Topic: Native Affairs

Calls for Vatican to acknowledge NZ’s first saint

By Te Kāea
  • North Island: West Coast

Followers of the Catholic Church are calling for the Vatican to change requirements so New Zealand can have its first saint.

The small but faithful community of Jerusalem in Wanganui believe they have a saint. Her name was Suzanne Aubert, a Māori speaking Catholic nun who saved their community.

Mother Aubert came to New Zealand from France in 1860. She founded the Sisters of Compassion and brought them to the banks of Jerusalem.

It's understood Mother Aubert was the first person in the country to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Her medicines were famous for healing. But, according to the Vatican, it is not a miracle. A miracle is when someone has been cured through prayer. Two proven miracles makes you a saint.