Wednesday, September 06, 2006

16Apr1861, St. Mary's Home

BRIGHTON, Tuesday, April 16th, 1861.
—I went with Papa over S. Mary's Home ; a penitentiary, hospital, sisterhood, school, and nursery all in one, under Mr. Wagner. The Lady Superior showed us all over ; a cheerful, pleasant woman. The penitents do all the household work. Everything beautifully arranged, clean, bright, and airy. The sick children's room very touching ; one poor pretty little fellow, hopelessly ill with abscesses, knitting in his crib, with such a placid angel look in his small wasted face. There were some things rather shocking to one : a picture of the Blessed Virgin crowned, with the words in Latin, " Holy Mother of God, pray for us " ; which I trust was only there for ornament ; otherwise it goes beyond mere sentiment. Also a large crucifix in one of the sisters' rooms. But it is a wonderfully good and great work, and one must believe it is done in the full strength of the text which was in nearly every room : " The love of Christ constraineth us."
Nevy, Spencer, and I had an hour's boating. Papa said (of St. Mary's) that it was always a striking thing to go among people who were in the very straightest road heavenwards.

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