The Catholic Parish of
Blessed John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

A Calling

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Most of us, at some time in our lives will need hospital treatment and will rely on the skill and expertise of the medical nursing staff. Some time ago I had the misfortune to suffer a bad asthma attack and was taken to hospital by ambulance, where I received the best of medical attention and was discharged later the same day, none the worse for my ordeal.

This leads me onto today’s story about one of the most famous nurses in history, Florence Nightingale. Florence was born in 1820 and was the daughter of a rich and privileged family. She was a beautiful young woman, tall, and slim, with long wavy chestnut hair and received a flood of marriage proposals after her, “Coming out” ball. But in this young woman’s heart, there burned a restless urge to seek out something more than the whirl of grand balls, handsome young men, after dinner gossip and endless walks in the park.

She was highly intelligent, with an eager inquiring mind and she had the conviction that she had been called to help others. When she talked about this calling to her friends, she would tell them that she felt she couldn’t possibly fail because she had God on her side.

It took her many years of arguments, in the face of stiff opposition from both her own family and the medical profession, before she was able to begin training for the work she knew she had been called upon to perform, that of the nursing profession. In the end, despite her upper class background and the disapproval of her family and some of her more snobbish friends, she succeeded in her vocation and became the most famous nurse the world has ever known.


Florence said that she couldn’t fail because God was on her side and
the wonderful thing is, that He is our side too, if we want Him to be.



Published Fri 19th Apr 2013 16:29:37

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