Edited by Mgr John Hanly
27.2 x 18.0 cm.
The illustrated end-papers reproduce a map of Rome published in 1676.
Note that our copies do not have a dust-jacket, only a clear protective cover. We took over a quantity of book blocks from the liquidators of Dolmen Press in 1987, which we then had cloth-bound. We were unable to find any jackets.
In March 1670 St. Oliver Plunkett, his long exile over, stepped ashore at Ringsend to the welcome of friends and relatives. For twenty-two years he had lived in Rome as clerical student and professor of theology. It was an exciting if also a sad time. Oliver Plunkett stepped into Restoration Ireland as Archbishop of Armagh and Primate. For ten years, until his arrest in December 1679, he applied himself to the task of rebuilding and repairing, knowing that the storm was by no means over. In the early years he was a man in a hurry, taking full advantage of a period of relative toleration and peace. In 1674 he was for many months a fugitive, determined not to forsake his flock until ‘they drag us to the ship with the rope around our necks’. The last few years of his life, including eighteen months in prison, were the years of the infamous Popish Plot of Titus Oates, of which he was the final victim, the last of the martyrs of Tyburn.
For the first time a complete chronological edition of Saint Oliver’s letters enables us to follow the story, as it evolves in his own words, of his work as Archbishop in Ulster, where the Plantation was barely two generations old. He emerges as a man of immense courage, deep conviction and priestly zeal with the sometimes all too human side of one who grew into sainthood; and in the final documents the magnificent calm with which he faced his cruel death stands out.
The Letters of Saint Oliver Plunkett give many interesting insights into various events and characters of his time. His pen ran freely, his policy was to be well informed, and to give a clear picture of all matters touching the Church in Ireland. There are many light-hearted passages too, as when he tells us that the farmer in whose barn he was hiding, and on whom he depended for his food, sometimes came back a little too merry from town, and his guest had to fast. . . .
The letters are printed in their original language, almost always Italian, with translation and commentary. The book is edited by Monsignor John Hanly who first worked on these letters for a doctoral thesis at the Gregorian University from 1959 to 1961, and who was Postulator of the Cause of Saint Oliver from 1968 until the canonisation in 1975.
Designed by Liam Miller.
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