Born in 1504 Pope Pius V (Antonio Ghislieri) rose from the humble beginnings of a shepherd to eventually become such an outstanding promoter and protector of the truth that he was elected as Pope. Before becoming Pope he was a lecturer for 16 years. While as Pope he produced the Roman Missal, the catechism and circulated the teachings of the Council of Trent throughout the world.
Pope Pius promoted the writing of Thomas Aquinas and did not hesitate to challenge politicians and others when he believed truth was at stake. He is recognised as a person who devoted himself wholeheartedly to reform (change). He valued poverty and thought and acted from a spiritual viewpoint. He valued the Rosary and established the feast of Our Lady of Victory (later changed to the feast of the Rosary). He died in 1572.
"Saint Pie V Ghislieri LACMA M.2011.11 (1 of 3)" by Fæ is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Mary was born in Melbourne in 1842, of Scottish descent. As a young woman she became concerned that so many children in rural Australia could not afford to be educated. Mary knew that education was one of the keys to freedom and that it was unfair that so many children should be denied access to education. She also knew that God's love was the greatest freedom of all, and that through the right sort of education, children could come to learn about God's love.
Together with her friend Fr Julian Tennison Woods, she developed a plan for starting up schools for children caught in the trap of poverty. Her dream was to help them fulfil their potential and draw them closer to Jesus Christ. She gathered other like-minded girls and young women and put her plan into action. These women became the community of religious sisters known as the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Their work had marvellous results. But it also aroused opposition. Like Jesus, Mary was persecuted and criticised, sometimes by malicious gossip in the press; sometimes by her own friends; sometimes by people in high places. At one point, a bishop wrongfully excommunicated her! Mary and her companions were shattered. But they patiently endured the ordeal and after six months the bishop realised his mistake and withdrew the excommunication.
Whilst Mary MacKillop’s legacy is seen in the light of her enormous contribution to Catholic education in Australia and New Zealand, she is also honoured for her work in responding to people in need - the orphaned, the sick, the destitute and the abandoned members of society.
Mary MacKillop died in Sydney on 8 August 1909. She was beatified by Pope John Paul 11 in Sydney in January, 1995 and was canonised on 17th October 2010
Mary MacKillop’s spirit lives on in all people who follow her example in meeting the needs in today’s society - working for a Christian influence in all areas of education and respecting the human dignity of each person in all circumstances of life.
"Saint Mary MacKillop 1870" by State Library of South Australia is licensed under CC BY 2.0.