May 24, 2022: Historic Outpouring of Prayers
May 24, 2022 / Written by: Michael Haynes
Our Lady Help of Christians, Spring Grove, Pennsylvania
In a world of uncertainty, one thing that we at America Needs Fatima (ANF) can still count on, is the most maternal and untiring patience and mercy of Our Lady Help of Christians. Her feast is May 24th and her statue at the headquarters of ANF is surrounded by a glorious display of purple rhododendrons that appear faithfully every year to adorn her.
These flowers remind me of the glorious souls that surround Our Lady in Heaven; souls filled with admiration from the constant contemplation of her sublime qualities. Souls that are enveloped in Our Lady’s love and goodness so much, that they are besides themselves with the burning desire to serve her in any way they can.
These beautiful purple flowers that cloak the pearl-white statue of Our Lady, serve to remind us of her immense mercy, constancy, her royalty and her suffering. For many, many years this statue has greeted friends and visitors from around the world at our national headquarters in Pennsylvania. She reigns as Queen here with the infant Christ in her arms, for she is our queen and mother as no other.
Positioned perfectly at the end of a long and winding road that gradually brings you to the top of one of those picturesque hills that Pennsylvania is so famous for, Our Lady is here to greet each and every visitor to ANF as a mother would greet her child who has come home. But not just greet, she is there to console, shower with graces and correct with a suave goodness only she possesses.
On this particular May 24 in 2022 Our Lady Help of Christians eagerly awaited the prayer intentions of her beloved children of America Needs Fatima. These petitions were gathered through an on-line campaign which offered a uniquely spiritual experience to those on our email list to send in their prayer petitions which we would then present on her feast day. Happily, many devotees of Our Lady responded to our offer, enabling us to fill many boxes with printed petitions.
Though many of our full-time volunteers were out on the road bringing the Fatima message to families, schools and prisons across America, those of us who remained at headquarters prayed 15 decades of the Holy Rosary before Our Lady’s statue as we presented the prayer petitions for her maternal consideration.
According to Father Johann G. Roten, S.M., the invocation of Mary as Help of Christians is part of the oldest prayer addressed directly to Mary, the “Sub tuum praesidium,” which was found on a papyrus dating, at the latest, from the end of the third century. This prayer was composed at a time of great danger for Christians and for the Church. “Praesidium” is translated as “an assistance given in time of war by fresh troops in a strong manner.” Perhaps that is why Pope St. Pius V used this title of Mary to bring about the miraculous victory of the Christian fleet in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
One of the most beloved and famous saints of modern times, Saint John Bosco, had a particularly strong devotion to Our Lady under the title Help of Christians. Here is what he had to say about devotion to her in our days:
“To the Virgin Most Holy whom we desire to honor with the title of ‘Help of Christians’; 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... and it will be the Mother Church of our future Society and the center from where all our works will radiate in behalf of the youth.” — St. John Bosco, December 1862
If you would like to read more about Our Lady Help of Christians, please click here.