12 July 1922: An alleged favour through Fr Doyle’s intercession

A nun in South Africa wrote the following letter on this day (July 12) in 1922, alleging a favour through Fr Doyle’s intercession:

One of our Community had for some time been seriously ill in a sanatorium. One evening I got a telephone message to say Sister was on the point of death and that the doctor declared there was no hope unless a change took place at once. I called the Community together and we knelt down and asked Fr Doyle to send a change for the better by seven o’clock. It was then 6.30pm. Next day I went to the sanatorium. The infirmarian came out to meet me and her first words were: ‘Sister is out of danger, the change came in time’. I asked at what hour. ‘Seven o’clock last night’, was the reply. I had promised Fr Willie to have Masses said if he got our request granted, and that day i arranged for a number to be said in thanksgiving.

Of course, we do not have the competence to say for certain that this cure was brought about through Fr Doyle’s intercession, much less that it was a miracle. However, it is worth noting that this was a community of nuns praying to him in 1922, less than 5 years after his death, and we know that within 14 years of this death, there were at least 6,426 alleged favours from around the globe reportedly through Fr Doyle’s intercession. Were they all mere coincidences? Were there purely natural explanations for these favours? That is a judgement for others to make. 

But what we can say with certainty is that there was a real and substantial global devotion to Fr Doyle. When people meet him and hear his story, he has a tremendous appeal. As we approach the centenary of the Great War, there will be many more opportunities to make Fr Doyle more well known. We should take every opportunity to spread awareness of him and his message.

World War 1 in photos – a century later

As the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 is commemorated in the media, we will occasionally post items of general interest relating to the Great War, even if they do not directly relate to the life of Fr Doyle.

This story in The Atlantic is a particularly interesting photographic display of some of the scenes associated with the War 100 years on.

http://www.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/wwi/century/

Thoughts for July 12 from Fr Willie Doyle

Blesseds Louis and Zelie Martin

But remember the devil will spoil the work if he can and by every means in his power turn you from your life of immolation.

COMMENT: In today’s snippet, Fr Doyle reminds us that we are contending not only against our own weakness in the spiritual life, but that the devil also wishes to distract us from closer intimacy with God, and that he will use “every means in his power” to turn us aside. Lucifer was the most brilliant of the angels and he has many means in his power. Perhaps most of all, he will use the defects in our own characters, which he knows so well, to turn us from the path of virtue.

Today it is somewhat unfashionable to refer to the Enemy, but if we wish to remove him from our life of faith, we shall be forced to erase a lot of the Gospel as well. True, perhaps previous generations were too focussed on the issues of evil influences, but perhaps we have allowed the pendulum to swing far too much in the other direction in recent decades. If we prefer to ignore the existence of our Enemy, we surely give a major advantage to him. Interestingly, one of the striking and unusual things about the pontificate of Pope Francis so far is how often he speaks of the Devil – for him, the Devil and his influence are very real.

The efforts of the Enemy should spur us on to greater efforts, not cause us to shrink with fear. In this regard, it may be worth quoting some lines from the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius:

It is the way of the enemy to weaken and lose heart, his temptations taking flight, when the person who is exercising himself in spiritual things opposes a bold front against the temptations of the enemy, doing diametrically the opposite. And on the contrary, if the person who is exercising himself commences to have fear and lose heart in suffering the temptations, there is no beast so wild on the face of the earth as the enemy of human nature in following out his damnable intention with so great malice.

Finally, today is the feast (and wedding wedding anniversary) of the married couple Blesseds Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St Therese. Fr Doyle was an early and enthusiastic devotee of St Therese. Let us pray today for married couples and families, particularly those that experience troubles and challenges.