Rome (Italy). Don Bosco did not leave the cult of Mary Help of Christians to spontaneous devotion alone. He gave it stability with an Association that took its name from her.  Direct witnesses saw in the Association of the Devotees of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) one of the most beloved initiatives of Don Bosco and one of the most resonant, after that of the two Religious Congregations of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Association of Salesian Cooperators.

It was Msgr. Ottaviano Riccardi, Archbishop of Turin, who approved the formation of  ADMA on 18 April 1869. Don Bosco attributed the birth of the Association to repeated requests from all over the world and from people of all ages and conditions during and after the construction and consecration of the Basilica of Turin.

In addition to being an Association founded by Don Bosco, it is one of the 32 Groups of the Salesian Family, a lay association, an itinerary of formation, sanctification, and Salesian apostolate, a shared path of defense and witness of the Catholic faith. It is a group that lives and propagates the worship of Jesus in the Eucharist. Being part of ADMA means following a path of sanctification and apostolate according to the Charism of Don Bosco, taking Mary Help of Christians as Mother and model.

Currently, the ADMA Association is present in America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, in many Salesian and diocesan parishes and in numerous works of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, with more than 3,000 members. The involvement of young people in the spiritual journey of  ADMA is surprising in order for them to experience the motherhood of the Church and of Mary. Pastoral and educational action with young couples and families is also intense. In 2003, the Holy See approved the renewed Regulation, as a testimony to the vitality of the Association, which wishes to walk in pastoral and spiritual harmony with the Church and the Salesian Family.

On the occasion of the 155th anniversary of  ADMA, Sister Lucrecia Uribe, FMA, World Animator of ADMA and collaborator of the Salesian Family Sector of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians,  describes in an interview the generating aspects, perspectives, and challenges.

“Mary has been a continuous, profound, and decisive presence in the life of Don Bosco as a priest, as an educator, and as a founder. (…) Don Bosco’s Marian experience consists in an almost sensible perception of feeling that he is the son of Mary, guided and supported by her throughout his life. Based on this certainty, he builds his life and his mission. This experience is also the heart of his preventive system, aimed at making young people true children of God with the help of Mary.” This special relationship of Don Bosco with Mary is indissolubly linked to Mama Margaret, who was able to direct him “to a simple and vital Marian devotion, far from theorizing, but made of concrete gestures”.

In the interview, Sister Lucrecia talks about future projects, linked in particular to the IX International Congress of Mary Help of Christians to be held in Fatima, in Portugal, from 29 August to 1 September 2024:

“The Association of Mary Help of Christians is currently experiencing a strong dynamism of growth in various countries of the world, especially in Asia and America. Well known is the commitment that many Daughters of Mary Help of Christians have undertaken to carry forward the orientation present in the Acts of General Chapter XXIV: to make known, spread, and multiply the Marian Groups inspired by Don Bosco. Therefore, the Congress represents an important celebratory moment to welcome the different members of the Salesian Family and to deepen together the mandate that Johnny received in the dream at 9 years of age: ‘I will give you the Teacher'”.

With regard to the challenges, the World Animator highlights the importance of identifying the concrete paths best suited to local realities to make Marian spirituality concrete. Another challenge is the intergenerational relationship between young people and adults, about which Don Bosco used to say, “Remember that with the help of Mary Most Holy, we must make fall the barrier of distrust that the devil has been able to raise between young and old through which he knows how to benefit for the ruin of certain souls”.

Rosary 155th of ADMA

Website ADMA


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