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Elizabeth Hayes, 2018

4th May 2018

Prayer for Elizabeth Hayes

On May 6 we commemorate the death in 1894 of Elizabeth Hayes, Franciscan woman and foundress of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. She was an exemplar of humility, service and a life lived in response to the needs of the most vulnerable.

Elizabeth Hayes

On receiving the Franciscan habit on 25 Nov 1858 and taking the name Sr Mary Ignatius, she added a voluntary fourth vow: “…to devote myself to foreign missions and never by any act of my own will seek to be removed from them” (Shaw, p xix). Her missionary work was dogged by obstacles, failure, illness and discouragement yet she never lost sight of her 'dancing star' on the horizon as she changed problems into challenges and suffering into spiritual growth” (Shaw, p xix).

(Sr M Francine Shaw OSF (Ed): The Diary of Sr Mary Ignatius of Jesus and notes from the Companion to the Diary).

Elizabeth Hayes’ joy and faith in God’s mercy and grace is captured in her prayer:

God Alone

Oh my God Thee only will I know,
Thee only will I seek,
Thee only will I hope for,
Thee only will I love,
Thee only will I listen to,
Thee only will I study,
Thee only will I imitate,
Thee only will I find,
Thee only will I possess,
Thee only will I keep,
Thee only will I contemplate,
Now and through all eternity.
Amen! God alone! God alone!