A hero dies: The 98th anniversary of the death of Fr Doyle

“Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). In this moving article, Pat Kenny relates the culmination of Fr Willie’s Doyle’s life of sacrifice for souls. A life lived in joy amidst suffering – fruit of his burning love for Christ and his desire to imitate his Saviour. Fr Willie is a hero indeed, who has inspired millions to seek a closer union with God, Our Blessed Lady, and the Holy Catholic Church.

Remembering Fr Willie Doyle SJ

Fr William Doyle SJ 3 March 1873 - 16 August 1917 Fr William Doyle SJ 3 March 1873 – 16 August 1917

My Martyrdom for Mary’s Sake.

Darling Mother Mary, in preparation for the glorious martyrdom which I feel assured thou art going to obtain for me, I, thy most unworthy child, on this the first day of thy month, solemnly commence my life of slow martyrdom by earnest hard work and constant self-denial. With my blood I promise thee to keep this resolution, do thou, sweet Mother, assist me and obtain for me the one favour I wish and long for: To die a Jesuit Martyr.

May 1st, 1893.

May God’s will, not mine, be done! Amen.

These words were written in Fr Doyle’s private diary. He kept his part of the bargain – the remaining 24 years of his life were literally a slow martyrdom of “earnest hard work and constant self-denial”. As might be expected, Mary kept her part of the…

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3 Responses to A hero dies: The 98th anniversary of the death of Fr Doyle

  1. This CP&S entry regarding Father Doyle reminded me of a Prayer for the Jesuits that I ran across somewhere recently:

    Dear God, never let the Jesuits of today forget their heroic brothers, those of their order who were faithful to the teachings of the Church, those who were loyal and chaste sons of Our Blessed Mother, those who suffered as men and died for you in the remotest places on earth, from the shores of China to the wilds of North America. Dear God, bring them back, make all of them once more true and humble believers in every aspect of the Faith Christ taught, just as he taught it to them, without any shameful change or alteration. We ask this in Your Son’s Holy Name. Amen.

  2. Magdalen says:

    Would love to see him canonized if only we had the Irish/Jesuits to promote his cause.

  3. kathleen says:

    Me too, Magdalen! 🙂 Fr Willie Doyle was so incredibly holy – his whole life was a passionate imitation of Christ.

    About the promotion of his cause towards formal canonisation… I do believe there are many who are trying to do just this. Patrick Kenny’s blog that I link to in the article above was started with this in mind, five years ago now I think. There is a pamphlet written in 1930 by his brother Charlie, also a Jesuit priest, that you can read if you are interested:
    https://fatherdoyle.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/fr-willie-1931.pdf – and some popular books linked to on the sidebar of Pat Kenny’s blog, as well as a prayer for private recitation to Fr Willie, asking for his intercession. Any unexplained favours or healings granted (that could be considered miraculous) can be sent to the address given for further study.

    The first step towards canonisation has to be a written positio on the life and ‘heroic virtue’ of the candidate, plus the possible miracles granted, and then all this information is sent to be investigated by the Pope and the ‘Congregation for the Causes of the Saints’. You can read more about it here:

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