St. John Bosco had a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother, and even had a profound vision of her.
St. John Bosco, a holy Italian priest of the 19th century, had a deep spiritual life especially characterized by his love of the Virgin Mary. He spent great amounts of time in prayer each day and related to others several visions he had.
One of them included the Blessed Mother under the title of “Mary, Help of Christians.”
Try to picture yourselves with me on the seashore, or, better still, on an outlying cliff with no other land in sight … In this midst of this endless sea, two solid columns, a short distance apart, soar high into the sky: one is surmounted by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin at whose feet a large inscription reads: Help of Christians.
One of the lessons of the vision was that we are to tie ourselves closely to the Blessed Mother, as she will be able to help us weather any trial.
Below is a prayer St. John Bosco composed that expresses this spiritual reality, invoking the heavenly aid of our Mother during our time of need.
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians,
how sweet it is to come to your feet
imploring your perpetual help.
If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children,
how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me?
Grant then to me, I implore you,
your perpetual help in all my necessities,
in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations.
I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering.
Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners.
Grant through your intercessions many vocations to the religious life.
Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians,
that having invoked you on earth we may love and eternally thank you in heaven.