Mary MacKillop Canonisation

Mary MacKillop, has been canonised as Australia's first saint, was a pioneering educator and nun who touched thousands of lives and clashed with the church after exposing a paedophile priest. MacKillop taught poor children in a disused stable before founding her own order and establishing scores of schools and homes for the needy during the young nation's rough-and-tumble colonial days. She was briefly excommunicated after rowing with the church; including over an abusive priest, in an episode which resonates strongly today, before personally winning the support of Pope Pius IX for her work. Revered for her courage and tenacity as much as her work, MacKillop has been dubbed the "people's saint" in Australia where her canonisation has been enthusiastically awaited.