Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Venerable Mother Frances Taylor

The Catholic Herald published the news that Mother Frances Taylor, a nineteenth century convert, foundress, and historical novelist, has been declared Venerable:
A nurse who tended dying soldiers alongside Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War could become Britain’s next saint after the Pope declared that she lived a life of “heroic virtue”.

Pope Francis has given Frances Taylor the title “Venerable” and authorised the Church to search for the two healing miracles needed to proclaim her a saint.

Frances, the youngest of 10 children of an Anglican vicar from Lincolnshire, was 22 when she volunteered to join the “Lady of the Lamp” in Scutari, Turkey, in 1854 when Britain, along with France and the Ottoman Empire, was at war with Russia.

She converted to Catholicism after she was impressed by the faith of the dying Irish soldiers she was caring for.

She went on to establish a religious order – the Poor Servants of the Mother of God – which under her direction opened refuges for prostitutes and homeless women and children in London before spreading throughout Europe.

As Mother Magdalen Taylor, Frances also founded the Providence Free Hospital in St Helens, Lancashire, and she took over the running of St Joseph’s Asylum in Dublin. She died in her convent in Soho Square in 1900 after falling ill en route to Rome and she is buried at Roehampton, south west London, after establishing 20 institutions in her own lifetime.

Today her
order continues to work particularly with the poor, the elderly and the disabled.

The order has published these prayers for her beatification:

Heavenly Father you gave to Mother Magdalen Taylor a profound insight into the Mystery of the Incarnation and a great love and compassion for the poor and needy. We pray that her life of deep faith and loving service may continue to inspire us and that, one day, she may be beatified to the glory of your name. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Heavenly Father, you chose Mother Magdalen Taylor to found the Poor Servants of the Mother of God to serve the poor and needy.
While on earth she never failed to respond to those in distress, so confident of her intercession I pray you to grant me this favour...which I ask in the name of Jesus your son. Amen.

She would be the first Englishwoman beatified or canonized since St. Anne Line, St. Margaret Clitherow, and St. Margaret Ward, great martyrs for the Faith included among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales in 1970.

Mother Frances Taylor wrote about the age of martyrdom during Elizabeth I's reign in Tyborne.

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