As dawn broke over the City of Rome we headed to St Peters where crowds had already begun to gather. After such anticipation the great day had arrived we were to be present at the Canonisation of Blessed Mary MacKillop.
Six new names were added to the canon during the ceremony which began with sharing something of their lives and sayings. As each of these stories concluded a song was song regarding their spirit we joined in the singing of 'If I Could Tell the Love of God" with great pride.
The sisters were treated as stars when every they passed one of the many groups of Australians the cheers went up.
A hush descended over all as we waited for the start of Mass. With the gathering song beginning the Pope processed in and the rite of canonisation began. As Mary and the other blessed looked on we listened closely to the prayers and statements for the special words " Mary MacKillop". With hearts bursting with pride and humility the Gloria was sung praising God and marking the end of the ritual of canonisation. We then gave thanks, in the ultimate prayer of thanksgiving the Eucharist for the lives of these great people, thier legacy and the hope they give us all.
With great excitement and joy all as Mass concluded the ACU and Josephite choir sang to ask St Mary MacKillop to pray for us. For the first time. Then there was a great mingling of pilgrims from all over the world who had gathered because one of the six new Saints had touched their lives in some way. The piazza was a buzz and the energy high as we constantly said to one another "it is good to be here", " aren't we lucky to be present" and other such phrases of delight.
Alleluia! Saint Mary of the Cross Pray for Us
Reprinted with permission from Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart.