Canonisation Timeline

  • 1909 – From the time of her death and in the years following Mary MacKillop was treated as though she were a saint, with requests for relics, prayers and favours being made from all over Australia and beyond.
  • 1925 – Mother Laurence O’Brien began preliminary discussions with the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Cattaneo about the introduction of her Cause for Canonisation Commission of Enquiry authorised by Archbishop Kelly.
  • 1925 – Beginning of Diocesan Phase – Diocesan postulator appointed to inquire into cause. Initial inquiry on Mary’s life and sanctity authorised by Archbishop Kelly. Mary was now titled Servant of God.
  • 1952 – A study of Mary’s life and writings resulted in the issue of the Nihil Obstat declaring that no reason existed why the Cause for Mary’s canonisation should not continue.
  • 1954 – Decree Super Scriptis was issued declaring Mary’s writings approved as being those of a person of holiness.
  • 1959 – Beginning of Roman Phase – Formal inquiry on Mary’s virtues. Process opened in Sydney to gain evidence from those still alive who knew Mary MacKillop. Continued in Adelaide and Brisbane. Report sent to Rome.
  • 1970 – Pope Paul VI visited the Mary MacKillop Chapel and prayed at the tomb.
  • 1973 – Announcement that Mary’s Cause for Beatification could be introduced.
  • 1986 – Pope John Paul II visited the Chapel and prayed at Mary’s tomb.
  • 1989 – Positio – the official record of Mary’s life was completed and sent to Rome.
  • 1991 – Positio considered by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
  • 1992 – Mary was given the title Venerable Mary MacKillop.
  • 1993 – Diocesan inquiry on a possible miracle required for Beatification. Report submitted to Rome and approved. Decree for Beatification was issued by Pope John Paul II.
  • 1995 – Mary MacKillop was beatified in Sydney by Pope John Paul II who visited the chapel and prayed at Mary’s tomb.
  • 1995 – From 1995 to 2008 increasing evidence of devotion across Australia and the world and many favours were attributed to the intercession of Mary MacKillop. Several dossiers of evidence were taken to Rome.
  • 2008 – Diocesan enquiry conducted into the miracle required for canonisation. Evidence taken to Rome where it is currently being examined by panels of doctors. Sr Maria Casey appointed Postulator. Evidence to be examined by theologians. Pope Benedict visited the chapel and prayed at Mary’s tomb.
  • 2009 – Final steps in the process of examination. Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, visited the Chapel and prayed at Mary MacKillop’s tomb. On December 19 2009, Pope Benedict XVI approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Mary MacKillop. This was the final step to fulfil the requirements for canonisation.
  • 2010 – On February 19, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI announced that Mary MacKillop will become Australia’s first saint and her canonisation will take place in Rome on Sunday 17 October, 2010. Mary MacKillop was Canonised by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome on 17 October, 2010. The Canonisation was witnessed by thousands who packed Saint Peter’s Square and by millions around the globe via television and computer.