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Rose Hawthorne (CNS/Dominican-Sisters of Hawthorne)

The daughter of American author Nathaniel Hawthorne was among the list of people whose causes for sainthood have advanced and were published by the Vatican yesterday. Source: OSV News.

Pope Francis advanced the cause of Sr Rose Hawthorne, and he recognised the martyrdom of German priest Father Max Josef Metzger, who was executed by the Nazis, and of Sr Mary Christophora Klomfass, a German nun, and her 14 companions who were raped and murdered by Russian soldiers during World War II.

After Pope Francis met yesterday with Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, the Vatican published the list of decrees the Pope approved in 12 sainthood causes.

The Pope recognised the heroic virtues of Sr Hawthorne, who, born in 1851 in Lenox, Massachusetts, the third and last child of novelist and short-story writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. She and her husband, George Lathrop, converted to Catholicism, but they eventually separated after his alcoholism led to extremely violent behaviour.

She moved to New York City to dedicate herself to charitable work, studied to become a nurse and cared for the poor afflicted with cancer.

After her husband died, she professed religious vows and became known as Mother Mary Alphonsa as she founded the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, the Congregation of St Rose of Lima. She established two homes where the sisters cared for the poor without charge, St Rose’s in Manhattan and Rosary Hill in Hawthorne, the motherhouse, where she died in 1926.

Pope Francis also signed decrees recognising the miracle needed to clear the way for the beatification of two 19th-century priests and of Lebanese Patriarch Estephan Douaihy of the Maronite Catholic Church, who was credited with protecting the Maronite Church from Latinisation in the 17th century.


Daughter of famous US author on the way to sainthood (By Carol Glatz, OSV News)