Catherine McAuley

(c. 1781—1841) Roman Catholic nun

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(1778–1841), founder of the Sisters of Mercy, one of the two largest and most widely distributed orders of nuns in Ireland. Born in Dublin into a mixed Catholic/Protestant background, she inherited a considerable fortune. Initially concerned with the accommodation and protection of working girls in houses of mercy, run by a group of ladies living in community and praying together, her sisterhood was persuaded by local priests and the bishop to adopt a formal religious identity in 1828, and eventually took on a wider range of activities.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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