Mary Help of Christians in the world

Foto dalla pagina Facebook "Basílica de María Auxiliadora de Lima"

Tomorrow, 24 May, the Feast of Mary Help of Christians will be celebrated. The Salesian Bulletin (Italian edition), in the May 2024 edition, has illustrated some of the places where the feast is celebrated.

Mary Help of Christians of the city of Parañaque (PHILIPPINES)

Devotion to Mary Help of Christians began in the Philippines with the appointment, almost 30 years before the arrival of the Salesians in the country, of Salesian Archbishop William Piani as Apostolic Delegate for the Philippines. Shortly after his appointment, Archbishop Piani arrived in the Philippines on 29 November 1922, bringing with him the statue of Mary Help of Christians as a gift from Blessed Philip  Rinaldi, then Rector Major of the Salesians Don Bosco. The image was first placed in the House of the Apostolic Delegation in Malate, in Manila, and then, with the support of the then Archbishop of Manila, Archbishop Michael O’Doherty, was enthroned in one of the chapels of the Cathedral in Manila. Since then, with the help of the Salesian secretary at the Nunciature, devotion to Mary Help of Christians became known and popular not only in the capital but also in other parts of the country.

"Pokrova" for Christians in UKRAINE

In Ukraine, an image of the Virgin Mary with outstretched hands lifting the edges of a cloak is known. It is the image of a particular religious icon known as "Pokrova", in which Mary's mantle is a sign of protection. For Ukrainian Orthodox Christians, the image of the "Pokrova" represents a long history of seeking Mary's help in difficult times. According to Orthodox tradition, Mary miraculously appeared in a church in Constantinople, today's Istanbul, when it was attacked by barbarians at the beginning of the tenth century. It is said that Mary prayed on the altar of the church, spread her mantle over the community and the invaders withdrew. About a century later, in 1037, Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev, dedicated Ukraine to Mary, who is still known today as "Queen of Ukraine". Other icons of Mary have special significance for Ukrainian Christians, including the one known as “Oranta” or “Great Panagia”, a mosaic of the 11th-century Kiev Cathedral, one of the city's most famous spiritual landmarks. With arms outstretched, this icon of Mary is also known as the "Immovable Wall" or "Indestructible".

The Basilica of "María Auxiliadora" in LIMA

Located in the Breña district, it is one of the most representative architectural icons of the Peruvian capital's urban landscape. Its architect, Salesian priest Ernesto Vespignani, designed it with three naves that, together with the sanctuary, cover an area of 2000 square metres and a crypt that occupies another 500 square metres.

As part of the commemoration of the Centenary of Peru's Independence, it was blessed on 29 July 1921. In the following years, the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians was decorated with remarkable pieces of European and national religious art. It was then granted the title of minor basilica by Pope Saint John XXIII on 25 March 1962. On the occasion of the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco and the centenary of the church, structural consolidation and artistic restoration work were carried out.


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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