By Fr. Steve Ryan, SDB, Vice Provincial
The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr. Angel, wrote a beautiful reflection on Mary Help of Christians a few years ago. He tells us, “We are a family, and Mary Help of Christians is our attentive and consoling mother. She took Don Bosco by the hand and takes ours also to guide us along the paths of this world.” Fr. Angel reminds us that many times Don Bosco said, “It is impossible to go to Jesus except through the love of Mary,” and also “Mary has always been my guide. Whoever places his trust in Her will never feel let down.”
At one point in Don Bosco’s life, he had an interesting conversation with Don Bonetti. It took place in Nizza at the convent of the Salesian Sisters. Don Bosco said to the Sisters, “I only want to tell you that the Virgin Mary loves you very much—very, very much. And you know, She is here in our midst.” Bonetti tried to explain Don Bosco’s words to the Sisters by saying that what Don Bosco meant was that Mary was their Mother and would protect them. However, Don Bosco insisted, “No! No! I want to tell you that the Virgin is truly here, in this House; that She is happy with you and that, if you persevere with the spirit you have now, that this is what the Virgin Mary wants.” Once again, Bonetti tried to explain to the Sisters that Don Bosco meant that if they were good, Mary would be happy. But, again Don Bosco, filled with emotion, said, “I want to say that the Virgin Mary is truly here, here right in your midst! The Virgin Mother walks in this House and covers it with Her Mantle” (Biographical Memoirs, vol. XVII).
Don Bosco believed that Mary was absolutely present—right in the room with us, helping us with big and little things always. She wasn’t distanced from us. And She wasn’t so far removed from us that She can only give us an occasional glance. He believed that She was powerful and present! Mary took Don Bosco by the hand when he was just a young boy, and She never let go. She worked miracles in his life on a daily basis.
Do you believe She can work miracles in your life? Let us ask Mary that, like Don Bosco, we may have greater trust and faith in Her intercession. Like the pillar of fire or the cloud that guided the people of Israel in the desert, Mary, too, will guide us through our own deserts. Trust in Her and you will see miracles.