Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Born at Deerfield, Massachusetts, 29 August, 1824; died at Durand, Illinois, 8 September, 1901.

She was educated at her father's home. On her father's side she was descended from Dr. Comfort Starr of Ashford, County Kent, England, who settled at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1633, and, on her mother's side, from the "Allans of the Bars", who came from Chelmsford Essex, England. She inherited the love of literature from her parents, and when thirteen years of age went to Boston, where she finished her studies in 1845. In Boston she opened a studio, but, the climate proving unfavorable to her health, she moved to Brooklyn, thence to Philadelphia. She finally accepted a position as teacher in the family of a wealthy planter at Natchez, Mississippi. In 1853 she returned to Brooklyn as teacher of drawing in a boarding school. In 1848 she returned to Philadelphia. It was during this visit to her family she met the Rt. Rev. Francis Patrick Kenrick, who later became Archbishop of Baltimore. It was from this saintly and learned churchman that the germs of faith already in her heart received their first activities. After an incessant struggle of nine years she was received into the Catholic Church at Boston by Bishop Fitzpatrick on 23 December, 1854, and made her first Communion on the following Christmas morning in the chapel of the Sisters of Charity. In 1856 Miss Starr entered upon a larger field of labor. In Chicago she found her life work. She labored with her pen, and with the pencil illustrated her books. She lectured throughout the United States , and in the auditorium of her home annually gave a course of ten lectures upon art and literature.

Her published works include:

  • "Songs of a Lifetime";
  • "Patron Saints";
  • "Pilgrims and Shrines";
  • "Isabella of Castile ";
  • "What we see";
  • "Ode to Christopher Columbus";
  • "Christmas-tide";
  • "Christian art in our own age";
  • "The Seven Dolours of the Virgin Mary";
  • "Literature of Christian Art";
  • "The Three Keys to the Camera della Segnatura in the Vatican ";
  • "Art in the Chicago Churches", published in the " New World ";
  • "Woman's Work in Art"; and
  • "The Three Archangels and the Guardian Angels in Art."
In recognition of this last work Leo XIII sent to her a beautiful medallion. She was the first woman to receive the Laetare Medal, which was conferred on her in 1865 by the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 22:20-26
20 'You will not molest or oppress aliens, for you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 1:5-10
5 because our gospel came to you not only in words, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 26th, 2014 Image

St. Bean
October 26: On December 16, there is named in the Roman Martyrology and in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter