For today’s “Mondays with Mary”, I would like to continue my explanation of the different National Marian Shrines across the world. For today’s particular article, we are going to focus our attention on the country of Australia and the Church and Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Mother of God, Help of Christians. I have written about Our Lady, Help of Christians in the past since this is the title that one of my favorite saints used in his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Cathedral and Minor Basilica of St. Mary’s is one of the most stunning buildings, however, the construction of this beautiful structure occurred over many years. The architecture style is English Gothic and the bricks are composed of the city of Sydney’s honey-colored sandstone. It is the Mother Church for Australian Catholics.
Located in the central part of Sydney, Australia, it stands as a very strong presence to the buildings in the area. The building of this cathedral began in 1865 after the destruction of the original St. Mary’s because of a fire. Although it is European influenced, it has Sydney floral elements within the structure of the building.
It took over 100 years to complete, with the first stage of construction happening between 1866 and 1900. Stage two took place between 1912 and 1928. The final parts of the cathedral, which were the elements of the original architect, finally were put in place in 2000. The reason there was a such a long period in between the second stage and final stages was due to World War II. Many of the allocations for the cathedral went to the war effort. It wasn’t until the 1960’s when the construction effort began again.
Our Lady, Help of Christians is the Patroness of Australia and the title most associated with the country as well as the Cathedral and Minor Basilica.
Our Lady, Help of Christians…Pray for Us.
“History of the Cathedral – Living Our Heritage.” St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney, http://www.stmaryscathedral.org.au/history-art/history-of-the-cathedral/.