Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, has welcomed the news that Pope Francis has approved the beatification of Venerable John Sullivan SJ.
Archbishop Eamon said, “It is wonderful news that Pope Francis has approved the decree that has authenticated a miracle attributed to Jesuit priest Father John Sullivan. I know that the news will be welcomed by all those, in Ireland and around the world, who have a devotion to him and who have been inspired by his ministry.
Father Sullivan had great time for and devotion to the sick. He was a man who had a great gift of consolation and healing to those who were sick. In recalling his ministry to the sick today I was reminded of the words of Pope Francis in his message for the World Day of the Sick this year in which he said,
“let us ask Jesus in his mercy, to grant to all of us this same readiness to be serve those in need, and, in particular, our infirm brothers and sisters. At times this service can be tiring and burdensome, yet we are certain that the Lord will surely turn our human efforts into something divine. We too can be hands, arms and hearts which help God to perform his miracles, so often hidden”.
Father John Sullivan had that readiness to serve those who were in need. It is because of his reputation as a holy and healing person that so many people still visit his tomb in Gardiner Street Church in Dublin each year to pray for his intercession.
In reflecting on Father Sullivan’s dedication to those who were sick, I think of all those who minister to the sick today – hospital chaplains, nurses, doctors, carers and all those who quietly take care of a loved one who is suffering from ill health – and give thanks for their dedication.
In particular I wish to pay tribute to the Jesuit community for their ministry in education and social justice in Ireland. I know that today’s news will be warmly received by the Society of Jesus. I offer a prayer of thanks for the life of Father John Sullivan SJ and will continue to pray for the cause of his canonization.”
Father John Sullivan was born in 1861 and entered the Jesuit Order in 1900. He died on 19 February 1933. More information on the life and works of John Sullivan is available at www.frjohnsullivan.ie/