SO FALLS THE ELM TREE by John Louis S. J. Bonn


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This biography serves a double purpose, -- it is ostensibly the life of Mother Valencia (born Francoise Ailloud of Savoy), and it is the story of the hospital of St. Francis in Hartford, Connecticut, with which her life, as founder, was inextricably bound. As a member of the sisterhood of St. Joseph, she was sent to America to be superintendent of a new hospital. She found a red brick house, filled with workmen, with no equipment, furniture, food nor money. By the end of a first year of faith, prayer, and hard work, the $9.47 she was herself able to contribute grew to over $6,000,00. The story goes through the growth of the institution, past the turn of the century, up to the time when it is ministering to 13,000 patients, with a staff of 58 sisters. The delightfully human side of Mother Valencia, her deep sympathies, energy, faith and prayer all went into the building of the great house of mercy. To Catholics and Protestants alike, who are interested in institutional work, this story should prove an inspiration. To Catholics it has deeper religious significance. Not dramatic enough to catch the average reader, but call to attention of those indicated. The author is a professor of Boston College.

Pub Date: June 18th, 1940
Publisher: Macmillan