Our Lady Help of Christians, Patroness of Australia
Our Lady Help of Christians (Feast Day - 24 May)
Just like any other mum, Mary is always wanting to help her children. Unlike other mothers, she is the mother of Jesus who is God. Did you know that Mary is also our mother? That's pretty neat because she can help us in very special ways. She can ask anything of Jesus and he will do what she asks. That’s pretty super special and good for us to! - if we ask her for that help. Today I’m going to tell you the story of how Australia became the first country to have Mary Help of Christians as Patroness.
A long time ago the Pope lived in France. Sadly, he died. But straightaway a new Pope was elected in the year 1808. His name was Pope Pius VII. What a great guy! Suddenly, a naughty French man called Napoleon took him prisoner and chucked him in goal. A prayer campaign—a battle fought with prayer—was organised amongst Catholics throughout the whole world. They prayed to Mary to obtain the Pope’s freedom. And the Holy Father vowed to God that, if he was set free, he would institute a special feast in honour of Mary.
Guess what? Shortly after the Pope was released from prison. What a good mother Mary is! So, because Mary helped him escape he kept his vow decreeing that the feast of Mary Help of Christians be held every year on the 24th of May. Soon after, and because of her amazing intercession, the Church in Australia made Mary our Patroness under this new title: Our Lady Help of Christians. Australia became the first country to have Mary Help of Christians as Patroness.
We choose to have our heavenly Mother as our helper and what a good choice that was!
Mary is the Mother of us all. She loves us heaps. She helps us just like she helped Jesus, Pope Pius VII, and all her children. She can do that because she has a special power before God. Because Mary she loved God with all her heart and always did what God wanted, God now will do anything she wants. She helped Jesus save the world. Now Jesus has given her to be our helper, saying to us: “This is your Mother.”
Let us ask our heavenly Mother for special graces to help us to be good to one another, to love one another, and forgive each other if we do something wrong – graces to help us be like Jesus, her Son.
Now, let us stand to make our special prayers to God . . . (insert your communities' prayer)
MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS – History by Marist Fathers http://www.maristfathers.org.au/Documents%202014/0514%20OL%20Help%20of%20Christians.pdf
Almighty God, deepen in our hearts
our love of Mary Help of Christians.
Through her prayers and under her protection,
may the light of Christ shine over our land.
May Australia be granted harmony, justice and peace.
Grant wisdom to our leaders and integrity to our citizens.
Bless especially the men and women
of the Australian Defence Force and their families.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us.