Hymns for the feast of St Mary of the Cross (Mary MacKillop) - 8 August

Picture of Mary MacKillop over hymn suggestions - not spelled McKillop or McCillop
A selection of hymns and songs for the feast of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop whose feast is celebrated on 8 August.

The hymn suggestions below are either directly about MacKillop, or based on the themes from her life and ministry.

Usually, suggestions focus on songs and hymns which are now in the public domain.  However as MacKillop was only recently canonised, most suitable items are still copyright.

Mary's canonisation in the internet age also means that there are a great many recently-written hymns and songs written about her which are freely-available.   Quite likely over time some of these will fade from popular use, and a smaller number will be appropriate to list.

That said, the campaign to have her sainthood recognised was started in the 1920s - but few (no?) songs about her appear to have been written in the early 20th century.   If you know of any, please leave a message in the Comments box near the bottom of the page.

About St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

Mary Helen MacKillop (1842–1909) was an Australian of Scottish descent. She was born in Melbourne, but worked initially in South Australia and later through most of the country. In conjunction with Roman Catholic priest Julian Tenison Woods, she founded a congregation of religious sisters which established schools and welfare institutions throughout Australasia.  The congregation's initial work was care and education for the rural poor, and MacKillop's insistence on formation and policies to support this caused a lot of tension with the local church authorities. The order became known as the the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, or in short the Josephites.

She was beatified in 1995 by Pope John Paul II, and canonised (officially recognised as a saint) in October 2010, making her the first Australian to be recognised in this way.  She is the patron saint of Australia, the diocese of Brisbane, and of the Knights of the Southern Cross.


First: I Kings 17:8-16 - The jar of meal shall not be spent

Psalm 63   My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.

Second: Colossians 3:12-17 “As the chosen of God, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another.”

Gospel: Matthew 6:25-34 - Do not worry about your life ... trust in God.

Full texts, including Mass Propers, are available here.    Note that these are different from the readings which were approved for use before MacKillop was canonised - that set of readings included one from the book of Judith.

Free-use hymns

By all your Saints Still Striving

Hymns which may still be copyright

A Cross of Stars (Wherever I Go) - Chinn

A Saint for Today - Cusack

A Season for Change – Mannella

Australia's Holy One - Doheny / Thompson

Australia’s Mary – Cummings

Calling my Name - Cattalini / Charlton

Daughter of Australia - Coleridge (sheet music)

Dream Lady - Bates

Do Not Worry - Temple (not specific to MacKillop, but closely based on the Gospel reading)

From Penola's Plains - Herry / Cox (video - tune THAXTED - information page)

God's Will for Me - adapted from MacKillop, composer unknown (video)

Hymn for Mary MacKillop – Scheimer (information - inlcuding words and sheet music)

Hymn to St Mary of the Cross - Brandt (information)

If I Could tell the Love of God - Willcock

In the Footsteps of Jesus (Many Roads, One Journey) - Chinn

In Love God Leads Us – Willcock /O’Brien

Litany of Mary MacKillop – Drzyzga

Live Justly - Chinn

Lord I Give my Life to You - Rose / Conlon

MacKillop Legacy - Fletcher

Mary MacKillop - Pinto (sheet music)

Mary MacKillop A Seed of Hope – Neunzerling

Mary MacKillop Woman of Australia - Cusack

Mary MacKillop Woman of Prayer - OBrien  (sheet music)

Mary of the Cross - Brown

Mary of the Cross – Mangan

Mary (of the Cross) MacKillop - Smyth / Levey

Mary When you were a Girl – Kearney

Mary’s Wish – Jarman

Mother Mary of the Cross – Burland

Never See a Need - Fletcher

Never Hide your Love – Watts

O Mother Mary of the Cross - Giffen - chant setting (sheet music)

Saint Mary McKillop - In Sacrifice You Lived Your Life (Free sheet music / buy track on iTunes)

Southern Cross Shine (Let Your Light Shine) - Chinn

St Mary MacKillop We Sing Praise - Brown

Saint Mary of the Cross - Matulis (words) - tune

The Spirit’s Breath – Bates

There is a Quiet - Kearney

There Where you Are - Charadia

Woman for our Time - Fletcher

Women for Today / Mary Your Voice Calls Down the Years - Herry (video)

Woman Strong, Woman True – Eden

More resources for church-music selection ....

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