Pope canonises six Catholic saints, including Australia's first
Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday canonised six Catholic saints, including Australia's first, during a ceremony at St Peter's Square in Rome, dpa reported.
Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) co-founded the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart in the 19th century. The Melbourne-born nun was involved in educating underprivileged children and neglected rural communities in Australia.
She was canonised along with Stanislaw Soltys of Poland, Andre Bessette of Canadian, Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola of Spain, and Italians Giulia Salzano and Battista da Varano.
Tens of thousands of Catholics gathered at St Peter's Square for Sunday's service, many from the countries of origin of the new saints. Official delegations included Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Australia's foreign minister and former premier Kevin Rudd.
Komorowski had attended an audience with Benedict on Saturday during which the process of the beatification - a preliminary step towards canonisation - for late Pope John Paul II was discussed.