By Vatican News
During their plenary meeting, which concluded on Thursday, the Bishops of Australia approved the entrustment of the country to Mary Help of Christians amid the Covid-19 pandemic
The Blessed Virgin, under the title of “Mary Help of Christians”, has been the official patroness of Australia since 1844. Her feast day is celebrated on May 24.
Encouragement for Australians
Issuing a message of encouragement to the Australian people, the bishops noted that the country “has certainly suffered because of the pandemic, but not as grievously as some other countries”.
They also congratulated public health authorities and governments on their “prompt and prudent responses”.
The Bishops noted, that “Australians in general have also shown the solidarity and good sense, the generosity and kindness needed in such a time.”
“In our healthcare workers particularly”, they continued, “we have seen an exceptional spirit of self-sacrifice, and for that we are all grateful.”
The bishops also underlined that the suspension of public worship in Churches has been difficult.
“This has been a real deprivation, and the bishops understand not only your anxiety about the virus and shutdown but more especially your deep desire to return to the sacraments and to resume public worship.”
They added that “there is a real hunger in this. It is something we all feel, and we long for the time when our hunger will be satisfied as together we return to the feast of the Lord.”
As Australia emerges from the worst of the pandemic, the Australian Bishops stressed that there can be “no room for complacency.”
They also urged the faithful “to continue to adhere to government and medical advice, noting the collaboration between those authorities and Catholic leaders to support the re-opening of churches and the staged resumption of public worship.”