Founder and Origin

The origin of ADMA is directly linked to the construction of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin. Don Bosco himself had a strong devotion to Mary and great trust in her powerful intercession, and he encouraged others to do the same. He used to say: “Do the best you can. God will do what we cannot do. Entrust everything to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary Help of Christians and then you will see what miracles are.” (MB 11, 369). Recognizing Mary’s support and amazed at the countless graces people attributed to Our Lady during the construction of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco, Don Bosco decided to found the Association of Devotees of Mary Help of Christians popularly known as ADMA. The official start of the association took place on 18April 1869, less than a year after the Consecration of the Basilica. The association has, then, a strong and vital link with the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin.


ADMA groups are made up of families, adults and young people who invite Mary into their homes – faithful to Don Bosco’s charism. What started in Valdocco with Don Bosco continues to spread in homes all around the world, “from Mary’s house to our homes”. Anchored to the two pillars of the Eucharist and Mary, ADMA members walk together a path of Christian formation in the joys and difficulties of life. They try, under the gaze of Jesus and Mary, to live every moment, even the most tiring ones, without losing hope, in mutual charity and prayer for others. In this way they make concrete gestures of help and solidarity.

Present Situation

Currently ADMA is present in over 50 countries around the world, with over 100,000 members in 800 groups aggregated to the Primary ADMA in Turin. Each of these groups interprets its own local reality and practises fidelity to Don Bosco’s charism by living a journey of holiness and simplicity in everyday life. They operate in communion with the Church and with the other groups of the Salesian Family.

A path for everyone

Don Bosco placed the family spirit at the heart of his mission, with a special focus on young people. The family is an important place for young people, the place where they experience love and forgiveness. They mature in faith and relationship with God and others, and they learn to be a family where each one can grow as a person. Over the years ADMA has become a family of families, where the members follow a simple path of walking together. Their motto is Entrust, Trust and Smile!

Entrust… Like Mary, we try to be docile to the Will of God. We want to recognize that our life is in bigger hands than ours. We put ourselves under her protection and entrust ourselves to her in everyday life.

Trust… With the fidelity of Mary at the foot of the cross, we also live with hope in the difficulties and trials of life because there is always a greater good that awaits us.

Smile… Like Mary we want to glorify the Lord every day and to witness the beauty of the Gospel with a smile on our lips and joy in our hearts. In this way we can be happy despite the difficulties and trials of life.

ADMA Membership

You are the light of the world (Mt. 5:14) – This is what moves ADMA members! The desire to be light, to spread grace and to bear witness to what we have experienced, and to the beauty of entrusting our life to Jesus through Mary.

We are all called to holiness. Holiness is a journey. We become saints together! ADMA members follow simple paths of Christian formation, prayer, and apostolic service, with a family style that is aimed at everyone, especially young people.

Challenges for the Future

The specific commitment is to live and spread the Marian dimension and the centrality of Mass and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in the Salesian Charism, both in the Association and in the wider Salesian Family, giving witness to steadfast faith in times of trial for the Church and for humanity.

In Ireland

In the early years of the Salesian presence in Ireland it was decided to build a Shrine in honour of Mary Help of Christians, and a beautiful chapel was built in Pallaskenry. This architectural gem was opened with great celebration on 28 May 1939. Later, on 25 March 1953, the first group of ADMA in Ireland was officially started in the Shrine in Pallaskenry. Unfortunately, over the years its life and activities have disappeared.


Now more than ever people need the support and company of others on their journey of faith. For this reason, I would like to invite you to join in restarting ADMA Ireland so that this beautiful initiative that Don Bosco started in Turin 153 years ago may continue to grow, bringing grace and strength to families in Ireland. As Don Bosco used to say: “We Christians must be united in these difficult times. Being among many who are doing good is a source of encouragement to us, without our being aware of the fact” (MB 7,602).

Primary ADMA Turin: