Mary, Help of Christians


“All generations will call me blessed.”

A key part of the formation we offer our students revolves around the vision and practices of the great Saint John Bosco, patron saint of school children and the founder of the Salesians. He is remembered primarily for his work with poor, orphaned boys – street children.

What is not so well known is that he had one very effective way of capturing their hearts for God–a “secret spiritual weapon” that he managed to use with great skill. And here’s a little story about one of his boys–a boy who became a saint–that will reveal just what that secret weapon was:

After his death, St. Dominic Savio appeared in glory to St. John Bosco, who was overjoyed and wanted to ask a few questions:

“What was it that consoled you most at the point of death?”
“Don Bosco, take a guess.”
“Perhaps it was the thought of having preserved so well the flower of purity?”
“Was it the thought of the penances you performed during life?”
“Not even that.”
“Then it may have been your peaceful conscience – being free from all sin?”
“That thought was a help to me. But what consoled me most at the hour of death was the thought that I had been devoted to Our Lady. Tell this to your young people and be insistent in your appeal for devotion to Our Lady.”

[recounted in Devotion to Our Lady, by Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, FFI, p. 40]

The secret weapon, of course, was the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom Don Bosco loved to invoke under the title of “Mary, Help of Christians.” So as the influence of this saint increased at Angelus Academy, it was only natural that his devotion to Our Lady would influence us also. It is to her that we entrust the safety of our students, our school building, and everyone who is involved in our mission.


Entrustment of our School to Mary, Help of Christians

Most Holy Virgin Mary, appointed by God to be the Help of Christians,
we choose you as the Mother and Protectress of our school.
We ask you to favor us with your powerful protection.
Preserve our school from every danger; from fire, flood, lightning, storms, earthquakes, thieves, vandals, and from every other danger, including evil spirits.
Bless us, protect us, defend us, keep as your own all the souls who study or serve in this school.
Protect us from all accidents and misfortunes,
but above all, obtain for us the most important grace of avoiding sin.
Mary, Help of Christians,
pray for all who are a part of the mission of Angelus Academy,
which is entrusted to you. Amen.

O Mary, Help of Christians,
pray for all those who study and serve in this school which is entrusted to you.
May this act be multiplied to the infinite in God’s Most Holy Divine Will.
We repeat this act with every beat of our heart and breath that we take in time and eternity. We bring all souls with us, from the first to the last:
and repeat this act with every beat of our hearts and breath that we take.
We bring all creatures with us, from the first to the last:
and repeat this act with every beat of our hearts and breath that we take.
We bring all the Acts of Creation and Redemption with us for every movement,
each particle and being for all eternity that this intention is repeated. Fiat!

Invocation to our Lady by Saint John Bosco

O Mary, Powerful Virgin,
You are the mighty and glorious protector of the Church.
You are the marvelous Help of Christians.
You are terrible as an army set in battle array.
You alone have destroyed every heresy in the entire Church.
In the midst of our anguish, our struggles and our distress,
Defend us from the power of the enemy,
And at the hour of our death, receive our souls into Paradise. Amen.

O Mary, Help of Christians,
show yourself the Protectress of the Catholic Church,
and destroy the wicked designs of her enemies. Amen.



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Springfield, VA 22153
(703) 924-3996

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