The Story of Mary MacKillop: Australia’s First Saint


Who was Mary MacKillop? What made her worthy of such an honour?

Many words have already been written about Mary MacKillop and many more will follow. This text provides insight into the life and work of a woman whom so many Australians now recognise as one of their own – an ‘Aussie battler’ in the richest sense of that term. In the face of poverty, hardship, misunderstanding and powerful opposition, she remained faithful to her vision and to her calling to serve people.

The Story of Mary MacKillop will appeal to young people, providing them with sufficient background for appreciating the life and contribution of one woman to her family, her church and her nation. Mary can be viewed as a pioneer woman, an educationalist, a feminist, a political realist, a champion of the underprivileged. The list of her attributes, like her contribution to the rights of marginalised Australians is a lengthy one.

Each one of us has a genuine need for authentic role models to encourage us and inspire us. In Mary MacKillop, we are presented with a very ordinary Australian woman whose story is a touchstone for so many in this country and therein lies both her accessibility and her appeal. Immigrant parents, difficult family circumstances, financial hardships, hopes put on hold — These are some of the aspects of her life that we recognise – if not in ourselves, then in the lives of others we know.


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