Fr. John Sullivan in his twenties. Photos courtesy of the Irish Jesuits
Irish Jesuit Fr. John Sullivan, Catholic Healer, to be Beatified May 13

May 10, 2017 — Irish Jesuit Father John Sullivan, remembered for his healing prayers, his consolation for the troubled and his devotion to God, will be beatified on May 13 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Dublin, where the Jesuit priest's body was interred.

Fr. Sullivan will become the first-ever person to be beatified in Ireland when two archbishops — one Catholic and one Anglican — present the solemn petition asking that he be declared blessed.

That is unusual, but Fr. Sullivan's life straddled two centuries, two traditions and two cultures.

Born in 1861, one of five children, Fr. Sullivan grew up in privileged conditions in Ireland and Britain. He was raised in the Protestant tradition of his father, Sir Edward Sullivan, who rose to be lord chancellor of Ireland. His mother, Elizabeth, was a devout Catholic.

At Trinity College Dublin, he excelled in his studies of the classics. He was an avid tennis player and was dubbed "the best-dressed man in Dublin."

In 1885, the year of his father's death, Fr. Sullivan went to London to study law. He traveled extensively and even considered becoming a monk at one of the Orthodox monasteries on Mount Athos in Greece. In 1896, at 35, he became a Catholic.

His reception into the Catholic Church marked a complete break with the life he had lived. Returning to his affluent home in Dublin, he stripped his room down to the floor boards and spent much time visiting the poor and dying. Four years later, he entered the Jesuits.

From the time of his ordination in 1907, reports of miraculous healings began. Cures for meningitis, breast cancer, tuberculosis, infantile paralysis and many other illnesses were all attributed to his prayers during his lifetime. He willingly cycled long distances to spend hours praying at a patient's bedside while working as a teacher in Clongowes Wood School in County Kildare.

After his death in 1933, his graveside in Clongowes became a place of pilgrimage. The healings continued.

Jesuit Father Conor Harper, vice postulator of Fr. Sullivan’s sainthood cause, said hundreds of miracles have been attributed to his intercession, many within living memory.

Neil Morton, former headmaster of the school where Fr. Sullivan was educated, says Portora Roayl School in Enniskillen is "proud of being the only Protestant school in the history of Ireland that can boast of having a Catholic saint."

But for Fr. Harper, Fr. Sullivan's real greatness is that "he is a priest of the poor and the sick — that is why he is known." [Sources: CNS, Catholic News Agency]





Recent News

June 6, 2019 — Jesuit brothers go wherever they are needed and do whatever needs to be done, as “Bros” to their fellow Jesuits, and as “Bros” to all of us looking to find God in all things.

August 23, 2019 — During his visit to the Jesuit provinces of Asia, Father General of the Society of Jesus, Arturo Sosa, gave a speech to the lay people involved in the works and activities of the Society of Jesus in Taiwan. This speech was posted online by the General Curia of the Jesuits.

August 23, 2019 — According to Bill Blakeney, a lawyer working as legal counsel for the Jesuits of Canada, the process behind the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was both “frustrating” and “moving” at the same time.

August 11, 2019 — Do you have a passion for social justice? Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) is preparing a study tour in July 2020 for Canadian educators and anyone interested in social justice and global solidarity.

August 8, 2019 — This last article in the Prayer with Preferences series returns to the ultimate foundation of the whole process of Universal Apostolic Preferences, and thus to the basis of the whole discernment process that will guide their appropriation in the Jesuit apostolates and communities across Canada.

August 8, 2019 — The triennial Colloquium 2019: Building Communities of Justice and Hope Jesuit schools conference was an amazing experience for the team of ten Loyola High School staff members who attended this year.

August 8, 2019 — On July 31st, the Jesuits of Canada celebrated with two special masses the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. At the same time, this date marked the first year of the newly formed Canadian province. Jesuits, colleagues and friends came from all over.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Campion's Brag

Relations Mai 2019

Canadian Jesuits



Anishinabe Spiritual Centre
The Anishinabe Spiritual Centre is a place of peace, a beautiful retreat space, a welcoming ...