‘Protestant priest’ John Sullivan beatified in Dublin

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Jesuits in Ireland

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Former Enniskillen schoolboy Fr John Sullivan was raised as a Protestant by his wealthy Dublin family but later converted to Catholicism

A Jesuit priest, who was raised as a Protestant, has been beatified at the first such ceremony held in Ireland.

Father John Sullivan was born in Dublin in 1861 and later attended Portora Royal School in Enniskillen.

Fr Sullivan was beatified in recognition of his work with the sick and the dying, a significant step towards canonisation or sainthood.

The ceremony took place at Gardiner Street Church in Dublin on Saturday.

It was conducted by Cardinal Angelo Amato, assisted by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson, was also there.

During the ceremony relics relating to Fr Sullivan were blessed, including the “Sullivan Cross” which he would take with him when visiting the sick.

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The ceremony took place at Dublin’s Gardiner Street Church

Cardinal Angelo Amato said Fr Sullivan had been “exemplary” in his religious duties.

He added: “Those who knew him considered him a saint, and in my opinion he had reached a high degree of perfection.”

‘Extraordinary devotion’

After leaving Portora, he studied at Trinity College Dublin, before being called to the bar in London.

However, in 1896 aged 35 he converted to Catholicism before entering the Jesuit order in 1900.

He taught at Clongowes Wood College in Dublin until his death in 1933, aged 71.

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