Venerable Mary Aikenhead
Mary Aikenhead, born in Daunt’s Square in Cork in 1787, was one of seven people to be declared venerable this year, March 18th at the Vatican. It is the second of four steps in the Catholic Church’s canonisation process. It comes after the Pope approved permission for the person to begin the path to sainthood by declaring them a servant of God. Now, she is only two more steps away from becoming a saint. Her beatification, the next step, would be followed by canonisation.
She founded the Religious Sisters of Charity in 1815 to provide services to “the suffering poor”. The order is known for its work caring for those in need, including sick and homeless people, migrants, asylum-seekers, and prison inmates. It operates in Ireland, the UK, Zambia, California, Nigeria, Malawi, and Australia.
Miriam Gormally spoke with Sr. Patricia Lenihan who is on the General leadership team of the Religious Sisters of Charity to find out what this meant for their order.