Sister Mary of St. Joseph, Good Friend of Sister Stanislaus

“Sister Mary of St. Joseph, O.C.D.” (Mary Joseph Daly) was from the Gesu Parish, as was Sister Stanislaus of the Blessed Sacrament, O.C.D. (Helen Kelly).  They were very close, and died on the same day five years apart.  When Sister Stanislaus died, Sister Mary took up the work for St Therese.

Sister Mary of St. Joseph and and Sister Stanislaus were schoolmates at Notre Dame de Namur.  They were both assigned later as Portress.

3 Carmelite Nuns From Philadelphia Started The Spread Of St. Therese’s Spirituality In The U.S.

Sr. Stanislaus Kelly

photo of Sister Stanislaus Kelly
Sister Stanislaus Kelly, the first connection from the United States to Lisieux

Sr. Stanislaus was the young sister who first read the French copy of Saint Therese of Lisieux’s Story of a Soul and was really the key in the contact with Lisieux Carmel and all that flowed from that before the Beatification.

Sr. Stanislaus of the Blessed Sacrament (Helen Kelly), 1879-1911.  A native of Philadelphia, she entered the Carmel of Boston in 1896, at the age of seventeen, and was chosen to be one of the foundresses of the Carmel of Philadelphia in 1902, at the age of twenty-three.  During the early years of her religious life, she read one of the first editions (in French) of the Story of a Soul, and became an ardent disciple of Sr. Thérèse.  She began communication with the Carmel of Lisieux and God used this contact as a means of spreading devotion to the “Little Flower” in the United States.

Sr. Teresita

photo of Sister Teresita, extern nun, Philadelphia Carmel
Sister Teresita, extern nun

She was an Extern sister; she lived outside the enclosure and served the community by assisting the visitors and delivery men. She is the sister who gave the Story of a Soul to then Archbishop Doughtery.  He read it promptly, became infatuated with the Little Way and then became an important promoter of St. Therese’s cause.

Sister Mary Daly

photo of Sr. Mary Daly
Sr. Mary Daly

After the death of Sr. Stanislaus (1911), Sister Mary of St. Joseph (Daly) continued the work of promoting the devotion to St. Therese.

Sr. Anne of Jesus to Sr. Ignatius July 7 1925

                                  J. M. J. T.

                                                                                                                  Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                                                                  July 7, 1925


My dear Sister Ignatius,

  First I must apologize for my long delay in thanking you for your kind letter and enclosure.  I need not explain to you the reason of my delay, for you know it well.  It is not assuredly forgetfulness for I think of you very often.  Yes, I often think of my dear sisters of Philadelphia, those on earth and those in Heaven.  On the day of the canonization I congratulated dear Sisters Stanislaus & Mary, for both must have felt a special joy on this day of triumph which by their prayers & labour they helped so much to hasten.

  I always feel moved when I think of them, and how often do I say to our little saint that if we gave to her English speaking clients – so many books & pictures to make them good, she owes it to Rev. Mother Beatrice who gave leave to her daughters to work, and to Srs. Stanislaus & Mary who encouraged me so much to make the editions and helped so wonderfully to dispose of them.  Then Sister Francis & your dear self succeeded to your little saints and thus Saint little Thérèse owes quite a lot to your dear Carmel, and we too.

  We try to repay you in praying for you all and doubtless our little saint will do so in granting you the roses you all desire:  that of an ever increasing love for Our Lord.

  Many thanks for the details of the celebrations of May 17 in Phila.  I hope you will be able to obtain the account of the blind child cured.

  I hope you received the Journal des Pélerins [Journal of Pilgrims]; as our Rev. Mother said in her circular, a benefactress has paid the subscription for one year to all the Carmels; so as you paid for one, you will in future receive two copies of the ed. de luxe; you might like to give the second copy to some friends.  As for the pictures, I sent your order to the Office Central but they could not supply the 4 pp.rotogravure leaflets as they are not yet ready.  There are no coloured pict. with English text.

  I will send you 500 new novenas.  I hope you are all keeping well.  We are just having a seven day feast after the consecration of our chapel.  Tomorrow there will be six bishops & one Cardinal.  It is quite glorious and we trust that the shower of roses falls abundantly on all.  Our greatest seven day feast in honour of our little saint will take place Sept. 24 to 30th.  I commend to your prayers my eldest brother who died a very holy death on April 22nd.  R.I.P.  All the community unites in sending to Rev. Mother Seraphim, Mother Beatrice and all the sisters, warmest greetings.  Assuring you, dear Sister of my sisterly affection, I remain, your loving sister in Our Lord.

  [no signature – indeed there was no room on page for her signature]

Sr. Anne of Jesus to Sr. Ignatius March 13 1921

                                                  J. M. J. T.

                                                                                                                                  Carmel of Lisieux



My dear Sister Ignatius,

It was a real feast to hear from you.  It was such a long time we had had news of our dear Sisters of Philadelphia!

Please thank your Reverend Mother for the donation she has kindly sent towards the Basilica.  Like all God’s works, it meets with many obstacles but we feel sure that in God’s time all will be well.  We would like our saint to renew the miracle she wrought for you when she sent you the money needed for your chapel.  Please ask her to do so.  In return we will ask her to help you get the property adjoining your monastery.

I was indeed very interested to hear about your dear Sister Teresita.  I thought she was a Sister like those we have at the turn here.  But lately a priest from America who came to the parlour, asked me who were these Sisters at the interior of the enclosure?  So, I told him; but he said that in the U.S. there were no such sisters.

I am very glad that Sister Teresita is now one of the Community.  Is it not the reward of her long years of untiring devotedness?  Do you let your tourières (portresses) enter in the Monastery?  Here they do not.  It is the first Portress who has charge of them, but they do not enter.

I have not forgotten dear Sisters Mary and Stanislaus on the anniversary of their departure for Heaven.  I often pray to them, for I am sure that they are very powerful with the heart of Jesus.

Many thanks for the letter enclosed in yours.  Though we receive many accounts of favors received, we will receive with pleasure those you receive yourself even if there is no medical certificate, provided there are enough details to make a complete account.

I will begin my private retreat on the 27th inst. (instant of the current month).  Please pray for me and I will do the same for you during these precious days.  When you write please give me news of your Reverend Mother Beatrice.  Give her my respect and to all the sisters especially to your dear self, my sister, affection and the assurance of our ever fervent union of prayers.