Sister Thorn and Catholic Mysticism in Modern America
Publication Year: 2013
Drawing on accounts by clerical authorities, ordinary Catholics, doctors, and journalists--as well as on medicine, anthropology, and gender studies--Kane explores American Catholic mysticism, setting it in the context of life after World War I and showing the war's impact on American Christianity. Sister Thorn's life, she reveals, marks the beginning of a transition among Catholics from a devotional, Old World piety to a newly confident role in American society.
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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I first encountered Margaret Reilly, known in religious life as Sister Mary of the Crown of Thorns, by accident when I read a typescript by “Father Bertrand” about his visit with a stigmatized nun in 1922. Intrigued, I pursued the obvious question: was there really an American stigmatic in the twentieth century? The document was a florid and, as I later learned, mostly inaccurate account of a ...
Introduction: A Notorious Case of Bleeding
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In 1922 a priest stationed in Manhattan was becoming annoyed by the number of persons confiding to him in the confessional that they were having mystical manifestations. After encountering one particular individual, he advised the archbishop of New York to “cut the publicity or notoriety of a case which, in my mind, must be stamped ‘non probatus.’ ”¹ The case referred to was that of a ...
1 Now You Are My Thorn, but Soon You Shall Be My Lily of Delight: The Transformation of Margaret Reilly
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Margaret Reilly received a nudge toward sainthood on an ordinary day in 1917 while cooking dinner. Although the kitchen seems an unlikely place for a mysti-cal encounter, Margaret, while stooping over the oven to prepare a fish supper with her mother, felt a sharp pain over her heart and saw a three-dimensional crucifix emerging in blood. Her mother quickly put her to bed and immediately ...
2 The Monastery Is a Hospital of Spiritual Sick: The Lure of Convent Life
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...— Words from Jesus to Margaret Reilly, in Sister Mary Carmelita Margaret Guditus, Margaret Reilly’s grandniece, recalled her visits to her aunt The poet, who died on Long Island in 1996, captured a sense of freedom and girlish playfulness that is not commonly associated with convent life of her great aunt’s era. One wonders how the two women managed to eat secret ...
3 Mad about Bleeding Nuns: Sister Thorn’s Champions
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...— Margaret Reilly to Sister Mary Carmelita Quinn, quoted in New Yorkers did not first learn of the bleeding nun at Peekskill through the press; nor through the Catholic networks in Manhattan at Blessed Sacrament, St. Francis de Sales, or St. Ignatius; nor from the gossip of the Good Shepherd sisters. Instead, Margaret Reilly was introduced to New Yorkers through “a ...
4 We Are Skeptics Together about a Great Many Things: Catholics and the Scientific Study of Stigmata
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...— Louise J. Kaplan, Female Perversions: The Temptations of To understand Margaret’s diagnosis and treatment at the hands of medical experts, this chapter examines the scientific community’s impact on the American understanding of stigmatization in the early twentieth century. First, it analyzes and contrasts the involvements of the three physicians cen-...
5 Cor Jesu Regnabit: Devotional Culture in American Catholicism
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...— Devotions to the Sacred Heart, prayers of Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque, in The Pious Child: Instructions and Prayers for As Margaret knelt in prayer before the splendid new altar to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in her parish in Manhattan, this addition to St. Ignatius Church impressed her and all who saw it. The altar features a statue of the Savior displaying his ...
6 It Is Beautiful to Live with Saints: The Americanization of Modern Sanctity
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...— Words attributed to Archbishop Patrick Hayes by Lukas Etlin — Pierre DeLooz, “Toward a Sociological Study of Canonized Sainthood in the Catholic Church,” in Saints and Their Cults: Studies in Religious Sociology, Folklore, and History, edited by Stephen Wilson Pious custom dictates that twelve stigmatics are alive at any one time in the world ...
7 Find Sweet Music Everywhere: Modern Catholic Supernaturalism
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...its tasks easy and its burden light; modulating all its discord the world will be made over for us. . . . A soul of song will find content, need to be scrutinized very, very carefully before they When Sister Crown of Thorns died in May 1937, her community was hardly un-prepared. From the moment of Thorn’s first vows ceremony at Peekskill fifteen ...
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In the history of Catholic spirituality in interwar America, Sister Thorn rep-resents the dilemmas that faced the in-between generation. This liminal group has been closely identified with the women who brought into being the cult of Saint Jude during the 1930s; they were not immigrants themselves, but as daughters of immigrants, they experienced the unique stresses of being torn ...
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Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2013