Summary

Long teal coloured scarf used by the Sisters of St Joseph to celebrate the canonisation of Mary MacKillop. One hundred and forty sisters wore the scarf in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican service. This scarf made them instantly recognisable amongst the 50,000 strong crowd.

Physical Description

Long viscose scarf coloured teal (blue) with tassels at each end. There is an inscription printed in black at each end. Scarf was folded into four and placed in a plastic bag for distribution.

Significance

Mary MacKillop (later to be known as Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop) became Australia's first saint on Sunday 17 October, 2010. She was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI at a ceremony held at the Vatican in Rome, an event televised live around the world. The process that led to her canonisation had begun a long time before. She died in 1909 and was called a ‘saint’ by Cardinal Moran on her deathbed, but the formal process did not begin until 1926. This process required, amongst much other evidence, the acceptance by the Vatican of two ‘miracles’ attributed to her intercession. Although she was born in Victoria, she spent much of her life in New South Wales and South Australia. Her canonisation was a significant event for all Catholic Australians and for the people of Australia more broadly, as she was not only the first Catholic saint but was also a woman. A community event was held at the Royal Exhibition Building (REB) on the day of her canonisation in Rome, and the ceremony was attended by Julia Gillard, Australia's first female Prime Minister. This collection was donated by members of her religious order, the Sisters of St. Joseph, whose mother house is in North Sydney. As well as being a major REB event, the collection has religious, social, public history and local community connections.

More Information