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Australia’s first saint Mary Mackillop to be canonised

Workers hang a tapestry featuring the portrait of new saint Mary MacKillop on the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square on October 16, 2010 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI will name blessed sister Mary MacKillop known also as Mary of the Cross, as Australian first Saint in a Canonisation ceremony in St. Peter's square on next Sunday. (Photo by Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images)

October 16, 2010 (KATAKAMI / BBC) —  Australia’s first saint – a 19th-century nun who was briefly excommunicated is to receive official recognition.

Pope Benedict will canonise Mary Mackillop in a service at the Vatican in Rome.

Her work for the Church was sometimes controversial and in 1871 she was excommunicated for insubordination.

The Church exonerated her three years later and she was eventually put on the road to sainthood by Pope John Paul II, who beatified her in 1995.

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