On 20th November, Bishop Tom Deenihan of the diocese of Meath, officially launched the cause for the canonisation of the servant of God, Fr Willie Doyle - an Irish Jesuit priest who served as a chaplain to the Allied forces in World War I and who was killed ministering to soldiers on 16th August 1917.
Known as a holy man of God, Willie Doyle worked hard to promote priestly and religious vocations. He offered his life and his sufferings in reparation for the sins of priests. He was a man of ecumenism and reconciliation, dying on the battlefield as he tried to rescue two Anglican soldiers.
In 2020 the Father Willie Doyle Association was founded to work towards the canonisation of Fr Willie. The Association's website is available at www.williedoyle.org and seeks prayers, help and donations to further the cause of Fr Willie being a future saint.
For more information on Fr Willie Doyle, check out www.fatherdoyle.com
The President of the Father Willie Doyle Association is Dr Patrick Kenny. In 2017, Dr Kenny edited a book 'To Raise the Fallen: A Selection of the War Letters, Prayers and Spiritual Writings of Fr Willie Doyle SJ'. In the video below, Dr Kenny speaks more about Fr Willie with Wendy Grace. The video above is entitled 'Bravery Under Fire' and is a documentary on the life of this extraordinary soldier and saint.
The following is a prayer composed by Fr Willie Doyle that is published in 'To Raise a Fallen' (p. 177)
"Passion of Christ, comfort me! Comfort me, for the day is long and weary; comfort me as I fight my way up the path of life safe to the haven of Thy Sacred Heart, comfort me in sorrow, in pain, in sickness. Comfort me when temptation rages around me and every hope seems lost, and when the last dread hour has sounded and my eyes are closing on this world of sin, Oh, Passion of Christ! comfort me then, and lead me gently to Thy wounded Sacred Feet above".