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Nano Nagle

(1718—1784) educationist and founder of the Presentation order


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(1718–84), founder of the Presentation nuns. Nagle was the daughter of a Catholic landowning family in Ballygriffin, Co. Cork. She operated six poor-schools in Cork city from the 1750s, and in 1771 invited the French Ursulines to take over one of these. Unsatisfied with their performance, she set up her own congregation, the Sisters of the Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in 1776; the first of the modern, socially active congregations in Ireland, it was intended as a sisterhood without enclosure, and with a multidimensional function of work among the poor. The formal papal recognition of the congregation as the Presentation nuns in 1802, some years after Nagle's death, imposed strict enclosure upon the sisterhood, limiting them to the work of teaching. The congregation nevertheless holds 1776 rather than 1802 as its foundation date.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.


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