Cork-born Mary Aikenhead has been declared venerable.The Religious Sisters of Charity

Pope Francis has declared Mary Aikenhead venerable, putting the the founder of the Religious Sisters of Charity one step closer to sainthood.

Mary Aikenhead was born in Cork in 1787 and founded the Religious Sisters of Charity in 1815 to help “the suffering poor.”

She was one of seven people to be declared venerable last week at the Vatican, Journal.ie reports

This is the second step in the four-step process to sainthood in the Catholic Church. Beatification is the next step, followed by canonization.

The Religious Sister of Charity Ireland states on its website, “Mary Aikenhead was a woman of great faith, a visionary whose dream was to give to people who were poor, what people who had money could buy.

“Today, we continue to follow her dream in Ireland, England, Scotland, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, California and Australia.”

In 1834, she founded St Vincent’s Hospital, the first hospital in Ireland run by nuns for patients from all religions, reports the Catholic Herald.


She died in Dublin 1858.