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Darwin, Australia: The Aboriginal Madonna in Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral


About Darwin, Australia:

Jesuit missionaries first arrived in the Northern Territory in 1882 to minister to the Aborigine population. A church was built, Our Lady Star of the Sea, in 1889 but destroyed by a cyclone in 1897. It was rebuilt and enlarged over the years until, during World War II, Japanese bombs destroyed it and many other buildings in the city. There were quite a few subsequent air raids, but the day of the first raid, February 19, 1942, is still remembered as “Bombing of Darwin Day”.

About the Cathedral:

The current building was built in 1962 and has a distinctively modern style. One of the more interesting features of the Cathedral is known as the Aborigine Madonna. a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with the baby Jesus, depicted as Aborigines. Although many traditional paintings such as this show the Blessed Virgin holding Jesus in her lap, this one shows him being carried on her shoulder……much as the aborigines from the Northern Territory carry their children.

The painting was done by a visiting Czech artist, Karel Kupka, who became a student of the aboriginal culture and helped introduce it to many Europeans.

Traveling to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Darwin:

Address: 90 Smith Street, Darwin, NT

GPS coordinates: 12° 27′ 32.1408” S, 130° 50′ 19.6116” E

Tel: (+61) 08- 8946 2821

email: cathedral@darwin.catholic.org.au

Click here for the official website of Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin, Australia.

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