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Blandina Segale
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Religious Figure
    (May 23, 1850-February 23, 1941)
    Born in Cicagna, Italy
    Catholic nun and member of the Sisters of Charity religious order
    Known for her efforts to help the poor, Mexicans/Mexican-Americans, and Native Americans in New Mexico during the Old West
    Famous for her confrontation with Billy the Kid
    Biographical letters to her sister were collected and published as, The Fastest Nun in the West
    Despite her efforts to help the poor, she is only known because of her interaction with Billy the Kid.
    A great deal about her life is shrouded in undoubtedly exaggerated legend.
    She made excuses for Billy the Kid.
    Little to nothing is known of her early life.
    Her biography was titled, Nun With Spurs although there is no evidence she even knew how to ride a horse, let alone ever wore spurs.
    When a member of Billy the Kid's gang was wounded, she nursed him back to health. When Billy rode into town to kill four doctors who had refused to treat him she talked him out of it. Later when Billy discovered her among the passengers of a stage he was robbing, he left without robbing any of them.
    She talked a lynch mob out of hanging a man.
    She was played by Mariette Hartley in an episode of Death Valley Days about the her run in with Billy the Kid.
    She established schools and hospitals (some of which still exist) in New Mexico and Colorado.
    She protected Native Americans and Hispanics from land swindlers.
    She established the Santa Maria Institute in her native Ohio to help recent European immigrants.
    She is being considered for canonization. If she is declared a saint she will be the first person from the Archdiocese of New Mexico to be canonized.
    She regularly visited men and women in prison, you know like Jesus said to do.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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