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Sister Mary Antoinette - 20th Century Martyr

A martyr is a person who witnesses to the faith which motivates his or her life. Sister Mary Antoinette was a member of the community of nuns called the Daughters of Wisdom. At the age of 52, she died a martyr's death in the Congo, Africa, in 1964.

While she was serving in the Congo, surrounded by government turmoil, she wrote: "God alone knows what will be the end of all this chaos." Sensing death imminent, she told the sisters around her, "This time the trip will be to heaven."

The icon of Sister Mary Antoinette, DW, was enthroned in the chapel of Wisdom House on October 27, 2002. The icon was written by Rev. William Hart McNichols, SJ.

In this icon, Sister Mary Antoinette is visited by Wisdom, in the traditional form with wings of the Spirit, bearing the blood-red cross, with her hand laid on Mary Antoinette's forehead in blessing, strengthening and imparting the gifts of the Word, the shared grace of martyrdom for the truth of the gospel. The background is that of Isangi, Congo, where Mary Antoinette was working in a school, orphanage and hospital from 1961 until her death in 1964. In this icon, she grasps her profession and mission cross with her own hands crossed, her right hand raised in prayer and receptivity. Her eye are wide open and her face serene. She is dressed in her community's missionary habit.


Reprinted with permission: Christ All Merciful. Megan McKenna and Wm. Hart McNichols, SJ, 2002, Orbis Books