Skip to Content

Our History

Mercy Health System was founded as a healthcare ministry of the Sisters of Mercy who have been providing health care in Philadelphia for more than 90 years. The Sisters of Mercy were founded in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland by Catherine McAuley, an heiress who used her inheritance to serve the poor, especially women and children. In Catherine's House of Mercy, Sisters of Mercy cared for the poor, sick and uneducated.

Sisters of Mercy

Before she died in 1841, Catherine established 12 Mercy foundations throughout Ireland and two in England, the first convents to be built in that country following the Protestant Reformation. The Sisters of Mercy arrived in Philadelphia in 1861 and immediately began visiting the sick in their homes and setting up schools for the instruction and care of children and adults. The Sisters of Mercy founded Misericordia Hospital (now known as Mercy Philadelphia Hospital) in 1918.

Today, there are some 10,000 Sisters of Mercy throughout the world. The Mid-Atlantic Community of the Sisters of Mercy is located in the Philadelphia area. Mercy Health System is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and Hope Ministries through Catholic Health East, a multi-institutional Catholic health system which is co-sponsored by nine religious organizations.

Mercy Health System honors its heritage through its vision to be a leading provider of compassionate care and community access to quality health services that improve the health of individuals and communities.

"In the care of the sick, have great tenderness in all things."
Catherine McAuley