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Little Company of Mary Africa

Her Story

Venerable Mary Potter, born in London in 1847, grew up in a single parent family after her father William Norwood Potter left the marriage when Mary was a young child in 1848. Mary lived in London and later in Portsmouth with her mother, Mary Anne and four brothers. 

As Mary grew older, and after a broken engagement, she began to realise that she was called to pray for and to be with the suffering and the dying of the world, as Mary, the Mother of God was with Jesus on Calvary.

Mary understood suffering because of her own ill health from birth and her faith deepened because of it.  This ‘inspiration’ became very strong and Mary knew she was called to commence a Religious Order devoted to praying for and to care for the sick and dying. 

Mary was advised to travel to Nottingham and meet the Bishop of Nottingham, Bishop Bagshawe.  He helped Mary to find their first convent in Hyson Green and she founded the Little Company of Mary in 1877. This first small community not only prayed for the sick and dying, they cared for them in their homes and in the streets of Hyson Green and Nottingham.

The Congregation rapidly spread from England to Rome, and through many countries around the world. 

Mary died in Rome on 9th April 1913 and is now buried here in St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham.

Mary was declared Venerable by Saint John Paul II on 8th February 1988.