Today, 24 May, is the Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians. St Annibale had a special love for and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, particularly under the title Bambinella or the Child Mary. Let us pause to consider one of his reflections on our love for the Madonna.
Lord, you place deep in our hearts the love of Mary, help of Christians. Through her prayers grant wisdom to our leaders and integrity to our Citizens. Under her protection may Australia be granted harmony, justice and peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The flame of love, forming the saints, is their tender, profound, gentle love for the great Mother of God, the most holy Mary! Such a love is in full accord with the love of God who gives all graces through Immaculate Mary, making her the love of all the predestined. (Speech, May 17, 1915)
We must bear in mind that the eternal Father gave us our Lord Jesus through the most holy Virgin Mary; that Jesus gave himself up to us through Mary, and the Holy Spirit brought about the Incarnation of the Word by agreement with Mary.
Mary is standing before the divine treasure of grace. Whoever loves, trusts, invokes, and honours Mary will grow rich with abundant graces by God’s will, but whoever stands aloof has no hope, because the other exercises of devotion will fail, and perseverance will totter.
- Excerpts from Rogationist Anthology from the writings of Fr Hannibal Di Francia (edition: Rome, 1985), pp 83-86)
- Prayers to Our Lady Help of Christians, Marian Valley, Brisbane Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians
- Statue of Mary Help of Christians in the Saint Francis de Sales Chapel, Don Bosco Technical School, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Albeiro Rodas [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons