Mother Mary Aikenhead

Foundress of the congregation of the Religious Sisters of Charity

Mary Aikenhead, (1787-1858), foundress of the congregation of the Religious Sisters of Charity, was born in Cork on 19 January 1787.  She died on 22nd July 1858.

HER LIFE STORY:

Following the death of her father, who converted to Roman Catholicism on his death bed, Mary too converted at the age of fifteen. Shortly afterwards she became aware of a vocation to dedicate her life to God as a religious sister, serving the poor. She was invited by Dr Daniel Murray, Coadjutor Bishop of Dublin, to set up a Congregation of Sisters of Charity in Dublin. So she and a companion, Alicia Walsh, entered the noviciate of the Bar Convent, York, England, where they underwent three years of religious formation.

In August 1815 they returned to Dublin and, at Dr Murray’s request, took over the administration of an orphanage for girls in North William Street. Soon other young women joined them, and they were able to visit the sick poor in their own homes, as well as running a primary school for local children.

Thus began the congregation of the Religious Sisters of Charity, whose members are vowed to the service of the poor, and especially the sick poor, with the motto, ‘Caritas Christi urget nos’ - The love of Christ motivates us.


2015 Marks the Bicentenary of the founding of the Congregation.  On 18th March 2015.  Mary Aikenhead was declared Venerable by Pope Francis. 

For further information on Mary Aikenhead, and on the Congregation of the Religious Sisters of Charity see:

www.rsccaritas.org

 19th January marks the anniversary of her birth.

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY FROM MARY AIKENHEAD


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY FROM MARY AIKENHEAD