An East Cork Town has been celebrating one of Ireland’s most famous beatified persons.
Youghal has been celebrating the 20th anniversary of Blessed Dominic Collins SJ who was murdered in the town for his faith 410 years ago.
Born in Youghal in 1566 in a town where his father and later his brother would serve as Lord Mayor, Collins man became a soldier as a young and travelled to France.
There he fought on the side of the Catholic League against the Protestant army of Henry of Navarra and was widely acclaimed by the Catholic Spanish Monarchy for defending the Catholic faith in Europe.
When the Catholic League later disintegrated, because of his work for the Catholic King of Spain he was later granted a soldiers pension. However he became disillusioned with military life and when he met Fr John White SJ on a visit back to Ireland he decided to join the Jesuit order.
However as Dominic was already in his thirties and had a limited academic education, the Jesuit Order would not allow him become a Jesuit priest and instead, after study in the Jesuit College in Santiago in Spain, he was allowed become a Jesuit brother.
Later he became involved in the Battle of Kinsale in 1601, when accompanied by a Spanish army sent by Philip III sent to help Irish rebels defy the English Crown.
However they were defeated at Dunboy Castle in Bearhaven in West Cork.
Fearing that all the rebels would be executed, Br Dominic gave himself up, believing that the capture of a member of the Jesuit order would save his fellow countrymen.
This was not to be however and Br Dominic was hanged in Youghal on October 31 1602.
In 1992 Br Dominic along with Francis Taylor and 13 other Irish martyrs were beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 27.
To celebrate the historic occasion, the Archbishop of Cashel & Emly and Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Cloyne Dr Diarmuid Clifford celebrated a special Mass in the Holy Family church in Youghal.
A series of lectures on Br Dominic’s life were also held in churches around the town with a special celebration by the Rector of Miltown Park in Dublin, Fr Conall O Cuinn SJ, taking place on October 31, the traditional feast day of Br Dominic.
by Sean Ryan – Tuesday, November 6th, 2012