Pius VII instituted the feast of Mary under the title of Help of Christians to give thanks to the mediatrix after his return to Rome in 1814. After the establishment of the hierarchy of Australia in 1842, the Australian bishops similarly recognized the role of the Mother of God and dedicated Australia under the patronage of Our Lady Help of Christians in 1844.
|Statue of Our Lady Help of Christians, St. Mary Cathedral, Sydney|
In the last two weeks I was there, I visited many churches and cathedrals. Below are the cathedrals I visited:
On a side note, out of different places I visited in Australia, the liturgy in certain churches around Sydney surprised me with high quality. I believe that outside of Europe, there are few cathedrals that do liturgy as beautifully as the Sydney cathedral. A solemn Mass is held every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Mary, and I was there on the Fifth Sunday of Easter. The Most Rev. Anthony Fisher, Archbishop of Sydney, was the celebrant, together with the Archbishop of Perth who happened to visit Sydney that week. The cathedral choir, mostly composed mainly of boys from the Cathedral Choir School who sing every day during school term, sings the Mass parts mostly in Latin. Everything in the liturgy was done reverently and gorgeously.
Here's a video of the recessional procession to give you a taste of the solemnity of the celebration:
When I was in Australia, I especially prayed for Cardinal George Pell every day, who had been unjustly sentenced to prison for things he could not have done from the evidence. Let us pray for consolation and strength for the beloved servant of God, for fruits from his sufferings, and for his successful appeal. Let us pray for Australia:
Almighty ever-living God,On this 30th anniversary of the massacre of students in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, let us also pray to the almighty Father, through the powerful intercessions of Our Lady Help of Christians who is dearest to the Chinese people, that the Gospel can illuminate the land of China and the Catholics can be strengthened in their faith and witness in this difficult time.
who placed the love of Our Lady, Help of Christians
in the hearts of those who brought the Catholic faith to these shores,
grant, through her intercession,
wisdom to our leaders and integrity to our citizens,
so that, under her protection,
Australia may know harmony, justice and peace.
Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Collect, Solemnity of Our Lady Help of Christians, patron of Australia)
Auxilium Christianorum, ora pro nobis.