First report of the Spanish flu

March 4, 1918 – As a temporary moment of peace settled after World War I, the Spanish flu began to spread throughout the world. Soldiers returning home from Europe carried the disease that would cause more than 50 million deaths worldwide. The Spanish flu caused more casualties than the Great War, as quarantine and bloodletting was the only treatment at the time. Development of a flu vaccine was still about 13 years away. Tragically, young adults were affected most by the 1918 flu outbreak that claimed the lives of four of the first USA-born Salvatorians. Below, we remember these “spiritual daughters and sons” who died from the disease.

  • Sister Maryanna Schuch, SDS, 23, Lima, Wis.; Died: April 9, 1919
  • Sister Virgilia Schuessler, SDS, 20, Sheboygan, Wis.; Died: December 17, 1918
  • Novice Gregory Nazianzenus Vogelsang, SDS, 21, West Bend, Wis.; Died: December 15, 1918
  • Frater Edward Lesch, SDS, 25, Holy Cross, Wis.; Died: December 7, 1918



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