Our Lady, Help of Christians

Feast Day – 24 May

Our Lady Help of Christians
Our Lady Help of Christians

When Napoleon left Elba and returned to Paris, Murat was about to march through the Papal States from Naples. Pius VII fled to Savona on 22 March 1815, where he crowned the image of Our Lady of Mercy on 10 May 1815. Following the Congress of Vienna and Battle of Waterloo, he returned to Rome on 7 July 1815. To give thanks to God and Our Lady, he instituted the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians for the Papal States on 15 September 1815; it was celebrated on 24 May, the anniversary of his first return. Soon it spread over nearly the entire Latin Church.

It is the patronal feast of Australia, and is celebrated with great splendour in the churches of the Fathers of the Foreign Missions of Paris. It has attained special celebrity since Saint John Bosco dedicated the mother church of his congregation at Turin to Our Lady, Help of Christians. The Salesian Fathers have carried devotion to Our Lady Help of Christians to their numerous establishments, and prayers for her intervention are credited with the miraculous cure of Blessed Artemide Zatti.