Sister Rachel Lanning



The very Religious Sister Rachel Lanning of Saint John Baptist was born in London, England of virtuous Catholic and English parents. Her father was Mr. Thomas Lanning and her mother Mrs. Catherine Bruges. This their daughter, being of a good and solid judgment, gave herself much to devotion and retirement, and by the divine conduct she came to be acquainted with the Reverend Father Hugh Starkey, one of our holy Order, who gave her the Abridgment of venerable Father Augustine Baker his Instructions in print, called Sancta Sophia, and some directions for mental prayer. By the practice of which Almighty God was pleased so to enlighten her to see the vanities and inconstancies of perishable things, that in the 20th year of her age, forsaking the world, she desired nothing more than to dedicate herself to God in a religious estate.

She therefore came to this our convent of our Blessed Lady of Good Hope in Paris, and so seriously applied herself to all regular observances that she was received to her holy Profession on 9th October in the year 1660, and was the second professed for the Choir.

She was of an intern, contemplative spirit, and made such great progress in the way of perfection that one may truly say she accomplished much in a short time. For two years after her Profession, she being of a tender constitution, and the air of Paris too sharp for her, she fell into a consumption, with an ulcer in her liver, so that six months before her death she was constrained to keep to her bed continually. She was reduced to such a great weakness that some weeks before she died, she could not rise while her bed was made, yet supported it with extraordinary patience.

And being strengthened with all the holy sacraments of the Church, she happily departed this life on 19th January 1663, in the 23rd year of her age and the 2nd of her holy profession. And we being then in a hired house, and had no burying place, she lieth also in the Royal Abbey of Val de Grace here in Paris.


Source: Particular Remarks of our Mother Beginners
(modernised spelling & punctuation)