Monday, October 10, 2016

Fr. Patrick Ryan of Chattanooga

Recently, the Diocese of Knoxville initiated the Cause for the canonization of Servant of God, Father Patrick Ryan of Chattanooga. This will be the first sainthood cause in the history of the Louisville Province (the seven dioceses of Kentucky and Tennessee). 

Born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1845, Father Ryan served as pastor of Saints Peter and Paul parish (now a Basilica) in Chattanooga from 1872 to 1878 and was instrumental in founding Notre Dame High School in 1876. In September 1878, a yellow fever epidemic broke out in Chattanooga, in which 366 locals died. Four-fifths of the population fled from the city, but Father Ryan remained “going from house to house in the worst-infected section of the city to find what he could do for the sick and needy.” He himself became ill on September 26 and died on September 28. In 1886 when his body was transferred to the new Mount Olivet Cemetery, the city turned out in force to honor his memory. The funeral procession included more than 100 carriages.

Let us pray for the sainthood Cause of this heroic priest!

Heavenly Father, who inspired the Servant of God, Father Patrick Ryan, former pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Chattanooga, to be a model of charity in action during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, grant, we beseech You, that this heroic charity be recognized by your Church, and that he be elevated to the full honor of sainthood. May we, too, be inspired by his example to that same measure of charity toward all our brothers and sisters in need. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Is it known what day Fr Ryan was born in 1845 ?