Pope approves Mary MacKillop as Australia's first saint

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Pope Benedict XVI has approved Mary MacKillop as Australia's first saint.

The rebellious nun who was revered for her work with children is to become Australia's first Roman Catholic saint on October 17, the Pope said on Friday.

In December, Benedict recognised a miracle in which MacKillop apparently cured a woman of cancer, paving the way for the canonisation of a nun who is already a national icon in Australia.

MacKillop, who died in 1909, passed the first stage to sainthood when pope John Paul II beatified her in 1995 after recognising a first miracle attributed to her, in which a woman was said to have been cured of terminal leukaemia.

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