Our Lady to protect Australia from the pandemic
AUSTRALIA’S Bishops will entrust the care of the nation from the COVID-19 pandemic to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Christopher Prowse announced today.
Special mention has been made of Australians who have lost their jobs or livelihoods, those quarantined or anxious and pastors, leaders and essential service workers.
Archbishop Prowse said the pandemic presented a “unique opportunity” for collective action by the Bishops, who have been engaged in an online Plenary meeting this week.
US and Canadian Bishops recently entrusted their nations to “Mary Mother of the Church” with similar moves in England and Wales as well as Ireland, Spain and Portugal.
Archbishop Prowse will entrust the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn to the Immaculate Heart of Mary under the title Our Lady Help of Christians at the 11am Mass at St Christopher’s Cathedral on Sunday May 24.
The following day is the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians which has been celebrated in Australia since 1844.
Australia was the first country to have Mary Help of Christians as Patroness and also the first nation to have a mother-cathedral (St Mary’s in Sydney) under the same title.
Archbishop Prowse said Australia was last entrusted to the care of Our Lady Help of Christians by Archbishop Francis Carroll at a Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in 2001. Archbishop Carroll was President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference at the time.
He served as Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn from 1983 to 2006.
The entrustment prayer, agreed by Australia’s Bishops this week, seeks Our Lady’s intercession for the safety of all our people especially in this time of the pandemic.
The prayer reads:
“O Immaculate Mary, Help of Christians, Queen of heaven and earth, and tender Mother of humanity, at this time when a pandemic threatens all your children, we entrust to you our nation, Australia, and all who live in this country.
“We commit to your intercession all the members of our community, beginning with the weakest ones, from the unborn to the sick, the disabled and the elderly.
“We commit to you our families, our young and old, and all who are vulnerable, those who are quarantined or anxious.
“We entrust to your Immaculate Heart those who have lost their livelihood or employment, our pastors and other essential service workers, and our leaders at this time.
“We implore your intercession especially for the protection of doctors and nurses and those who minister to the contagious sick in this crisis.
“Reign over us Mother of God and teach us how to make the Heart of Jesus reign triumph in us and around us, as it has reigned and triumphed in you!
“St Joseph, Pray for us.”