Category Archives: John XXIII

Pope John XXIII on Holy Cross College, Clonliffe


The following letter was sent by Bl. Pope John XXIII to the Most Rev. John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, on the occassion of the Centenary of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe (then the Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Dublin):

The forthcoming celebration in your diocesan See, on the occasion of the Centenary of the foundation of the Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Dublin is, to Our mind, entirely fitting and opportune. For if a Seminary, by reason of its object and its importance, has always been regarded by this Holy See as illustrious and worthy of veneration, it is indeed suitable that this Seminary, bearing the title of the Holy Cross and so distinguished in its beginnings and in its achievements, should be acclaimed.

The foundation of the Seminary in the year 1860 was the work of a most distinguished and eminently praiseworthy man, Paul Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin, and former Rector of the Irish College and of the Roman College of Propaganda, who was raised to the Cardinalate by Our Predecessor, Pius IX, of happy memory, in recognition of his magnificent services on behalf of the Chair of Peter and of the Universal Church. He thought it wise to link the College, which was destined for students of Philosophy and Theology, to the Catholic University, which he had established six years before to the great benefit of the whole of Ireland.
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Patrician Year (1961): Éamon de Valera’s Address to Pope John XXIII


President Éamon de Valera gave the following address to Bl. Pope John XXIII when presenting the Holy Father with a replica of St. Patrick’s Bell and Shrine, on the occasion of the President’s visit to the Vatican for the closing of the Patrician Year:

Primam, quod sciamus, Sancti Patricii Campanae mentionem reddit commentarius pro anno 552 in veteribus illis fastis Hibernicis qui Annales intitulantur Ulidiae. Gadelice quidem scriptus Latine incipit ‘sic in libro Cuanach inveni,’ et hoc sensu vertitur — ‘Annis sexaginta post obitum Sancti Patricii reliquias scrinio imposuit Colum Cille. Splendidi thesauri tumulo inventi sunt tres, scilicet calix, Evangelium Angeli, et Campana Testamenti. Quae singula pro Colum Cille in hunc modum Angelus distribuit: calicem Duno, Campanam Testamenti Ard Macha, Evangelium Angeli ipsi Colum Cille. Angeli vero hac de causa nuncupatur Evangelium quia recepit Colum Cille de manu Angeli.’

Parum quidem compertum quomodo inventa sit campana, quidve Clocc in Aidhechta vel Campana Testamenti nominata; quin tamen revera sit antiqua ac genuina nemo dubitat.
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The Mercy of God by Pope John XXIII


Patrician Year (1961): Missalette for Pontifical High Mass at Croke Park, 25th June


click above to read in full (pdf)

CLICK HERE to watch newsreel of the Mass.

CLICK HERE to listen to William Nelson presenting a silver trowel to His Eminence the Papal Legate. (“…a petition to Mary, the Mother of God, for her continued assistance in our struggle against atheistic communism…”)

Patrician Year (1961): Bl. John XXIII’s Letter to the Irish Hierarchy


To Our Beloved Son
John Cardinal D’Alton
Archbishop of Armagh
And to Our Venerable Brothers
The Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland

Beloved Son and Venerable Brothers, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

Holy Church, founded by Christ Jesus to free mankind from death, shines throughout the world by her sanctity, is nourished by grace, lives by truth and, in the words of Saint Irenaeus, “as the sun, God’s creature, is one and the same in the whole world, so the light, which the preaching of truth is, shines forth in every place and enlightens all men” (Adv. Haer. 1, 10, 2; MG f. 552). This preaching of truth, Beloved Son and Venerable Brothers, is a special glory of your country — for through the centuries its distinguishing mark has always been: “peregrinari pro Christo”. Irish priests and religious, as is well known, from the coming of the Gospel message to their land, spurred on by the splendid example of Saint Patrick, your illustrious Father and Apostle, went forth and made their way through many European lands to bring them the flame of faith and an unconquerable zeal in winning souls for Christ.

The genius of your nation has won for the Church in Ireland imperishable renown and admiration among the many peoples who owe their Christian origin and development to the burning love of Irish Apostles and to their active priestly ministry. These Catholic people in themselves are a manifest and an eloquent testimony to Catholic Ireland’s missionary character; they show it forth to the whole world and add splendour to its titles to glory.
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Patrician Year (1961): Bl. John XXIII on the Irish Church


The following letter was addressed to Cardinal John D’Alton, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, on the occassion of the opening of the Patrician Year celebrations, 17th March, 1961.

The fifteenth centenary of the death of Saint Patrick, the Apostle of the Irish, is about to be celebrated with fitting solemnity throughout Ireland, particularly in his own episcopal city.

As soon as We learned of this forthcoming celebration, We desired to extend Our warm congratulations to you, Beloved Son, and to your zealous colleagues in the hierarchy, on your intelligent foresight and on your zeal for religion. Because one result of this commemoration will be — as We confidently hope and believe — that greater attention will be focused on recording events of the saint’s life and the sterling Irish people will be moved, as they see more clearly the incomparable benefits which Saint Patrick brought them, to imitate his example and to follow his footsteps in leading their Christian lives.
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Patrician Year (1961): Bl. John XXIII’s Address on St. Patrick


Addressing a congregation of 500 in the Consistorial Hall of the Vatican after Mass on the 17th March 1961, the Holy Father gave the following address:

Dia is Muire dhibh is Pádraig.

On this day, the faithful people of Ireland, in their own beloved country and in every part of the world, are celebrating the liturgical feast of Saint Patrick, the fearless apostle and father of their faith, in the fifteenth centenary of his holy death.

You, beloved children of the Irish colony in Rome, have wished to gather in prayer at the altar of the Divine Sacrifice, around the humble successor of Saint Peter. With great pleasure did We accede to your filial desire: not only in order to render this occasion memorable, but especially in order to bear open witness to the esteem and affection which We cherish in Our heart for your glorious nation.
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