Patron Saints inspire us to follow the example they set during their lives. They intercede in heaven on our behalf and served as an advocate for particular causes. Our Patron Saints across the University, the Faculties and for our Professional Staff, have a particular connection to each of the departments they represent.

St Mary of the Cross (MacKillop)

“Never see a need without doing something about it”.

This mission, of service to those in need, drove St Mary of the Cross (MacKillop) to a lifetime of working with society’s least fortunate. 

Dedicating herself to a life of service makes St Mary MacKillop a natural fit as ACU’s patron saint but there are many other connections, she shares with the University.

Born on 15 January 1842 in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, directly opposite the University's Melbourne Campus (St Patrick's), St Mary MacKillop’s work and values resonate deeply with the University's Mission.

Co-founder of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, St Mary MacKillop is the only Australian to be canonized, making her Australia's first saint. She lived her later years on the site of the North Sydney (MacKillop) Campus. Her feast day is celebrated on the 8th of August.

Her order opened schools and orphanages around the country, along with facilities for the homeless and for former prisoners and prostitutes looking to make a fresh start. Her respect for the dignity of all people, her service of the disadvantaged, and her efforts to build the capacity of those communities she served are qualities which ACU seeks to instill in its staff, students and graduates, making her a worthy patron of the University.

Read St Mary MacKillop’s story 

Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle

Faculty of Education and Arts

Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle was a French priest and educational reformer who dedicated more than 40 years of his life to the education of the children of the poor. He is the Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (De La Salle Brothers) a founding congregation of ACU. His feast day is celebrated on the 7th of April.

 
Saint Matthew

Faculty of Law and Business

Matthew’s Gospel is considered to be a work that attempts to build bridges between Jewish and Gentile Christians. Later in his ministry, he travelled to Gentile nations and spread the Good News to the Ethiopians, Macedonians, Persians and Parthians. Islamic tradition holds that Matthew and St Andrew were the first apostles to preach Christianity to the Ethiopians. His feast day is celebrated on the 21st of September.

 
Saint Albert the Great

Faculty of Education and Arts

A Dominican Friar, Albert was a scientist long before the age of science, and an adviser to popes, bishops, kings, and statesmen. He is one of only 35 Doctors of the Church. His feast day is celebrated on the 15th of November.

 
Blessed John Henry Newman

Faculty of Theology and Philosophy

Blessed John Henry Newman was the 19th century's most important English-speaking Roman Catholic academic and theologian. He was also a priest, popular preacher and writer. Relics of Blessed John Henry Newman are interred in the altars in the Chapels on our Melbourne and North Sydney campuses. His feast day is celebrated on the 9th of October.

 
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Bernadette Soubirous)

Faculty of Health Sciences

St Bernadette was only 14-years old when she saw the first of 18 visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes in France, a site that is now one of the major pilgrimage destinations in the world. Her feast day is celebrated on the 16th of April.

 
Saint Thomas More

Faculty of Law and Business

Thomas More was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He opposed Henry VIII of England’s separation from the Catholic Church and in 1535 was tried for treason and beheaded. His feast day is celebrated on the 22nd of June.

 
St Edith Stein

Research

Born into an Orthodox Jewish family, Edith Stein turned away from her faith as a teenager. In her early thirties Edith read a biography of St Teresa of Avila and was baptised into Catholicism and became a Carmelite nun, taking the name Teresa Benedicta. A brilliant philosopher and academic, Teresa Benedicta continued her scholarly research and writing after taking holy orders. Arrested with her sister Rosa by the Nazis, St Edith Stein died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9 1942. Her feast day is celebrated on August 9.

 
Saint Joseph the Worker

Corporate Services

By the daily labor in his workshop, offered to God with patience and joy, St. Joseph provided for Mary and Jesus, and so became an example to all labourers on the dignity and value of work as part of the human condition. In 1955 Pope Pius XII established the feast of  St. Joseph the Worker to give to all workers a model and a protector. His feast day is celebrated on the 1st of May.

 
Saint Marcellin Champagnat

Education

Marcellin Champagnat was born on May 20, 1789, the year of the French Revolution, and died on June 6, 1840.  He was a priest of the Society of Mary and the founder of the Little Brothers of Mary (Marist Brothers), a congregation devoted to the education of the young. He was canonised in 1999 by Pope JohnPaul II and his feast day is celebrated on the 6th of June.

 

Have a question?

askacu

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat
Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs