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Rose Hawthorne Lathrop
Somehow it seems appropriate that a New York saint would have a famous "connection." In this case, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop was the daughter of the celebrated American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. Born in 1851 in Lenox, Massachusetts, Rose traveled through Europe at an early age because her father was the United States' representative to England. Though the family was Protestant, Rose's exposure to the Catholic Church and to Pope Pius IX softened her up to the suspect Roman religion. Later, she married, and both she and her husband became Catholic. Because of longstanding tensions in their marriage, not the least of which was her husband's drinking, Rose obtained permission from the Church for a permanent separation. She took up nursing and became keenly aware of the needs of cancer patients, especially among the poor. She increased her efforts to care for such patients in New York City, and after her husband's death, she founded a religious community to continue this work, becoming Mother Mary Alphonsa, O.P. To this day, the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne take care of terminally ill cancer patients free of charge. Mother Mary Alphonsa died in 1926.

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