Mary has many titles, referencing places (Fatima, Guadalupe, Knock, Lourdes), devotions (Mount Carmel, the Rosary) or her intercessory influence (Good Counsel, Help of Christians, Star of the Sea). Calling her “Our Lady of the Flu” is insulting and, arguably, heretical. We don’t talk about “Our Lady of Diarrhoea” even though that illness kills 1.6 million people annually.
But let’s keep it simple. People turn to Jesus and Mary for hope, deliverance and inspiration. Mother and Son care about our earthly trials while they, of course, are impervious to crisis. But wait, some will object: haven’t artists throughout history used anachronisms to portray the Holy Family in whatever settings or fashions they (the artists) or their patrons knew? Certainly. But artists have never masked holy countenances, represented divine persons as suspicious and frightened of the faithful or bedecked their heads with advertising. The image posted by the Archbishop – president of the never inspiring Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference – is no better (in fact, it’s worse) than depicting Jesus and Mary in MAGA caps.