Know Your Saints – Mary of the Cross

Know Your Saints – Mary of the Cross


Australia. You know, that country where
pretty much everything can kill you! So far only one of their own has been
canonized. This is know your saints: Mary of the Cross also known as Mary
MacKillop. First a basic biography. Born January 15th 1842 to Scottish immigrant
parents just outside of Melbourne Victoria. Ma worked as a clerk, a
governess, and a teacher around South Australia to help her family make ends
meet. As she got older she felt a calling to the religious life, and eventually got
around to founding these Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1866. Now
known as Mary of the Cross she developed their rule. They focused on poverty, no
personal belongings, and relying on divine providence. Referred to as the
Josephites, or the Brown Joeys, due to the color of their habit, they were
unique in Australia because they set up the first free Catholic schools,
commonly in remote rural areas. Plus they specifically taught poor children would
not be able to get an education otherwise. They lived in the same poor
conditions as the people around them. They would beg for everything and put
their trust in God to provide. The sisters set up orphanages and safe
houses and city slums. As Superior General, Mary often fought battles of
will against clergy who tried to bully or manipulate sisters into denying their
rule. On top of this Mary, suffered from reoccurring health issues like headaches
and rheumatism. None of this stopped her from doing
things like visiting prisoners or washing and ironing clothes at the
Community House. The Josephites expanded throughout Australia and into New
Zealand. In 1888 Pope Leo the 13th gave final approval for the Sisters of St.
Joseph of the Sacred Hear.t Mary was called to heaven on August 8th
1909. Here are three interesting facts. Number one religious vocations ran in
her family. Her father once studied to be a priest.
Her brother Donald became a Jesuit, and her sister Lexi became a sister of the
Good Shepherd. Number two she was once excommunicated. The bishop who did it was
being manipulated and it really came about as a power play at the time. On his
deathbed the bishop would see the error of his ways and lift the excommunication.
Later an Episcopal Commission exonerates Mary, but still it was an unfortunate
experience for the saint. 3 she was a ginger! So redheaded and Scottish:
I vote Karen Gillan be cast as Mary in any future movie. So what can we learn from
the life of this Australian? Well she often found her heavier crosses to come
from dealing with her fellow Catholics. Father Julian Woods who co-founded the
Jospehites with Mary eventually drifted away. Mary was greatly sorrowed at the
distance that grew between her and her dear friend. Lay Catholics would
sometimes pointedly ignore the sisters and not give him any help because they
could get embarrassed when they saw the sisters going around begging for aid.
Even some of Mary’s own sisters would purposefully sow seeds of discord among
the Josephites, and yet Mary knew that people were not perfect. She had trouble
with them, but she loved them, and she forgave those who caused her so much
suffering. Perhaps you personally do not have any crosses like those that Mary
had, but if you do remember her words We feel our crosses hard at times but our
courage should rise with them. Saint Mary of the Cross pray for us and at this
point I will go into the obligatory check out more videos, subscribe to
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22 Replies to “Know Your Saints – Mary of the Cross”

  1. St Mary of the Cross pray for us . All saints day today please guide my daughter who has you as her saint under baptism name to go into the right path in life . Amen

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