Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - “Today is a great day for the Catholic Church in Australia and for the Australian nation at large, with the issuing of the decree confirming the second miracle of Blessed Mary MacKillop, paving the way for her to be declared Australia’s first Saint.” This is what Agenzia Fides learned from a statement issued by Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, President of the Australian Bishops' Conference.
The decree that confirms the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Blessed has been signed by Pope Benedict XVI and, therefore, the Australian religious sister will soon be canonized, probably next Fall.
“It is always a great joy when the Church recognises in one of its members the creative, saving and sanctifying action of God at work amongst us. It is a particular joy for us in Australia that Mary MacKillop is to be formally recognized in this way,” the Archbishop notes, adding that “she was one of us. Born in Melbourne, and fired by a deep desire to serve God and to help alleviate the plight of the poor, Mary was an ordinary person who lived a holy life.”
Archbishop Wilson also recalls that her life was not easy: “She suffered terrible setbacks, discouragement and injustice and yet through all of this her faith in God did not falter. Plagued by ill health for much of her life, she was still able to found a religious institute aimed at serving the poor, particularly in the field of education, which remains a vibrant and active presence in the fabric of Australian life today.”
The Archbishop noted that the religious sister will become a saint not only for Australia, but for the world. “Her motto of 'Never see a need without doing something about it' continues to call us forth to action. At a time when real heroes are in short supply, Mary MacKillop is a true inspiration. Her heroism is all the more firm because it is built not on celebrity or sporting skill but on her love for Jesus Christ and a life of dedication to God and her fellow human beings,” he says.
The Archbishop concludes, saying: “We look forward to the announcement of her canonisation with great hope and joy and invite all Australians to take part in the many events which will be planned around the nation to mark this historic occasion.” (PA) (Agenzia Fides 21/12/2009)