A congregation founded in 1877 in England to honour in a particular manner the maternal Heart of the Blessed Virgin, especially in the mystery of Calvary. The sisters make an entire consecration of themselves to her, and aim at imitating her virtues. They devote themselves to the sick and dying, which is their principal exterior work. They nurse the sick in their own homes, and also receive them in the hospitals and nursing-homes attached to their convents. They make no distinction of class, nationality or creed, and exact no charge for their services, but accept any offering which may be made them. Besides the personal attendance on the sick, they are bound to pray continually for the dying, and in the novitiate watch before the Blessed Sacrament, both by day and night, praying for the dying. When circumstances require it, the sisters may engage in various forms of mission work, especially in poor districts. The rules received final approbation from Leo XIII in 1893. The order conducts houses in: Italy (1 in Rome, 1 at Florence, 1 at Fiesole ); England (3 in London, 1 in Nottingham ); Ireland (1 at Limerick, 1 in Fermoy); Malta (1); Untied States (Chicago); Australia (2 at Sydney, 1 at Adelaide); South Africa (Port Elizabeth). The sisters when in the convent wear a black habit and blue veil, with a white cloak in the chapel ; when nursing, the habit is of white linen, with a blue veil.
An association of pious women, known as "Pie Donne" or "Affiliated", are aggregated to the order, and share in its prayers and good works, some residing in their own homes, others living in the convent, though in part separated from the community. A confraternity is attached to the order, called the Calvary Confraternity, the members of which assist those in their last agony by their prayers and, if possible, by personal attendance.
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