Prayers for cause to make Sister a saint

Sister Elizabeth Prout
Sister Elizabeth Prout

A NUN who ended her life in St Helens has moved a step closer to sainthood.

Sister Elizabeth Prout’s life and works were remembered at a special Mass last Saturday at St Anne and Blessed Dominic, the church in Sutton where she is buried.

It comes as the Catholic Church launches an investigation into whether she should be declared venerable, one of the final steps towards sainthood.

Sister Elizabeth, who is buried in the Shrine at the church, was a Roman Catholic convert from the Church of England.

She became famous for her work with poor mill workers and refugees from the Irish potato famine and was branded a revolutionary in her own lifetime.

Born in 1821, she worked with the poor across the industrial north and has been called the ‘Victorian Mother Teresa’. She died in 1864.

A 14-year probe into her life by the Catholic Church concluded she led a life of ‘heroic virtue’. Two approved miracles will be required for her beatification and canonisation.

Fr Paul Francis Spencer, the postulator of the cause, said: “People see Sister Elizabeth as an example, someone who shows you how to respond in a Christian way to situations of real needs of people who are in poverty, or lack of education, those neglected by society. She sends an important message.”

Sister Elizabeth in buried in the church’s shire, along with two other 19th century Passionist priests who are also on the path to sainthood - Blessed Dominic Barberi and Fr Ignatius Spencer.