Sunday, September 6, 2015

Australia's first saint lived with a Jewish family

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 A new statue has come into being since last I was in Australia, and a new saint too.


The larger-than-life statues were installed next to Sydney's St. Mary's Cathedral in October 2010, just a few days before the canonization of St. Mary MacKillop.
You can enlarge the photos with a few clicks to see the detail better. 


The artwork was commissioned by Cardinal George Pell.
 The sculptor, Louis Laumen, said (here) that the Cardinal wanted the sculpture of Mary MacKillop to include children in recognition not only of her love of young people but of the many schools she founded throughout New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria so that all children no matter how poor could receive an education.


Mary Helen MacKillop (1842-1909) founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites), a congregation of religious sisters that established a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australasia, with an emphasis on education for the rural poor.

I once visited her tomb and little museum in North Sydney years ago and was impressed how brave she was.
Her story even includes a time that she was unjustly excommunicated and interestingly, Wikipedia adds that "Forbidden to have contact with anyone in the church, MacKillop lived with a Jewish family and was also sheltered by Jesuit priests."

She is Australia's first (and so far only) saint. 
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(Linking to inSPIRED Sunday.)
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16 comments:

Kay said...

How wonderful that she was able to find compassion among the Jewish people when renounced by her own.

doodles n daydreams said...

I think she founded an order here in New Zealand as well or brought her order over. We certainly recognize her.

Diana
http://adifferentlenslens365.blogspot.co.nz/2015/09/the-monkey-bar.html

Graciel·la Vidal said...

Cooperation between religions has always been a good tool for humanity. Thanks for this explanation and for sharing this images.
Have a nice day !

(My way here is ispired sunday).

Gosia k said...

the monument is so lovely

Mari said...

Heartwarming story of hers.

Alice said...

What a lovely account of her life. Dina

VP said...

In the first photo St. Mary looks a bit like Darth Vader...

Beth from VA, . . ."E" said...

gorgeous! thank u 4 sharing with us! have a great weekend. ( :

Come Away With Me said...

She certainly lead an interesting life.

RedPat said...

Thanks for the background info on her. Lovely statue.

crystal said...

I thought of Darth Vader too :) Very kind of the Jewish family to take her in.

Hels said...

All I could find was that the Sisters, with no money, no street clothes and no accommodation were understandably desperate. A Jewish man allowed them to live rent-free in a house he owned, and helped them acquire black dresses and bonnets.

But who was the generous man?

William Kendall said...

Quite an impressive sculpture!

Jackie @ travelnwrite said...

I love this post - what a brave and courageous woman. Kindness should know no religious bounds ~ what a kind gesture of the Jewish family.

Tom said...

Life is full of interesting stories.

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

What an interesting backstory, and I do love the artwork! You do it best, Dina!

Janis
GDP