National Catholic Register


Australia Set to Get Its First Saint

BY Tim Drake

| Posted 12/17/09 at 2:19 PM


Media reports have said that Australia could get its first saint this week, with the The Sydney Morning Herald reporting that the announcement regarding Blessed Mary MacKillop’s canonization could be made as early as Saturday.

“At the moment we’re sensing that we should have some news before Christmas. That news will be in relation to confirmation of a second miracle. The second miracle paves the way for canonization,” a spokesperson for the Sisters of St. Joseph founded by Mother Mary told Australian correspondent Bridget Spinks.

While the order is not releasing any details regarding the second miracle, the media has reported an alleged second miracle involving the curing of a woman with cancer.

“The announcement regarding the date for canonization won’t be made until next year. The Sisters of St. Joseph are very excited and looking forward to receiving news from the Vatican,” the spokesperson said.

Speculation regarding her canonization heightened after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visited the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel in Sydney prior to attending the Copenhagen climate conference.

Blessed Mary was born in Melbourne and co-founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1866. She spent her life caring for those less fortunate: needy children, former female prisoners and prostitutes.

Sixteen years after her death in 1909, Sydney Archbishop Michael Kelly established a tribunal to examine her life. That investigation was completed in 1973. In 1992, the Vatican recognized that she had led a life of “heroic virtue.” Three years later, the Vatican recognized the first miraculous cure attributed to her, in the case of a woman dying of cancer, and she was beatified. Recognition of a second miracle is required for canonization.

Other possible causes that could be put before the Pope include Montreal’s Brother André Besette, Pope Pius XII and Pope John Paul II.