Maria Auxiliatrice (Mary the Helper) is the Italian name for Mary, Help of Christians. (The Latin title is Maria Auxilium Christianorum.)
The simpler version of the title is particularly associated with Don Bosco’s Salesian orders, because the order’s first church was Maria Auxiliatrice, and Don Bosco had a special devotion to her.
Don Bosco taught people to do a very simple novena:
For nine days, say:
Three Our Fathers, three Hail Mary’s, three Glory Be’s, and one Hail Holy Queen.
After the end of the novena, do a work of charity as a thanksgiving.
The feast of Mary Help of Christians is May 24th, in commemoration of the pope’s return to Rome in 1814 after being held captive by Napoleon.
Don Bosco: A Sketch of His Life and Miracles has a lot of interesting material in it, including the story of Don Bosco’s mysterious dog, Il Grigio, and Don Bosco’s many narrow escapes from death.
People tend to slide right past miracles when it comes to modern saints known for their charity; but historically, miracles tend to come thick and fast in charitable ministries. There’s no reason to be ashamed of God’s charismatic gifts. Considering how many religious orders and charitable institutions only manage to get along by trusting in God’s providence, why wouldn’t this be so?