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Frances Margaret Taylor
(MOTHER M. MAGDALEN TAYLOR)
Superior General, and foundress of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, born 20 Jan., 1832; died in London, 9 June, 1900. Her father was a Protestant clergyman, the vicar of a Lincolnshire parish where her early years were spent in works of charity among the poor. She was a very clever woman, full of energy, with a wide sympathetic nature and a remarkably retentive memory. In 1854 her patriotism moved her to join Miss Nightingale's staff of nurses, and to go with them to the Crimean War. This threw her into contact with Catholic priests, Sisters of Mercy, and soldiers, and opened her eyes to the truth of the Catholic religion. After instruction she was received into the Church by Father Woollett, S.J. On her return to England she first worked among the poor of London, and made the acquaintance of Lady Georgiana Fullerton, with whose co-operation she laid the foundation of her institute. In addition to this, and to opening various refuges, convents, schools, etc., she did a great deal of literary work. She wrote a good many stories and always employed her pen for the promotion of the Catholic religion. For some time she edited "The Lamp", and helped to start both "The Month", and "The Messenger of the Sacred Heart", to which, as to other Catholic papers and periodicals of the day, she contributed. She had imbibed from Father Dignam, S.J., a great devotion to the Sacred Heart, and was very active in spreading this devotion and the Apostleship of Prayer, especially in Ireland. In 1892 her health gave way, and the rest of her life was suffering, borne with exemplary patience. She died in a home she had founded for penitents in Soho Square; London. Her works are "Memoir of Father Dignam, S.J."; "Retreats given by Father Dignam, S.J."; "Conferences by Father Dignam, S.J."; "The Inner Life of Lady Georgiana Fullerton"; "Tyborne and Who Went Thither"; "Convent Stories"; "Lost, and Other Tales"; "Dame Dolores"; "Life of Father Curtis S.J."; "Religious Orders"; "Holywell and Its Pilgrims"; "The Stoneleighs of Stoneleigh"; "Irish Homes and Irish Hearts"; "Eastern Hospitals and English Nurses."
The Messenger of the Sacred Heart (April, 1901); GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath., s. v. Taylor, Frances Magdalen.
Francesca M. Steele.