Australia's Jesus statue that mysteriously bled olive oil!

by Kathy Zawadski  



In the tiny Antiochian Orthodox Church of St Mary, in the far western suburb of Mt Pritchard, Sydney, Australia, a miracle happens every day. Since the end of August, a life-sized icon of the Christ is exuding pure olive oil. It forms in beads all over the painted surface of the icon, and is captured in receptacles and on wads of cotton wool laid at the base. So far since it began, more than three litres of the oil has been collected. The priests anoint all who come to the church, and there are hundreds flocking there every day. 

The oil has been tested at a laboratory in Sydney, and without a doubt it is pure olive oil! The icon was painted in the usual way, on hardwood, and was shipped out to Australia about seven years ago. Nothing unusual happened until a decision was made to demolish the church and build a larger one in another location. Two days later the icon started to ooze oil, to the utter amazement of the clergy.

Several members of the Sydney and Canberra meditation groups have witnessed the phenomenon, and have also noted that the oil has an aroma of roses. Several healings have been said to have taken place, and Archbishop Gibran has asked that if a healing is claimed to have occurred a prior medical record should be produced.

In another Orthodox Church, about two kilometres from St Mary's, an icon of the Madonna is gradually renewing itself. Unlike the icon of the Christ, which was painted in one of the Greek Islands only seven years ago, the icon of the Madonna is about one hundred years old, and was painted in Russia. During the Russian Revolution it was caught in a fire, and totally blackened. Subsequently, it was smuggled out of Russia and taken to China, where there were many refugees from the Revolution. 

Years later, still in its blackened state, it was brought to Australia, and placed in the Intercession of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church, Cabramatta, where it remains. Father Peter, when he came to the church in 1981, remembers that the icon was still in its blackened state, showing no colour at all. Since then, the icon has been gradually renewing itself. The original colour is coming back, revealing the beauty and form of the Madonna and the Child Jesus.


Kathy Zawadski, Sydney, Australia

( Source: A letter to Share International, December 1994 )

Miracles of Australia's very own Saint.

Mary Helen Mackillop was born 15th of January 1842 and died 8th of August 1909. She is Australia’s only Saint. 

Mary with Father Julian Woods founded the Sisters of Joseph of the Sacred Heart plus a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australasia focusing on education for the poor especially in rural areas.

Mary was the daughter of Scottish immigrants her father Alexander MacKillop educated at The Scots College in Rome and at Blairs College in Kincardineshire, for the Catholic priesthood but at the age of 29 left just before he was due to be ordained. He migrated to Australia and arrived in Sydney in 1838. MacKillop's mother, Flora MacDonald, born in Fort William, had left Scotland and arrived in Melbourne in 1840. Her father and mother married in Melbourne on 14 July 1840. Mary was the eldest of eight children.

Mary began working at the age of 14 as a clerk and later a teacher. To help provide for her family as her fathers farming venture was unsuccessful. Mary became a governess In 1860 at her aunts property. She educated other farm children as well as her aunts which brought her into contact with Father Woods.

MacKillop and Woods were very concerned about the lack of education to the poor and people in country areas. And as a result opened a School in South Australia in 1866.

Mary and her sisters with Woods as director of education began teaching in a stable later renovated by her brother the MacKillops started teaching more than 50 children. At this time MacKillop made a declaration of her dedication to God and began wearing black. By 1869 Mary and over 70 Josephite Nuns were teaching children at 21 across Adelaide and the country.

In 1867, MacKillop became the first sister and mother superior of the newly formed order of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, and moved to the new convent in Grote Street, Adelaide. In the same year, at age 25, she adopted the religious name Sister Mary of the Cross.

Due to infighting within the Clergy and allegations by MacKillop and her fellow Nuns of sexual abuse of children by Father Keating of Kapunda. The Josephites informed Father Woods, who in turn informed the vicar general Father John Smyth, who ultimately sent Keating back to Ireland. Father Charles Horan Father Keating’s former colleague was angered by Keating’s removal. And there is evidence to suggest he sought vengeance against Woods by attacking the Josephites. 

Horan became acting vicar general after the death of Smyth in June 1870, and from this position sought to influence Bishop Sheil. Horan met with Sheil on 21 September 1871 and convinced him that the Josephites' constitution should be changed; the following day, when MacKillop apparently did not accede to the request, Sheil excommunicated her, citing insubordination as the reason. MacKillop lived with a Jewish family and was also sheltered by Jesuit priests. 

On his deathbed, Sheil instructed Father Hughes to lift the excommunication on MacKillop. On 21 February 1872, he met her on his way to Willunga and absolved her in the Morphett Vale church. Later, an Episcopal Commission completely exonerated her.

Mary later went to Rome for funding and approval for her order, institutions and schools in Australia she returned in 1875.



Mary died on the 8th of August 1909 in the Josephite convent in North Sydney. The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Moran, stated that: "I consider this day to have assisted at the deathbed of a Saint.”

Mary was buried at the Gore Hill cemetery further north of Sydney. After her burial people began visiting her grave and removing earth for use as holy relics. As a result her body was moved to a vault before the altar of the Virgin Mary at the newly built memorial chapel in Mount Street, Sydney.

On 17 July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI prayed at her tomb during his visit to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008


The campaign for MacKillop's canonisation began in 1926, 17 years after her death.

Mary has two miracles attributed to her which lead to her sainthood.

*Veronica Hopson was diagnosed with terminal leukemia was cured by praying for MacKillop’s intercession in 1961. This first miracle was finally recognised by Pope John Paul II and Mary was beatified in 1995.

*Kathleen Evan was diagnosed with inoperable lung and secondary brain cancer in the 1990’s. 

A friend of Kathleen’s in the Hunter Valley gave her a picture of Mary MacKillop and a piece of her clothing.

Ms Evans, her family and her parish all began praying.

Ten months after her original diagnosis, she was told there was no sign of any cancer - just some scarring where the tumors had been.

Mary MacKillop’s canonisation was announced on 19th of February 2010 she became Australia’s first Saint on the 17th October 2010. 

More miracles?

Several other high-profile victims of illness or accident have attributed their recovery at least in part to MacKillop's help. 

The Catholic family of burns victim Sophie Delezio credits her medical progress to MacKillop.

When Irishman David Keohane woke from an eight-month coma following an assault in Sydney, his family attributed his recovery to months of prayers to MacKillop.



Did the Virgin Mary appear on the headland of Coogee NSW Australia?


The Coogee Virgin

On January 30 2003 an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared on the headland of Coogee NSW Australia. Apparently the Virgin was originally seen through the door of a laundrette that faces toward the beach and headland.

The following day hundreds of people from all around Sydney and elsewhere swarmed the site to catch a glimpse of the blessed mother which appeared each day between 3.30 and 5pm. People trekked up the headland path to touch, kiss and pray to the post where the apparition was seen, they placed pictures of Mary, rosaries and flowers along the fence. Others cried, sang and prayed. All the while the locals became angry about grid locked traffic and no parking spaces.

Although many believed that the apparition was in fact the Virgin mother, most understood that the image of Mary was an optical illusion caused by the fence and the shadow it threw against the ground and headland. 

The Sydney Archdiocese refused to comment on the religious significance of the apparition, Father Denis Holm the local parishioner said "I'm not putting a great amount of store on the significance of it," "However, if people are experiencing a sense of peace by being there, then I see it as a good thing."

Many of the faithful believed that the appearance of the Virgin was somehow related to the Sari Club bombing in October 2002 which claimed 88 Australian lives. And that perhaps she appeared to give comfort to the bereaved.

Approximately one month later the fence was knocked down by vandals, this came after a series of vandal attacks which included: The posts painted red and green and a toilet bowl chained to the area. The fence was reconstructed by the local council who made no claim that the image of the Virgin would reappear.

Believers have since created and tend a makeshift garden shrine where she appears and devout pilgrims of the Coogee Virgin have lobbied the council and government to erect a chapel on the beachside park known as Dolphins Reserve. 3 Academic papers have been written exploring the appearance of the Virgin Mary at Coogee and it's connection to the national grief caused by the Bali bombings.