Thanks be to God for a new Venerable. Given that her congregation ran St Mary’s School, Warrington – now Priory Court – for decades, no doubt all of us at St Mary’s Warrington and further away will renew our prayers to God that she might soon be beatified and might intercede in particular for our children and our families.
The Archbishop of Liverpool has requested the following message be sent out:
Yesterday the Holy See declared Mother Elizabeth Prout, foundress of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion, to be Venerable. The Holy Father in an audience with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints authorised the same Congregation to promulgate a decree recognising the heroic virtues of this Servant of God. Mother Elizabeth Prout is buried in the archdiocese and it was in the archdiocese that her sainthood cause was opened in 1994.
I am delighted that the Holy See has further recognised the holiness of Mother Elizabeth Prout. She made a significant contribution to the Church and the people of England and further afield in education and healthcare, and the Sisters of the Congregation that she founded continue to show the care of the Catholic Church for those in need.
This will be joyful news for the Cross and Passion family, and I am sure that our prayers as an archdiocese are with them as Mother Elizabeth Prout is recognised in this way. Let’s pray also that the Shrine at Sutton will be a place of prayer for her eventual canonisation.
Elizabeth Prout – Mother Mary Joseph
Foundress of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion
A short history from the website of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion
Elizabeth Prout was born in Shrewsbury, England, in 1820. Her parents baptised her in the Anglican Church. In her early twenties she became a Catholic.
Elizabeth moved to Manchester in 1849. There, touched by the misery and deprivation of the poor, she and a few companions came together to form a community to help the voiceless, downtrodden workers in the large industrial towns of nineteenth-century England.
The community was directed and helped by two Passionists, Father Gaudentius Rossi and Father Ignatius Spencer. The rule was based on that of St Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists. Elizabeth recognised that the Passion of Jesus is the great sign of God’s love reaching out to those in pain.
Now known as Mother Mary Joseph, Elizabeth continued to meet the challenges presented to her in her life of suffering, and to grow in solidarity with the crucified of the world. She died on 11th January 1864 at Sutton, St Helens, Lancashire.
Her body, together with that of Blessed Dominic Barberi C.P. and Father Ignatius Spencer C.P., lies in the shrine of St Anne’s Church, Sutton. People gather around the shrine annually to commemorate their lives.