians' activity in the world, and through them has provided precious services to the Church."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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