To Raise the Fallen, Selections from the Life of Fr. Willie Doyle

Looking for a great new read? I wanted to take the opportunity to share a book with you that has been an inspiration for my life called To Raise the Fallen on the writings of Fr. Doyle by Patrick Kenny. For those who haven't heard of him, Fr. Willie Doyle was an Irish military chaplain during World War I. He gave his life as a "martyr of charity" administering the Sacraments to soldiers in "No Man's Land." One of the hallmarks of his life was a deep personal union with God and striving to love Him in the tiniest details, which overflowed into a joyous and generous spirit toward souls. 

To Raise the Fallen captures Fr. Doyle's spiritual advice, prayers that he composed, and letters that he sent home to his father from the Front. He had a great desire to offer himself as a victim for the salvation of priests and to live a holy life. On the day of his ordination, Fr. Doyle wrote: "My loving Jesus, on this morning of my ordination to the priesthood, I wish to place in your Sacred Heart, in gratitude for all You have done for me, the resolutions from this day forward to go straight for holiness. My earnest wish and firm resolve is to strive with might and main to become a saint."

Fr. Doyle earnestly encouraged souls to pursue the vocations that God called them to and wrote several pamphlets to foster these callings. He spent himself utterly by giving missions, writing letters as a spiritual director, and finally serving his fellow soldiers in the trenches, offering Mass, confessions, and the Last Rites. Father sensed an urgency about using the time he was given for the glory of God, frequently making note of the shortness of this life. He said, "I may not have long now to prove my love for Jesus," and he died at the age of 44. One of his favorite sayings was, "Jesus, Thou Saint of saints, make me a saint."

Fr. Willie Doyle, pray for us! 

Other titles from Fr. Doyle's life:

Fr. William Doyle by Alfred O'Rahilly

Vocations by Fr. Doyle

Shall I be a Priest? by Fr. Doyle

Scruples and their Treatment by Fr. Doyle

(resources available at