Saturday, November 8, 2014

New Venerable For Ireland

The Servant of God, Fr John Sullivan has been declared Venerable. Yesterday Pope Francis signed a decree declaring that the Jesuit priest lived a life of heroic virtue.  A convert from the Church of Ireland (Anglican), John joined the Jesuits and was ordained on the same day as Fr Willie Doyle. He was renowned for his holiness even in his lifetime.  For a brief biography see here. Other sites: the official Fr John Sullivan website, and the website of the church where his tomb is preserved with additional information and links.  

Let's hope we get a miracle soon so he can be beatified. But that's where the snag comes for us in Ireland. We have a number of Venerables for whom we are awaiting miracles: the Venerable Matt Talbot (rumour has it that there is a miracle but no word on an investigation, whatever is happening there); Venerable Edel Quinn (some in the Legion of Mary say she is waiting for the founder Frank Duff to be beatified first - if true it would be typical of humble Edel!); also the Venerable Catherine McAuley and the Venerable Nano Nagle, foundresses of female religious congregations. Why no miracles? Well perhaps because there may not be enough prayer, or God is holding back for a reason.

Marthe Robin has also been declared Venerable. I know many who will welcome that. A great modern mystic, again, may the Lord grant a miracle so she may be raised to the altars.

UPDATE: I have been reliably informed by a friend of mine that there are a number of miracles for Venerable John Sullivan, so he expects beatification to follow fairly soon. Wonderful! Let's look forward to that.

Venerable John lived a very ascetic life, he was big into mortification, so his beatification may help us in Ireland to review the role of penance in our lives. One of the reasons why there is some opposition to the Cause of the Venerable Matt Talbot is his practice of penance. Given recent scandals here in Ireland I hope we realise there is a need for penance and mortification in our lives, not only for the sake of reparation for past sins and scandals, but also for the growth of our souls. Venerable John Sullivan offers us a living testimony of this. May he pray for us, for Ireland and for the Church in these times.

Pray also that a Cause will be opened for the other great Irish Jesuit, Fr Willie Doyle.

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