Ignatius Press

Courage Under Fire: Father Willie Doyle, S.J., Priest and Hero of the First World War

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This historical novel for young people is about the heroic life of Father Willie Doyle, S.J., an Irish Jesuit priest who sacrificed his life serving wounded soldiers in World War I.

Father Doyle enjoyed a happy, privileged Victorian childhood in Ireland. Growing up in a loving, faithful Catholic family, he heard the call to serve God as a priest from a very young age. Shortly after his ordination, the First World War broke out, and Father Willie volunteered to serve as a chaplain to the thousands of Irish soldiers fighting in France.

This joyful, holy, brave, and compassionate priest left the country he loved and ministered to soldiers in the hell of the trenches, dodging bullets and bombs to ensure that dying soldiers could receive the sacraments. By the time he was killed trying to help a wounded soldier, Father Willie had become greatly loved and esteemed by both Catholics and Protestants fighting in the war.

The cause for the canonization of Father Willie Doyle has recently been opened in Rome.

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