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Dorothy Loseby



Dates: 16 May 1907 – 9 March 1934

Nationality: South African

Occupation: Botanist and missionary



(Ethel) Dorothy Loseby was not a public figure but lived from 1921 in South Africa. She was a botanist and gained an MSc from Stellenbosch Uni. Dorothy contracted typhus during her training as a missionary and died shortly before her 27th birthday.


Comments on Catholicism


Dorothy was received into the Catholic Church in 1926, with her mother and three siblings. At Stellenbosch University, she was on the first committee of the University Catholic Society where she "would take a stand against the rationalism rampant in the University". The Group President of the Catholic Women’s League wrote of her:


"Quiet and unassuming in manner, there burned in her soul the fine flame that lights the way to great deeds for God and suffering mankind. To see her, as we so often saw here, praying before the Blessed Sacrament, was to realise that there was a soul most dear and beloved of God."


She studied medicine with a view to working as a missionary. Shortly before she was fully qualified, she agreed to help out in the missions for a couple of months where, at the age of 26, she contracted typhus fever. When she realised (with amazement) that she was dying, she was asked if she would offer her life for the Catholic Church in the Garip (part of Africa). She replied "gladly, gladly, gladly, Father". And when her medical superior asked if she was resigned, she replied "Oh, how happy I am, I'm so happy". A fellow missionary commented that "she died the death of a saint".”