Cunningham, John, 1817-1858, Jesuit priest

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Cunningham, John, 1817-1858, Jesuit priest

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29 March 1817-26 December 1858

History

Born: 29 March 1817, Cobh, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1834, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England (ANG)
Ordained: by 1847
Professed: 02 February 1858
Died: 26 December 1858, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

by 1844 in Rome Studying
by 1847 in St Paul’s Malta

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes - “Here he made such rapid strides at his books, that in a short time he had few equals in class” (Biographer). All through school he was noted for his remarkable talent, piety and good conduct. he Entered the Society in his 17th year, 07 September 1834.

After First Vows he was sent to teach Humanities and Mathematics, doing this for a number of years until his health broke down. A man of resolute character, this quality helped him deal with his illness. He was sent to Rome for a change of air, and hopefully to pursue his Priestly studies. He was advised to go for these to Sicily and later to Malta, after which he was Ordained. He then returned to Ireland and Tullabeg, both to teach and as Operaius at the new Church attached to the College. He was also Minister there for a while. he spent all his spare time on the Confessional, and eventually was appointed to concentrate solely on this work. Crowds came to him. He was kind and sympathetic in manner, and helped many troubled souls. The people looked on him as a kind of “Thaumaturgus” (miracle worker), and many are the stories related of him. Some years before his death his health failed him again, and he had to give up this work in the Confessional. He had a long and painful illness, though throughout he never complained. Worn out, he died 26 December 1858.
The crowds at his funeral were immense. His remains were first interred in the College grounds in a cemetery near the Church. Alfred Murphy had been a pupil of his at Tullabeg, and held him in such high esteem, that when he became Rector there, he had a special vault built on the Gospel side in the Church, and John was reinterred there.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Cunningham SJ 1817-1858
John Cunningham was born at the Cobh of Cork on March 29th 1817. At Clongowes “He made such rapid strides in his studies that he had few equals in class”. He entered the Society in 1834, being then 17 years old.

After his noviceship he was sent to teach Humanities and Mathematics. He continued at this for some years until his health broke down. To improve his health he was sent abroad to Rome, Sicily and Malta. Ordained a priest, he returned to Tullabeg as professor and operarius in the newly built church attached to the College. He spent all his spare time in the confessional, till he was finally assigned to this work alone. Crowds came to him from all sides.The people looked at him as a kind of “Thaumaturgus”, and many are the stories related of him.

His health failing, he had to spend work in the church. He had a long illness, crowned by a long and bitter agony. Worn out in body and mind, he expired on St Stephen’s Day 1856. The crowds of people at his funeral were immense. His remains were interred first in a cemetery in the College ggrounds. Later on, Fr Alfred Murphy, who had been a pupil of his, had a special vault built in the church on the Gospel side, whither his remains were re-interred.

He died with the reputationof a saint and miracle worker.

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Angliae Province of the Society of Jesus, 1622- (1622-)

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Angliae Province of the Society of Jesus, 1622-

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Cunningham, John, 1817-1858, Jesuit priest

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830- (1830-)

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-

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Cunningham, John, 1817-1858, Jesuit priest

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IE IJA J/1144

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