On May 24, 1972, the cornerstone of the Shrine was laid in the land donated by the Serrano and Dolor families at Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque, adjacent to the Provincial Office of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Block by block, month by month the shrine rose from the ground. Mary Help of Christians would finally have a home of her own. In June 1975 His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin created the parish of Mary Help of Christians and designated the shrine as the parish church and the Salesian Fr. Pierangelo Quaranta as its first pastor. By July 24, 1975 the Parish of Mary Help of Christians was officially inaugurated at the Shrine. Fr. Quaranta with a host of parishioners and benefactors spearheaded the completion of the Shrine. The Church was solemnly consecrated on December 4, 1976 during the silver jubilee year celebrations of Salesian presence in the Philippines. As pastor, Fr. Quaranta zealously spread the devotion to Mary Help of Christians among the parishioners. To date, the statue of Mary Help of Christians is enthroned at prominent street corners of the parish.
Mary Help of Christians Shrine - Patron Saint: St. John Bosco
In 1985, as the Filipinos celebrated Marian Year, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines declared this sanctuary of Mary as a National Shrine. On August 15, 1985, Msgr. Bruno Torpigliani, with Jaime Cardinal Sin and many bishops in attendance, presided over the official ceremony that bestowed upon the church the title of a National Shrine. Fr. Leo Drona, who would later become Bishop of San Jose, Nueva Ecija, was appointed the first Rector of the National Shrine.
In 1994, the National Shrine welcomed the earliest known statue of Mary Help of Christians in the country. It was a statue (the 3rd oldest Marian Statue) Msgr. William Piani himself brought to the Philippines as delegate from 1922 to 1948. It was solemnly transferred from Our Lady of Loreto Church to the Shrine.
The National Shrine also had the special privilege of being a Jubilee Church during the celebration of the Great Jubilee of the year 2000. This coincided with the silver jubilee celebration of the Shrine as a Parish.
The Shrine today stands as the monument of gratitude of the Salesian Family here in the Philippines to Mary and as the center for the whole country of devotion to her as the Help of Christians.
Prayer to St. John Bosco
The Shrine’s Altar
The Shrine’s Interior
At the shrine’s entrance are statues of St. John Bosco with his student St. Dominic Savio
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