The Pope Benedicto XVI formally acknowledged the first Australian Saint, Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) during a mass performed this Sunday on the San Pedro Square of the Vatican. Over 50 thousand believers gathered and 6 thousand of them were Australians.
The first Saint of Quebec, brother André attended the mass, as well as the Polish Saint Stanislas Soltys, one Spanish religious woman and two Italian women who also are new Saints.
“This is wonderful, we always thought that Mary was a Saint,” commented Sister Moya Campbell, 65, of the Sisterhood of San Jose of Sacred Hearts, an order founded by Mary Mackillop which represents 800 hundred religious that traveled to Rome.
“Mother Candida” was the name used for Juana Josefa Cipitria y Barriola. She was born on May 31 of 1825 in Andoain, Spain. She passed away in Salamanca. During her youth she dedicated herself to the service of God and the help the needed.
According to the biography of the Vatican, Mary worked as a servant who didn’t know how to read and write. In 1871 she and five more women founded in Salamanca the Congregation of Jesus Daughters.
Mary MacKillop was a pioneer on education; she helped create schools in all Australia, and was opposed to the Catholic hierarchy. Because of this she was briefly excommunicated in 1871 before she obtained the favor of Pope Pio IX. Recently religious women of their order affirmed Mary ha reported the abuses committed by a pedophile priest.