13 September 2011

Part II of the Biography of Susan Mary Margaret Wightt

Susan Mary Margaret Wightt, PART II. I'm touched as I post this with how young some of the sisters of the past were when they died. Mary Margaret was only 20.


The companion spoken of in the last installment, to whom Mary Margaret Wightt had been so attached in the school and who later became a religious, was made the head of the Novices about three months after Mary Margaret entered the novitiate, bringing Mary Margaret much joy. She demonstrated the sincerity of her love for her dear companion and now Mistress. For the Mistress’s part, she took every opportunity to instruct her pupil, particularly in points of humility and obedience. One day she sent Mary Margaret to the wardrobe to bring her an old garment. Mary Margaret didn’t hear the word old, however, so she brought the very best one she could find, for she felt nothing was too good for her dear Mistress. The Novice Director took this opportunity to humble her Novice, telling her she was still far from having the true spirit of poverty, and that vanity yet reigned in her heart. She instructed Mary Margaret to go straight back and bring her the very worst she could find. The humble Novice did this without offering the smallest excuse to justify what she had done.

She was a true example of obedience, humility, and charity, and she took greater pleasure from obliging than from being obliged. She showed much deference toward her superiors, viewing God in them, particularly in our beloved spiritual Father.

She was made Mistress of Novices in December, 1820, a task for which she was well qualified because of her piety, zeal for regular observance, and other amiable qualities. Alas, however, she developed consumption in early May, 1821. The last sacraments were administered to her by our worthy spiritual Father, “but God, who delights in purifying his elect, was pleased to keep this his spouse on her bed of suffering still some time.” During this interval she showed both meekness and good humor. In fact, she was so gay and cheerful that some thought she might recover. Her Director, one of the sisters, observed that she coughed with much difficulty. This sister even she wished that she could cough for her—a remark that made Mary Margaret smile, and to which she replied, “My dear Sister, do you not know that the brides in former times were accustomed to wear no other garlands on the day of their nuptials than those which they themselves had previously gathered and arranged in due order?” She was full of such spiritual thoughts, and with these fervent comments she continued to inspire the sisters around her. She made many pleasant observations and she laughed heartily with everyone, but she always spoke of the country to which she was going. She had received enough relief from the Last Rites to give her sisters time to observe many proofs of her true and lively faith, piety, and holy liberty of spirit. Because of this delay they felt the loss even more when she died on July 18, 1821, about mid-day. She was 20 years old, and had been four years in her profession, with the rank of choir sister.

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