12 May, Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

12 May 1820

13 August 1910

Nurse, Social Reformer

Commemoration (White)

Florence Nightingale – Biography, Facts & Nursing - HISTORY

We remember Florence Nightingale chiefly for her work during the Crimean War, which took place between 1854 and 1856. Hearing the voice of God and animated by the spirit of service, she organized the first modern nursing service in the British field hospitals at Scutari and Balaclava. In the midst of appalling conditions, she was tireless in her efforts to relieve the sufferings of wounded and dying soldiers. Her solitary vigils in the hospital wards led the popular press to call her “the Lady of the Lamp” and “the Angel of Scutari.”

Within four years of her return from the Crimea, Nightingale’s health broke down, and she eventually became a house-bound invalid. But she continued to influence public policy, and her labours helped to disperse the age-old prejudice against nurses, giving their profession high respectability. Her example also helped to liberate middle-class women from their subordinate and passive role in society. By the time of her death at the age of ninety, her reputation had assumed mythical proportions, and to this day she is still honoured as the founder of the modern profession of nursing.[1]

[1] Text by Stephen Reynolds, For All the Saints.


Thus says the Lord God: I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak; I will feed them with justice.  Ezekiel 34.11, 16


Almighty God,
who by your grace surrounds us
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
may we, encouraged by the example of your servant Florence,
persevere and run the race you set before us,
until at last, through your mercy,
we with her attain to your eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
the author and perfecter of our faith,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Micah 6.6–8

What God Requires

6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Psalm 73.23–29

23Yet I am always with you; *
you hold me by my right hand.

24You will guide me by your counsel, *
and afterwards receive me with glory.

25Whom have I in heaven but you? *
and having you I desire nothing upon earth.

26Though my flesh and my heart should waste away, *
God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

27Truly, those who forsake you will perish; *
you destroy all who are unfaithful.

28But it is good for me to be near God; *
I have made the Lord God my refuge.

29I will speak of all your works *
in the gates of the city of Zion.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: * 
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Matthew 25.31–40

The Judgment of the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Concluding Collect 

Life-giving God,
you alone have power over life and death,
over health and sickness.
Give power, wisdom, and gentleness
to those who follow the lead of Florence Nightingale,
that they, bearing with them your presence,
may not only heal but bless,
and shine as lanterns of hope
in the darkest hours of pain and fear;
through Jesus Christ, the healer of body and soul,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Links for Further Reading

Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Nightingale

Encyclopaedia Britannica:  https://www.britannica.com/biography/Florence-Nightingale

Canadian History:  https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/florence-nightingale-1


Unless otherwise noted, all extracted material come from the following publications: 

Anglican Church of Canada. For all the Saints: prayers and readings for Saints’ days: a supplement to the Book of alternative services, revised, compiled by Stephen Reynolds, Anglican Book Centre, Toronto, 2007. 

Anglican Church of Canada. The book of alternative services of the Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Book Centre, Toronto, 1985.  

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicized Edition, 1989, 1995. Accessed at http://bible.oremus.org/ 

* Readings & Prayers prepared by Kim Labelle