This is the place where people can have a general discussion about Fr Doyle.

How did you first come to hear about Fr Willie Doyle? What impresses you about him? Have you read Alfred O’Rahilly’s biography or Merry in God? What did you think of them? Have you ever received any favours through Fr Doyle’s intercession? Do you think that Fr Doyle’s cause for beatification and canonisation should be relaunched?

Requests for prayers through Fr Doyle’s intercession are also welcome. The following prayer could be used:

O Jesus, who has given us the example of Your servant, Father William Doyle, graciously grant us the favours we ask You through his intercession…[Make petition.]

Teach us to imitate his love for You, his heroic devotion to Your service, his zeal for repairing the outrages done to Your glory and for the salvation of souls. Hear our prayer and show us the credit he now enjoys in heaven so that we may soon be able to venerate him in public worship.”

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

60 thoughts on “Feedback

  1. I would like to ask for prayers for Melinda in Queensland, Australia. She is a young mother with cancer. Please pray through Fr Doyle’s intercession for her recovery.

  2. Prayer said for Melinda in Queensland, for Fr. Doyle’s intercession.

    I don’t remember exactly how I discovered Fr. Doyle, but I think it might have been while I was investigating heroic priests who were soldiers. (Four U.S. military chaplains have won the Congressional Medal of Honor since 1940 — every one a Catholic priest, and one has a cause for sainthood.) I found the O’Rahilly biography online and downloaded the PDF version. I appreciated the fact that Fr. Doyle was an early devotee of St. Therese of Lisieux (who has taken care of me for many years), though he did not live even to see her declared Venerable.

    It is frustrating that his cause for sainthood is now so obscured and forgotten as to render one unsure whether there even is an official cause. But maybe he is meant to be a saint for the very end times, when martyrs will undergo the horrific sufferings for God that St. Therese envied and longed to undergo herself.

  3. I am very happy to see this blog. I am amazed that Fr. Doyle is not better known, even in his native Ireland. I stumbled upon his name while I was researching a US Army chaplain. I was led to O’Rahilly’s book. I found an old copy for $3.00 on It was the best spiritual work I have read. It is substantial but very practical for both religious and laymen. My 1936 copy is falling apart and filled with underlined passages. It really gives you an appreciation of the of the life of this great Catholic priest. He wouldn’t care about either but he is certainly deserving of sainthood consideration and the Victoria Cross. I hope this blog will help with that.

  4. Thank you for this beautiful website. The life of Fr. Doyle is truly inspiring. In high school I read “Merry in God” and the example of Fr. Willy had a great influence on me. When I visited Ireland in 1992 to attend my grandmother’s funeral Mass, I managed to take a side trip to see Fr. Doyle’s place of birth in Dalkey.

    If it be God’s will, I look forward to the day when Fr. Doyle is declared a saint by the Pope.

    Take care and God bless you.

    In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

    Father Gary Selin
    St. John Vianney Seminary
    Denver, Colorado

  5. I just discovered your blog via the forums as Thanks so much for posting about Fr. Doyle. I will certainly be reading his books with interest and visiting this website often. God bless you!

  6. I first heard about Fr Doyle in David Murphy’s ‘Irish Regiments in The World Wars’.I have read ‘Merry in God’ and I think it was a handbook for everyday spirituality.I prayed for his intercession when my mother in law was not expected to live more than a day,she died a year and a half later.His cause should be relaunched now.Congratulations for your welcome website,keep up the good work .God Bless , Dennis

  7. I grew up around a photograph of Fr Doyle which my grandmother had. He had administered the last rites to my grandfather on April 11 1917 in Roeux. Our family were all brought up to revere this real hero. Recently I have had cause to ask for his intercession and indeed I believe a miracle has taken place. I would be interested in finding out about attempts for his beatification.

  8. I can’t remember when I first heard of Fr Willie Doyle. Growing up in Dublin he would have been mentioned along with Matt Talbot and Fr. Charles of Mount Argus (Blessed Charles as he is now) The Praye Card I have of Fr Willie is very old. I don’t remember where or when I got it. I have read both O Rahily’s book and Merry in God. As a seminarian in Clonliffe (1987 -1992)I used to go to confession to Gardiner St. Many of the old Jesuits lived there and I got yo know some of them. They often spoke of Fr Willie and with a sense of regret that his cause was not pushed. As a seminarian he became for me a great role model for priesthood. I know that the Jesuits were not confortable with his “little follies” but as a seminarian and a priest I have never understood this. Fr Willie fits in very well with the lives of Irish saints. From what we know of them they lead a penitential life. Anyone familiar with Irish shrines will notice that compared to Europeen shrines Irish ones are penitential in nature. Even today one of our most visited shrines is Lough Derg, not exactly for the faint hearted. His so called follies are not extreme in any way when one looks at the lives of many saints. For me personaly the beatification and canonisation would be great for our nation and our priests. Here was a man who gave all for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. He did so in a natural unnassuming way. His death in the trenches came from the many little sacrifices he did everyday. It is a great example to us all of being faithful in little things so that we can be faithful in greater things. Keep up the good work

  9. Yesterday I taught a lesson about Fr Willie to a class of 9 year olds in a non-denominational school in Scotland. This was part of a theme of Notable Christians. Nice to keep the memory alive of the person who administered the last rites to my grandfather in 1917. I hope to keep his story as part of the school curriculum.

    • I’ve written a 1400 word book about Fr Willie suitable for 6-9 year olds and would love to have it published in this centenary year. It is ideal for the classroom. Any ideas please?

  10. That is a very interesting and uplifting piece of information to know that Fr. Willie’s memory has been kept alive by Kathleen in this way. I would be interested also, if Kathleen would like to share it, to know the details of her grandfather’s story. However, I understand if Kathleen would rather the information remained private.

  11. I am delighted to share my grandfather’s story. He, along with all the other hundreds of thousands of young men from all countries, gave his life because he believed it was the right thing to do.
    James Murphy was a husband and father of 3 young children living in Kilbirnie in Scotland when he enlisted in 1914. He firstly joined a Scottish regiment but, after his brother joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers, James deserted from the the Scottish regiment and enlisted in the same regiment as his brother. He was caught by the military police at a railway station and was on his way to military prison. A priest witnessing his arrest pled his case and he was released to his new regiment.
    He served in Ireland firstly then was posted to France. My mother, although only 2 can remember watching him marching in Dublin on his way to France.
    He fought in Arras and was killed on April 11 1917 aged 28.
    Father Willie risked his own life to give him the last rites on the battlefield.
    Father Willie ensured that my gran was sent the postcard that James had written to his children before going over the top.
    ‘Dear Bridie, James and Catherine,
    The weather here is pretty bad just now. I will be in the frontline before you get this. See and be good children for your mother. Love Daddy.’
    I have this postcard.
    My Grandmother was eternally grateful to Fr Willie for the comfort he gave her husband. Fr Willie’s photograph always had pride of place in her home.
    I too have reason to be thankful for his intercession. Because of privacy of those involved I am unable to give names but I know that Fr Willie’s intercession did cure someone dear to me and gave us joy beyond belief where there had been no hope. I promised I would do all I could to keep his memory alive and hope that by telling the present generation of children about his bravery, I am in some way doing this.
    God Bless

  12. I just wanted tio say thank you for this blog – I have just stumbled across it and it is really inspirational. Thank you again. God Bless.

  13. I’m a Protestant and an Orangeman. I came across Father Willie Doyle when researching the 16th Irish Division and I was reduced to tears to read the testimony of the Glasgow Orangemen who said Father Doyle was as willing to risk his life to take water to a wounded Ulsterman as he was to one of his own faith. It reminded me of how Orange stretcher bearers carried Major Willie Redmond out no man’s land to a 36th Ulster Division dressing station where their medics fought to save him as fervently as they would have done one of their own. How did we forget for so many years the respect that our people learned to have for each other as they lived and fought side by side and so often died together. God forgive us all.

  14. We see directly above that spammers are never far away, even on Father Doyle’s special place! Oh, well. Even poor spammers may get some good from reading here. I want to say that I’ve received a great deal of help in a very difficult personal area of my life from my prayers for Father Doyle’s intercession. Our Dear Lord has given me the grace I have been asking for, for years, once I asked Father Doyle to intercede. He is a powerful friend indeed.

  15. I first discovered Fr. William Doyle in the early nineties when I discovered the library at our local Jesuit university and the treasures therein. His biography, along with that of another Jesuit Fr. Paul Ginhac, was one of the first books I checked out.
    Every night I pray to him asking for spiritual help. A sentence that he wrote in one of his letters that is always in my head is “The dumps are for the devil!”
    Do you or anyone here know if there are any relics and/or prayer cards of him available?

  16. I wonder why the daily e-mail did stop.
    It’s an inspiration for a full day and does encourage you/me.
    Thank you for what was written till now.
    kind regards Elizabeth

  17. Praised be Jesus Christ! Thank you and God bless you for your work, I am grateful. I had been conducting a Google image search 4 days ago looking for photos of Catholic Churches at Christmas and there was this beautiful photo of a lovely priest in the midst of photos of nativities and cathedrals. This is the Providential way that brought me to my very wonderful friend. All this occurred on the 9th day after the feast of St. Therese! Fr. Doyle’s paper on scruples should be required reading for every Catholic. How many souls would benefit from it. Thank you!

  18. I am currently reading a new biography of Fr Doyle and also providing an index to the book for the publisher. I am a practising Catholic and I find that Fr Doyle is an inspiration to us all. I have never met anyone either clergy or lay person who has sacrificed so much to help other people. I wish I could have met him, he must have been a joy to know.

    • Many thanks for the comment – I am very much looking forward to reading that biography when it is available (next month I hope!!). Thankfully we can know a lot about him and his remarkable personality through his letters and diaries.

  19. Thank you for your reply. The book should be available before Armistice Day. It is called Worshipper and Worshipped by Carole Hope. In recent days I have faced a very difficult situation in my life and I prayed to Fr Doyle to intercede for me and today I had some news that provides me with a way forward I hope and I’m sure Fr Doyle has helped me.

  20. I recently discovered this website and now have been reading it daily and have been much edified by it. I mentioned it to my spiritual father and he said he has had this site bookmarked for years! I do hope that his cause will go forward so the world can benefit from his thoughts and the example of his holy and heroic life. Modern Jesuits for the most part might not care to push the cause but the day will come, in God’s time, when He will make His servant better known.
    Ave Maria!

  21. A friend sent me a book called “the Wonders She Performs” by Louis Kaczmarek about his travels with the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. There were many many miracles. And it is rather amazing that thousands would turn out in places all over the world just 30 years ago to view this statue, Anyway I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Louis called in his wallet for more than 20 years a meditation from Fr. William Doyle! And here it is:

    “Real devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is only to be gained by hard, grinding work of dry adoration before the hidden God. But such a treasure cannot be purchased at too great a cost for once obtained, it makes of this life as near an approach to heaven as we can ever hope for.”

    I would surely like to see Fr. Doyle beatified! I read his meditations daily and they give me wonderful spiritual direction.

    • Thank you for this new information – it is always helpful to learn about others who are devoted to Fr Doyle.

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  33. I am reading Merry in God at the present time. My copy is very old. I purchased it second-hand, and on top of that it has been sitting on my shelf for close to 20 years. I have been praying to him. How appropriate, since I suffer from scrupulosity, and I see he wrote a pamphlet on the subject. I was checking to see the status of his cause.

    • I have now finished Merry In God, and have recommended it to others. I also was put off by some of the penances which he undertook before the war. I am not sure we are all called to walk through a pasture of nettles, or scourge ourselves with nails, or monogram the Holy Name into our chests, or stand in ice water. Yet other saints also rolled in thorns and performed unusual penances. The sacrifices he made in the war to offer mass, bury the dead, pray for the dead and care for the dying were heroic to a degree far above the typical army chaplain. Where many of us would be cursing God because of the horrors of the battle field, Fr. Doyle saw Divine Providence. I have been praying to Fr. Doyle, and am hoping that his cause is promoted.

      • Thank you for your message. I am glad you enjoyed that book.

        In relation to Fr Doyle’s penance, he was explicitly clear – we are NOT all called to the penances he practiced. He was very clear with those he advised – they were not to take on heavy penances. In one case he advised a person to look for the smallest penances they could find, but to do them with love.

        Fr Doyle believed that he had a special calling to a life of hard penance, and that this calling was different to the calling that others had. This seems to have been confirmed by his confessor and other spiritual guides that he had during his career as a Jesuit.

        Please stay in touch and tell others about Fr Doyle!

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  35. I am a Catholic young man hoping to enter the true traditional Redemptorists (associated with SSPX). Father Doyle has become almost a friend. I should dearly like to take up corporal penances for I am very bad, but my confessor has forbidden me to do so, but Fr Doyle’s penances of aspirations and mortification are “inspiring”. I am nothing, he was a saint, but nevertheless a kindly voice of counsel and very often of proportion — gentle humour where I would have purged all laughter as a vanity, a school play where I should have despised it as carnal nonsense. I would be deeply grateful if you could tell me if you have ever seen the “watch” or mission confession counter mentioned on page 116, I thought of getting up a lay equivalent for ejaculatory prayers as I can’t carry a little book about with me and scribble away when supporting pupils at school!

      • Dear PatricK; What edition of O’Rahilly are you referring to? There are multiple editions published over the years, and I find no mention on p. 116 of the edition I have to hand, and I can’t fully recall what you are referring to off the top of my head.

        More broadly, yes, Fr Doyle is welcome source of balance. He reminds us of the need for penance when we are too comfortable, but also reminds us of the necessity for balance, moderation and fun.

  36. My great grandfather served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers (7th and 7/8th Battalions) and would have known Fr Doyle I’m sure especially when the 7th and 8th amalgamated prior to Fr Doyle’s transfer. My great grandfather came through the war; one of the lucky ones thank God. How wonderful to know that priests like Fr Doyle were present to give spiritual assistance to the men in such awful circumstances.

    • I was in awe as to how Fr. Doyle could see the war as a time of great grace for the men. Fr. Doyle wrote about how the men were driven to confession after particularly horrendous battles. And how he was able to retain a sense of humor in the midst of such great suffering. Also, how seriously he took the corporal and spiritual woks of mercy of burying the dead and praying for the living and the dead, to the point of endangering his own life many times to perform these works. I have a number of priests whom I pray for everyday, and I ask Fr. Doyle to pray for them as well.

  37. I found this on a website i cannot locate now. There seems to be a discrepancy in the sentence I separated out below. If Father Doyle died in 1917 how how could he have given retreats and missions until 1925?

    William Joseph Gabriel Doyle was born in Dalkey, a suburb of Dublin, in Ireland on March 3, 1873. He was the youngest of seven children, four boys and three girls, out of which two boys became Jesuits, another died a few days before his priestly ordination and one of the three girls became a Sister of Mercy: four vocations out of seven children.
    He entered the Jesuit Novitiate at the age of 18 after reading St. Alphonsus’ book “Instructions and Consideration on the Religious State”. Soon after his ordination in 1907, his superiors appointed him on the mission staff for five years.

    From 1908 to 1925, he gave no less than 152 missions and retreats.

    His fame as preacher, confessor and spiritual director spread wide and far, and he had a special gift to hunt out the most hardened and neglected sinners and to bring them back with him to the church for confession.
    In the midst of such an active apostolate, he maintained a fervent spiritual life of union with his Eucharistic Lord, offering himself as a victim for the salvation of souls with the Divine Victim.
    He was finally appointed during World War I chaplain of the 16th Irish Division at the front in November 1915 and having fulfilled his priestly duties in an outstanding fashion for almost two years, he was killed in the Battle of Ypres on August 16, 1917, having run “all day hither and thither over the battlefield like an angel of mercy.” This good shepherd truly gave his life for his sheep.
    From his biography by Alfred O’Rahilly

  38. We were fortunate to be able to be in the audience during the live show at EWTN when you introduced us to Father Doyle. What a gift you have received to be the one tapped by Father Doyle to tell his story. And thanks to you for answering that call. We will all benefit because of it.

  39. Just found out about Fr Doyle
    Will be praying to him every day now
    Inspired me
    Thanks Father Doyle

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  41. Just finished To Raise the Fallen. I am an Orthodox Christian but with a touch of the Irish in me. I want to convey my thankfulness to you for putting this book together. This book won’t be far from as I will muse, ponder and make my own the prayers Fr. Doyle uttered. I am deeply humbled.

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