Edel Quinn, born in Kanturk, County Cork in 1907, felt a call to religious life at a young age, but ill health prevented it. She joined the Legion of Mary in Dublin at the age of 20. In 1936, Edel became Legion of Mary Envoy to Africa. She encountered great obstacles in this pioneering work, but she was always joyful and never complained. As against every difficulty and fighting tuberculosis, she brought to her task an absolute faith in God's love and a limitless trust in the maternal care of the Blessed Virgin. When others faltered her invariable response was, “Why can’t we trust Our Lady?”
Although working alone and in a state of perpetual ill-health and exhaustion, she established hundreds of Legion branches and mobilized thousands of Africans in the service of the Church. After eight years of heroic labor, Edel died in Nairobi on May 14th, 1944 at the young age of 36 years old. The cause of her beatification was introduced in 1956.
On December 15, 1994, Pope John Paul II in a special assembly of the Cardinals and other members of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints made the following solemn declaration.
“It is certain that the Servant of God, Edel Mary Quinn, a secular virgin of the Legion of Mary, practiced to a heroic degree the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity towards God and her neighbor and likewise the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude.”