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New Resources


John Looby SJ
Messenger Publications, 2017
Paperback €9.95; Souvenir Hardback €14.95


‘Holiness knows no denominational boundaries,’ Archbishop Diarmuid Martin remarked at a Mass of Thanksgiving for Blessed John Sullivan SJ earlier this year referring to the social and religious origins of Blessed John. To mark the momentous occasion, the first beatification to take place in Ireland, the former editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger magazine, John Looby SJ, has undertaken the difficult task of his biography. Difficult because, as quoted of his former student and earlier biographer, the late Fr Fergal McGrath SJ, ‘He left practically no writings that reveal anything of his interior life.’ However with the help of Fr McGrath’s early work and other primary sources, John Looby has managed to compile a vivid and inspiring account of the social and spiritual journey on which John Sullivan embarked from being part of the Protestant Irish ascendancy elite, to the austere life of an Irish Jesuit who ‘though no gifted preacher,’ spent himself in the service of the young, the poor and the sick. The reverence for him after his death was spontaneous and widespread and continues unabated.

     At just 84 pages long and most attractively printed and illustrated, this publication makes a worthy contribution to the beatification celebrations and will be welcomed by devotees and those seeking an introduction to a man who, as Archbishop Martin declared, inspires all who are baptised to bring the healing power of Christ’s cross ‘to those who are sick and troubled, lonesome and abandoned and to the many who seek meaning and purpose in a world which can often feel so empty and alone.’





Veritas Publications, 2017



In an age of 24-hour news coverage and multiple social media devices, Pope Francis, with over 10 million Twitter followers and an unprecedented number of publications in his name, reaches a daily global audience which could not have been imagined by the Gospel writers or come within the grasp of any previous pontiff. The focus and clarity he brings to many vital issues such as peace, the environment and the family are addressed through prayer in this pocket sized 74-page volume.

All of these selected prayers have been issued since his election and include a number devoted to and through the Blessed Virgin Mary making them a special resource for home, school or parish. The final pages contain his now famous ‘Five Finger Prayer’ widely used in classrooms and parishes around the world and ideal for family prayer time. 




Christian Classics, SPCK Publishing


While praying in the Monastery of the Incarnation in Ávila in a loft overlooking the sanctuary, Spanish mystic, poet and Doctor of the Church, John of the Cross, friend and collaborator of the charismatic St Teresa of Jesus, had a vision of the crucified Christ, which led him to create his famous drawing of Christ ‘from above’. In 1641, this drawing was placed in a small monstrance and kept in Ávila. The drawing inspired the artist Salvador Dalí’s 1951 work Christ of Saint John of the Cross. John has continued to inspire artists and poets across the centuries. SPCK Publishing have now reprinted his classic work of sensual spirituality, The Living Flame of Love which contains some of his most famous and evocative images composed during his imprisonment in Toledo. Rooted in Scripture it is a work of poem and prose commentary on the love between the soul and God memorably described as like a log of wood which catches fire and becomes transformed into a great fire, glowing more and more the longer it burns. In her introduction, Caroline Cox affirms the continuing relevance of this classic work: ‘The balance between the ideal and the realistic, with the recognition of the great gap between ultimate perfection and the harsh reality of our humanity, are features of John’s writing that I find deeply reassuring.’ 


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