Fr John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933), the Jesuit priest with the reputation for saintliness and healing, has been declared ‘Venerable’. Pope Francis signed the official decree recognizing the heroic virtue of Fr John on Friday, 7 November, 2014. The Vice-Postulator for the cause, Fr Conor Harper SJ, welcomed the good news from Rome. “This is a day so many have worked and prayed for over the years,” he said. “Fr John showed remarkable holiness and his reputation as a truly saintly person spread far and wide. So there was great devotion to him in his lifetime and that devotion has continued since his death on the 19th February, 1933. Many people believe that his prayers have brought the healing power of God into their lives and his tomb in the Jesuit Church in Gardiner St is visited daily by those who seek is help.”
The now Venerable John Sullivan was born in Dublin on 8 May, 1861. His father, the future Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Sir Edward Sullivan, was a protestant. His mother, Lady Bessie Josephine Sullivan was a Catholic.
John was brought up in the Protestant tradition of his father and was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen.
In December 1896 he was received into the Catholic Church and some four years later he entered the Jesuit Order. Most of his priestly life was spent in Clongowes Wood College, in Co. Kildare. The Church of Ireland joins with the Roman Catholic Church in celebrating this holy priest who was formed in both traditions.