Australians hopeful for first-ever local saint

.- Catholics in Australia are hoping that a second miracle can be proven to canonize the country’s first saint in time for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.

According to Sr. Maria Casey, vice postulator for Blessed Mary MacKillop’s cause for canonization, several people have called to report favors received from the blessed.

Blessed MacKillop founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph in Australia and had a deep impact on the development of Catholic education in the country. She died in 1909.

Sr. Casey told the Catholic Weekly that the Vatican is currently considering a case in which a little boy had been found at the bottom of a pool and pronounced dead by paramedics but regained consciousness in his mother’s arms after she prayed for the intercession of Mary MacKillop.

If this case does not meet the necessary requirements to be considered the second miracle there are two other cases under investigation which might. One involves a woman cured of inoperable cancer who remains well after 10 years; the other is of a boy with multiple sclerosis and lymphoma who is now recovering.

Mary MacKillop was born in Australia in 1842.  The eldest of eight children, from the age of 16, Mary helped to support her family by working as a governess.

Mary eventually met Fr. Julian Tenison Woods, who asked her to help with the religious education of children in the outback. Years later, in 1866, she opened the first Saint Joseph's School in a disused stable in Penola. Young women came to join Mary, and so the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph was begun. The congregation later spread to the large cities in Australia, and is now also present in New Zealand, Peru, Brazil, Uganda and Thailand. 

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