To Raise the Fallen
‘Father Doyle was one of the best priests I have ever met, and one of the bravest men who ever fought or worked out here.’ — Major-General Hickie, 16th (Irish) Division
Dublin-born military chaplain Willie Doyle SJ died in action during the Battle of Passchendaele on 16 August 1917, having been hit by a German shell while rushing to the aid of wounded soldiers trapped in No Man's Land. In To Raise the Fallen, Patrick Kenny introduces readers to this remarkable figure from Irish Catholicism whose faith, courage and generosity in the face of untold devastation continues to inspire Christians and non-Christians alike.
To Raise the Fallen comprises a selection of Willie Doyle’s rich and vivid letters from the front, alongside diary entries, prayers, spiritual writings and extracts from pamphlets on the vocational life that made him a publishing sensation across Europe in the early years of the twentieth century. Father Doyle’s compassion, cheerfulness and humility, alongside his great valour in wartime, are testament to his commitment to Gospel values, while his final act of bravery truly epitomises Christ’s edict that there ‘is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’.
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