Born: January 15, 1842 (Fitzroy, Australia)
Died: August 8, 1909 (North Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Famous For/Known For:
Australian nun declared by the Catholic Church a Saint who went by the name St. Mary of the Cross.
A Little About Mary MacKillop:
Born to parents Alexander and Flora (MacDonald). MacKillop’s father had attended the Scots College in Rome and the Blairs College in Kincardineshire to become a Catholic Priest but left before he was ordained. He moved from Scotland to Australia where he met and married Flora MacDonald.
MacKillop held a variety of different jobs starting when she was 14.
In 1864 she opened her own boarding school, Bay View House Seminary For Young Ladies. This building is now known as Bayview College.
In 1866 at the urging of Father Woods, MacKillop and her sisters went to Penola where they established a Catholic school in a renovated stable. More than 50 children attended.
In 1867 MacKillop selected her religious name, Sister Mary of the Cross. She also joined The Sisters of St. Joseph of The Sacred Heart. The Sisters were known as Josephites and wore plain brown habits.
The Josephite nuns were very successful in their work. They ran many schools and offered much support to the people of South Australia. In 1885 the Josephites were a canonical congregation thanks to Pope Leo XII.
In 1871 she was excommunicated and forbidden any contact with those in the church by Father Charles Horan. Seems Horan was angered about the dismissal of a priest, Father Keating and sought revenge this way. Keating was let go due to sexual allegations with children but it was covered up to look like he had a drinking problem. In 1872 Bishop Sheil, on his deathbed, instructed a lift to excommunication on MacKillop.
In 1914 MacKillop’s remains had to be moved because of people taking the dirt from around her grave. She now lies in a vault before the alter of the Virgin Mary.
In 2010 MacKillop was canonized and became the first Australian saint.
Mary MacKillop suffered a stroke that left her an invalid until her death at the age of 67.
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