The first beatification ceremony to be held in Ireland will take place in Dublin next Saturday.

Fr John Sullivan, a Jesuit famed for his devotion to the poor and sick and for the efficacy of his prayers, will be beatified at the Jesuit Gardiner Street church where he is buried.

In an unprecedented gesture, the formal request for beatification will be made by Anglican as well as Catholic archbishops. This is because Fr Sullivan was raised Anglican before converting to Catholicism.

During the Mass, a large portrait of Fr Sullivan will be unveiled and a relic of his hair, which was kept by his barber, Charlie Barrett, will be brought to the altar. The Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus will be sung by one of Ireland’s leading sopranos, Celine Byrne. A large number of pilgrims from all over Ireland are expected in Dublin for the ceremony on May 13.

The beatification Mass will be screened live online at Jesuit.ie/beatification. It will also be shown in two marquees set up in the garden of the Gardiner Street church as well as in the nearby Jesuit Belvedere College, a private boys’ secondary school.

The principal celebrant and homilist will be Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He will be assisted by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

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