Wednesday, 23 May 2018 15:06

Our Lady, Help of Christians

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2018OLHOCWeb150The Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians (24 May), not only celebrates Mary as patroness of Australia, but also as patroness of the Carmelites in Australia and Timor-Leste.

The first synod of Bishops in Australia in 1844 chose Mary as patron of the fledgling Church under the title of Our Lady, Help of Christians. It is an ancient title for Mary. St John Chrysostom was the first to use it in the year 345. Pope Pius VII instituted the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians in 1815 on the anniversary of his return to Rome after exile and captivity. He attributed his deliverance to Our Lady.

Seventy years ago when the Carmelites in Australia formally became a Province in 1948, Our Lady, Help of Christians was chosen as the new Province’s patroness.

Today, Carmelites in Australia and Timor-Leste still rely on Mary’s companionship and protection as we look forward in faith and hope to the future.

Below is part of the stained glass window of Our Lady, Help of Christians in St Joseph's Carmelite Church, Port Melbourne (VIC). Click on the image for a larger view. Photo: Graham McKern


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