Venerable Nano Nagle, who founded the Presentation Sisters, is described as ‘the kind of person to win a Nobel Prize’ if she was alive today. During her lifetime, she ‘opened 7 schools for poor children across Cork City, founded an almshouse for poor women and most notably, founded the Presentation Order, who continue her education and social inclusion work today.’
Nano’s spiritual work was recognised by Pope Francis in 2013, when he declared her to be ‘Venerable’ Nano Nagle, which means ‘heroic in virtue’. This is because Nano had lived her life through the three virtues of faith, hope and charity to ‘heroic degree’, as well as demonstrating the virtues of justice, prudence, temperance and fortitude. Being declared Venerable is the second step towards sainthood.
“The birth of a baby girl, Honora Nagle, better known as Nano Nagle, in County Cork in 1718 changed the course of Irish history and subsequently the history of many parts of the world. The wilful young girl from Ballygriffin was educated as a child in a local hedge school, and later in Paris and Ypres (French territory, now Belgium).
“Nano was a wilful and spirited young girl. Her parents sometimes despaired of her free-spirited nature. Yet over time, she gave up a life of comfort and privilege to minister to those on the margins of society.” – from NanoNagle.org
After she began her ministry, Nano became known as ‘The Lady with the Lantern’ because she walked the dark back streets of Cork at night, her path lit only by her small, hand-held lantern. There, she ministered to the poor and the sick, bringing help and respite to those who needed it most.
Anne Lyons PBVM is working on the cause for the beatification of Nano Nagle within the Catholic Church. You can learn lots more more about Nano’s life, times and work at the Nano Nagle Birthplace website.
At this time in the Presentation story, more than ever, ‘we are being called to deepen our sense of mission, the spirit of Presentation charism rooted in Gospel. We need to remember, reconnect at the deepest level with who we are, with what lies at the heart of it all, with what is of the essence, what gives meaning: the why”.
In the twenty-first century we have a new, global mission at the United Nations. Nano Nagle herself had a global vision at a time when people were only beginning to discover the extent of the world’s boundaries. She wrote on 17 July 1769: “If I could be of any service … in any part of the globe, I would willingly do all in my power.”
“Icons use symbols to engage the mind and to help the imagination get through those barriers that exist between us and the invisible world of the spirit which surrounds us. The Icon of Nano Nagle was ‘written’ by Irish artist Desmond Kyne in the 1970s. Icons are described as being written rather than painted, because making them is considered more a form of praying than art. The Icon portrays Nano Nagle immersed both in the mystery of God and amongst the people of 18th century Ireland.”
“Abandoning a life of privilege, position and wealth, Nano Nagle chose to live and work in her beloved city of Cork, working in solidarity with those made destitute.
“Driven by a burning passion to help Christ’s marginalised, she dared not only to dream a better life for them but to make this seemingly impossible dream a lived reality. This was the great miracle of her life. At a time when the role of women in shaping society was severely restricted, she lived on the razor’s edge, a woman fearless before a tyrannical world.”
We celebrated the Venerable Nano Nagle’s Tercentenary, that is, the three hundredth anniversary of her birth, in 2018. To mark the occasion, we produced this special collection of resources, below, exploring her qualities and her spirituality.
Musician and priest Chris Skinner recorded a special hymn to celebrate her life, called Nano’s Song and you can listen to it here.
We celebrate Nano Nagle day every year on 21 November. You can read and download the Presentation Day Novena for 2022, below.
|Compassion: Presentation Sisters offer the Gift of Hospice in Newfoundland||01/20/2023||Download|
|Exploring the Nano Nagle Icon | Booklet||12/01/2022||Download|
|Presentation Day Novena 2022||11/04/2022||Download|
|Exploring the Nano Nagle Icon||05/06/2022||Download|
|Nano Nagle and the IPA – A Reflection on the IPA Story||03/06/2022||Download|
|Integrity | Nano Nagle centenary||01/28/2022||Download|
|Compassion | Nano Nagle tercenenary||01/28/2022||Download|
|Hope | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/10/2018||Download|
|Zeal | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/01/2018||Download|
|Visionary | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/01/2018||Download|
|Trust | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/01/2018||Download|
|Prophetic | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/01/2018||Download|
|Love | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/01/2018||Download|
|Hospitality | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/01/2018||Download|
|Endurance | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/01/2018||Download|
|Daring | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/01/2018||Download|
|Courage | Nano Nagle tercentenary||01/01/2018||Download|
|Letters of Nano Nagle | 1769–1788||12/13/1778||Download|
“Take down your lantern from its niche and go out!
You may not rest in firelight certainties,
Secure from drifting fog of doubt and fear,
You may not build yourself confining walls,
And say thus far and thus and thus far shall I walk,
And these things shall I do and nothing more,
Go out for need calls out loudly in the winding lanes
And you must seek Christ
And love shall be your lantern flame.”
by Raphael Consedine
We thought we would leave the last word to the young people of today, who speak with honesty, freshness and a true understanding of what it means to be rooted in Presentation spirituality, and to live as Presentation today.
This video was produced by the students and teachers of the Presentation Convent School Jammu, in April 2021.
Browse our collection of beautiful theological reflections, prayer services and other resources. Join us in prayer, celebration and communion as we explore the Presentation charism.
|Advent Reflection | SDG Goals | PBVM Union||12/01/2022||Download|
|Presentation Day Novena 2022||11/04/2022||Download|
|2022 Prayer Reflection for the Feast of the Sacred Heart||06/01/2022||Download|
|Presentation Congregation | Response to the Challenge of Sustainable Living||01/28/2022||Download|
|Nano Nagle Prayer||01/28/2022||Download|
|Prayer for the International Day of Peace | 21 September||01/28/2022||Download|
|Prayer Service for St Josephine Bakhita Patron Saint of Sudan and Trafficked People||01/28/2022||Download|
|International Mother Earth Day | 22 April||01/28/2022||Download|
|2021 Presentation Day | Novena Booklet||11/21/2021||Download|
|Theological Reflections on God's Earth||10/28/2021||Download|
|2020 Presentation Day | Novena Booklet||11/21/2020||Download|
|2020 Global Circle of Light at this time of the Coronavirus||01/01/2020||Download|
|2019 Presentation Day | Novena Booklet||11/21/2019||Download|
|2018 Presentation Day | Novena Booklet||11/21/2018||Download|
|2018 Earth Day Prayer||04/22/2018||Download|
|2018 Feast of the Heart Speaking||01/01/2018||Download|
|2017 Presentation Day | Novena Booklet||11/21/2017||Download|
|2017 Prayer on the Feast of the Sacred Heart||01/01/2017||Download|
|2017 Prayer for the Eradication of Poverty||01/01/2017||Download|
|2017 Earth Day | A New Earth||01/01/2017||Download|
|2016 Garden of Dreams | Human Trafficking||01/01/2016||Download|
|2012 Prayer Reflection for the Feast of the Sacred Heart||01/28/2012||Download|
|Reflections Presentation Charism and Spirituality 2009||01/01/2009||Download|