Beautiful roses and prayer intentions were offered to Our Lady by children at the Perfumed Roses Mass on 27 October at St Anthony of Padua Church in Austral.
Children from St Rafka’s Maronite Catholic Parish in Austral, St Rita’s Melkite Parish in Ashcroft, St Anthony’s Catholic Parish in Austral, and several other parishes, came together for the sixth annual Mass in Sydney.
During the Mass the children offered their prayer intentions—written down on cards and attached to roses—to their Blessed Mother.
Parish Priest Fr Robert Hayes presided over the Mass, with Maronite priest, Fr Kozhaya Sarkis, concelebrating. Each child wore a special T-shirt with Our Lady on the front.
A new statue of Mary Consoler of Souls Abandoned and Orphaned was made in Sydney for the occasion, complete with a handmade crown and gems from Italy.
The children are members of Perfumed Roses prayer groups that are the fruit of the Chain of Mary Association, a lay movement founded in NSW in 1993.
It is believed Our Lady appeared to a “hidden soul” and revealed that she desired the Chain of Mary to be formed, with members reciting a decade of the Rosary each day.
The Perfumed Roses Consecrated in the Garden of Mary groups for children were started later, also at Our Lady’s request.
There are about 250,000 members of the movement in Australia alone. The Perfumed Roses meet once a month and study stories from Scripture and learn catechesis from the Chain of Mary manual.
Rose Fiorucci, President of the Chain of Mary and Director and Leader of the Perfumed Roses Consecrated in the Garden of Mary, said the children enjoy the time together immensely.
“They love it…there’s something in the lessons that they love. The way the lessons are conducted.
“You just look at their faces and it tells you. What gets me is that they drag their parents to it. Mother Mary I think has touched them.
“This is for Mother Mary, we’re collecting her children.”