May 242009
 

 

I have posted about Our Lady of the Southern Cross previously but I just had to post again as today,  May 24th, is the feast of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians – under the title of Help of Christians. In 1844, Mary, under this title was chosen as the patroness of Australia at the First Provincial Synod of Sydney. This statue of Mary, Help of Christians, stands in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, Australia. The Cathedral was dedicated in her honor 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.

Mother and virgin, she is the Patroness of Australia, under the title “Help of Christians.” Under the title of ‘Our Lady of the Southern Cross’ she is patron of the Australian Diocese of Toowoomba and of WYD08.

The title of ‘Southern Cross’ derives from  the constellation of stars seen only from the southern hemisphere. Mary is the  Help of Christians as she leads all people to her Son. She is our help and our advocate.

Artist Paul Newton shares about his painting –

“She is totally focused upon him and holds him affectionately to herself,” …… “At the same time she holds him so as to face us, the viewers, as if presenting or giving him to us.

“I wanted to suggest in Mary’s demeanour serenity and great humility, not drawing attention to herself but rather to her son.

God first entered the world through Mary,  who is ‘full of grace’ (Luke 1:28), when Jesus was born, and Jesus performed  his first public miracle at her prodding. She was centrally present when the  Spirit was poured out upon the nascent Church at Pentecost, fulfilling the  promise ‘you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you  will be my witnesses’ (Acts 1:8). She teaches us how to allow God to be poured  out upon the world through us, to ‘magnify’ Him (c.f. Luke 1:46-55), so that He  can be seen, known, loved and worshipped.

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Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Mary Help of Christians, Patroness of Australia, Mother of Mercy, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine Immaculate Heart.

To thee we consecrate our country, our families, our hearts, our souls and all that we have.

And in order that this consecration may be truly effective and lasting, we renew today the promise of our Baptism and Confmnation; we undertake to live as good Christians -faithful to God, the Church and the Holy Father. We desire to pray the Rosary, partake in the Holy Eucharist, attach special importance to the first Saturday of the month and work for the conversion of sinners.
Furthermore we promise, O most holy Virgin, that we will zealously spread devotion to thee, so that through our consecration to thine Immaculate Heart and through thine own intercession, the coming of the Kingdom of Christ in the world may be hastened. Amen.

With ecclesiastical approval.

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Something About Mary is being hosted by JMJ at Totus Tuus Family

Sep 122008
 

Oil painting of Our Lady of the Southern Cross by Paul Newton – Commissined by Cardinal George Pell for World Youth Day Sydney 2008.

This beautiful painting of the patroness of Australia now hangs in St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians is also patroness of WYD08.

Although the painting is of Mary she is focused completely on the child Jesus who is the centre of this work, and the centre of our focus – our saviour. Also included in this painting are typical Australian symbols -the Southern Cross in the night sky, a garland of wattles and Australian landscape as a background which has been inspired by the works of Australian artists such as Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts.

This is such a beautiful painting I just had to post about it.  At the end of the Opening mass at Barangaroo in Sydney, a tall, unknown man came up to me and in great excitement he pointed out the Southern Cross in the night sky. The reason for his excitement was because the Southern Cross was directly above the alter….. and the WYD cross and icon were directly under it. Coincidence? I prefer to believe it was God-incidence. It’s one of those signs that sends an annointing through your body, and you just know it’s all part of God’s plan and that He has His hand over everything.

Wherever Jesus is present His blessed mother is also close by… it’s a special feeling to know this and to sense this at WYD08.

Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians – Pray for us.