Mother Mary Alphonsa
|Mother Mary Alphonsa, OP|
|Religious Sister, Social Worker, Foundress|
May 20, 1851|
Lenox, Massachusetts, United States
|Died||July 9, 1926
New York City, United States
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
Mother Alphonsa was born on May 20, 1851 to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia Hawthorne, and baptised as Rose Hawthorne.:1 She lived in Massachusetts, Liverpool, England, then London, Paris, Rome, and Florence, Italy. The family returned to Concord, Massachusetts in 1860. Her mother and the family moved to Germany, then England. She married author George Parsons Lathrop in 1871; both converted to Roman Catholicism in 1891. In 1876, the couple had a son, Francis, who died of diphtheria at the age of five. Afterwards Rose and George separated permanently in 1895.
After her father's death in 1864, she tried to become an author, like him. She wrote book of poems, Along the Shore, which was published in 1888. She later decided to rededicate her life to restoring her family's reputation after her brother Julian Hawthorne's illegal activities.
She was known for her service near and within New York City, caring for impoverished cancer by founding St. Rose's Free Home for Incurable Cancer in the Lower East Side. After George's death in 1898, she became a nun and founded a community of Dominican religious, now known as the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne. It has been said she was inspired in part by the death of poet Emma Lazarus, whom she befriended in 1881.
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop was awarded an honorary Master of Arts (postgraduate) from Bowdoin College in 1925. She died a year later on July 9, 1926. In 2003, Edward Egan, Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York approved the movement for Lathrop's canonization. She now has the title "Servant of God" in the Catholic Church.
- Valenti, Patricia Dunvalay (1991). To Myself a Stranger: A Biography of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop. LSU Press. ISBN 9780807124734.
- Young, Bette Roth. Emma Lazarus in Her World: Life and Letters. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1995: 186. ISBN 0-8276-0618-4
- Works by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop at Project Gutenberg
- Ibiblio: Rose Hawthorne Lathrop / Mother Alphonsa
- Concord Magazine Blog: Rose Hawthorne, candidate for sainthood