Light Undimmed, A: The Story of the Convent of Our Lady of Bom Successo Lisbon 1639 - 2006

Honor McCabe OP

A Light Undimmed tells the story of one of the oldest Irish convents in the world. The convent of Nossa Senhora do Bom Successo, (Our Lady of Good Success) owes its origin to the fact that religious life in Ireland had become impossible in the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Nuns, monks, and friars were expelled from their homes, their property and assets taken over by the State and given to favorites of the monarch. A member of the Kerry family of Ó Dalaigh, a Dominican friar called Dominic 'of the Rosary' O'Daly, was largely instrumental in finding a home in Lisbon, Portugal, for Irish women called to live out their contemplative vocation.

Honor McCabe tells the story which began over 300 years ago in 1639. She captures the joy, the pain, and the suffering endured by both Irish and Portuguese.

Set against the background of the turmoil of political and religious strife in Ireland and the wider European context, this fascinating story is a record of human endeavor and fidelity that continues into the 21st century. A Light Undimmed traces the story from the day when the nuns took possession of the summer house of a Portuguese countess on the banks of the Tagus, down to the present time when the community are responsible for two large schools, one Portuguese - speaking, the other English - speaking. It is another chapter in the long story of the Irish diaspora. 

A Light Uundimmed is intended as a tribute to the generosity of the Portuguese people who, throughout the centuries, have helped many Irish men and women, religious and lay, during the turbulent years of Ireland's history. 

Honor McCabe is an Irish Dominican sister who has spent a number of years in Portugal. She has a unique insight into the life, and vicissitudes of the Irish Dominican sisters of Bom Successo, Lisbon. At present, she teaches Spiritual Theology in different Dominican centres in Ireland. 

 



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