Priscilla Lydia Sellon, Anglican Religious

20 November -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Religious, page 494

Priscilla Lydia Sellon was born probably in 1821. Although never enjoying good health, she responded to an appeal from the Bishop of Exeter in 1848 for workers amongst the destitute in Plymouth. The group of women she gathered around her adopted a conventual lifestyle and, in the face of much opposition, she created the Sisters of Mercy. Her crucial rôle in the revival of Religious Life in the Church of England was enhanced when, in 1856, her sisters joined with the first community founded -- the Holy Cross sisters -- thereby establishing the Society of the Holy Trinity. She led her community in starting schools and orphanages, in addition to sisters nursing the sick in slum districts and soldiers in the Crimea. In her last years, she was an invalid, dying in her mid-fifties on this day in 1876.