|Death: ||Sep. 9, 1878|
Yellow Fever Martyrs of Memphis
Born Caroline Louise Darling
Memphis suffered periodic epidemics of yellow fever, a mosquito-borne viral infection, throughout the 19th century. The worst of the epidemics occurred in the summer of 1878, when 5,150 Memphians died. Five years earlier, a group of Episcopal nuns from the recently formed Sisterhood of St. Mary arrived in Memphis to take over operation of the St. Mary's School for Girls, which was relocated to the cathedral site. When the 1878 epidemic struck, a number of priests and nuns (both Protestant and Catholic), doctors, and even prostitutes stayed behind to tend to the sick and dying. The Episcopal nuns' superior, Sister Constance, three other Episcopal nuns, and two Episcopal priests are known throughout the Anglican Communion as "Constance and Her Companions" or the "Martyrs of Memphis". Added to the Episcopal Church's Lesser Feasts and Fasts in 1981, their feast day (September 9) commemorates their sacrifices.
Other Episcopal nuns and priests who died from the epidemic were:
Sister Thecla McMahon, sacristan of St. Mary's Cathedral and its school chapel, instructor in music and grammar (English and Latin)
Sister Ruth George (Helen George), nurse at Trinity Infirmary, New York
Sister Frances Pease, a newly professed nun given charge of the Church Home orphanage
The Rev. Charles Carroll Parsons, rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Memphis; former U.S. Army artillery commander, West Point alumnus and professor; served with classmate Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer in Kansas, defense counsel in Custer's 1867 court-martial trial.
The Rev. Louis Sandford Schuyler, newly ordained assistant rector at Parsons' prior parish, Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, Hoboken, New Jersey
The names of the sisters plus Sister Hughetta Snowden (who served but survived the epidemic) are carved into the altar steps at St. Mary Cathedral in Memphis as well as Sister Constance's last words "Alleluia, Osanna."
Plot: Miller Circle Lot 275 St Mary Cathedral Plot
Maintained by: Vincent Astor
Originally Created by: Anonymous
Record added: Jun 19, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8956451