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Life of Edmund Rice

Edmund Rice, fourth of seven sons, was born in Ireland, on June 1st, 1762.

Because of a long period of religious persecution in Ireland, the Rice children had to be taught at home by travelling teachers.

At 17, he was apprenticed to his uncle, Michael Rice, owner of a growing export business in Waterford City. When his uncle died, Edmund succeeded him in his business.

He married at 25. Two years later his wife died. It is thought she died from injuries received in a riding accident. His daughter, Mary Rice who outlived Edmund, was an invalid all her life.

In 1802, he sold his thriving business and opened his first school in converted stables, in New Street, Waterford.

A year later, he and his brothers moved to his permanent school at Mount Sion, Waterford.

In 1820, Edmund’s new congregation of brothers was approved and was named as Christian Brothers. Edmund Rice was elected its first Superior General.

On 29th August, 1844, Edmund died in Mount Sion, Waterford, where his remains now repose.

Though Edmund Rice was considered saintly by the brothers and all those knew him, the holiness of Edmund Rice was formally recognized by the Church on 6th October, 1996 as Edmund Rice was declared ‘Blessed’.