On January 19, 1787, Mary Aikenhead, founder of the Irish Sisters of Charity and St. Vincent’s Hospital Dublin, was born in Cork.

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 at the Vatican in March 2015. Pope Francis declared Mary Aikenhead venerable, putting the founder of the Religious Sisters of Charity one step closer to sainthood. 

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

Read more: How the nuns tamed the Gangs of New York

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 in 1858. 

Read more: Irish priest to be set on path to sainthood in Dublin

Here's a short documentary on her life:

Read more: St. Patrick was never canonized a saint by the Catholic Church

* Originally published in 2015.

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