The Feast of Mary, Help of Christians is celebrated annually on May 24 and dates back to the sixteenth century when Christendom was saved when Catholics throughout Europe prayed the Rosary.
Don Bosco, founder of the Salesian Order, had a special devotion to Mary, Help of Christians and dedicated his order to her under this title. On May 14, 1862, he had an unusual dream. He dreamed about the battles the Church would face in the latter days. In his dream, the Pope anchored the ‘ship’ of the Church between two pillars, one with a statue of Mary (Auxilium Christianorum or ‘Help of Christians’) and the other with a large Eucharistic Host.
He later wrote about his congregation that “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.”
In his devotion to Mary, Help of Christians, he wrote the following prayer, which has become popular among the Faithful. God knows (literally) that Christians in today’s world need all the help they can get from our Lady. What better time than now to ask her help?
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians,
how sweet it is to come to your feet
imploring your perpetual help.
If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children,
how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me?
Grant then to me, I implore you,
your perpetual help in all my necessities,
in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations.
I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering.
Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners.
Grant through your intercessions many vocations to the religious life.
Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians,
that having invoked you on earth we may love and eternally thank you in heaven.