MacKillop Relic on Display in Rome

Don’t know what reliquary is? Well it’s something to keep a relic safe in, and this posting from CathNews tells about a very important relic in Catholic history. Mary MacKillop is going to be canonized next month, and a strand of her hair was just put on display in Italy. Eventually this reliquary will be bestowed upon Pope Benedict XVI.

“A reliquary containing a lock of Blessed Mary MacKillop’s hair has been unveiled at the the Caravita Oratory in the centre of Rome by Australian Ambassador to the Holy See Tim Fischer and Sister Maria Casey.

The reliquary, a receptacle for a relic, is made from a red gum fence post from the South Australian Penola property where Mary MacKillop founded the Australian Sisters of Saint Joseph with Julian Tenison Woods, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

It has been carved into a cross with a sculpture using an antique piece of glass set into its centre containing the relic of Blessed Mary.

The reliquary will be presented to Pope Benedict XVI next month during the October 17 canonisation ceremony at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Several events are planned for the weekend of the ceremony, including a special evening opening of the Vatican Museums on Friday October 15, accompanied by a performance of indigenous dancing and didgeridoo playing, a Saturday prayer vigil and a mass to be celebrated by the head of the church in Australia, Cardinal George Pell with several other bishops and priests in Saint Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls on Monday after the canonization.

“I think believers and non-believers alike agree that Mary MacKillop was a great Australian,” Mr Fischer said.

Mr Fischer is keeping Australians attending the canonisation up to date by using social media network Twitter, ‘tweeting’ information about tickets for the ceremony and other travel advice.” – “Mary MacKillop Reliquary Cross Unveiled in Rome”, CathNews