This feast day has been celebrated in Australia since 1844. No priests were sent to the colony in its early days and Mass was not allowed except for one brief year until 1820. It was largely the Rosary that kept the faith alive. Catholic Australia remained faithful to Mary and was the first nation to choose her under the title Help of Christians, as principal Patroness. In the Opening Prayer for Our Lady Help of Christians, the Church prays that through Our Lady’s intercession God will “grant wisdom to our leaders and integrity to our citizens”, so that “under her protection Australia may be granted harmony, justice and peace”. This year, the Australian Bishops entrust Australia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary under the title Our Lady Help of Christians, seeking her intercession for the safety of all our people especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
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