Meditation on John 12:24-28 Sister Constance And Her Companions 1878

Sister Constance, Martyr, Paper Cutout, Phillip Schwartz


Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.


Sister Constance, Sister Thecla, Sister Ruth and Sister Francis were Episcopal nuns of the Order of Saint Mary. They remained in Memphis during the great yellow fever epidemic of 1878 to care for the sick, the dying and the children who were left orphaned, many of whom also died. They are a reminder that we humans have the capacity to be selfless and caring beings, willing to sacrifice ourselves in order to save others. These brave women of God are part of the group known as the Martyrs of Memphis. They all succumbed to yellow fever between September 9, when Sister Constance died and October 4, when Sister Francis died.

Phillip Schwartz



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