Eason's Hill childhood home of Venerable Mary Aikenhead


Mary Aikenhead House
Mary Aikenhead's childood home at No. 10 Eason's Hill


Mary Aikenhead‌Venerable Mary Aikenhead (pictured left) founded the Irish Sisters of Charity in 1815. She also founded St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin. Mary was born in a house in Daunt's Square, Cork, on 19 January 1787. Her father, David Aikenhead, was an apothecary, a doctor, and a member of the Church of Ireland, while her mother, Mary Stackpole, was a Catholic. Mary was baptised a Protestant in St Anne's, Shandon, on 4 April 1787, and lived for a while on Rutland Street, Cork, before moving to No. 10 Eason’s Hill, Shandon. Due to poor health, as a child she spent the years from 1787 to 1793 in the foster care of Mrs Mary Rorke on Eason's Hill. Mary  Aikenhead became a Catholic in 1802 after her father's deathbed conversion to Catholicism on 15 December 1801. Influenced by Bishop David Murray of Dublin, she entered the Bar Convent of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in York in 1812. Mary went on to become the mother superior of the Irish Sisters of Charity. The order spread widely opening a convent in Peacock Lane in Cork and in other Irish towns. Eventually the order opened institutions abroad, and today the Irish Sisters of Charity have foundations around the world. Mary Aikenhead died in Our Lady's Hospice for the Dying in Dublin on 22 July 1858. In March 2015, Mary was declared Venerable by Pope Francis. Venerable status is the second of four steps in the Roman Catholic process of cononization.


Mary Aikenhead Plaque
Plaque on the front of Mary Aikenhead's childhood home


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