This Sunday 13 May is the anniversary of the beatification of Blessed John Sullivan SJ, the first ever beatification to be celebrated in Ireland.
To mark the occasion, a special Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at 3.00pm on the day in Clongowes Wood College SJ in Clane, Co Kildare, a school closely linked with the life of Father Sullivan. Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, will be chief celebrant at the Mass and will preach the homily. An anointing of the sick and the blessing with the Cross of Blessed John Sullivan will take place immediately after Mass.
John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933) was a Jesuit priest with a reputation for sanctity. He was formed in both the Protestant and Catholic traditions, later entering the Society of Jesus. Known for his love of the poor, his life of prayer and fasting, and his care of the sick, he spent much of his priestly life in Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare.
There was great devotion to him in his lifetime and that devotion has continued since his death on 19 February, 1933. Many people believe that his prayers have brought the healing power of God into their lives and his tomb in Saint Francis Xaviers’ Church in Gardiner Street, Dublin is visited daily by those who seek his help.
In 1960 Father Sullivan was declared a Servant of God. He was declared ‘Venerable’ by Pope Francis in November 2014.
His beatification took place during Mass on 13 May 2017 at Saint Francis Xavier Church on Gardiner Street in Dublin. The principle celebrant at the Mass was Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and he was assisted by the Primate of Ireland Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin. A number of bishops and priests from across Ireland also concelebrated this Mass.
In an unprecedented ecumenical gesture, the request for beatification, which takes place during the Mass, was made by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson together, reflecting the fact that Fr Sullivan was an Anglican for the first half of his life and Catholic for the second.
For more on the life of Father John Sullivan SJ, see www.frjohnsullivan.ie.
All are welcome to attend the Mass at Clongowes Wood College SJ on Sunday. For more information please see www.kandle.ie.