I came across this great article about Margaret Haughery in the Irish Times over the weekend. It brought home the fact there are great stories about the Irish abroad everywhere and I keep coming across them.
Here is a little bit about Margaret Haughery from Wikiepedia:
She opened up four orphanages in the New Orleans area in the 19th century. Many years later in the 20th and 21st centuries several of the asylums Margaret originally founded as places of shelter for orphans and widows evolved into homes for the elderly.
Margaret Gaffney Haughery (pronounced as HAW -a- ree) was a beloved historical figure in New Orleans, Louisiana the 1880s. Widely known as “Our Margaret,” “The Bread Woman of New Orleans" and “Mother of Orphans,” Margaret devoted her life’s work to the care and feeding of the poor and hungry, and to fund and build orphanages throughout the city. The poor called her "Saint Margaret."
An Irish immigrant widow woman of many titles, Margaret was also commonly referred to as the “Angel of the Delta,” “Mother Margaret,” “Margaret of New Orleans,” the “Celebrated Margaret” and “Margaret of Tully.” A Catholic, she worked closely with New Orleans Sisters of Charity, associated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans (the second-oldest diocese in the present-day United States).
A woman of unsurpassed charity, Margaret became famed for her lifelong championing of the destitute. Countless thousands of all creeds considered her a living saint worthy of canonization. Born into poverty and orphaned at a young age, she began her adult life as a washwoman and a peddler — yet she died an epic businesswoman and philanthropist who received a state funeral.
You can read the article about Margaret in the Irish Times here: Margret in the Irish Times