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Papal Moves: Mary MacKillop; Migration

  • January 15th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

mary-mackillop.jpegThe Pope, who moved at Christmas to advance the claim to sainthood of the Australian, Mary MacKillop, turned his attention this month to violent rejection of immigrants, in Italy.


Following the announcement by Pope Benedict XVI last month that a second miracle had been attributed to Mother Mary MacKillop; an Australian woman, Kathleen Evans, has come forward as that beneficiary.

Mrs Evans, 66, of Lake Macquarie in New South Wales, made a sudden complete recovery from cancer of the lungs and brain 17 years ago, after praying to Mary MacKillop.

The mother of five, who now has 20 grandchildren and great grand-children, had been given a few months to live, and medical treatment for  the condition had been withdrawn.

The first acceptance of a miraculous cure also concerned the recovery of a woman who had been suffering from cancer.

Mary MacKillop is now expected to be canonised by the Catholic Church this year; the first Australian to become a Saint.

Mary Helen  MacKillop (1842-1909) was born in Melbourne of  Scottish family background; she became a nun, and in 1866 was the founding Superior of a religious society, the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, dedicated to providing education for poor children – in the town of Penola, South Australia.


The Pope (7.1.10) made a social intervention, speaking up for migrant farm workers at the centre of two days of violence, in the Southern Itlian region of Calabria.

The trouble occurred in the town of Rosarno after African immigrants there came under attack; some thirty of them were injured along with a similar number of local residents and police officers.

More than one thousand of the migrant workers, several believed to be in Europe without papers, were moved to reception centres in other towns.

Pope Benedict declared for respect of immigrant people, whose rights and responsibilities had to be respected.

“An immigrant is a human being … “, he said.

“Violence must never be a means to solve difficulties.”

Italian officials expressed concern that organised crime could be connected with the violence,  Calabria being known for the regional criminal organisation, the Ndrangheta.


Australian Dictionary of Biography, Canberra, ANU; Mary MacKillop. (14.1.10).

Anne-Sophie Legge, “African migrants flee Italian town as pope condemns violence”. AFP, Rosarno, 10.1.10.

“Italy arrests 12 mafia suspects in race riot town”, EIN News, Rosarno, 13.1.10. … (14.1.10).


Mary MacKillop