Fr Doyle and Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who suffered spiritual desolation for most of her life
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Today is the feast of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, one of the most famous and popular Catholics of recent times. Mother Teresa was Albanian, but she lived in Dublin for a number of years while she was a Loreto sister. In fact, the house she lived in was in Rathfarnham, very close to the Jesuit house there where Fr Doyle had spent some time. The young Mother Teresa had obviously come in contact with the Jesuits there, and she read Alfred O’Rahilly’s biography of Fr Doyle and was very impressed. She even decided to adopt some of Fr Doyle’s spiritual practices.

Here is a description from the book “Come be my Light” written by Fr Brian Kolodiejchuk MC, the postulator for her canonisation cause.

It was this mysterious feature of love that moved Mother Teresa to seal the total offering of herself by means of a vow and thus tangibly express her longing to be fully united with her Beloved…Thus for Mother Teresa the vow was the means of strengthening the bond with the One she loved and so experiencing the true freedom that only love can give.

Mother Teresa would have read about the practice of making private vows in the spiritual literature of her time.

Irish Jesuit Fr William Doyle, made numerous private vows, as he found this practice a help in keeping his resolutions. One such vow, which he made in 1911 and renewed from day to day until he could obtain permission from his confessor to make it permanently, was “I deliberately vow, and bind myself, under pain of mortal sin, to refuse Jesus no sacrifice, which I clearly see He is asking from me”.

Fr Kolodiejchuk then describes how Sister Benigna Consolata Ferrero (an Italian nun) and St Therese of Lisieux both adopted this same spiritual practice. He then concludes:

Reading about this promise of her patron saint (St Therese) as well as the private vows made by Fr Doyle and Sr Benigna Consolata no doubt inspired Mother Teresa and influenced her to do the same.

How remarkable – yet another saint who has been inspired by Fr Doyle’s example!

Let us pray today for the Missionaries of Charity, and for the canonisation of Blessed Teresa.

2 thoughts on “Fr Doyle and Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    • There is no clear answer to this question. There may be unique historical reasons for it – Fr Doyle was an Irishman who was a chaplain in the British army, and this may have been a sensitive point at a certain time in Irish history. Sometimes these things just take time – St Thomas More was canonised 400 years after his death. St Peter Canisius, a doctor of the Church, was canonised two centuries after his death. We could multiply the examples.
      There are MANY people around the world who contact this blog asking the same question. We just need to pray that eventually Fr Doyle’s cause will be opened, tell people about him and very importantly, pray to Fr Doyle (privately) when we have really big needs, asking for miracles through his intercession.
      The Lord is in charge – if He wants Fr Doyle raised up as a canonised saint to give an example to us, He will bring about the circumstances for this to happen.

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