Tuesday, February 23, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 674

Is it possible to be a proud Australian without being a jingoist? If so, then I’m one. And so to Mary MacKillop (1842-1909, pictured) who, Pope Benedict the 16th announced four days ago, will be canonised next 17 October, i.e. she’ll be made a saint. Indeed Australia’s first saint. Not being of the Catholic faith, I’ve no more than a passing interest in, and knowledge of canonisation, sainthood and saints. Apparently to be canonised you must’ve performed one or more miracles. Mary’s scored two: she cured a woman with terminal leukaemia, and another woman with inoperable cancer. Apparently medical experts have verified that in both cases the cure was due to her intercession. I’d love to see the relevant medical records. Canonisation is a multi-stage sequential process. Mary’s beatification – the penultimate stage – was in 1995. Even so, it wasn’t inevitable she’d be canonised – because in 1871 she was excommunicated for five months for insubordination. So no doubt before her imminent canonisation was announced, Vatican apparatchiks worked feverishly to ensure there were no skeletons in Mary’s metaphorical closet. Come 17 October, Mary Helen McKillop will become Saint Mary of the Cross (MacKillop). Not bad for a girl born in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy. So as a proud Australian I say: Good on you, Mary. By jingo.

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