University of Bristol - Historical Photographs of China reference number: Po01-105. The nuns are Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (Franciscaines Missionnaires de Marie; FMM; Institutum Franciscalium Missionariarum Mariae; White Sisters). Claude Wallace (1895-1954) is in the centre of the back row (fourth from the left). The unidentified location could be the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary school in Shanghai: St. Sebastian School (1923-1954). This photograph might depict part of the celebrations of the Month of Mary (May), a month-long celebration which ends in a crown of flowers being placed on a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, accompanied by a traditional hymn to the Blessed Mother. The ceremony usually takes place with young girls in dresses (generally white or school uniform), carrying flowers (traditionally hawthorn) to adorn the statue. One of the girls (often the youngest) carries a crown of flowers, or an actual golden crown on a cushion, for placement by the May Queen (often the oldest girl) on the statue. The names of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary hospitals in Shanghai were St. Joseph’s General Hospital (1913-1954) and Sacré-Cœur (13 June 1924 - April 1954).
Nuns (Franciscan Missionaries of Mary), women and girls
Black and white photograph