The Feast Day of Our Lady 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 at a time when Napoleon Bonaparte had gaoled Pius VI (who also died in gaol). And later, when Pope Pius VII was elected he too was gaoled by Bonaparte, who kept him prisoner at Fontainebleau.
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 24 May, 1814 Pius VII returned in triumph to Rome.
Twelve months later the Pope decreed that the Feast of Our Lady Mary Help of Christians be kept on 24 May.
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 in those early days that kept the faith alive.
The Australian Catholic community remained faithful to Mary and Australia was the first nation to choose her under the title, 'Mary Help of Christians' as principle Patroness.
The constellation of the Southern Cross has always been associated with Australia and so when the name Southern Cross Catholic College was decided upon to be the name of the newly amalgamated College, the country's principal Patroness was chosen as College Patron.
The College celebrates Patron's Day on May 24 (or the closest school day to it) each year with a mass where all campuses come together. It is the one day of the year where all campuses meet to pray and celebrate everything wonderful about our College.
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The Corporation of the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane t/a
SOUTHERN CROSS CATHOLIC COLLEGE
307 Scarborough Road Scarborough QLD 4020
P 07 3480 3600 | F 07 3480 3666 | E firstname.lastname@example.org
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