Sinner who saved nation's homeless 'saint'

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    5,683
    997
    113
    I love this story!

    JENNIE CURTIN
    February 19, 2010

    AS MARY MACKILLOP'S devotees await the expected final stamp of approval for her canonisation in Rome today, a little-known fact about her excommunication from the church has emerged.

    The man who proved to be MacKillop's saviour in her hour of need - offering free accommodation to her and other nuns when they were ordered out of their convent - was a Jewish ex-convict who had moved to South Australia after serving time in NSW for house-breaking.

    The man, Emanuel Solomon, was also instrumental in the young colony in establishing Freemasonry. There is a long history of antagonism between that movement and the Catholic Church.

    Yesterday, one of Solomon's great-great-grandsons, John Johnston from Blackheath, said the decision to offer the nuns two of his properties was in character for his ancestor.

    ''The driving force with him was charity,'' Mr Johnston said. ''He was a man who spent his money and he set up so many charitable things in his time … Perhaps he was making up for past misdemeanours.''

    He said the ''great irony of the story'' was the man who helped the Catholic nun was a leading member of the Australian Jewish community and a prime mover in setting up Freemasonry.

    Mr Solomon was born in London in 1800 and was sentenced to seven years' transportation to NSW in 1817.

    Records show he was hardly a model prisoner and was flogged at least three times, including one set of 50 lashes for having an iron pick in his possession.

    When he was finally freed, he set up a business with his brother, Vaiban, who had also been transported for theft.

    Eventually, Emanuel moved to South Australia where he and Vaiban enjoyed considerable success shipping goods between the two colonies.

    Mr Solomon achieved prominence in South Australia, setting up the first purpose-built theatre on the mainland, and serving in both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. But the state, which had never accepted convicts directly from England, did not offer emanicipists a warm welcome.

    Mr Solomon overcame the problem by simply never mentioning his background.

    Mr Johnston said Mr Solomon had also helped the nuns with housing in 1869, two years before the excommunication.

    The act of kindness was referred to by MacKillop herself, archives of the Sisters of St Joseph reveal.

    ''The convent being too small for so many, a house in Rosetta Terrace was kindly lent … by the Hon. E. Solomon,'' she wrote.

    ''The kindness shown by the Jewish community has been remarkable, but then St Joseph was a Jew.''

    Source: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nsw/sinner-who-saved-nations-homeless-saint-20100218-oiz1.html
     
  2. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

    2,353
    25
    38
    Hah
     

Share My Freemasonry