By Sr. Joan Chittister
Mary Jones was born in Cork, Ireland in 1830. She worked as a seamstress and schoolteacher, bore four children, emigrated to the United States when Victorianism was in its heyday and, at an early age, lost her husband and all her children to smallpox. She was one of thousands of strong and long suffering women who lived in poverty and survived it. In her long, black dress and broad-brimmed hat, she was the prototype of every turn-of-the-century grandmother in the United States. Except that she wasn’t. Underneath the patina of propriety and modest seemliness beat the heart of the lion of Judah who knew injustice and decried it, who knew the story of Exodus and believed it.