Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians – 24 May

Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians – 24 May – Also known as Auxilium Christianorum.our lady header - help of christians - wp size

The tradition of this advocation goes back to 1571, when the whole of Christendom was saved by Our Lady, Help of Christians when Catholics throughout Europe prayed the Rosary.   The great battle of Lepanto occurred on 7 October 1571.   For this reason, this date has been chosen as the feast of the Holy Rosary.   In 1573 Pope Pius V instituted the feast in thanksgiving for the decisive victory of Christianity over Islamism.

Near the end of the 17th century, Emperor Leopold I of Austria took refuge in the Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Pasau, when 200,000 Ottoman Turks besieged the capital city of Vienna but a great victory occurred thanks to Our Lady, Help of Christians, on 8 September, Feast of Our Lady’s Birthday, plans were drawn for the battle.   On 12 September, Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, Vienna was finally freed through the intercession of Mary, Help of Christians.   All Europe had joined with the Emperor crying out “Mary, Help!” and praying the Holy rosary.our lady help of christians-spanish - lg

In 1809, Napoleon’s men entered the Vatican, arrested Pius VII and brought him in chains to Grenoble and eventually Fontainbleau.   His imprisonment lasted five years. The Holy Father vowed to God that , if he were restored to the Roman See, he would institute a special feast in honour of Mary.   Military reverses forced Napoleon to release the Pope and on May 24th 1814, Pius VII returned in triumph to Rome.   Twelve months later, the Pope decreed that the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, be kept on 24 May.Our-Lady-Help-of-Christians.lg

St John Bosco (1815 – 1888) was a dynamic priest who founded the Salesian Order in the XIX century in Italy.   His many prophetic dreams, beginning at age nine, guided his ministry and gave insights on future events.don-bosco-y-maria-auxiliadora

On 14 May 1862, Don Bosco dreamed about the battles the Church would face in the latter days.   In his dream, the Pope of those days anchors the ‘ship’ of the Church between two pillars, one with a statue of Our Lady ( the Auxilium Christianorum or ‘Help of Christians’) and the other with a large Eucharistic Host.Don Bosco Dream

St John Bosco wrote about his congregation, the Salesians:  “The principal objective is to promote veneration of the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Mary, Help of Christians.   This title seems to please the august Queen of Heaven very much.”

The Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco or Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, are the sister order of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

St John Bosco, himself, on 9 June1868, dedicated to Our Lady Help of Christians, the mother church of his congregation at Turin (Italy).   The Salesian Fathers and their Sisters have carried the devotion to their numerous establishments all over the world.Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians ~Turin, ItalyMary-help-of-christians-1Our lady help of christians basilica - turin

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Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians/Auxilium Christianorum and Memorials of the Saints – 24 May

Our Lady, Help of Christians/Auxilium Christianorum

Our Lady of China:  Our Lady of China is a title for the Virgin Mary in China who is believed to have appear at the small village of Donglu in 1900.   In Chinese she is called Zhōnghuá Shèngmǔ.   She is also known as Our Lady of Donglu.Official_authentic_portrait_Lady_of_China

St Afra of Brescia
Bl Benedict of Cassino
St David of Scotland
Bl Diego Alonso
St Donatian of Nantes
St Gennadius of Astroga
St Hubert of Bretigny
Bl Isidore Ngei Ko Lat
St Joanna the Myrrhbearer
Bl John del Prado
Bl John of Montfort
Bl Juan of Huete
Bl Louis-Zéphirin Moreau
St Manahen
St Marciana of Galatia
Bl Mario Vergara
St Meletius the Soldier
Bl Nicetas of Pereslav
St Palladia
St Patrick of Bayeux
Bl Philip of Piacenza
St Rogatian of Nantes
St Sérvulo of Trieste
St Simeon Stylites the Younger
St Susanna
Bl Thomas Vasière
St Vincent of Lérins
St Vincent of Porto Romano

Martyrs of Istria: A group of early martyrs in the Istria peninsula. We know little more than some names – Diocles, Felix, Servilius, Silvanus and Zoëllus.

Martyrs of Plovdiv: 38 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian. We don’t even known their names. They were beheaded in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Martyrs of the Small West Gate: Additional Memorial – 20 September as part of the Martyrs of Korea. A group of lay catechists and catechumens who were imprisoned and executed together for the crime of being Christian.
• Saint Agatha Kim A-Gi
• Saint Agatha Yi So-Sa
• Saint Anna Pak A-Gi
• Saint Augustine Yi Kwang-Hon
• Saint Barbara Han A-Gi
• Saint Damianus Nam Myong-Hyok
• Saint Lucia Pak Hui-Sun
• Saint Magdalena Kim Ob-I
• Saint Petrus Kwon Tug-In
They were beheaded on 24 May 1839 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea and were Canonised on 6 May 1984 by Pope John Paul II.