Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the annual Diocesan Education Mass along with Mrs Nolan, four of our student leaders, Elisha, Claudia, Bradley and Gevin as well as some of their parents. This Mass was celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral by Bishop Vincent. For the children this was their first experience of a formal Mass at the cathedral and certainly their first opportunity to meet and talk with Bishop Vincent.
After greeting the children Bishop Vincent asked the children about our school. He noticed our school emblem and pointed out the latin words Sub Tuum Praesidium. These are words that most of us take for granted or are completely unaware of their meaning. The latin words of our motto mean Under Your Protection.
We fly to thy protection,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin
Sub tuum praesidium cofugimus,
Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in
necessitatibus nostris, sed a periculis
cunctis libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.
Sub tuum praesidium is the oldest preserved and surviving hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of God. Scholars date this prayer back to the mid third century, which shows that there was a common belief and reverence within the early church recognising Mary as both Virgin and as the Mother of God. This simple hymn is a part of the traditions or Catholic and Orthodox religions. It is also often sung in Marist schools and groups around the world.
We can use this simple prayer to call on Mary our mother to guide and protect us as we go about living our lives.