Sydney (Fides Service) - A painting of the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus as Australian indigenous people has been taken to France for the annual meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) directors by National PMS Director in Australia Father Terry Bell. The original painting hangs in St Mary’s Cathedral in Darwin. The annual PMS assembly, usually held in Rome is being held this year 5 to 13 May in Lyon as part of celebrations to mark the restoration of the home of the foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith Pauline Marie Jaricot (1799/1862). Pauline bought the house in 1832 and named it Loreto after the famous Marian shrine in Italy. Some 120 national directors from all over the world are meeting in Lyon and each was asked to being an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary as she is venerated in their respective countries. These images will be on show in one of the rooms of the house, now a centre for prayer and missionary animation, to show that the Society for the Propagation of the Faith has spread all over the world Fr. Bell said he chose this Madonna, who carries the Infant Jesus on her shoulders, because of its unique Australian character.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 7/05/2005 Righe: 16 Parole: 215)