Giovanni Bosco – “Association of Devotees of Mary Help Of christians” in “Salesian Sources 1. Don Bosco and his work. Collected works”

When he had built the church of Mary Help of Christians at Valdocco in Turin in 1868, Don Bosco had it consecrated with an entire cycle of celebrations made available for the public domain through an appropriate booklet. Then he set out to make it an attractive centre for prayers, thanks and donations through a second larger book. Still not satisfied he sought to give stability to general devotion to Mary under the title of Mary Help of Christians through a lay association which bore that name.

He sketched out the beginnings of it in a third booklet where he drew on the history of the title of Help of Christians through the ages, presenting devotion under that title in Munich and Turin and adding a long series of prayers and practices with their indulgences. He did not fail to include documents relating to the approval of the Association, the ones you find here: the papal brief granting indulgences over a ten year period to the new association (no. 41), the request for and canonical approval from the Archdiocese of the Statutes (no. 42), the Regulations. Afterwards (1870) he gained permission from Pius IX to erect the association as an Archconfraternity with the faculty of aggregating similar associations that already existed or would be set up in the archdiocese of Turin; this faculty was then extended by the same Pope in 1877 to all dioceses in Piedmont (and in 1896, in Fr Rua’s time as Rector Major, to all dioceses in the world, by Pope Leo XIII).


Reference time period: 1869

G. Bosco, “Association of Devotees of Mary Help Of christians” in “Section two. Don Bosco as  founder” in “Part one. Writings and documents on the history of Don Bosco and salesian work“, by Francesco Motto in “Salesian Sources 1. Don Bosco and his work. Collected Works”, LAS – Kristu Jyoti, Rome – Bangalore 2017, 158-170.

Reference institution:
Istituto Storico Salesiano
Istituto Storico Salesiano

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