On Sunday 27th September, Pope John Paul 11 beatified and proclaimed "Blessed" 17 Irish people who died as martyrs for their faith. The Martyrs represent a cross section of late 16th century and early 17th century Irish society. Among them are Bishops, Secular Priest, Franciscans, Dominicans, a Jesuit, an Augustinian, a baker, sailors, a Mayor of Dublin, and a housewife who was arrested and imprisoned by her own son. They died willingly that we might inherit the faith.
Pope John Paul 11 said "Blesseds and saints are not an exotic breed of human beings to be marvelled at as strange. They are human beings like us who show us the way, who give us the courage to strive unerringly for the goal that is set before us."
Their names were:
1. Dermot O Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel;
2. Margaret Ball. Margaret Bermingham from Corballis, Co. Meath married Bartholomew Ball, a wealthy Dublin merchant. Both their families were strongly Catholic. She was arrested in the 1570s for having a priest say Mass in her house. Her position in society gained her release, but didn't stop her activities for the Faith. Her son Walter, had become a Protestant. In the year 1580 he was mayor of Dublin and with his agreement, at least, she was again arrested and put in Dublin castle. Conditions there were extremely harsh, and after three years of that treatment she died sometime in the year 1584;
3. Matthew Lambert, a Wexford baker;
4.5.6. Robert Myler, Edward Cheevers & Patrick Cavanagh (among five sailor martyrs from Wexford)
7. Fr. Patrick O Loughran from Co. Tyrone;
8. Bishop Conor O Devany, Franciscan and Bishop of Down & Connor;
9. Francis Taylor, Mayor of Dublin;
10. Fr. John Kearney, Franciscan from Cashel;
11. Fr. William Tirry, an Augustinian from Cork;
12. Bishop Patrick O Healy, a Franciscan from Co. Leitrim;
13. Fr. Conn O Rourke, from the ruling house of Breifne;
14. Dominic Collins, a Jesuit Brother from Youghal.He was born at Youghal into a merchant family. After the town was sacked and burnt he went to France. He served in the army first as a means of promoting the Catholic cause, but eventually became a Jesuit lay brother. He returned to Ireland in the fleet sent by Philip of Spain in 1601 and defeated at Kinsale. Dominic with others landed at Castlehaven. He was captured and interrogated about his life as a Jesuit and as a soldier. He was sentenced to be hanged and the hanging took place in his native Youghal on 31st October 1602.;
15. Fr. Maurice MacKenraghty, from Limerick, a chaplain to the Earl of Desmond;
16. Terence Albert O Brien, a Limerick Dominick and Bishop of Emly;
17. Fr. Peter Higgins, a Dominican who was Prior at Naas.
God's mill grinds slow,
but it grinds exceedingly fine.
God is a busy worker,
but He loves to help.
God never shuts one door
but he opens another.
Man proposes, but God disposes.
When we do what we can,
God will do what we can't