History of Devotion to Mary Help
The first to call the Virgin Mary with the title "Help" was St. John Chrysostom in Constantinople in the year 345, he says: "You, Mary, you are help very powerful of God."
San Sabas in 532 years tells us that in the East was an image of the Virgin Mary was called "Help for the sick" because she acted with many cures.
St. John of Damascus in 749 was the first to spread the aspiration: "Mary Help of Christians, pray for us." And again: the virgin is "helper to avoid harm and danger and helper for salvation."
In Ukraine, Russia, celebrates the feast of Mary Help of Christians on 1 October since 1030, fought in that year the city of the terrible invasion of a barbaric tribe of pagans.
In 1572, Pope St. Pius ordered fifth worldwide Catholic pray in the Litany of the title "Mary Help of Christians, pray for us" because in the year Our Lady miraculously fought in the Battle of Lepanto all Christianity that came to be destroyed by an army of 282 Moslem ships and 88,000 soldiers.
In 1600 Catholics in southern Germany made a promise to honor the Virgin of the title of Help of whether the books of the Protestant invasion and made the terrible war was over 30 years. The Mother of God gave both favors and soon there were more than 70 chapels with the title of Mary Help of Christians.
In 1683 the Catholics to get huge win in Vienna against the enemies of religion, founded the Association of Mary Help of Christians, which exists today in over 60 countries.
In 1814, Pope Pius VII, general prisoner of Napoleon, the Virgin promised that the day he came to Rome, in freedom, would declare the feast of Mary Help of Christians. Unexpectedly, the pontiff was released, and arrived in Rome on May 24. Since been declared May 24 as a day of Mary Help of Christians.
In 1860 the Blessed Virgin appears to St. John Bosco and says he wants to be honored with the title "Help", and points to the site to build him in Turin, Italy, a temple.
Temple work began with three pieces of twenty cents each, but so many and so great miracles that Mary Help of Christians began to gain favor of his devotees, which was completed just four years the Great Basilica. The Saint used to say: "Every brick of the temple corresponds to a miracle of the Blessed Virgin," from that sanctuary begins to spread across the world devotion to Mary under the title of Help of Christians.
Help name was given as early as 1030 to the Virgin Mary, in Ukraine (Russia), have released this region of the invasion of the pagan tribes. Since then in Ukraine is celebrated every year the feast of Mary Help of October 1.
There is evidence that by the year 1558 already included in the litany that used to recite in the sanctuary of Loreto Italy.
This dedication was strong before the Turkish invasion in 1571 where the St. Pius V as Mary Auxiliadota invoked by Christians or the Catholic princes of Germany loyal to Catholicism against Protestant or theses against the Turkish invasions in Vienna seventeenth century or even as a protective hand against the vagaries of Napoleon Bonaparte, Pope Pius VII took into exile, and his release in 1814 wanted to establish in its May 24 feast.
But surely it was St. John Bosco, Saint Mary Help of Christians, with which this Marian title champion and found the best springboard for the development and popularity, "It was not me, it was the Mary Help of Christians who has saved you" .. . "Every brick of this church - related to the great Basilica in 1863 began his gift - it is a grace of the Virgin Mary" ...
But it is exactly in 1862, in full maturity of Don Bosco, when he makes the final Marian option: Help. "Madonna wants the honor with the title of Help of Christians: the times are so ominous that we need for the Virgin to help us preserve and defend the Christian faith."
Since that time the title of Help appears in the life of Don Bosco and his work as "central and synthesizer." The Help is the vision that Don Bosco own Mary. The Gospel reading that makes Mary, the experience of their lives and their young Salesians, and experience do you perceive the Church to Mary as "Help the People of God."
In 1863 Don Bosco began the construction of the church in Turin. All the capital was forty cents, and that was the first payment made to the builder. Five years later, on June 9, 1868, was consecrated the temple. What surprised Don Bosco first and then the whole world was that Mary Help of Christians had built his own house, to radiate from there its sponsorship. Don Bosco will say: "There is a brick that is not a sign of grace."
Today, Salesians and Salesian, faithful to the spirit of its founders and through the various works that are hand continue to propose as an example, shelter and encouragement in the evangelization of the people the help that comes from Santa Maria.