Pope Benedict XVI canonizes first Australian Saint Mary MacKillop

By on Oct 17, 2010 in Europe, World Comments

Pope Benedict XVI canonizes first saint Mary MacKillop, along with five other newly proclaimed saints, international news sites reported.

According to reports, tens of thousands of people gathered in front of the Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday, as the Pope announced the new saints including Mary MacKillop, Australia‘s first saint.

Mary MacKillop was said to be a 19th century nun who established Australia’s first religious order, the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and devoted her time to the poor and needy.

“For many years countless, young people throughout Australia have been blessed with teachers who were inspired by the courageous and saintly example of zeal, perseverance and prayer of Mother Mary MacKillop,” Pope Benedict XVI said.

Along with about 50,000 people, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd also attended the Holy Mass and was reported to have described MacKillop as ‘an extraordinary Australian woman’.

According to Mary MacKillop’s official website, Mary was born in Melbourne in 1842 and opened a school at Penola in 1866 with English Priest Julian Tenison Woods.

In 1871, she was also to have been excommunicated from the Catholic Church after having clashed regularly with a Church hierarchy being dominated by males.

In addition, she was said to have played a vital role in exposing sexual abuse of minors by an Irish priest.

Also according to the website, MacKillop died in Sydney on August 8, 1909 and was buried at a local cemetery.

But in 1914, her remains were moved to a new memorial chapel in North Sydney.

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