Born: 15 August 1589, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 13 May 1610, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1621, Louvain, Belgium
Professed: 14 July 1633
Died: 13 July 1664, Irish College, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Had studied Rhetoric before Entry then at Douai and Louvain
1655 In Irish College Rome (Fr Ferri being Rector)
1656-1660 Rector Irish College Rome (Bellarmino and Philip Roche are Consultors)
1662 John Young and William St Leger ask and obtain a papal indulgence for 100 Irish Jesuits (Arch Ir Col Rom XXVI 6)
Taught Humanities, Greek was Preacher, Superior, Master of Novices and Tertian Instructor
He wrote “Relationem de Civitate Corcagie et de Civicate Kilkennie” and “Libros Tres Militia Evangelicae” and “Vitam St Patrick Apostoli” and many other books.
His portrait was published in 1793 by William Richardson, Castle St, Leinster Sq, London
◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Robert Yong and Beatrice née Sall or Sallan (Sallanus)
Studied Humanities in Flanders before Ent, and then in the Society two years Philosophy and four years Theology.
1624 Sent to Ireland. He knew Latin, Greek, Irish, English, French and some Italian.
He taught Humanities and Greek for eight years; Preacher and Confessor for thirty years; Director of BVM Sodality twenty years; Superior of various Residences eighteen years; Master of Novices at Kilkenny and Galway five years; Consultor of Mission five years; Vice-Superior of Mission one year. (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI) also Master of Tertians
He devoted himself to the Irish Mission for thirty years, chiefly in Cork, Waterford and Galway. During the persecution, he frequently went to people’s houses disguised as a miller.
He laid the foundation for the Novitiate at Waterford (should be Kilkenny?). He had to move this Novitiate to Galway, on account of the advance of the rebel Parliamentary forces, and was soon compelled to go with his novices to Europe.
He was then made Rector of the Irish College in Rome, and he was in office for eight years, and died in Rome 13 July 1664 aged 75 (Tanners “Confessors SJ”)
Several of his letters are extant and interesting. Several to Fr General dated Kilkenny, 30 January 1647, 30 June 1648, 31 December 1648, 08 February 1649, 22 June 1649 describe the situation relating to the history of this period. Later there are two letters from Galway to Fr General, 20 April 1650 and 14 August 1650 (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS).
A Writer; A very holy Priest; He took a Vow to observe the Rules.
Mercure Verdier (Irish Mission Visitor reporting in 1649) described him as “a distinguished Preacher, and remarkable for every species of religious virtue”
Father General ordered his portrait to be taken after death and his panegyric to be preached in the Roman College
◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Robert and Beatrice née Sall
Had made his classical education in Flanders before Ent 13 May 1610 Rome
1612-1617 After First Vows, because of ill health, he was sent to Belgium and Courtray (Kortrijk) for Regency where he taught Greek.
1617-1621 He was then sent for Philosophy at Antwerp and Theology at Louvain where he was Ordained 1621.
1621 Sent to Ireland and Cashel, Clonmel and Kilkenny - to the great regret of Lessius who had wanted him appointed as a Chair in Philosophy - where he devoted himself to teaching young people and giving missions.
For many years he was Superior at the Cork Residence
When the Novitiate opened in Kilkenny he was appointed Novice Master
1646-1647 During the inter-regnum that followed the resignation of Robert Nugent as Mission Superior he acted as Vice-Superior of the Irish Mission
1651-1656 When the invasion of Cromwell resulted in the closure of the Novitiate he went back to Rome, initially as Procurator of the Irish Mission (1651) and then sent as Spiritual Father of the Irish College (1652-1656) as well as Tertian Instructor in Romanae Province (ROM)
1656 Rector of Irish College Rome 24 February 1656 where he remained until he died in Office 13 July 1664
He died with the reputation of a Saint. Wonderful stories were told of the favours he received from God in prayer, and information as to his virtues was gathered in Ireland and forwarded to Rome as if it was intended to prepare his cause for beatification.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
John Young (1646-1647)
John Young, son of Robert Young and Beatrice Sall, was born at Cashel on 15th August, 1589. Having finished his classical studies in Flanders, he entered the Novitiate of Sant' Andrea in Rome on 13th May, 1610, but had to return to Belgium two years later on account of ill-health. In Belgium he taught Greek at Courtray, studied philosophy at Antwerp and theology at Louvain and distinguished himself so much that it was with great regret that Fr Leonard Lessius, who hoped to have him appointed to a chair of philosophy, learned that he was ordered to Ireland. Returning home in 1621, he devoted himself to the instruction of youth, and worked as a missioner in Cashel, Clonmel, and Kilkenny, and was for many years Superior of the Cork Residence. He was admitted to the solemn profession of four vows on 14th July, 1633. When the Novitiate was opened at Kilkenny he was appointed Master of Novices, and during the interregnum that followed the resignation of Fr Robert Nugent he acted as Vice-Superior of the Mission (1646-47). When the triumph of the Cromwellian arms dispersed the noviceship he was sent as Procurator of the Mission to Rome (1651). At Rome he was made Consultor and Spiritual Father of the Irish College (1652-56), and Instructor of the Tertians of the Roman Province. He became Rector of the Irish College on 24th February, 1656, and continued in that office till his death on 13th July, 1664. He died with the reputation of a saint. Wonderful stories were told of the favours he received from God in prayer,
and information as to his virtues was gathered in Ireland and forwarded to Rome, as if it was intended to prepare his cause for beatification.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Young 1589-1664
Fr John Yonge or Young was born in Cashel in 1589. He was the son of Robert Yonge and Beatrice Sall, being thus on his mother’s side a relative of the two Jesuits Andrew and James Sall. He became a Jesuit in Rome in 1610.
He was an accomplished linguist, numbering Latin, Greek, Irish, English, French and Italian among his languages. He taught Humanities for eight years and was a preacher and confessor for thirty, Director of the Sodality of Our Lady for twenty, Superior in various houses for eighteen, Master of Novices for five, Consultor of the Mission for five and Vice-Superior of the Mission for one year.
He laboured mainly in Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny and Galway. It was he who founded the noviceship in Kilkenny, reporting in 1647 that he had eleven novices, of whom four were priests, six were scholastics and one brother.
He used often penetrate into the houses of Catholics at the height of the persecution disguised as a miller. For him we are indebted for may letters on the state of the Mission. He also wrote a life of St Patrick.
In 1649 he was forced to move the novices to Galway and thence to the continent. He became Rector of the Irish College at Rome for eight years and finally died in 164 with the reputation of a saint and a thaumaturgus.
◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
YOUNG, JOHN. For thirty years this apostolic man devoted himself to the Irish Mission. The Counties of Cork, Waterford, and Galway, were the principal theatres of his labours. We learn from p.871 of Tanner’s Lives of the Confessors of the Society of Jesus, that this good Father frequently contrived, during the rage of persecution, to penetrate into the houses of the Catholics, in the disguise of a Miller. His spirit of discretion and experience, his eminence as a Preacher, his profound learning, his solid interior virtue, recommended him as the fittest person amongst his Brethren to lay the foundation of the Novitiate at Kilkenny; and no wonder, that under so great a master of Spiritual life, such Ornaments to their Country and Luminaries of Religion as FF. Stephen Rice, William Ryan, &c. &c. should have come forth. Pere Verdier reported him in 1649, to the General of the Order, as “Vir omnium Religiosarum virtutum genere insignis, et concionator egregius”. Obliged by the successful advance of the Parliamentary forces to remove his interesting Establishment from Kilkenny, he conducted it to the Town of Galway; but thence also he was compelled to emigrate with them to the Continent, where he saw himself under the necessity of drafting these dear children in various houses of the Society. Retiring to Rome, he presided over the Irish College there for eight years, and was rewarded with a happy death in that City, on the 13th of July, 1664, aet. 75, as I find it written under his beautifully engraved Portrait. A few original letters of this meritorious and saintly Father are still extant : some Extracts may afford pleasure to the reader.
- Dated from Kilkenny, the 30th of January, 1647 OS.
“Our long expected Superior, P. Malone, by the blessing of God, is at last arrived. His coming was indeed welcomed by all; but, above all, by me, who have been sustaining the double burthen of the Novitiate and the Mission. Now, blessed be God, I am relieved of the care of superintending the Mission. With regard to the Novitiate, we have eleven Novices, of whom four are Priests, six are Scholastics, and one a Temporal Coadjutor. Domestic discipline and regular observance proceed in due course, as I flatter myself. I do trust in the Lord, that they will not degenerate from the primitive spirit of our Fathers. They are trained in the simplicity of obedience, in the despising of themselves and the World, in subduing their passions, renouncing self-will, in the practise of poverty, in the candid and unreserved manifestation of Conscience, in inward conversation and familiarity with God : and of these things, praise be to God, they are very capable and most eager. Nothing is omitted which the Rules prescribe for their formation in the spirit of the Society of Jesus”.
The 2nd is dated from Kilkenny, the 30th of June, 1618.
“The letters of your Rev. Paternity, bearing date the 24th of August, 1647, did not reach me until the 23rd of last month. Never since the memory of man have the affairs of this kingdom been in a more turbulent state than at present, by reason of the discord now prevailing between the Supreme Council and the Nuncio”.
He then states that the Supreme Council, in consequence of severe reverses of fortune during the Campaign, and the great want of ways and means, had concluded a Treaty for six months with Inchinquin, the General of the Enemy’s forces : that some of the Conditions were judged unfavourable to Ecclesiastical rights by the Nuncio, who signified his utter disapprobation, and threatened an interdict, unless the Truce was recalled within the space of nine days; that the Supreme Council appealed to the Holy See; but notwithstanding such appeal, the Nuncio had proceeded to carry his threat into execution; and that confusion and the worst species of civil hostilities were engendered between the parties.
In this and other letters, dated from Kilkenny, the 31st of December, 1648, the 8th of February, 1649, the 22nd of June, 1649, he enters into many details relating to the history of this sad and eventful period, and gives proof of his own quiet and meek spirit, of his tender regard for Charity and the interests of Religion.
From Galway the Rev. Father addressed two letters to the Gen. Piccolimini.
The first is dated the 20th of April, 1650 : he remarks on the bright prospect there was for the Irish Mission of the Society in Ireland but seven years ago; what a wide field was opened for extending the glory of God, and procuring the salvation of souls; that several cities had petitioned for Colleges of the Order, and that competent foundations* had been offered and some accepted; that the small number of labourers for such an abundant harvest of souls (for they hardly amounted to sixty for the whole of Ireland, nam vix sexayinta in toto regno fuimus) induced them to apply for powers to admit Novices at home, who being instructed in virtue and afterwards in learning, might succeed us, most of whom are advanced in years, in the work of the Ministry. The necessary permission was obtained; it was confirmed and increased afterwards, and the Novitiate had prosperously maintained its course during the last four years “et Novitiatus hoc quadriennio prosper suum cursum tenuit”. But as nothing is stable in human affairs, during the last year the Establishment was disturbed by the din of arms and by the assault of the Parliamentary forces, insomuch that a transmigration to Galway had become necessary. Every day the political horizon grew darker, and the panic and despair of the confederated Chiefs portended the worst consequences to the Country. He adds, “For the more advanced of our Brethren we are not so concerned; for they are prepared by age and the long exercise of virtues to meet the brunt and storm of Persecution : but for the Juniors, as for so many unfledged young from the hovering Kite, we are all solicitude”. After earnestly consulting Almighty God, and deliberating with the Fathers of Galway and its neighbourhood, he states, that it was unanimously resolved to send the young men abroad as soon as possible, trusting in God and in the accustomed charity of the Society, that provision would be made for them. He finishes by saying, “My bowels are moved with the danger impending on those whom I have begotten in Christ; for, as their Master of Novices, I have brought them forth with the anxiety of a mother. I now commend and commit them to your Rev. Paternity, that they may be distributed and accepted through the Provinces; hear, I implore you, my good Father, this first petition of their very poor Mother; I do not say, my Petition; but of this declining Mission; because Satan waxes fierce and cruel, intent on extinguishing the spark which is left, and on leaving us no name or remainder upon the earth”. (2 Kings, xiv. 70.)
The second letter is dated the 14th of August, 1650. After briefly adverting to the successes of the Puritan Factions, and the atrocities and sacrileges which marked their triumphant progress, he says, that he will take the first safe opportunity of shipping off his dear Novices to the Continent, and conjures the General to exercise his tender charity towards these interesting Exiles.
- Amongst these benefactors (we have already noticed the greatest, Elizabeth Nugent, Countess of Kildare, who died on the 26th of October, 1645) we must particularize Dr. Thomas Dease, Bishop of Meath; Mr. Edmund Kirwan and his relation Francis Kirwan, Bishop of Killala (his Lordship had obtained to be admitted into the Society “pro hora mortis”, and was buried in the Jesuits Church at Rennes); and Thomas Walsh, Archbishop of Cashell, who died in exile at Compostella. The Supreme Council had also engaged in 1645. to erect a new University, to be under the charge of the Jesuits, as also to found a College under the name of Jesus.