"The journey that led Rose Hawthorne, born into a cultured Protestant New England literary family—through the devastating loss of her only child and a failed marriage—to the squalid, teeming streets of New York City’s Lower East Side at the end of the 19th century as a single Catholic woman caring for impoverished, terminal cancer patients, is essentially a faith journey.
On April 9 at the New York Catholic Center in Manhattan, documents and artifacts illustrating the incredible life of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, who became Mother Alphonsa, foundress of the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, were sealed for shipment to Rome to commence the final leg of her incredible journey that could see her canonized for sainthood."
Rose was the daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlett Letter. She had an interesting path to sainthood:
"Born in 1851, one year after “The Scarlet Letter” was published, she had the rare opportunity at that time to travel to and live in Europe because of her father’s literary and diplomatic careers. She was first exposed to Catholicism in Europe.
Her early life was marked by “an urgent sense of purpose,” wrote Father O’Donnell in a letter to members of the Rose Hawthorne Guild. “She was always impulsive about serious matters and yet was always searching out the deeper meaning of things.”
She met her husband, George Lathrop, in Germany and they were married in 1871. George would soon become assistant editor of the Atlantic Monthly. They moved to New York in 1891 and there they converted to Catholicism, scandalizing Protestant America. Anti-Catholicism was still virulent in those days, even among cultured classes. Their only son died at age 5, and George turned to alcohol for solace. Meanwhile, Rose became more devout as the marriage disintegrated.
With their separation, she embarked on a life of service to the poorest."