Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 24 May

detail of a statue of Our Lady, Help of Christians, date and artist unknown; Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians, Miguel Hidalgo, Federal District, Mexico; photographed on 14 May 2012 by Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsOur Lady, Help of Christians

Pope Pius VII, so greatly tried by the violence and frauds of the Revolution, instituted this feast in gratitude for the loving protection of Mary accorded to the Holy See, to the Church and to all Christian people. When troubles increase, our confidence must increase also. Let us then redouble our confidence in Mary in these last days through which we are passing, and let us address to her this petition of a contemporary author: “O Mary, help of Christians, thou art the hope of our souls. These souls are threatened by the same enemy who attacks human society. In his infernal rage, he pursues the image of thy Divine Son, in man and in humanity. Come to the help of thy children, snatch them from the murderous jaws of the serpent.” Countless sanctuaries have been erected to Mary both in ancient and modern times under a title similar to that of our Lady Help of Christians, for example, our Lady of Good Succor, our Lady of Hope, our Lady of Protection, our Lady of Good Counsel etc. There are also pious institutes dedicated to our Lady Help of Christians.

Prayer

“O Mary obtain for me that I may arrive at the goal of salvation and eternal gladness.” Saint Thomas Aquinas

Practice

Recite the litany of the Blessed Virgin for those who have lost their faith, and say with great fervor: “Refuge of sinners, Consoler of the afflicted, help of Christians, pray for us.”