Mary Aikenhead

Life
1787-1858; b. Cork, 19 Jan.; founder of Irish Sisters of Charity; converted to Catholicism at 16; raised a Protestant after her father, Dr. David Aikenhead, who converted on his deathbed; after his death; asked by Dr. Murray of Dublin to found convent; underwent a three-year novitiate at York; est. first convent in North William St. [Dublin]; received papal recognition in 1816; experienced ill health; reached ten houses, incl. St. Vincent’s Hospital, the first to be managed by nun-nurses; d. 22 July; there is a contemporary life by ‘S.A.’ [Sarah Atkinson] (1879). ODNB DIB DIH

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Criticism
  • Mary Aikenhead: Her Life, her Work, and Her Friends, by S. A. [Sarah Atkinson] (Dublin: Gill 1875 [var. 1879]), and Do. [rev. edn.] (1882);
  • Margaret M. Donovan, Apostolate of Love: Mary Aikenhead 1787-1858 - Foundress Of The Irish Sisters Of Charity (Melbourne: The Polding Press: 1979), q.pp.
  • Sandra Cullen, Religion and Gender (Dublin: Veritas 2005), 221pp. [for schools; incls. lives of Nano Nagle, Catherine McAuley, Mary Aikenhead & Margaret Louise Aylward].

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