The Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, Arkansas), January 24, 1970, Page 1
Accessed via newspapers.com
GLADYS AYLWARD (JULY 24, 1902-JANUARY 3, 1970)
Missionary in China and Taiwan
Gladys Aylward seemed like an unlikely candidate for missionary service. She, a native of London, England, came from a working class family. Aylward had gone to work as a maid at an early age, and her educational attainment suffered as a result. Would she be able to learn Chinese in her twenties? Some in the China Inland Mission had doubts, but the agency gave her a chance.
Thus, in 1930, our saint traveled to China. She learned the language, overcame suspicions and won respect among Chinese people, converted many of them to Christianity, and improved the lives of many people. Aylward participated in the effort to end the practice of binding girls’ feet. In the process she endured much opposition, some of it violent. Our saint, who became a Chinese citizen in 1936, advocated for prison reform. And, with the Second Sino-Japanese War heating up in 1938, Aylward cared for many orphans and adopted some of them. Our saint, whose health suffered due to wartime conditions, left for England in 1947. There she remained until 1958, the year that The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, the movie in which Ingrid Bergman portrayed her, debuted. From 1958 to 1970 Aylward lived in Taiwan, where she ran an orphanage. She died of pneumonia at Taipei on January 3, 1970. Our saint never married or gave birth, but she functioned as a mother to many children.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT EMILY DE RODAT, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF VILLEFRANCHE
THE FEAST OF EDWARD BOUVERIE PUSEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST
Everlasting God, you have sent your messengers
to carry the good news of Christ into the world;
grant that we who commemorate Gladys Aylward
may know the hope of the gospel in our hearts
and show forth its light in all our ways;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), pages 682-683