Via Maria Ausiliatrice 32 | 10152 Torino-Valdocco, Italia | E-Mail: pcameroni@salesiani.it -ADMA Valdocco: adma.torino@tiscali.it 

         ADMAonLine        |             Monthly Message:   November 24th, 2011       

Mary gives us the joy of the heart

Mary is the attentive mother for everyone of his sons and she often sees our heart isn't in joy and peace. Mary wants us to live in the grace of God, she wants us to move from the darkness of sin and the swamp of evil. Mary looks at us one by one. Joy is the sign of grace in our hearts, it shows the presence of the Risen One in our hearts.The only sadness is that of not being saints. If the sun doesn't shine on earth we are in total catastrophy, a winter without end. So when there is the Risen Christ in our hearts light descends into our hearts and joy disappears from our faces.Conversion is openness of heart to experience in us the love of Jesus who embraces us with his tenderness.

Mary loves us and prays for our conversion, for the healing of our souls, so that we might experience the love of her Son.
Then even our lives become like Mary's, a hymn of joy and our prayer opens to thanksgiving and praise. "In our prayer we have to often look at how, in the endeavours of our lives, the Lord protects us, guides us, helps us. Therefore He is worthy to receive our praise because of all His deeds for us. We have to be more aware of the good things the Lord gives us. We are always attentive to the problems, to the difficulties and it seems we don't want to perceive that there are good things coming from the Lord.

That attention, becomes gratefulness and is important for us because it creates in us the memory of good. It helps us in the darkest nights. God does marvellous things for us, and he who experiences it - attentive to the bounty of the Lord with the awareness of his heart - is full of joy… It becomes important for us not to ever loose memory of God's presence in our life, that profound joy to know that God entered our lives freeing us : it is the greatfulness of the discovery of the Risen Christ who came among us. That greatfulness turns out to be hope, and it is the star of hope that gives us confidence, it is light because the same sufferings of sowing time are the beginning of new life, the great and definite joy of God." (Benedict XVI 12 October, 2011).

Mary help of Christians looks also at His Ascencion and she notices that often there is not true joy, that there is coldness and incomprehensions even in our groups and then She invites us to the conversion of heart so that her Son might be present among us with his loving care and his Spirit. Our being part to ADMA does not have to be denied in a non coherent atttitude of jealousy and lack of commitment. Mary exhorts us to become signs of living love and tenderness of God, and rather not to go astray from moral life springing from the Gospel and not becoming obstacle for none of our brothers.

There are also motives of joy that lead to thanksgiving : engaging ourselves to put into practice the apostolic commitment of the Associazione as it happened in Columbia ; the planning of the provincial or national for 2012: Central America, Argentine, Chili, Northest of Brasil, Phiilippins; formations for spiritual animators for Spain. On various occasions the Rector Major has spoken, presenting the event of the VIth International Congress of Mary help of Christians, celebrated in Czestochowa (Poland) from 3rd to 6th August 2011, putting into evidence three aspects: a Salesian Family event that needs devotion to the Help of Christians as one of the constitutive elements of salesian charism and of communion among all the groups ; an encounter that has demonstrated the renewal of ADMA as a salesian group, through the commitment of new couples of young people and of the youth themselves; the proposition of writing a letter dedicated to Mary, underlining mostly how she is Help for the youth.

May Mary Help of Christians bless all our groups, comfort he who is in difficulty and the sick and may she make us witnesses of the joy of the Gospel!

Mr. Lucca Tullio, President
Fr Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Promoter of spiritual activities


3. Don Bosco and the mary Help of Christians Basilica (don Pierluigi Cameroni)

History of the construction - At the very beginnings of year 1860 Don Bosco though scarcely to a building of a church of rather good presentable dimensions more than the San Francesco di Sales church. The motives were so various, and not the least the lack of space of that last church. In that way he would put it in a conversation with Paolo Albera December year 1862 an evening: "I have confessed so much, trully, I don't know what I said or did, but I am worried about one idea, that distracts me and irresistably keeps me out of my mind. I thought: our church is too small: it does not contain all our youth here are even the ones who are leaning on others. So we'll make another more beautiful, big, magnificent. We shall give it the title: 'Church of mary help of Christians'. I have no penny, I don't know from where I shall get that money, but that is not the most important. If God wishes, it will be done" (MB VII, 333-334).

With this verb in plural "we'll make", said to the one who had to become his second succiessor, he was talking of going beyond the proper setting, involving even those who might come after him. If the two first adjectives apply very well to the primarily sacred building, the third one had its full application later on. After sometimes, having the same argument with cleric Anfossi, the same impressions came out: "The church will be very large. Therein many will come and invoque the power of the Virgin Mary".

These words sounded like a prophecy. He thought of even giving a place for worship to people of the neighbourhood because Valdocco, from a rural area, has become an urban area. Five projects for the new church, signed by Don Bosco and the ingenieer of Spezia, were presented at the communal office dated from 14th may 1864: it was matter of "Implant of a Church dedicated to Maria Auxilium Christianorum to be erected in Valdocco of Torino with the oblation of the devotees". The prospectus of the Mary help of Chritians Church refers to the venetian basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore (1506) from the venetian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580).

Don Bosco's objectives were to face the edification of the church were clear : he wanted a big church, monument to the Virgin Mary, the clearest sign of her presence in sustaining the Church, as she did in times of Lepanto during the emprisonment of Pope Pio VII. Giving responsibility to the Spezia of the project don Bosco wanted "it in such proportions to be able to welcome a big number of devotees, and give due honour to the Majestic Queen of Heaven" (G. B. LEMOYNE, Torino 1909, p. 466). The enterprise, after the erection of the corner stone (27th April 1865), among other things, came to the end by the end of 1868 and was consacrated on 9th June of the same year.

Decoration - Don Bosco had in mind a precise iconographic plan: he wanted, through paintings on the altars, communicate contents, present to the faithful not only of the saints to whom we direct our prayers, but also examples to follow. In June 1868, the major flame was already at its place from the paintor Tommaso Lorenzone; the other four paintings who were meant to decorate minor altars were missen, but for seven years, towards 1875, the job was completed. The altar left was (up to today) dedicated to Saint Joseph, "Spouse of the Mother of God". Right there was an altar dedicated to Saint Peter (today that altar is dedicated to Don Bosco himself); the subject was the handing over of the symbolic keys to the saint from Jesus. Afterwards, going deep inside the church, you could meet the altar dedicated to Saint Anna.

The subject figured Saint Anna teaching little Mary how to read.On left side of the principal door there was an altar dedicated to the most sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary. The mural painting which decorated the front and the bords were made by the paintor Giuseppe Rollini with allegoric scenes. The last work, done after the death of don Bosco, was the decoration of the dome with the Glory of the "Help of Christians".

Heart of the oratory - For don Bosco the most important thing of all was that the "Mary Help of Christians church become the heart of the oratory. He travelled already with a mind full of various forms of activities that would take place in the shadow of the church with numerous people ; he tasted in advance the joy he would feel seeing everybody becoming only one choir, singing the praises of the Lord and our lady and quenching their souls at the fountains of his grace; he could repent in himself the races per taking place to be able to celebrate solemnities and major feasts and events, in the magnificencies of the cult.

The concert of its bells could recreate and raise the spirits like harmonies going up to heaven. Though it always opened doors, small and great persons could pass during the day durante to go and pray in front of the tabernacle of Jesus Gesù Sacrament and in front of the Holy Virgin. Magnificent pontificals; daily functions done not only con priestly seriousness, but also with the devoted participation of crowds of young people; abundance of the divine word. Definately the church was a beautiful God's house, and it shined with piety inside, featly admiration at the exterior, serenity of thought and happiness of life, and above, all our Lady blessing and saying : "I am here on top to see and listen all my sons of the oratory "" (EUGENIO CERIA, Annali della società salesiana, I pp. 88-89).

Mother Church for Salesians - A church with such dimensions operated an evolution at the area it was built. Young salesians who saw the walls growing, could only say that the oratory was meant to become something better and more than a simple guest house for the poor boys. Don Bosco from time to time lifted up a piece of the curtain that covered the future and his salesians had a vague feeling of being themselves pioneers called to be part of the begginings of an extraordinary enterprise. He looked forward to light and admirable fireside which several gospel workers would come and contemplate and go, sent to work in the vineyard of the Lord. ""Do you know the reason for which we should build another church?". He asked one of his clerics, Don Cagliero. "I think, Cagliero said, that it should be the mother church of our congregation, and the centre in which all our presences working for the good of the youth will come out". "You guess well, Don Bosco confirmed : The Most Holy Mary is the founder and will be the sustainer of our presences"" (MB VII, 334).

Charismatic and healing centre - "The construction of the temple is more than a technical job, a preoccupation for the plans, materials and financial founds. It represents for Don Bosco a spiritual experience and the maturation of his pastoral mentality. Don Bosco was around the age 45-50, years of his sacerdotal maturation and of his strong feeling for social projections, with some presences already organized and others just initiated. At the end of the construction something has transformed him. For what reasons? First of all, the achievemet of that church surpasses the first idea he has : from a church for his house, his area and the congregation, the idea of a sanctuary is taking place, half of pilgrimages, centre of cult and turning point for a spiritual family. That new reality grew on his hands. The economical problems were solved later on with grace and miracles that stimulated the generosity from the people. All this planted in Don Bosco the conviction that "Mary built her own house", "that every stone corresponded to a grace". For about three years only the church's construction came to an end and the expenses accumulated on those who were necessary to feed and maintain so many of the boys. At the origin of the sanctuary of Valdocco there is not, compared to other marian places, apparitions nor miracles.

But the temple itself became a place for complex "miraculous". A priest at that time affirmed, a certain theologian Margotti: "They say that Don Bosco works wonders. I don't believe it. But here took place a miracle I can not deny : it is this magnificent temple that costs millions and built only in three years with the offerings of the faithful!"". Don Bosco's fame was born and grew during the construction of the church as miracles' operator and his name began to spread over the whole region of Piemonte: from a well known priest only in his land, he became a character symbol of pastoral newness in the Church. He felt the responsibility of that fame "miracles' operator" and consulted a theologian, Mons. Bertagna, if he should go ahead giving the Mary help of Christians blessing! The theologian gave an affirmative answer. That construction took place at the same time with the foundation of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Institute. They represent the enlargement of the charism to the feminine world, with a consequent enrichment; so as a new foundation, the arch confraternity of Mary Help of Christians is, together with the Cooperators, the extension towards the lay world. Then started the expanding of the congregations.

This was concretized in the missionary expeditions; all of them were sent from the Basilica. The consequence was the apostolic openness: from educative institute to a popular pastoral with its typical elements: the preaching, sacraments, practice of charity through offered materials and participation to charitable activities. All this was followed by the systematic effort for adult vocations called "Opera di Maria Ausiliatrice". Without any pretention, we can say that Don Bosco the contruction as director of a presence and ended it as a charismatic chief of a great movement still to be born, but already defined in its aims and distinctive traces; he started it a special priest originale of Torino and ended it as an apostle of the church. He moved from the city to the whole world.

The pedagogical praxis was the result of the oratory experience whereas from work of the santuary emerged in the salesian work a vision of the church, as people of God scattered in the whole world, fighting against the powers of evil: that perspective was represented in other forms in the dream of the two columns (1862), today there is a painting of that dream inside the sanctuary. He started a pastoral style made of audacy and confidence: be able to start with less, dare a lot when it is matter of doing good. Carry on trusting our Lord. He founded a conviction in the heart of the congregation: "Spread out the devotion to Mary help of Christians and you'll see what miracles look like"... in so many fields, economics, socials, pastorals, educatives" (JUAN VECCHI, Spiritualità Salesiana. Temi fondamentali, Elledici, Torino 2001, pp. 228-230).

Miraculous church; the Mary help of Christians Church: It is miraculous because it was shown to the Saint much before hand, its place and its form; It is miraculous for its erection, because of Don Bosco, poor and father of the poor, only the means from the providence made it possible; it is miraculous because of the rivers of grace that flew unceasingly on it; it is finally miraculous for the restoration the successors of Don Bosco always did and brought to the end unexpectedly.

Prayer in honour or Mary Help of Christians
Venerated in the Basilica of Torino-Valdocco

O God our Father, by your glory
And the exaltation of the Virgin mary,
you inspired you faithful servant saint John Bosco
to build this temple in honour to Mary the Mother of God,
invoqued as "Help of Christians",
listen to our confident prayer.
The apostle of the Help of Christians was convinced
That our Lady built a house for herself,
that it was her house and from it her glory,
that every stone and ornament was the grace of Mary.
We ourselves pray with the joy
That Mary is the house of gold ornamented with the gifts of the Spirit,
the royal room illuminated by he Sun of justice,
the holy city filled with rivers of grace,
the arc of the covenant that carries the author of the new law,
Jesus Saviour of the world.
We pray so that , keeping integral the grace of baptism,
we might become your worshippers in spirit truth,
to be built as a living temple of your glory.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, your son, who is God,
lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.



2011 for the ADMA Association of Alcamo was a year full of important events. The first one was the inauguration and blessing of the chapel dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, situated in the courtyard of the salesian oratory; after the eucharistic celebration presided by the Director and Parish Priest presieduta, Don Gianni Giummarra, took place the blessing, with a fraternal moment and the end. Second event: the visit of Don Pietro Mellano, provincial administrator of ICP, for the feast of the Assumption of the Most Holy Mary in Alcamo Marina. Third event: the visit at Alcamo of the world Spiritual Animator Don Pierluigi Cameroni on 17th September. Many encounters took place the whole day: the first one was with the Council of presidency, then the eucharistic celebration with the parish community, the encounter with the associated members of ADMA, with the presentation of the new video of the International Congress of Mary Help of Christians in Poland on August; At the end a moment of fraternity concluded with the blessing of Mary help of Christians the way Don Bosco usually did it (Nino Romano, Chair person).


In the salesian house of "Ciudad de los Muchachos", nel an area of Madrid at Vallecas, a meeting of the Provincial Council of ADMA took place on 30th September 2011. The new council was formed by 13 members, apart from the Spiritual Animator, D. Anselmo Velasco, who participated in the meeting. A large council to animate the 20 local associations, with the particularity that in the province different groups are not directly inserted in a traditional salesian presence, apart from two regional coordinators of the zone of La Mancha and Salamanca were elected: Gloria Blanco, from the association of La Elipa, Chair person; Ana María Guijarro, from the group of Fuenlabrada, Vice president; Rosalía de la Torre, from the association of "Domingo Savio", Treasurer; Luisa de Arriba, of Fuenlabrada, Secretary; Juan Carlos Serrano, from the group of Paseo de Extremadura, councelor for social communication. The rest of councelors will carry out functions and responsibilities related to other fields of the Project of Life and Action. We insisted a lot on the team work and necessary collaboration among all, promoting collaborations for some responsibilities like secretariate and documents, communication and formation, treasury, presidency itself and vice presidency. On the Project of life and action work, came out the idea of a necessary innovation of the Association in reaching out to the youth and the families (promoting new web pages www.auxiliadoramadrid.org) and insisting on formation (through the monthly leaflet of don Bosco and the bulletin of ADMAonline). The conclusion was made of the reminding of some important appointments like Spiritual exercises and the visit of the don Bosco's urn. The meeting was concluded with the blessing of Mary Help of Christians (Juan Carlos Serrano Soria).


On Sunday the 2nd October 2011, there was an atmosphere of communion and joy, for the Association of Mary Help of Christians, with the participation of almost 400 people, held the XXIrst Marian Day. The theme of the Day was the new giving of the spirit and of the commitments matured from the VIth International Congress of Mary Help of Christians celebrated in Czestochowa from 3rd to 6th August. After a careful presentation from the Chair Person, Sig. Tullio Lucca, we heard some interesting testimonies of young people and families: some underlined the work of the Providence to have been able to participate; others underlined how the event helped them to mature, a decisive way of conversion; some understood with more clarity what it meant to take part in ADMA Primaria. A second moment was the presentation of the ADMA way for 2012, underlining the proposal for the families and the youth in view of the participation to the next VIIth World Encounter of families (Milan 30th May to 3rd June 2012), the involvement of the youth and through testimony and the go-and-tell to the other young people. During the pilgrimage at the sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians, after the recitation of the holy rosary, was held the solemn eucharistic celebration presided by don Stefano Martoglio, Superior of the Piemonte-Valle d'Aosta circonscription. Inside the celebration 43 people of ADMA Primaria, of San Benigno, of Nave (Brescia) and the community Shalom of Palazzolo S/O (Brescia), became part of the Association. All this was lived in an atmosphere of interiority, recognizing that such a commitment brings one to bear fruits with the spirit of Mary: be humble servants in the vineyard of the Lord.


Sunday 2nd October 2011 nellin the city of Cucuta the "Dispensary San Giovanni Bosco" was inaugurated, a centre for the sick and the Mary Help of Christians' office. That project was sustained by the ADMA of the city. María del Plilar Lucas, Provincial Chair Person and Bernardo de López, Vice president, were present at the ceremony. It was a genuine example of the apostolic and social dimension that can grew in the groups of ADMA from all over the world (Don Luis Mur, provincial animator).


On the 8th of October 2011, the initiation in the group of couples of young people and families restarted its activities, animated by the local ADMA. The itinery proposed is in syntony with the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the VIIth World Meeting for Families to be held in Milan in 2012: "The family: work and feast". While de corridors and the courtyard resound of the joy of the children, couples begin their reflection on the Holy Family of Nazareth, guided by don Enrico Ponte (SDB), spiritual animator of ADMA. The central moment of that encounter is the adoration to the Blessed Sacrament and the prayer of the holy rosary, with the possibility of the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation. a moment of sharing and coming together concludes the meeting (Conti Alessandro, Chair Person).


25 years of pilgrimage to Mary Help of Christians Sunday the 23rd October, 2011 nearly a thousand pilgrims and devotees of Mary help of Christians converged at Mogofores, in the municipality of Anadia, to celebrate the 25th edition of the pilgrimage at the marian sanctuary. The celebrations were presided by the Provincial of the Salesians of Portogallo, don Artur Pereira, and were coordinated by the national Delegate for the Salesian Family, Jerónimo Monteiro da Rocha. The program started at 9.30 am with greetings to our Lady of the Sanctuary. Then a brief procession started from the sanctuary up to the gymnasium of the Salesian Institute. Don Miguel Luciano spoke to those present at the VIth International Congress of Mary help of Christians in Poland. After a moment of prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament, a mass was celebrated at noon, broadcasted live by the Salesian Radio. In the afternoon, in the same gymnasium, sister María Fernanda Afonso, Daughter of Mary help of Christians, presented a testimony on how the ADMA Congress in Poland was lived and many other pilgrims wanted also to honour the Virgin Mother with their presentations. The choir Santa Clara di Vila do Conde, did a very good presentation that was well appreciated by the participants. In fact, they were responsible for the musical animation during the eucharistic celebration. The National Delegate for Youth Ministry, don José Aníbal Mendonça, presented the program of the Sunday animation of the Sanctuary - in which various groups were involved - in view of the pilgrimage in Portogallo of the reliques of Don Bosco, the month of August 2012. The Provincial, at the end, gave a word of thanks to all present and underlined the importance of the growing devotion to Our Lady and the commitment to create the vocation culture. All the celebrations were concluded in the sanctuary by a moment of prayer, the Blessing to Mary Help of Chirstians and the final greetings. The leitmotive chosen for the 25th annual pilgrimage at the Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians was the phrase of Don Bosco "She did everything".


On 23rd October 2011, great joy and prayer brought us to the celebration of our 29th National Encounter at the Prenoviciate "Don Bosco" of Canlubang, Laguna. Nearly 300 ADMA fans from various groups of the Philipines participated in the national Convention. In sintony with the VIth International Congress we chose the theme: "Totus Tuus Maria, Man Saan Kailanman". The ADMA Delegates shared their experiences through the following reports: a) "Social and Spiritual presentation of the Czestochowa Sanctuary", by Maria Junifer L. Maliglig (National Chair person); b) "The abandon to Mary: theological event, its foundations and spiritual deepness", by Rheena May R. Lim (Vice Chair Person); c) "This is the VIth International Congress: event and activities", synthesis by Sister Maria Asela B. Chavez, FMA Animator. That day we had also the signing up of members already involved in the groups and of new members. 70 ADMA members, more or less associated to our common mission; published the love for the Most Holy Eucharist and the devotion to Mary, our Mother and Help of the Christians. On the same occasion we prayed for the eternal rest of the souls of our departed Salesians, devotees of Mary Help of Christians. We welcome wholeheartedly the presence of Fr. Edison Lotilla, parish priest at Mary Help of Christians of Marinduque, who presided the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, concelebrated by Fr. Nestor Impelido, SDB (ADMA Spiritual Animator) and Fr. Roberto Mac Roxas, SDB, Delegate for the Salesian Family (Maria Junifer L. Maliglig - National Chair Person).

We warmly invite all the groups of Spanish language, particularly those of America, to make known and spread the Review of Mary Help of Christians in the Spanish Edition.

Revista del Santuario Basílica María Ausiliatrice, Torino-Valdocco, Italia

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        Web Site: www.maria-auxiliadora.org - Email: revista@maria-auxiliadora.org
        Josephine Modesto Directora Edición Hispana - Email: josephine@maria-auxiliadora.org

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     ADMA HEADQUARTERS, Torino-Valdocco:
     ADMA | Santuario Maria Ausiliatrice | Via Maria Ausiliatrice 32 | 10152 TORINO-VALDOCCO | ITALIA
    Tel.: 0039-011-5224216 / Fax.: 0039-011-52224213 |
E-mail: adma.torino@tiscali.it 
                                  THE President OF ADMA:
                                  Signor LUCCA TULLIO (until 2014) |E-mail:  Tullio.Lucca@gmail.com   
     Spiritual Animator of ADMA:
     Don Pier Luigi CAMERONI / Istituto Salesiano | Via S. G. Bosco 1 - 25075 NAVE - BS
    TEL. 030-2530262 - FAX 030-2533190 / CELL. 3401452349 |
E-mail: pcameroni@salesiani.it
                                Websites: www.donbosco-torino.it/eng/adma


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