Sunday, May 24, 2020

Our Lady Help Of Christians. May 25th, 2020 (episode: 230)

Our Lady Help Of Christians  May 25th (episode: 230)

Mass of the Solemnity, Gloria, Creed

Preface of the Blessed Virgin Mary I

Sirach 4:11-18; 
Ps 112:1-8 R. Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25;
Alleluia, alleluia! Happy are you, O blessed Virgin Mary; without dying you won the martyr's crown beside the cross of the Lord. Alleluia!
John 19:25-27

Image Credit: Mary Help of Christians Statue in  St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney Australia. From the website,

Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Solemnity in Australia of Our Lady Help of Christians. By clicking this link here:  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
{{Kindness and grace to you all}}

On this special (feast of) Our Lady Help Of Christians
My brothers and sisters, trusting in Gods mercy and love let us call to mind our sins.

Lord Jesus, you affirm Mary, as the mother of Mercy. Lord have mercy.
You honour her as the mother of good counsel. Christ have mercy.
You present her to us as Help of all Christians. Lord have mercy.

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Memorial Acclamation
2. When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
PREFACE:  Preface I of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  
Euch.Prayer:  II


Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
Prologue: The Virgin Mary has often been invoked in times of religious strife under the title of Help of Christians. In thanksgiving for the release of Pope Pius VII from captivity in 1814, the feast was established the following year on the anniversary of his restoration. The first Australian provincial synod held in Sydney in 1844 placed the Church in Australia under Mary's patronage invoked by the title Help of Christians. The solemn feast is an occasion to seek Mary's help and protection for our Church and nation.


There are two inscriptions from the first centuries of Christianity in Greek related to the Virgin Mary: θεοτοκος, (Teotokos, Theotokos, Mother of God) and βοηθεια (Boetheia, the Helper). SO Help of Christians is one of the very earliest of titles for Mary.

Asking for the intercession of Mary as Help of Christians is part of the oldest prayer addressed directly to Mary, the Sub tuum praesidium, which was found on a papyrus dating, at the latest, from the end of the 3rd century. 

Saint John Chrysostom used this Marian title in year 345 as a devotion to the Virgin Mary

Saint Don Bosco also strongly and fruitfully promoted Marian devotion under this title throughout his order which became a world-wide ministry….

How fitting, when we see Mary's life portrayed in the gospels…  what a perfect intercessor, who knows all too well hardship and suffering.
Her trust, humility and complete faith in God as she said yes to what God was asking of her in her life.
The arduous journey to visit and care for her cousin Elizabeth
Her journey as a refugee with Joseph and Our Lord.. to Egypt..
Her pain at losing Jesus in the temple for three days..  when he was twelve.. and her pondering all these things in her heart..
He disciple and mother of Christ..  equally.
The sword of sorrow that pierced her heart through her life
Her trust in and intercession to her son at the wedding in cana…  concerned for the good of her hosts….
Her discipleship
Her faithfulness at the foot of the cross…  bearing the indescribable pain of her son's suffering and death.
Her presence in prayer and faith with the apostles at Pentecost.

The infant church in Australia had a special reason for turning to Mary. 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, and strong devotion to Mary, in those early days 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.

It is particularly poignant and fitting in this year, where our nation and the world has been locked down by the pandemic…   echoing the early days of the church, but for different reasons, we again find ourselves unable to publicly celebrate masses with a community, but the Catholic faith is alive and strong.. and Mary Help of Christians both intercedes for us and inspires us in these trying times.

Also, even to this day, Australia is highly secularized and still we see signs at times of a concerning and deep anti-Catholic sentiment, that comes bursting out at unexpected times and in unfortunate ways….   . We need to invoke Help of Christians  to pray for and ask the Lord to transform any hardened hearts, headstrong… hearts and minds.

St Mary's Cathedral was dedicated in her honour by the Irish pioneer priest, Fr John Therry, who arrived in Sydney in 1820 and assumed responsibility for the planning and initial construction of the Cathedral.
When Australia became the first country to have Mary Help of Christians as Patroness, it became the first country to have a mother-cathedral under the same title.

The statue of Mary, Help of Christians, stands in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart in the Cathedral.

The Church has traditionally focussed on two aspects of Our Lady's help on this feast day.

Firstly, upon the role of Our Lady's intercession in the fight against sin in the life of a believer.

Secondly, Our Lady is one who assists Christians as a community, through her intercession, in fighting against anti-Christian values and principles.

In the Opening Prayer for Our Lady Help of Christians, we rightly (and in heartfelt determination), prayed 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 is longed for and treasured more than ever before.

Mary Help of Christians is not only the patroness of Australia but also the Australian Military Ordinariate

And the following prayer is quite fitting…. 

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.
Fr Paul W. Kelly

From- Catholic Weekly 2012:
Gabriel Chow   in

Image Credit: Mary Help of Christians statue  in  St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney Australia. From website,
Archive of homilies and reflections:
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Further information relating to the audio productions linked to this Blog:
"Faith, Hope and Love - Christian worship and reflection" - Led by Rev Paul Kelly

Prayers and chants — Roman Missal, 3rd edition, © 2010, The International Commission on English in the liturgy. (ICEL)

Scriptures - New Revised Standard Version: © 1989, and 2009 by the NCC-USA. (National Council of Churches of Christ - USA)

"The Psalms" ©1963, 2009, The Grail - Collins publishers.

Prayers of the Faithful - " Together we pray" by Robert Borg'. E.J. Dwyer, Publishers, (1993) . (Sydney Australia).

Sung "Mass In Honour of St. Ralph Sherwin" - By Jeffrey M. Ostrowski. The Gloria. Copyright © 2011

- "Today I Arise" - For Trisha J Kelly. Original words and music by Paul W. Kelly. Inspired by St Patrick's Prayer. Arranged and sung, with additional lyrics by Stefan Kelk. 2019.

[ Production - KER - 2020]

May God bless and keep you.


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