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.