Today I went to the tomb of a saint – well, she is still “just” a blessed, but she’s the first Australian to be elevated to sainthood. She’s a hero for Australians, and she has been chosen as one of the patron saints
of World Youth Day 2008. Her name is Mary MacKillop. Beatified by the late Pope John Paul II in 1995, she is known for her work to bring justice towards the disadvantaged, the poor, and the aboriginals. She started the first Catholic schools in Australia and founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart.
A crew of us went to North Sydney to visit Blessed Mary MacKillop’s grave and museum dedicated to her. We were able to interview two Mexicans from California, a husband and wife team who brought a group of young people to World Youth Day. The man had a huge Rosary made of twine tied to his bag, and he and his wife talked about their devotion to Mary.
So, I really thought about how special our Mother Mary is. Mary MacKillop had a great devotion to the Mary and the Rosary and that seems to be the secret of every saint -- to be close to their Mother.
One of my favourite quotes from Mary MacKillop is this: “How I wish we would only remember that we are but travelers here.” What a great way for this whole World Youth Day pilgrimage to remind us of that.