ABSTRACT

This chapter takes an inclusive view of sainthood as the concept broadened during the nineteenth century. The theme is explored through a series of six individual lives of women, whose spirituality was expressed in care or activism. In the Roman Catholic Church, new freedoms following Catholic Emancipation led to the foundation of a large number of religious communities founded by women for women, active in education, health care, and deprivation. Mary Potter and Mary MacKillop both founded religious communities, rooted in Catholic spirituality expressed through action. The second section moves to two Anglican women, Florence Nightingale and Josephine Butler, two controversial women, who worked inspirationally for transformation in society. The nineteenth century also saw the rise of ‘Holiness Movements’, for which sanctification was removed from institutional hierarchy. Phoebe Palmer was an American Methodist preacher in the Holiness Movement. She bore witness toher own experience of ‘entire sanctification’ in union with Jesus and called others to aspire to the same. The chapter ends with Christina Rossetti, a devout Anglican, and powerful devotional poet, who believed in the potential of every person to live a sanctified life. By taking a broad view of sainthood, the author reveals the impact of women's spirituality on this extraordinary era.