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Sr Mary Xavier (Sybil Farish) Partridge

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Sr Mary Xavier (Sybil Farish) Partridge

Birth
Greater London, England
Death
23 Feb 1917 (aged 66)
Birkdale, Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England
Burial
Southport, Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England
Memorial ID
157833243 View Source

Sybil Farish Partridge was born in London on 11 APR 1850, the daughter of Richard Partridge, FRS, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Frances Janette Turner. The Partridge family was distinguished for literary and artistic gifts. Three of Sybil's sisters entered the religious life and her brother, Sir John Bernard Partridge (1861-1945), was a famous illustrator, becoming the chief cartoonist for the British magazine Punch in 1910.

Sybil entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on 21 NOV 1873 and professed her vows on 27 APR 1876 in Namur, Belgium, becoming Sister Mary Xavier, SNDdeN. After her profession, Sister Xavier was sent to the Convent of Notre Dame, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. During this time Sister earned her teaching diploma and government certification. Sister taught at the Training College of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Liverpool and in 1898 was appointed first principal of St Mary's Hall, a secondary training college opened in connection with the Notre Dame Convent of Mount Pleasant.

Sister Mary Xavier is a celebrated poet. Among her many works are "Martyrs of England", "Our Lady's Dower" and "Just for Today", which is sung to hymn tunes by several composers, including Sir Richard Runciman Terry, the first Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, Horatio R Palmer and James Edmund Jones. "Just for Today" has appeared in both Roman Catholic and Protestant hymnals, notably the Westminster Hymnal, the St Gregory Hymnal, the Methodist Hymnal, and most recently, Just Hymns Old and New, Catholic Edition (2013). The renowned baritone John Charles Thomas recorded an art song setting of "Just for Today" for Victor, with music by Blanche Ebert Seaver in 1934. Dom Gregory Hugle, OSB, has written a history of this famous hymn -- see: Hugle, Gregory. "The Hymn Just for Today." The Caecilia 63.10 (1936): 445-449.

A collection of Sister Xavier's verse appeared in 1903 under the title: In Hymnis et Canticis, Verses Sacred and Profane by a Sister of Notre Dame (S.M.X.) (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Truber and Co.). Many of Sister Xavier's works appear under the pseudonym of S.M.X.

Dom Bede Camm, OSB, the noted English Benedictine martyrologist, used many of Sister Xavier's poems in his books, most notably A Birthday Book of the English Martyrs (London: Washbourne, 1908). In the preface of this work, Camm graciously thanks Sister Mary Xavier for "kindly allowing" him to quote from her writings.

Sister Mary Xavier (Sybil Farish) Partridge died 23 FEB 1917 in Birkdale, Southport, England.

Requiescat in pace!

Special thanks to the Archives of the Sisters of Notre de Namur, England, for birth, death, entry and vow dates and place of burial.

Copyright 2016 © Steven Keller. All Rights Reserved.

Sybil Farish Partridge was born in London on 11 APR 1850, the daughter of Richard Partridge, FRS, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Frances Janette Turner. The Partridge family was distinguished for literary and artistic gifts. Three of Sybil's sisters entered the religious life and her brother, Sir John Bernard Partridge (1861-1945), was a famous illustrator, becoming the chief cartoonist for the British magazine Punch in 1910.

Sybil entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on 21 NOV 1873 and professed her vows on 27 APR 1876 in Namur, Belgium, becoming Sister Mary Xavier, SNDdeN. After her profession, Sister Xavier was sent to the Convent of Notre Dame, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. During this time Sister earned her teaching diploma and government certification. Sister taught at the Training College of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Liverpool and in 1898 was appointed first principal of St Mary's Hall, a secondary training college opened in connection with the Notre Dame Convent of Mount Pleasant.

Sister Mary Xavier is a celebrated poet. Among her many works are "Martyrs of England", "Our Lady's Dower" and "Just for Today", which is sung to hymn tunes by several composers, including Sir Richard Runciman Terry, the first Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, Horatio R Palmer and James Edmund Jones. "Just for Today" has appeared in both Roman Catholic and Protestant hymnals, notably the Westminster Hymnal, the St Gregory Hymnal, the Methodist Hymnal, and most recently, Just Hymns Old and New, Catholic Edition (2013). The renowned baritone John Charles Thomas recorded an art song setting of "Just for Today" for Victor, with music by Blanche Ebert Seaver in 1934. Dom Gregory Hugle, OSB, has written a history of this famous hymn -- see: Hugle, Gregory. "The Hymn Just for Today." The Caecilia 63.10 (1936): 445-449.

A collection of Sister Xavier's verse appeared in 1903 under the title: In Hymnis et Canticis, Verses Sacred and Profane by a Sister of Notre Dame (S.M.X.) (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Truber and Co.). Many of Sister Xavier's works appear under the pseudonym of S.M.X.

Dom Bede Camm, OSB, the noted English Benedictine martyrologist, used many of Sister Xavier's poems in his books, most notably A Birthday Book of the English Martyrs (London: Washbourne, 1908). In the preface of this work, Camm graciously thanks Sister Mary Xavier for "kindly allowing" him to quote from her writings.

Sister Mary Xavier (Sybil Farish) Partridge died 23 FEB 1917 in Birkdale, Southport, England.

Requiescat in pace!

Special thanks to the Archives of the Sisters of Notre de Namur, England, for birth, death, entry and vow dates and place of burial.

Copyright 2016 © Steven Keller. All Rights Reserved.

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