Edel Quinn - Cork Born Missionary Became Legion Of Mary Explorer
An extraordinary famous daughter of Ireland whose life spanned a mere thirty six years. In that short lifetime she is known by Catholics worldwide for her great and historic spirituality in foreign lands.
The Legion of Mary was spread worldwide by the great work of people such as Kanturk, Co. Cork, born Edel Quinn.
Edel had wonderful qualities of beauty and humour and was especially pretty, and had no shortage of male admirers. In the barony of Duhallow in North Co. Cork, many suitors were known to greatly admire Edel, and at twenty she had an opportunity to enter into marriage.
Her hesitation was not greatly understood and Edel did not want to confide or whisper her real cause for this reservation. She was a young and beautiful woman full of gracious living, and also a devout Catholic who took her great religious devotion more seriously than most Irish people.
There was great disappointment when Edel finally acknowledged, that marriage was not in her immediate plans. When she finally conveyed her decision, she knew she was making the right choice for both persons. Her calling was to spread Christian virtues and she felt she could best achieve her objective by joining the Poor Clare Nuns.
When Edel declined a life of marriage and perhaps her own children, Edel’s world fell apart. She was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and she was then unable to join the Poor Clare order. After a brief period of convalescence, Edel decided to emigrate to Wales and later to England and work with the Legion of Mary Society, where she established a counseling service for prostitutes.
Her voluntary work soon attracted many more women prepared to pioneer her charitable work.
Her state of ill health was always a source of concern but despite her disability, Edel went to Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, to set up new Legion of Mary missions. Her missionary work became greatly recognised and soon she received international headlines and the society soon spread far and wide in many corners of the world.
Most of this Legion of Mary acclaim was attributed to the Cork missionary. Her disability finally curtailed her mobility and she died at Nairobi, Kenya, on the 12 th May 1944, aged just thirty seven years.
Ireland - the land of saints and scholars, reared many famous daughters, but this Irish missionary is unique in our history.
Edel Quinn established her own rights for inclusion in any roll call of Famous Daughters of Ireland.