Edel Quinn was born at Greenane, in County Cork, Ireland on September 14th, 1907.
Her mother was a devout Catholic who attended daily Mass, and under her influence,
and that of the teaching nuns Edel also had an intense Spiritual Life with daily Mass
At the age of 17, she worked as a secretary to help family finances, and joined the
Legion of Mary, at age 20. Frank Duff asked her to take charge of the Sancta Maria
Hostel, a refuge for the rehabilitation of Dublin prostitutes. During this period, she
was influenced by St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Saint John of the Cross, and St Louis de
Montford. Soon, she joined the Order of the Poor
Claires, but there she had a severe hemorrhage,
diagnosed as advanced Tuberculosis. However,
she pursued her remaining life in active service
in the Legion of Mary.
By 1936 the Legion had spread over much of the
world. Frank Duff selected Edel to be the Legion
Envoy to Africa and she left in October telling her
friends that "I won't be back". For the next eight
years, she traveled over much of Eastern and
Southern Africa with her base in Nairobi in Kenya.
Despite her delicate health, she traversed the
rough tracks of that region for thousands of kilo-
meters, visiting Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, and South Africa.
Travelers in Africa are exposed to many local diseases, including Malaria and
dysentery. Despite her many illnesses, Edel carried on, establishing scores of
Praesidia, even one for Lepers, and the First African Curia in Nairobi. Her
cheerfulness, patience, and indomitable good will, resulted in winning thousands for
the Legion. Inevitably, her difficult travels and illness overcame her and she died
on May 12, 1944, after a series of heart attacks, with Jesus, Jesus, on her lips.