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Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Frances Taylor - Sr Eithne Leonard - CTS Saints of the Isles

Frances Taylor: Mother Magdalen 1832-1900
CTS Saints of the Isles
Sr Eithne Leonard
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860826139
CTS Booklet B724


Over the last few years I have read over 100 books from the Catholic Truth Society. This was the thirteenth I have read in the Saints of the Isles Series. I have read all that are readily available and now tracking down those that are harder to find. And I must state that this one was another one that was well worth finding. I have also read many in the CTS Biographies and also Great Saints Series. There are so many great stories about the lives of the saints. I believe I have a complete list of the volumes in this series, and this is the twelfth I have read from the fourteen I have discovered so far. The description of the series is:

“The Saints of the Isles series brings together telling accounts of the extraordinary lives of men and women from the British Isles - lives of holiness, courage and true discipleship to Christ and the Gospel message.”

And of this specific book:

“Frances Taylor served alongside Florence Nightingale as a nurse in the Crimea and on returning to England in 1855, she quickly won respect for her charitable work with deprived children and adults in London. She converted to Catholicism and went on to be one of the few British founders of a religious order: The Poor Servants of the Mother of God who continue her work among the poor and disadvantaged today.”

This is one of the shortest of the biographies I have read from the Catholic Truth Society, across all series. This volume was published in 2009, and Frances Taylor - Mother Magdalen Taylor, was declared venerable in 2014. And her cause for canonization is still in process. There was a prayer for her beatification first published in 1935, and the last section of this volume is a prayer for that beatification. Now that she had been beatified the prayer can be modified for her canonization. 

This little volume has stirred in me a desire to track down more books about this women of God, and more books by her. She wrote extensively about her work as a nurse and is considered to have over 25 major works. In particular I wish to read:

Eastern Hospitals and English Nurses
Irish Homes and Irish Hearts
Lost and other Tales

And at least one of the longer biographies of this woman. The chapters in this volume are:

Victorian Childhood
Crimean Nursing
A New Catholic
Poor Servant of the Mother of God

Frances Taylor travelled extensively meeting with other orders and researching their charism before founding her own distinct order. She worked to serve the poor. She faced many hardships, and that strove to live for God and to serve others. And She had a focus in ministering to poor Irish. This biography was a fascinating read and it will leave you wanting more. 

Another excellent volume in the Saints of the Isles Series from the Catholic Truth Society.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the Saints of the Isles Series:

Edmund Arrowsmith - John S. Hogan
Margaret Clitherow - Jean Olwen Maynard
Edmund Campion - Alexander Haydon
John Southworth Priest and Martyr - Michael Archer
Saint Thomas More - Alvaro de Silva
John Ogilvie - Eleanor McDowell
Frances Taylor - Eithne Leonard
Mary Potter - Elizabeth Gilroy
John Fisher - Richard L. Smith
Robert Southwell - Fiorella Sultana De Maria
Ignatius Spencer - Fr. Ben Lodge
Sr Elizabeth Prout - Dominic Savio Hamer
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - James Walsh
Thomas Becket - J.B. Midgley

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