Tears flow as Saint Mary honoured
HUNDREDS of people flocked to St Joseph’s Parish in Tweed Heads yesterday morning to celebrate Mary MacKillop’s canonisation.
Mother Mary was formally recognised yesterday evening in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI, making her the first Australian saint, known as Saint Mary of the Cross.
Canonisation is the act by which the “Holy Father declares in a definitive and solemn way that a Catholic Christian is actually in the glory of heaven, intercedes for us before the Lord and is to be publicly venerated by the whole Church”.
Mother Mary was a remarkable Australian woman who did wonderful things and her story is one of courage.
Devoting her life to educating and helping the poor she is also known for her miracles.
Mother Mary established the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart which today has 850 sisters baring her name around Australian schools.
Parish priest Father Michael Brady said the canonisation of Mary MacKillop was an incredible occasion in our life.
“It is an historic moment and it shows saintliness is possible in Australian life,” Fr Brady said.
“Mary MacKillop had deep respect for the poor and shared her courage and vision.
“She was a woman of power who lived by the cross, a woman of wisdom and sound heart.”
During the special service Fr Brady blessed a picture of Mary MacKillop in front of an almost 400 crowd.
Throughout the mass, various people in the crowd wept as they felt moved by the blessing.
Tweed Heads resident Therese Gallagher said her daughter Lakisha had wept through the entire one-hour service.
“We have been very excited about it and Lakisha has been very attached after reading the book,” Ms Gallagher said.
“It was very emotional for her and I had the tissues ready, but it is very special.”
Over the weekend Fr Brady said there would have been at least 1,000 people attending the three services.
“It is huge for Australia I don’t know how to describe it really, it is overwhelming,” Fr Brady said.
South Tweed resident Peter Byrne also felt touched be the celebration and had wept.
“I think it’s lovely, finally a little saint of our own and it is good for everyone,” Mr Byrne said.
“It gives everyone someone to look upon and it is tremendous, really.”