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Ordinary Martyrs

September 7, 2018

Well said, Jake!

Jake Owensby

Constance died at the age of thirty-three. A Yellow Fever epidemic swept through the city of Memphis in 1878. At one point, seventy people were dying each day from the disease. Eventually, the population was so diminished that the city lost its municipal charter.

Residents swarmed the train station to escape. In their panic, the jostling crowds crushed the life from at least two people. Along with her fellow Anglican Sisters of St. Mary, Constance stayed behind to tend the sick and the dying.

We know today that mosquitos carry Yellow Fever. But in 1878 the prevailing opinion was that the disease spread through human contact. No one wanted to touch, or even to breathe the same air as, infected individuals.24CCC661-2125-4ED0-B61B-1B6F62328457

Fear was so great that undertakers had to be forced by the police to remove corpses from now empty houses. Constance found children fending for themselves in one disease-stricken…

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