Saturday, May 6, 2017

A New Irish Beatus!

A week from today, Fr. John Sullivan S.J. (1861-1933) will be beatified. I learned this through sheer chance today. I haven't heard anyone talking about it.

Watch a short film about his inspirational life here.

I have several times prayed at his coffin in Gardiner Street.

Ireland hasn't got very many modern-day saints, or beati. Blessed Columba Marmion, a spiritual writer and Benedictine monk, is one of our few modern beati, but nobody ever talks about him. The more famous holy men and women, such as Venerable Edel Quinn, Venerable Matt Talbot, and Servant of God Frank Duff, are still at the early stages of sainthood. Fr. John Sullivan is somewhere between them. I only heard about him a few years ago, but he seems pretty well known. He is indeed a very attractive saint.


  1. Séamus(Australia)May 7, 2017 at 12:05 AM

    Pity it's too late for your book.( Solanus Casey also)
    It seems a bit of a clash holding it on the Fatima centenary day. I imagine if its being held in St Francis Xavier's it would have to be invitation only to attend?
    I can remember being at someone's tomb in a Dublin church when I was small. We went to Gardner Street church often enough so it may have been his or it may have been Matt Talbot's as we weren't too far from there either. I think the more liturgical minded Mass goers will find it of interest that he had an interest in mount Athos and the Eastern Rite, thinking of joining them before he became a Catholic.
    Considering the very recent Irish Saints: St Charles of Mt Argus was a Dutchman who worked in Ireland, BL Columba was an Irishman who worked in Europe and Fr Sullivan himself was received from the Anglican Church. Of the three, only Charles would have considered himself a missionary at the time, but it's a reflection on how the boundaries of MISSION have changed: It's no longer about developing countries.

    1. I might still find time to squeeze in Solanus Casey, thank you for telling me about him.

      Good point about the missions. It's probably good that we are coming to have a broader understanding of mission.

  2. I keep forgetting you ask: Was there any mention in Ireland at all about the Russian orthodox church earlier this year adding St Patrick to it's list of saints-can't remember whether it's called a martyrology-along with a dozen or so other early Western European saints? I read it in a copy of the Sydney diocesan paper that I happened upon. Most of the others are French. I'm not sure if, realistically, this means that the liturgy of St Patrick's or St Geneviève's days will be commonly made use of,(a lot of Eastern Rites don't celebrate an actual Mass on Lenten weekdays anyway and I imagine March 17 is still usually Lent even if they're a week behind) but it's hard to imagine that the thrust behind it isn't a perception in the East of a godlessness in the West. Ambivalent myself about some aspects of Russia's present state, but that's a different matter really.

    1. There may have been mention of it in Ireland but I didn't hear about it. I'm surprised he wasn't already a saint there, long predating the Great Schism. Did you know that the current Secretary of the Russian communist party is Orthodox? The ironies of history.