Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

July 9 | Generosity

The Venerable Mother Mary Alphonsa

A.D. 1851–1926

When was the last time you amazed someone with your generosity?

On June 5, we outlined the four signs that define and unite every Dynamic Catholic. Those four signs are: Prayer, Study, Generosity, and Evangelization. 

Today, let’s look at a staggering example of Generosity: The Venerable Mother Mary Alphonsa. She is also known as Rose Hawthorne, the daughter of the famous American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Rose's life before becoming a nun was marked by tragedy and loss, including the death of her young son, Francis. Her husband became an alcoholic after their son’s death, and himself later succumbed to liver cirrhosis. Before he died, however, he and Rose converted to Catholicism. 

Now a widow, Rose sought purpose in her life, and she found it in generous giving of her time, talent, and treasure. First, she served the poor with the Sisters of Charity in Massachusetts, and devoted herself to living by their motto: “I am for God and for the poor.” Then, she became a cancer nurse and started an organization to treat cancer patients who could not otherwise afford treatment. 

Rose’s generosity didn’t stop there. She became a Dominican nun, and then founded a new religious order: The Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer. There, she took on the name Mother Mary Alphonsa and spent the rest of her life caring for incurable cancer patients.

Mother Mary Alphonsa’s life is a testament to the kind of staggering generosity that we are all capable of. 

Dynamic Catholics are filled with a spirit of service and are generous stewards of their time, talent, and treasure. They are generous, not just with money and time, but with their love, appreciation, praise, virtue, and encouragement. They see generosity as the heart of Christianity and the proof that the teachings of Christ have taken root in their lives.

They describe love of money and attachment to the things of this world as a primary impediment to spiritual growth, and see this as something that everyone struggles with regardless of how much or how little we have.

It is deeply inspiring how comprehensively generosity is woven into their lives and the spontaneity with which they dispense it. They are generous lovers, they are generous parents, they are generous with their colleagues at work, and they are generous with strangers who cross their path. They are generous with their virtue—generous with patience, kindness, and compassion.

How can you start weaving generosity into your life today?


I will live a life of staggering generosity.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Feast Day: July 9

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Nicholas Pieck, Saint Adrian III, and Saint Veronica Giuliani

Declared Venerable: March 14, 2024

Declared Venerable By: Pope Francis

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