Our First Australian Saint – Mother Mary McKillop Of The Cross. When The Saints Go Marching In!

Our First Australian Saint – Saint Mary McKillop of the Cross – Part 1

As I write this post I am listening to the strains of pilgrims in Rome uplifted in song and prayer at the Canonisation Mass in Vatican City Rome. I was baptised a Catholic, coming from Irish Catholic stock on my mother’s side. My father’s side of the family were mostly non believers so I did not have a religious upbringing. I only went to mass when I visited my maternal grandmother or Mum’s brother in the country as a child. However, I found that I became fascinated as an adult by the saints and the apparitions of the Virgin Mary around the world and bought many books on the saints including St Francis of Assisi, St Clare, St Teresa of Avila, St Terese of Lisieux, St Catherine of Siena and St Joan of Arc,  to name but a few. I also bought a book and music of St Hildegarde of Bingen.

Apparitions, Saints and Holy Relics
We even had appearances of the Virgin Mary occurring every 13th of the Month in Berrima on the south coast of NSW and my sister who is a rather sceptical Capricorn accompanied me on one of those trips where to our utter amazement we saw the sun do cartwheels before our very eyes and I still have the photos of the visionaries on their knees transfixed and in prayer to the apparition of Our Lady. My sister Sue made me a small statue of the Virgin Mary out of clay. When I visited the brother of my friend Clare Dunne even gave me a blessed relic of the Virgin Mary from Fatima. Clare, being ahead of her time published a book entitledMary McKillop No Plaster Saint with tapes accompanying them for ABC radio back in 1990 and was also on Compass last week talking about her.

Saint Therese of Lisieux

Saint Bernadette of Lourdes

Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine Labouré

On my last major world trip I went on a pilgrimage to the various places where the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared. I use to subscribe to the Medugorje Sentinel which reported on the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the children in Yugoslavia. I  visited the church where the Virgin Mary had visited Saint Catherine of Laboure in Paris. This was a deeply moving experience where I was overcome with tears when I heard a song sung in French to Our Lady. I had a memory of a past life as a nun and a a few years later my cousin’s partner said she could see me as an nun which confirmed that strong feeling I had  in the church in Paris. I also travelled to Lourdes where I visited the place where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette. I travelled north west of Paris to Lisieux to visit the birth place of St Therese of the Little Flower. In Italy I visited Assisi to visit the birth place of St Francis of Assisi and St Clare. From there I went to Siena to visit the birth place of Catherine of Siena. When in Ireland I travelled to the village of Knock where Our Lady appeared to simple villagers who had been undergoing great hardshipfinancially.

The Anatomy of A Saint – Lorna Staub-Staude

In January 1992 before I travellled overseas  I met a woman at the Theosophical Society in Melbourne called Lorna Staub-Staude who was planning to write a book about Mary McKillop entitled The Anatomy of a Saint Inspired by the life and the work of Mary McKillop. Lorna kindly included me in the acknowledgements of her book as encouraging her with her project. Having already been made aware of Mary McKillop’s work through Clare Dunne I thought it was a worthy project. I felt really honoured when Lorna said she wanted to include my poem The Power of the Womb dedicated to the goddess Ishtar in her chapter entitled What it Means to be a Woman. She sent me a signed copy of her book.As I write this post I have her book in front of me with its inscription written in the front For Dear Anne with Love and Deep Appreciation From Lorna 18th April 1993.

No Plaster Saint – Clare Dunne
Lorna writes in her introduction that she was first inspired to research Mary’s life and works after hearing Caroline Jones talk with Mark Harris on her  programmeSearch for Meaning in May 1991. Lorna made the acquaintance of Cherie Taylor who along with others was working on Mother Mary’s canonisation. Lorna herself was born in Naracoorte 50 kilometres north of Penola where Mary McKillop began her life work providing education for the children of the poor. Just a week later I met Lorna and told her of Clare Dunne’s book and tapes Mary McKillop No Plaster Saint. Both Clare Dunne and Lorna Staub-Staude were women who were in touch with the Zeitgeist, recognising in Mary a woman worthy of being venerated – a role model for women to emulate that transcends nationality and denomination. In Lorna’s words ” Mary McKillop is a Universal Soul.”

The Cross in the Sky
The front of Lorna’s book is off-white with the title and the author’s name inscribed in gold and above it is a gold crossIn Part III of her book Lorna tells of a true story passed on to her by her lifelong friend. Her friend’s late husband was playing tennis on a Presbyterian tennis court in Penola with three friends when suddenly a Cross appeared in the eastern sky. They all saw it. Lorna’s friend reported to her that the three friends who were all Catholics crossed themselves and dropped to their knees. Lorna felt shivers in her spine as her friend told her of this phenomenal event which occurred about 50 years ago and asked herself, ” Was this a portent of things to come, like the Star in the East that guided the three wise men in the story told, so long ago?”

Mary McKillop – an Astrological Perspective
In March this year at AANSW members forum our president Gregory Clare led a discussion on Mother Mary McKillop’s life, examining her natal chart and other significant events in her life and posthumous events including her canonisation. Not knowing her birth time, Greg used a midday chart. Mary was born 15 January 1842 in Fitzroy Melbourne.  She has a stellium in Capricorn Sun, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter. Both Clare Dunne and Lorna Staub-Staude pay tribute to Mary’s hands on approach, determination and powers of endurance physically, emotionally and spiritually which is typified by the strong Capricorn influence. She was the eldest of eight children born of Scottish immigrants. Mary’s family endured hardship when her father became bankrupt. Mary entered the workforce after she turned sixteen to help provide for the family, first as a governess near her home in Richmond and then taking a clerical position with a firm of stationers. When she was eighteen she became a governess for her Aunt Margaret’s children in Penola. It was through her relatives that Mary met Father Julian Tennison Woods who was to act as such a catalyst for Mary’s future path.

Esoteric Symbolism of Capricorn
If one examines the esoteric symbolism of Capricorn, Mary’s life seems to personify the mission of Capricorn. According to the teachings of the Eastern sage the Master Djwahl Khul given to Alice Bailey, Capricorn is the gate into the spiritual kingdom. I was inspired from this esoteric teaching  to encapsulate Capricorn’s mission in verse in the astrology cards my sister and I produced in 1987:

Capricorn the sea goat
emerges from the ocean
Sure footed she begins
her perilous climb
to the mountain top
Forsaking mere ambition
she kneels in humility
upon the rocky summit
and receives the vision
which unlocks the secrets
to the door of life

Mary McKillop’s tireless dedication to her mission of providing education for the poor children despite opposition from members of the clergy leading to her excommunication, slander and serious illness epitomise the journey of the spiritually evolved Capricorn. In fact the Tibetan claims that its glyph is intentionally indecipherable and sometimes is referred to as “the signature of God”

In the book Esoteric Astrology Alice Bailey writes “Capricorn stands for the influence which will carry the will of the Shamballa to the Hierarchy or to the world initiates, giving to Them that enterprising spirit which will enable Them to carry forward to completion the will of God on Earth.”
If she was born after midday her natal Moon would be in Pisces which would explain her compassion for the poor and neglected members of society.
To be continued …….

Contact Anne for astrological consultations or spiritual healing
Mob: 0431471994
Email: Annefertiti@gmail.com

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