The history of the devotion to Mary Help of Christians (from Lepanto to Australia) and also St John Bosco’s promotion of the devotion.
Advice from St John Bosco:
It is the office of a mother to give help to her children in all their needs. This title expresses in practice Our Lady’s position as our mother. She has all the help we need and she wants to give it to us, if only we will ask for it.
Call on Mary in all your difficulties with the little prayer, “Mary Help of Christians, Pray for us” and you will never call in vain. “Spread devotion to Mary, Help of Christians, and you will see what miracles are”.
A personal testimony
I have silently said the prayer:
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us,
(and added come to my aid in this situation), while seeing in my mind a picture of Mary Help of Christians in the sky, and below her the sea battle of Lepanto: the famous one in which Mary Help of Christians, helped the Christians gain a great victory, and have found that through this prayer, Mary has speedily sent me help in difficult situations on a number of occasions. Mary Help of Christians is the patron of Australia.
The following prayer was said in Australian Catholic schools for many years.
Prayer for the conversion of Australia
O God Who hast appointed Mary, Help of Christians, St Francis Xavier and St Therese of the Infant Jesus, patrons of Australia, grant that, through their intercession, our brethren outside the Church, may receive the light of Faith, so that Australia may become one in Faith, under one Shepherd. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Mary, Help of Christians pray for us.
St Francis Xavier, pray for us.
St Therese of the Infant Jesus pray for us.
St Francis Xavier and St Therese of the Child Jesus were patrons of Australia when it was considered to be a missionary country. They are no longer patrons of Australia. (I think that we need them back) besides I am very devoted to St Therese. (She is one of my all time favourites) and I was married on December 3 (the feast day of St Francis Xavier).
This is: The novena to Mary, Help of Christians that was recommended by St John Bosco.
My email enquiries to the Archdiocese of Sydney to find out exactly when Australia was no longer considered to be a missionary country, so as a consequence no longer had St Francis Xavier and St Therese of the Child Jesus as patrons of Australia have so far drawn a blank.
The prayer for the conversion of Australia was taken from a little booklet that was published in 1961.