What St. John Bosco once said years ago could be said today: “The times we are in are so sad that we truly need the Most Holy Virgin to help us in preserving and defending the Christian Faith as in Lepanto, as in Vienna, as in Savona and Rome.” We can combat the harm in our times by turning to Mary. The promise of St. John Bosco to his boys is a promise that is good for all of us today: “Trust in Mary and you will know what miracles are!”
ADMA is St. John Bosco’s Marian Association that is spreading throughout the world. ADMA units have been established in Texas and California, and nothing gives us more pleasure than to establish even more. The purpose of the Association is to promote veneration of the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Mary Help of Christians. Those who belong to this Association are official members of the Salesian Family and share in the rich and many blessings and indulgences promised to the Salesian Family through Mary, our powerful Help of Christians.
Soon after St. John Bosco built the beautiful basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, he founded a Marian Association on April 18, 1869, called ADMA (an Italian acronym which stands for Association of the Devotees of Mary Help of Christians). This Association was raised to the level of an Archconfraternity by Blessed Pius IX on April 5, 1870.
The image of Mary used by this association is the painting St. John Bosco commissioned the artist, Tommaso Lorenzone, to paint above the main altar of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. This painting was done according to the details St. John Bosco gave, following the indications he received directly from Mary in a dream. Yes, in fact, the artist even said, that when it came to the face of Mary, he felt another force other than his own, guiding his hand in painting the face of the Madonna.
St. John Bosco wanted to involve the majority of working-class people in the spirituality and mission of the Salesian Congregation, as a second specific group of his work with its headquarters in Turin, the Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians.
It is not difficult to begin this association and even less difficult to belong. The requirements are: to trust in Mary, spread her devotion especially on the 24th of every month, sponsor and participate in pilgrimages to Marian sanctuaries and processions in her honor, collaborate in parish life, and support vocations.
Contact Sr. Gloria Mar if you are interested in beginning an ADMA group with your family and friends. (210-316-3747; ADMA@salesiansisterswest.org)