The cross believed to have once stood over the initial resting place of Australia's only saint, Mary MacKillop, will soon be erected for public display in the city of her birth, ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven has announced.
The Australian Catholic University, which is the largest Catholic university in the English-speaking world, acquired the important religious and historical artefact with substantial assistance from a private donor, in a sale managed by Caulfield North fine art dealer, Lauraine Diggins, in November.
The University is currently in discussions with the Archdiocese of Melbourne about erecting the great cross linked to Saint Mary MacKillop opposite the University’s Melbourne Campus.
The monumental cross is believed to have once stood at Saint Mary MacKillop's initial burial site at the Gore Hill Cemetery in Sydney’s north, before her remains were moved and re-interred in the Memorial Chapel in North Sydney.
The cross was available for sale only to a public institution, as it was the desire of the owner that the artefact be made available to be seen by the public. Standing at 168cm tall, the cross was built and erected consistent with the ancient Celtic custom of marking the graves of important people and events.
Saint Mary MacKillop was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne in 1842 and died in North Sydney in 1909. She founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, a congregation of religious sisters that established a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australia, with an emphasis on education for the rural poor.
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