22 January 2011

Archival Addition

Our next installment from the monastery archives takes us to the early part of the 19th century:

Sister Sophia Simplicia King was born in 1803 in Georgetown. Just as was noted in the lives of some of the other sisters, she was inclined to piety even from an early age. She was known for great "charity and liberality" that manifested itself in giving alms to the poor even when she was young; she seems to have come from a well-to-do family that made possible such generosity.

At age 15 she came to our academy and immediately impressed everyone, especially her teachers, with her amiable disposition. Until 1910 children were not allowed to make their first communion until they were a good bit older than they are now, usually their younger teens. She was prepared with "much fervour" for her first communion. She was an excellent student, and when she wasn't doing her schoolwork she was engaged in spiritual reading, "holy conversations," or prayer.

She soon expressed interest in becoming a religious, but her parents objected strenuously. She was the youngest child, they doted on her, and they knew she had many talents. However, she continued with her entreaties until they finally relented, and she entered our monastery in late July 1818. She received the habit on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine.

Her most distinguishing characteristics were docility and exactness, although the latter quality could vex her to the point of scrupulosity. She only troubled herself, however, not others. She became ill during the subsequent year, causing her profession of vows to be delayed. By September 1819 she was worse, and the sisters knew she might not recover. Her parents asked that she be allowed to return to them, and she agreed to this. She continued to decline; the last sacraments were administered, and she died just a few days later on October 7, 1819. She was at her parents' home, but at our request and theirs as well, she was buried here. She was 17 years old.

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