Tributes have poured in for a much-loved and "gracious" religious sister who has died, aged 86.

Sister Mary Steedman RSM (Sisters of Mercy) passed away peacefully on Monday at the Rosehill Care Home in Dalkeith. She was 86 and had cancer.

She had taught at St Catherine’s Primary School, in Gracemount, Edinburgh, since its opening in the mid-1960s and was renowned for her commitment to her work - she was never once off sick. She was also well known for her contribution to St Catharine’s Convent Homeless Project.

Sr Aelred Timmons RSM, from the convent, said: "She was outgoing and a great Sister of Mercy - she was so committed to the Mercy ministry and was a very good person."

Just before her passing, Fr Andrew Garden had arrived at the care home to give Sr Mary the sacrament of the sick and she was visited by family as well as two fellow RSM sisters.

Sister Jean Lawson, from the Rosehill Care Home, said: "An hour after they left Jesus called Mary to Himself. She slipped away very peacefully with one of our carers sitting with her. We said prayers for her departed soul - it was a lovely way to leave us for her heavenly home.

"We're sorry to lose Sister Mary, she was a very kind, gracious lady. May she rest in peace."

Once news of Sr Mary's passing was posted on Facebook, tributes flooded in, many from her former pupils.

Moya Soloman commented: "I loved Sister Mary. She was my teacher at St Catherine's, taught me well, always hugged me. Wonderful memories."

Ann Greechan commented: "Sister Mary taught my four children and supported my grandchildren through their First Communions. She has been an asset to St Catherine’s school and Parish and will be sadly missed. RIP."

Lynne Paul commented: "You were a great teacher and a lovely friend. You taught me at primary school and helped me when I decided to become an RE teacher. You will be sadly missed in St Catherine’s parish."