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Fr. Willie Doyle, SJ: Ireland’s Forgotten Saint?

Catholicism Pure & Simple

by K. V. Turley

Some years back, while doing research in a monastery library, I came across a passing reference to a priest and soldier. It intrigued me. His biography, published in 1920, was cited; I made a note, and left it at that, or so I thought. Because, unexpectedly, months later, I found the biography, and late one night sat down to read.

Like so many caught up in the conflict that came to be known as the Great War, Father Willie Doyle was buried where he fell, without marker or tombstone, just another casualty among millions. That should have been the end of matters; however, it proved not to be the case.

Before his death, he had requested that his private papers be burned. Thankfully, they weren’t; their subsequent discovery, and publication as part of the 1920 biography, caused consternation among those who knew him.

The papers revealed…

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