MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
Our Lady became the helper of the human race for the first time when her prayers were heard and God send His Son to rescue the world from the empire of sin. She is the great woman predicted in the Proto-evangelium of Genesis, who will crush the head of the devil (Genesis 3:15). She is also portrayed in the Apocalypse as the Woman clothed with the sun, (Revelation 12:1). Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God (Christians) and hold the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17).
She accepted the invitation
of God to be the Mother of the Messiah when she responded to the angel: "Behold
the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word" (Luke
But her desire to help was increased by added responsibility given to her at Calvary when Our Lord made her the mother of all the redeemed children of God in the person of John the Apostle, "behold your son" (John 19:26).
As Mother of God's children, She has responded by helping Christians throughout the ages. She has done this by coming to the aid of individuals, families, towns, kingdoms and nations.
In 1214 She gave the Rosary to Saint Dominic as a weapon to combat the Albigesian heresy which was devastating Southern France. It is very clear to Christians and it is also the Will of God that we have and will continue to have the Help of Mary through the recitation of the Holy Rosary.
In the year 1531 Our Lady appeared in Mexico to an indian named Juan Diego, He was a humble peasant aged 51. As a result of the apparitions, over 10 million indians were converted to Catholicism, the sacrificial killings of babies stopped, and Our Lady left an image which is a reflection of herself imprinted miraculously on the tilma of Juan Diego.
In 1571 the whole of Christendom was saved by Mary Help of Christians when faithful Catholic throughout Europe prayed the Rosary. The great battle of Lepanto occurred on October 7th 1571. For this reason this date has been chosen as the feast of the Holy Rosary. In 1573 Pope Pius V instituted the feast in thanksgiving for the decisive victory of Christianity over Islamism.
Near the end of the 17th century, Emperor Leopold I of Austria took refuge in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Pasau, when 200000 Ottoman Turks besieged the capital city of Vienna. Pope Innocent XI united Christendom against the ominous attack of Mohammedanism. A great victory occurred thanks to Mary Help of Christians. On September 8th, Feast of Our Lady's Birthday, plans were drawn for the battle. On September 12, Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, Vienna was finally freed through the intercession of Mary Help of Christians. All Europe had joined with the Emperor crying out "Mary, Help!" and praying the Holy rosary.
In 1809, Napoleon's men entered the Vatican, arrested Pius VII and brought him in chains to Grenoble, and eventually Fontainbleau. His imprisonment lasted five years. The Pope smuggled out orders from prison for the whole of Christendom to pray to Our Lady Help of Christians, and thus the whole of Europe once again became a spiritual battle ground, not of arms against ruthless arms, but of Rosaries against ruthless military might. Soon Napoleon was off the throne and the Pope freed from prison.
After proving her maternal help, throughout the centuries, Our Lady has continued to appear in hundreds of places throughout the world mainly during the 20th century, Lourdes and Fatima being the most famous apparitions. She has brought help from Heaven, and has warned her children to do prayer and penance as a formula for peace. She has stressed that her children must pray the Holy Rosary daily.
The Feast of Mary Help of Christians is celebrated on May 24 each year. We must celebrate this day with a very special act of thanksgiving to Our Lady, praying the holy rosary, attending holy mass if possible and making an Act of consecration to Our Lady.
The Work of God