top of page

Mary, Help of Christians

The epithet "Mary, Help of Christians" encapsulates a profound and enduring devotion within the Catholic tradition. This title, bestowed upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, reflects the belief in her intercessory role as a source of aid, protection, and guidance for the Christian faithful. It is a title that resonates deeply with believers, encapsulating the understanding of Mary as a compassionate and maternal figure ever ready to assist her children in their spiritual journey.

The origins of the title can be traced back to the early centuries of Christianity, but its significance became more pronounced during pivotal moments in history when the Christian community faced trials and challenges.

Over time, the title evolved to "Mary, Help of Christians," emphasizing not only Mary's role in times of conflict but also her perpetual assistance to all Christians in their spiritual struggles. The title gained prominence through the devotion of various saints, such as Saint John Bosco, who had a deep affinity for Mary under this title.


Saint John Bosco, a 19th-century Italian priest and educator, founded the Salesian Order and dedicated it to Mary, Help of Christians. He regarded her as the guiding force behind his educational mission, seeking her aid in the formation and protection of the young.

The epithet embodies a sense of trust and confidence in Mary's maternal care. Christians turn to her as an advocate and helper, recognizing her unique role as the Mother of Jesus Christ. The title suggests a relationship where Mary, in her heavenly glory, extends her care and assistance to the Christian community on Earth.

In liturgical celebrations and devotions, Mary, Help of Christians, is invoked in times of personal difficulty, societal challenges, and global crises. The faithful pray to her for strength, protection, and guidance, trusting in her benevolence and love.

Pope Pius VII, who experienced imprisonment during the Napoleonic era, attributed his release to the intercession of Mary, Help of Christians. In gratitude, he established a feast in her honor on May 24th, a date that coincided with his return to Rome in 1814.

The title "Mary, Help of Christians" speaks to the timeless and universal nature of Mary's intercessory role. It transcends historical and cultural boundaries, offering solace and hope to believers facing the complexities of life. In times of trial and triumph, Mary's enduring presence as the Helper of Christians remains a comforting and steadfast anchor for those who turn to her in faith.

Mary Help of Christians is the patroness of Catholic Australia, China, Argentina, and Poland. Her devotion is particularly wide spread in Slavic countries.

bottom of page