Rome (Italy). From 15 to 23 May 2020, the Salesian Family Sector invites you to live the Novena to Mary Help of Christians placing humanity in her hands for the end of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
In the month of May, Mary is remembered and in the Salesian world there is a special remembrance of Mary Help of Christians, whose feast is celebrated on the 24th. In May, various Marian and Salesian initiatives and celebrations are held all over the world. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, May 2020 is ‘special’.
Don Bosco always entrusted himself to Mary Help of Christians. During the cholera, he invited his young people to live in God’s grace, to go to Confession, and to wear the medal of Mary Help of Christians. On various occasions and in particular moments – as during the cholera of 1854 – he expressed the conviction that Mary is our help. And this applies also and above all in times of trial and difficulty, such as those we are experiencing right now.
Sr. Maria Luisa Miranda, Councilor for the Salesian Family Sector, in the Letter sent to the Provincials, writes: “This year the traditional Novena of Mary Help of Christians, from 15 to 23 May, takes on a very special meaning given the emergency at all levels of the contagion from the Coronavirus, which for some months has been testing all humanity.
The novena is inspired by the Marian antiphon found written in large letters in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin-Valdocco, between the capitals of the pillars and the cornice: O Holy Mary, help the poor, make strong the pusillanimous, revive the weak, pray for the people, intervene for the clergy, intercede for women, let all sinners and all those who implore you experience your holy help. Amen!
Each day there will be the testimony of a Saint of the Salesian Family who lived during times of epidemics.
Beginning on May 12, on the FMA Institute Web Site, on the Homepage, there will be highlighted the initiatives of the Novena and the ADMA link, as well as the ANS channels for the video-testimonies in the various languages.”
The Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians was set on May 24 by Pope Pius VII in memory of his return to Rome (May 24, 1814) after his imprisonment under Napoleon in Fontainebleau.
Originally the festival was limited to the Church of Rome, but was soon adopted by the Tuscan Dioceses (1816) and then extended to the Universal Church.
The spread of devotion to Mary Help of Christians is attributed to St. John Bosco, who chose her as the main patroness of the Salesian Family and of his works.