Giovanni Bosco – “Section four. The marian dimension of salesian spirituality” in “Salesian Sources 1. Don Bosco and his work. Collected works”

Don Bosco, a tireless apostle of Marian devotion, emphasised the role of the Blessed Virgin for salvation of the individual in the Companion of Youth: she is the mediatrix of graces, defence against the assaults of evil, support in living a Christian life and on the way to holiness. These are things he draws from St Alphonsus Liguori: true devotion expressed through a life of virtue above all guarantees the most powerful patronage one could have in life and in death.

The issues are taken up in the booklet The Month of May (1858), where the saint frames popular and youthful Marian devotion explicitly within a context aimed at serious and fervent ethical and spiritual commitment, linking Marian devotion and eternal salvation to this. Ten years later (1868), at the opening of the church of Mary Help of Christians he drew up a work called The Marvels of the Mother of God Invoked Under the Title of Help of Christians. Particularly evident in this is how he frames Marian devotion within an ecclesial perspective, since Don Bosco’s view of things is opening up to this more and more. It is this that guides his missionary and education concerns. Via a number of meditations on the Gospels, the saint also develops other aspects of the spiritual life: Mary is a model of union with God, service of neighbour, practical attention to our brothers’ needs, and her universal motherhood. After the sanctuary at Valdocco was consecrated, Don Bosco became a tireless apostle of devotion to the Help of Christians: help of the Church in battles throughout history, inspiration and powerful support of Salesian work, maternal and beneficial presence in the lives of those who trust in her.


Reference time period: 1858 – 1877

G. Bosco, “Section four. The marian dimension of salesian spirituality” in “Part three. Writings and testimonies of Don Bosco on spiritual life” by Aldo Giraudo in “Salesian Sources 1. Don Bosco and his work. Collected works“, LAS – Kristu Jyoti, Rome – Bangalore 2017, 1051-1073.

Reference institution:
Istituto Storico Salesiano
Istituto Storico Salesiano

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