The International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, which will have its 9th edition this year, was presented on TV Canção Nova’s “Manhã Viva” program. This was the first in a series of programs that Canção Nova will be presenting throughout the year, in partnership with the Salesians, on devotion to Mary Help of Christians, who is also the patroness of Canção Nova.
In preparation for the International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, which will take place in Fatima from August 29 to September 1, TV Canção Nova will provide special coverage of the event. The monthly item on the program “Manhã Viva”, on the 24th of each month, will cover the origins, history, devotions, testimonies and program of the 2024 congress.
António Marcelino, from the team organizing the congress, was interviewed.
After Turin in Italy, Seville in Spain, Częstochowa in Poland and Buenos Aires in Argentina, which have already organized previous editions, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima was chosen as the venue for the meeting. The request for the Congress to be held specifically in Fatima came from ADMA, the Association of Devotees of Mary Help of Christians, the promoter.
“Fatima, for us Portuguese, can be a place we visit once, twice, three times, four times, as many times as we want. But there are so many people in the world who are waiting for this moment to come to Fatima,” explained the Salesian.
“It was in 1988 that the first Congress of Our Lady Help of Christians was held in Turin, because the first centenary of the death of St. John Bosco was being celebrated,” said Father António Marcelino in his interview with the program. “The Rector Major at the time, Fr. Egidio Viganò, launched this congress to remember the relic that Don Bosco had left us, the devotion to Our Lady Help of Christians, to deepen the theme and spread it more and more in the Salesian world and beyond,” he said.
To explain the theme of the 9th International Congress of Mary Help of Christians – “I will give you the Teacher” – Fr. Marcelino mentioned the coincidence of the date with the 200th anniversary of St. John Bosco’s nine-year dream (1815-1888). “This year 2024 will be a very important year for the Salesian Family,” he said.
Thirty-six years after the first congress, the meeting in Fatima will have a formative journey of preparation, just as it did in 2019 in Argentina. There are five themes and 10 stages for preparation. “It’s a good formative path that can be taken, it’s useful,” he said. There are two models: one is written and available on the Congress website; the second is a video about Fatima, to learn more about the place, the history and the devotion, said the Salesian.
Marcelino told the “Manhã Viva” program that the Congress program includes two conferences a day at the Paul VI Center and daily Eucharists in several languages: Spanish, French, English, Italian and Portuguese. “So that each group can experience the Eucharist in their own language in this Shrine of Fatima, which is always the starting point for our activity,” he said.
Registration is open on the Congress website and can be done in two ways, individually and as a group.
With seven months to go until the meeting, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Spain, France and Portugal are the most represented countries, said the organizer.
The Canção Nova community has been one of the groups of the Salesian Family since 2009. It is dedicated to evangelization through the media, namely through TV Canção Nova (Nós channel 186; Meo channel 182; Vodafone channel 210, Nowo channel 145); Radio Canção Nova, broadcasting on 103.7 FM; the magazine Canção Nova, a publishing house and an APP. In Portugal, Canção Nova has a community in Fátima, the main center of devotion to Our Lady in the country.