Feast Day of Our Lady Help of Christians
The feast day
of Mary Help of Christians has been celebrated in Australia since 1844
but the history to this day dates back to the start of the 1800s.
Bonaparte had jailed Pius VI who died in jail. When Pope Pius VII was
elected he too was jailed by Bonaparte, who kept him prisoner at
The Holy Father vowed to God that if he were restored to the Roman See, he would institute a special feast in honour of Mary.
The military eventually forced Bonaparte to release the Pope and on May 24, 1814, Pius VII returned in triumph to Rome.
Twelve months later the Pope decreed that the feast of Mary Help of Christians be kept on 24 May.
Church in Australia had a special reason for turning to Mary. In those
early and mostly priestless days, 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 of Help of Christians,
as Principal Patron.
Prayer To Our Lady, Help of Christians
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christian,
how sweet it is to come to your feet
imploring your perpetual help.
If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children,
how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me?
Grant then to me, I implore you,
your perpetual help in all my necessities,
in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations.
I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering.
Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners.
Grant through your intercessions many vocations to the religious life.
Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians,
that having invoked you on earth we may love and eternally thank you in heaven.
Prayer By St. John Bosco