MARY MacKillop will become Australia's first saint, Pope Benedict XVI declared in a ceremony at the Vatican.
The Pope formally announced he would canonise the Melbourne-born nun on October 17, in a service in St Peter's Square that could draw thousands of Australian pilgrims.
Australia's Sister Maria Casey was among those who attended the historic meeting to confirm Mary MacKillop's sainthood.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be the one who would see it through to the end," said Sister Maria, who led the sainthood campaign.
"It's a rare privilege indeed."
Holy See ambassador Tim Fischer said: "This is a terrific salute to an outstanding Australian, a giant leader in education and many other fields."