The Aboriginal Madonna

Today, the 26th of January is Australia Day.

As a Eurasian mixed blood girl, born and raised in Australia as a first generation Aussie. (My parents both migrated from the Philippines). I’ve never really celebrated ‘Australia Day.’ It’s not that I hated the day, or had any opinions… in fact; I was indifferent. Today for me was like any other day in the calendar year.

While I am eternally grateful that my parents migrated from the Philippines to Australia. I feel so lucky and blessed to live in the wonderful, free and rich country.

Growing up, I didn’t have any friends and I did not know one person who was of Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander background. I remember feeling so sad that I lived in this beautiful country, I knew a little about the history, lifestyle and culture, yet, I had never met an original custodian of the land. Where did these people live?

Working for an Australian airline (literally 30 years later) my wish had come true. I had met these people who were of indigenous background. Admittedly, I had my opinions… didn’t Kevin Rudd or something say sorry many moons ago?

Going through my own trauma and therapy and journey towards healing generational trauma. It finally clicked in me. I get it. I understand why so much pain resurfaces during these kinds of anniversaries.

Scars may heal but there is always a mark to remind us of the pain and suffering that was endured. What must have been a painful experience for those who are reminded of the trauma that was thrust upon them many many years ago. There is still a lot of healing that needs to take place in our country. Saying sorry doesn’t just allow the pain to fade away. Sorry is where we begin, then, there’s work. We are all apart of this story, because we are here.

What I love about our Catholic Faith is that our truest identity is that we are all a Child of God. Mary our mother is a mother for all, no matter where we are and where we go. We must lean in on her so she can help us heal through our past pains and traumas. Mary is a woman of all nations.

When I went to the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth the walls are filled with grand, artistic works of Mary from EVERY country and every nation and it seriously blew me away as they were small and LifeSize!

IMG_0521

To my surprise and amazement Mary was Japanese, American, Filipino, Mexican and every single nationality of the world! These pictures of her lined the walls of the upper Basilica (below is where the actual Annunciation had taken place) and her images also lined the walls outside of Church. She really is the mother of every nation.

Go preach the gospel to every people and every nation

Mark 16:15

We really do belong to a universal Church.

Two years later I was on a silent retreat. We had to use the bathrooms in the other retreat house and I stumbled upon this image of Mary and Jesus.

It is a picture of Mary and baby Jesus depicted as Aboriginals called ‘The Aboriginal Madonna,” a copy of the original in Darwin.

 

This picture reminds me that Mary is truly a mother to all. She is a mother to me just as she is a mother to you!

Let us lean closer to her to work towards peace and harmony for all that live within this land. Let us work together to heal the wounds caused by many who have gone before us.

Peace and much love to all on this day xxx

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