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About the congress

What is the International Congress of Mary Help of Christians?
From 29 August to 1 September 2024, the IX International Congress of Mary Help of Christians will be held in Fatima, Portugal, with the aim of learning about, deepening and spreading devotion to Mary Help of Christians.

"I will give you a Teacher"

Teme of the 9th International Congress of Mary Help of Christians

The dream of nine years

In 1824, John Bosco, aged nine, had a dream that would mark him for the rest of his life. In his first prophetic dream, in which he was shown the field of his future apostolate, John heard the mysterious voice of the Lord saying to him: “I WILL GIVE YOU A TEACHER.” Then a majestic-looking Lady appeared and encouraged him to work to correct the behaviour of the boys on the street.

Mary Help of Christians

Our Lady often appeared in Don Bosco’s dreams and was the star of his apostolate. “Mary Most Holy is my Mother” – said Don Bosco. Mary was of value to the Salesian Congregation, especially when extraordinary help was needed to meet the needs of poor and abandoned young people. Anyone who spoke to Don Bosco realised the maternal, real and constant intervention of Our Lady, invoked as his Help of Christians.

The Congress

The International Congress of Mary Help of Christians is a meeting organised by the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) which aims to make known, deepen and spread devotion to Mary Help of Christians. Designed for all the groups of the Salesian Family, this congress is usually held every four years and is a very important moment for everyone. Therefore, all the groups of the Salesian Family are called to take part in this important moment of union and devotion.

Where and when?

The theme of the IX International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, which will be held in Portugal at the Shrine of Fatima from 29 August to 1 September 2024, will be “I WILL GIVE YOU A TEACHER”.

A journey of devotion

Learn about the history of the Congresses of Mary Help of Christians

Presenting themselves as a proposal for all the groups of the Salesian Family, the International Congresses of Mary Help of Christians recognise two charismatic aspects of the Salesian spirit in Eucharistic worship and devotion to Mary Help of Christians.

The first of these meetings was organised by Fr Egidio Viganò and took place in Turin in 1988, on the centenary of Don Bosco’s death.

Since then, seven more International Congresses have taken place.

In 1995, the city of Cochabamba in Bolivia hosted the Second International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, which was attended by more than 200 participants. Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints and World Spiritual Animator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA); the ADMA leaders of Bolivia; Fr Javier Ortiz, Provincial of Bolivia; Tullio Lucca, ADMA World President; and Bishop Tito Solari, SDB, Bishop Emeritus of Cochabamba.

The Third International Congress of Mary Help of Christians took place in Seville, Spain, in 1999. In 2003, Turin-Valdocco (Italy) hosted another Congress, this time on the centenary of the coronation of Mary Help of Christians.

In 2007, Mexico City, Mexico, hosted the 5th International Congress of Mary Help of Christians. This was a privileged opportunity to relaunch devotion to Mary Help of Christians. In his speech, the then Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez, recalled the importance of devotion to the Mother of God in the way it was promoted by the father of the young: “Mary was given to us as a powerful Help against evil in the fight for the salvation of the young,” he emphasised.

In 2011, the city of Czestochowa in Poland hosted the 6th International Congress of Mary Help of Christians.

The VII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians took place in Turin-Valdocco/Colle Don Bosco (Italy) in 2015, during the celebrations for the bicentenary of Don Bosco’s birth. The theme, “Hic domus mea, inde glória mea – From Mary’s house to our homes”, signalled the maternal presence of Mary, Mother of the Church and Help of Christians, and invited all participants to experience the beauty of being a family.

The year 2019 was marked by the 8th International Congress of Mary Help of Christians in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Under the theme, “With Mary, a believing woman”, this meeting, which marked the 150th anniversary of the foundation of ADMA, was an opportunity to profess, as children of Don Bosco, a filial and strong devotion to the Blessed Mother.

In 2024, Fatima in Portugal will host the 9th International Congress of Mary Help of Christians.

Our History

1988

Turin-Valdocco (Italy)

Centenary of Don Bosco's death

1995

Cochabamba (Bolivia)

1999

Seville (Spain)

2003

Turin-Valdocco (Italy)

Centenary of the coronation of Mary Help of Christians

2011

Czestochowa (Poland)

Online via Zoom

2015

Turin-Valdocco/Colle Don Bosco (Italy)

Bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth

2019

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

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Registration for the Congress