The Founder of Presentation Sisters, Nano Nagle, Declared Venerable by His Holiness Pope Francis .
The announcement brings declaration of Sainthood of Nano Nagle a step closer as her life of ‘heroic virtue’ is officially acknowledged
The Presentation Sisters around the world and all those involved with them are celebrating today the official announcement of the declaration of the Order’s founder, Nano Nagle, as Venerable.
This announcement brings the Canonisation of Nano Nagle one step closer as it is the second of four stages in the Canonisation Process.
Speaking today, Head of the Irish Congregational Leadership Team for the Presentation Sisters, Mary Deane, said: “We are delighted with the news. By proclaiming Nano Nagle as venerable, the Universal Church has recognised Nano as a woman of Faith, hope and heroic virtue whose vision and work transformed the lives of so many. For our Sisters, Associates and Friends of Nano throughout the world, Nano has been and continues to be a source of inspiration and challenge as we respond to the needs of today in fidelity to the Gospel and in the spirit of Nano.”
Nano Nagle was born Honora Nagle in Ballygriffin in Cork in 1718, a turbulent time in Irish history due to penal laws. The Nagle family were a wealthy Catholic family and Nano had the benefit of a European education and privileged lifestyle. She devoted her life to God and to working with people on the margins of society.
Nano Nagle is one of the great pioneers of Catholic education in Ireland. Her mission of educating the poor began in a ‘little school’ in Cove Lane in Cork in 1754.
In setting up schools in defiance of the established colonial order she sided with those made poor and challenged the institutional injustice that perpetuated marginalisation and poverty. Nano responded to the needs of her time and developed an educational curriculum suitable to the individual capabilities of her students. Hers was a global vision as in 1769 she wrote to a friend:
For I can assure you my schools are beginning to be of service to a great many parts of the world – this is a place of such trade – they heard of, and my views are not for one object alone. If I could be of service in saving souls in any part of the globe I would be willing to do all in my power.”
Nano’s words provide to be prophetic as her efforts led to the introduction of a network of schools across Ireland and the world. She founded the congregation later known as the Presentation Sisters on Christmas Eve 1775, the culmination of 20 years of a life of devotion to the cause of improving the circumstances of others. She died in Cork in 1784 and is buried in the grounds of South Presentation Convent in Cork city in a location which has become a place of prayer and pilgrimage in her honour.
To this day Presentation Sisters and friends of Nano remain committed to working with those most in need through a broad range of ministries.
Those ministries include spirituality and faith development, lifelong learning and innovation, social finance, social inclusion and outreach, human rights and justice, ecology and sustainable living and healthcare projects.
A more detailed biography of Nano Nagle’s life is available by clicking here: http://www.presentationsistersunion.org/aboutus/default.cfm?loadref=130