Mary MacKillop

Mary McKillop

Australia's first saint 

Australians now have their own saint -  a woman recognised as being holy and a great pioneer for the Catholic Church.  Mother Mary was born in 1842 and founded the Catholic order of the Sisters of St Joseph after setting up a school in Penola, South Australia, in 1866. She spent her life educating and caring for people from all walks of life. She maintained her faith and dedication to helping people, despite a backlash from church leaders and suffering ill health for many years up until her death in Sydney in 1909. Mary MacKillop's link with Eden came about when her mother, Flora, drowned at sea in the Ly-ee Moon in 1886, near Green Cape.

 

Mary's mother, Flora was on her way to Sydney in May 1886 to assist Mary with the Caledonian stall, raising funds for the Providence Home for the destitute and infirm, when the steamer ship, Ly-ee Moon, struck a reef, breaking into pieces and drowning 71 passengers and crew, with only 15 people surviving.

 

Within a fortnight of the tragedy, Flora's body was found intact washed onto the rocks near Green Cape. Extraordinarily and mercifully, Flora's body had not been damaged by sea or by creature before discovery, allowing her remains to be identified and interred with the dignity and grace required of the circumstances. Mother Mary and her family were very grateful to the people of Eden who tended to her mother's remains so carefully and respectfully.

Mary's mother, Flora was on her way to Sydney in May 1886 to assist Mary with the Caledonian stall, raising funds for the Providence Home for the destitute and infirm, when the steamer ship, Ly-ee Moon, struck a reef, breaking into pieces and drowning 71 passengers and crew, with only 15 people surviving.

 

Within a fortnight of the tragedy, Flora's body was found intact washed onto the rocks near Green Cape. Extraordinarily and mercifully, Flora's body had not been damaged by sea or by creature before discovery, allowing her remains to be identified and interred with the dignity and grace required of the circumstances. Mother Mary and her family were very grateful to the people of Eden who tended to her mother's remains so carefully and respectfully

          Flora Mackillop      

 

Mary MacKillop Hall is part of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, on Calle Calle Street overlooking Aslings Beach and Twofold Bay, and opposite St Joseph's Primary School, which was established in appreciation for the care provided by Eden to Mary's mother's remains, which were found at Green Cape.

The hall is usually open 9 am to 4 pm

Letters of Mary MacKillop
documents reproduced with many thanks to the Mary MacKillop Centre in Annerley, Queensland

Extract from ‘Mary MacKillop - an Extraordinary Australian' pages 359-360, by Paul Gardner SJ, Postulator of the Cause

Extract from ‘Mary MacKillop & Flora, pages 180-189, edited by Sheila McCreanor

 

The Canonisation of Mary MacKillop

Following approval by Pope Benedict XVI of her second miracle, Mother Mary's canonisation was set down for approval at Solemn Consistory. The decision to canonise was formally made and the canonisation ceremony in Rome was in December 2010.

Before someone can be canonised, the Catholic Church needs to recognise that they performed two miracles. The Vatican confirmed Mother Mary's first miracle in 1971, saying it was believed she had cured a woman of leukaemia in the 1950s.The second miracle related to the healing of a woman with cancer after praying to Mother Mary during the mid 1990s. It was assessed scientifically and theologically, then decreed by the Vatican.  She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1995.


For More information see The Life of Mary Mackillop

 

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