Mary, Help of Christians Bookmark

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This image is taken from the Bascilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill in Hubertus, Wisconsin.  This national shrine has been a site for pilgrims for many years.  Crutches line the entry way from many people who have been healed by making their petitions there.

Mary, Help of Christians is a Marian devotion with a feast day celebrated on May 24. Saint John Chrysostom was the first person to use this Marian title in year 345 as a devotion to the Virgin Mary. Don Bosco also propagated Marian devotion under this title.

The title of Mary Help of Christians is associated with the defense of Christian Europe (Latin and Greek), the north of Africa and the Middle East from non-Christian peoples during the Middle Age. In 1572, the Islamic Ottoman Empire intended to invade Christian Europe. Pope Pius V called Christian armies from all over Europe to defend the continent and asked the believers to pray to Mary in order to defeat the Muslim Turks. The Christian victory was attributed to the intercession of Mary under this title.

Pope Leo XIII granted a Canonical coronation towards the Marian image bearing the same title on 17 May 1903, now enshrined within the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. Pope Benedict XVI during his Regina Caeli papal address on 24 May 2009 invoked this Marian patronage, under the venerated title of Our Mother of Sheshan, calling for Chinese Catholics to renew their fidelity to the Pope as the sole successor of Saint Peter.

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