Sr Mary of the Sacred Heart, formerly Mary Mahon, was born in Cappa, Woodford, Co Galway on 13th January 1856. She was an aunt of Delia Mahon who was born in 1892. Mary attended Primary School in Woodford. Her older brothers, Patrick and Tom emigrated to America and some years later, when Mary had finished school, they brought her to America.
In America, she joined the Order of the Good Shepherd and took the name of Sr Mary of the Sacred Heart in Religion.
Sr Mary lived and worked as a nun for 68 years in the United States until her death in Brooklyn, New York on 10th December 1941 at the age of 85. She is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.
Sr Mary kept in contact with her home in Cappa throughout the years and when she was twenty eight years of age she wrote a special poem to honour her own mother in Cappa, which she had framed in the United States and sent to Ireland.
This framed poem is preserved and honoured in her home in Cappa. Courtesy: Marty Mahon
To My Mother
These pansies thoughts sweet emblem
I send to a dear land far away
I culled them from our Lady’s mound
In her own sweet month of May.
I’ve watched them bud and blossom
And their varied hues unfold
They brought to mind the mystic flower
The prophets had foretold.
The Virgin Lily of Israel
That bloomed so sweet and fair
While the perfume of her virtues
Embalmed the desert air.
Please accept them dearest Mother
Though withered they may be
My love and fond affection
They will bear across the sea.
To my childhood’s home in Ireland
The loveliest spot I know
Where I prayed at Mary’s altar
Eight and twenty years ago.
I dream about it often
And I think I see it now
As when I twined the wild flowers
To deck her snowy brow.
I pray to this dear Mother
Earnestly each day
To bless those dear and loved ones
In that island far away.
To bear them safe through every trial
Until this suffering life is o’er
Then we will meet in our Eternal Home
Where parting is no more.
Sr M of the Sacred Heart