National Documents

St Mary of the Cross

The approved texts for the Mass and Liturgy of the Hours.



8 AUGUST solemnity

Mary MacKillop was born in Melbourne (Australia) in 1842 and died in Sydney on 8 August 1909. She took the religious name Mary of the Cross. Responding to the isolation of colonial families, she pioneered a new form of religious life to provide education for their children. She and her sisters shared the life of the poor and the itinerant, offering special care to destitute women and children. She is remembered for her eagerness to discover God’s will in all things, for her charity in the face of calumny, and for her abiding trust in God’s providence.


Entrance Antiphon

see Mt 25:34, 36, 40

Come, you blessed of my Father, says the Lord:
I was sick, and you visited me.
Amen, I say to you: whatever you did
for one of the least of my brethren,
you did it for me.


O God, source of all goodness,
who have shown us in Saint Mary
a woman of faith living by the power of the Cross,
teach us, we pray, by her example
to live the gospel in changing times
and to respect and defend
the human dignity of all in our land.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


First Reading

A reading from the first book of Kings 17:8-16
The jar of meal shall not be spent… (Lectionary vol. 2, p. 536)

And then the word of the Lord came to Elijah, ‘Up and go to Zarephath, a Sidonian town, and stay there. I have ordered a widow there to give you food.’ So he went off to Sidon. And when he reached the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks. Addressing her he said, ‘Please bring a little water in a vessel for me to drink.’ She was setting off to bring it when he called after her. ‘Please’, he said, ‘bring me a scrap of bread in your hand.’ ‘As the Lord your God lives,’ she replied, ‘I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a jar and a little oil in a jug; I am just gathering a stick or two to go and prepare this for myself and my son to eat, and then we shall die.’ But Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, go and do as you have said; but first make a little scone of it for me and bring it to me, and then make some for yourself and for your son. For thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel:

Jar of meal shall not be spent,
jug of oil shall not be emptied,
before the day when the Lord sends
rain on the face of the earth.’

The woman went and did as Elijah told her and they ate the food, she, himself and her son. The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied, just as the Lord had foretold through Elijah.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm 62:1-8

Response: My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.
(Lectionary vol. 1, p. 701 with proper response)

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water. R/

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise. R/

So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy. R/

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. R/

Second Reading

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Colossians 3:12-17
Above all have love, which is the bond of perfection. (Lectionary vol. 2, p. 992)

You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.

Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The word of the Lord.

Gospel Acclamation

Matthew 27:55

Alleluia, alleluia!
Many women were there by the cross, watching from a distance,
the same women who had followed Jesus and looked after him.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 6:25-34
Do not worry about your life. (Lectionary vol. 2, p. 558)

Jesus said to his disciples:
That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat,
nor about your body and how you are to clothe it.
Surely life means more than food, and the body more than clothing!
Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or
gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not worth much more than they are?
Can any of you, for all his worrying,
add one single cubit to his span of life?
And why worry about clothing?
Think of the flowers growing in the fields;
they never have to work or spin: yet I assure you that
not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these.
Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field
which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow,
will he not much more look after you, you men of little faith?
So do not worry; do not say, “What are we to eat?
What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?”
It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things.
Your heavenly Father knows you need them all.
Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness,
and all these other things will be given you as well.
So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The Gospel of the Lord.


Prayer over the offerings

As you gather us, O God, at your holy altar
on this feast of Saint Mary of the Cross,
grant, we pray, through her intercession,
that what we offer with praise and petition
may strengthen us all in charity and faith.
Through Christ our Lord.


Preface of Holy Men and Women I or II

Communion antiphon

see Jn 13:35

This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another, says the Lord.

Prayer after communion

May the Sacrament we receive, Lord God,
on this feast of Saint Mary
strengthen us to walk the way of the Cross
and bring us to the glory of the Resurrection.
Through Christ our Lord.

Solemn blessing

Through the example of Saint Mary of the Cross,
may you learn to recognise God’s will for you
and trust in his providence.


May her life of service awaken in you
a deep respect for the poor
and a strong will for justice.


May you share in her courage,
see with the eyes of Christian love,
and learn from her holy deeds.


And may the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever.



The Office of Readings
Second Reading

Letter, Ascension 1874
Resource Book 2, pp 49-51

A reading from a letter of Mary MacKillop to Monsignor Kirby.

Oh, Father, I cannot tell you what a beautiful thing the will of God seems to me. For some years past, my Communions, my prayers, my intentions have all been for God’s will to be done. I can never pray for a particular intention, a particular person, or anything particular about our own Institute, but in God’s loved will, that is – whilst I desire with all my heart to pray for these, I cannot help at the same time desiring that He only use my prayers for the intention that His own will most desires at this time. Thus I feel a joy when things go well, for I see His will in this, and an equal joy when they seem to go wrong or against our natural desire, for there again I see His will, and am satisfied that He has accepted my prayers and those of many more for some other object at the time nearer to His adorable will.

To me, the will of God is a dear book which I am never tired of reading, which has always some new charm for me. Nothing is too little to be noticed there, but yet my littleness and nothingness has often dared to oppose it, and I am painfully conscious that in many ways I still in my tepidity offend against it without perceiving what I am doing. But such dear lessons as you gave me the other evening then come to my aid and encourage me, for the love of my sweet Jesus is too strong, too beautiful, and His merits too great, for me not to cling to Him.


(Ps 33:2-4)


I will bless the Lord at all times,
God’s praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.*
The humble shall hear and be glad.


Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise God’s name.
* The humble shall hear and be glad.

Texts approved by Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. © Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Confirmed by decree of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 18 December 2010 (Prot. 989/10/L).