The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

A Good Samaritan.

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There are very few things we can be sure of in this life, but at some stage we will all need to seek medical attention from either a doctor or a nurse. This week’s story is all about a very dedicated nurse.

Edith Cavell was born in Swardeston, in Norfolk on December 4th 1865. She was an extremely accomplished woman and a talented artist, linguist and school teacher, but it wasn’t until her father became ill that she discovered her true vocation – that of nursing.

Edith entered the nursing profession in 1895 training in England, before moving to Brussels, Where in 1907 she was appointed the first matron of the Berkendael Institute. During the course of the next few years she greatly improved the standard of nursing by her dedication and enthusiasm, but then the clouds of war descended and life was never the same again.

After the start of the First World War in !914, there followed the German occupation of Belgium and Edith quickly became involved in an underground group formed to help British, French and Belgium soldiers to reach the Netherlands, which was a neutral country. The soldiers were sheltered at the Berkendael Institute, which by now had become a Red Cross Hospital and were provided with money and guides for the journey. About 200 men had been helped to escape in this way, but in August 1915 Edith Cavell and several others from the underground movement were arrested by the occupying German forces.

The group were brought before a court martial on October 7th 1915 and on October 9th 1915 she was found guilty and sentenced to death.
As she faced the firing squad Edith said, “I have no regrets for what I have done, patriotism is not enough, it is deeds which count in this world. I have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.” and so the courageous nurse died for her beliefs.
Sadly, it was her own burning desire to save lives which led to her own premature death.

“The more we love life, the more love we have to share. Loving life increases our energy and our passions.”

Published Sun 26th Apr 2015 15:54:29
Last Modified on Sun 26th Apr 2015 15:54:29

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