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A 150-year journey

Salesian historian Pietro Braido describes the foundation of ADMA by Don Bosco: “A born organizer Don Bosco did not leave the devotion to Mary Help of Christians just as spontaneous one. He gave it stability with an Association that took its name from Her. Direct witnesses saw in this institution one of the initiatives dearest to Don Bosco and of widest resonance after that of the two religious Congregations and the Association of the Cooperators. [...] The last part of the document contained the text of the statute, a long series of prayers and devout practices with an indication of the relevant indulgences, a brief catechesis on indulgences in general, and the decree of 22nd May 1868, by which Pope Pius IX granted plenary indulgence to all those who ‘religiously’ visited the church dedicated in Turin to Mary the Immaculate Virgin under the title of Mary Help of Christians, on the titular feast of the same church or on one of the preceding days.”

The Archconfraternity of Mary Help of Christians, so named by Don Bosco (today ADMA), acquired a worldwide dimension from the beginning. In 1988, the centenary year of the Saint’s death, a historic relaunch by Rector Major Fr. Egidio Viganò took place.

The Congregation and the Salesian Family have grown its devotion to Mary Help of Christians. Salesian spirituality cannot be separated from the devotion to Mary Help of Christians.

The Rector firmly states,

“Our devotion to Mary Help of Christians is intimately connected both to the Salesian mission and to the proper spirit of the Salesian charism that we received from Don Bosco as a gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Then, in 2003, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life approved the Association’s new Regulations. In recent years ADMA has been particularly renewed and has grown in number and quality thanks to the involvement of families and various initiatives, such as the International Congresses of Mary Help of Christians.

We renew and re-launch the sense of belonging and shared formation among more than 800 local groups present in the world through the annual formative journey, the monthly commemoration of Mary Help of Christians, retreats and spiritual exercises, the care of publications such as the bulletins of Mary Help of Christians and social communication.

Andrea and Maria Adele Damiani


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