Fergal McGrath

Blessed John Sullivan SJ

John Sullivan SJ was born in Dublin in 1861. Once dubbed 'the best dressed man about Dublin', he seemed destined, like his father, for a career in law. Then, following a conversion to Catholicism, at the age of 35 he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Immediately after his ordination, he was sent to Clongowes Wood College, Co Kildare, where he spent most of his remaining years. At Clongowes, he became renowned for the hours he spent in prayer, his asceticism, and for his kindness and wisdom. His reputation spread outside the college walls, with many people calling on him in their hour of need. His love of the poor and sick led to miraculous cures being attributed to him. After his death in 1933, devotion to him continued to grow, and in 1947 the first stage of the process of Canonisation was introduced. The large numbers who visit his tomb in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin, bear testimony to the continuing belief in the power of his intercession with God. John Sullivan SJ was beatified in Dublin in May 2017.
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