Lough Derg

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O'More, Florence, 1551-1616, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1930
  • Person
  • 1551-06 August 1616

Born: 1551, Armagh, County Armagh
Entered: 26 June 1582, Brünn (Brno), Czech Republic - Austriacae Province (ASR)
Ordained: 1577, Cork - before Entered
Final vows: 29 June 1594
Died 06 August 1616, Neuhaus (Jindřichův Hradec), Bohemia (Czech Republic) - Austriacae Province (ASR)

1587 At Brünn BOH Age 26 - of middling health.
1590 Vienna CAT At Vienna hearing confessions.
1593-1600 At Turocz (Turóc, Slovakia) ASR Age 42 Soc 11. Minister twice at Brün, has taught Grammar and Syntax in different Colleges and now teaches Greek, is Confessor of College and Consultor of Rector.
1600-1603 At Vienna College Spiritual Father.
1603-1616 At Neuhaus College, Bohemia. Temporary Librarian and Prefect of Health. Confessor of students and Germans.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica”:
Friend of Primate Creagh;
Educated at Paris and Pont-à-Mousson; Minister of Neuhaus College in Germany (for 24 years confessor of the holy foundress of that College, and of Germans and foreigners)
(cf sketch of his life in “Hist. of Austrian Province AD 1616; and "Hibernia Ignatiana" 28028, 122)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
According to himself his baptismal name was Fersi (=Fear sithe, man of peace); The name Florece was given because the baptising priest knew no Irish. He later asked the General if he could be known as Pacficus (Latin) or Solomon (Greek.! The General suggested he use the name he was known by, so he used Florence.
Already a priest before Ent 26 June 1582 Brünn (Brno) ASR
He began life as a page or valet to Archbishop Creagh of Armagh. Having acquired some Latin he wanted to be a Priest, but was discouraged by the Archbishop, who made him promise to drop the idea. Later the Archbishop, when a prisoner, relented and Florence, with little Latin but deep piety - he made the pilgrimage to Lough Derg three times - was Ordained by the Jesuit Bishop Edmund Tanner of Cork in 1577. He then spent four years in Paris where he managed to complete two years of Philosophy under the influence of the Irish Jesuit Richard Fleming, and was received into the Novitiate at 26 June 1582 Brünn (Brno).
After First Vows in the Society, because he was already a Priest, Initially He had been sent to Olomuc, but returned after a few months he returned to Brünn (Brno) to work as an Operarius at the Church there. He was very conscious of his the gaps in his own Priestly formation, and he asked the General to be allowed to remedy this. He was given a year to himself to study cases of conscience, and though by the standards of the Society he was an un- educated priest, he showed himself a man of prudence in spiritual direction
After only five years in the Society he was made Superior of the Jesuit Church at Brünn (Brno).
He exercised his church ministry later as Operarius at Vienna, Turocz (Turiec, Slovakia) and Neuhaus (Jindřichův Hradec, Czech Republic) (1596) and it was here that he was to spend the last 20 years of his life, where he was regarded as a sound spiritual guide, especially by priests and Religious. For a time he was Minister and prefect of the Church, and he died there 04 August 1616.
He volunteered to serve on the Irish mission and Father Holywood was anxious to have him sent to Ireland because of his fluency in Irish. There was a lull in the requests on the arrest of Holywood, but he resumed his efforts after release. But his poor health and increasing deafness saw his Austrian Superiors decide to keep him in the Province,

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Florence Moore 1550-1616
Florence Moore was born in Armagh in 1550. As a boy he had such a love of corporal austerities, that he went three times on pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory, Lough Derg, and spent nine days each time in severe penances. He was attached to the household of Fr Richard Creagh, Archbishop of Armagh, by whom he was singularly loved, and who promoted his studies for the priesthood. He spent eight years at Paris and Pont-à-Mousson studying. Dr Tanner, Bishop of Cork, former Jesuit, ordained him in 1575. Four or five years later he went to Rome where he was received into the Society by Fr Claude Acquaviva in 1582.

Finally he was sent to the new College at Neuhaus founded by the Viceroy of Bohemia, where he spent the rest of his life. He did such useful work as a confessor that the Jesuits of Bohemia refused to release him for work in Ireland, in spite of repeated requests from the Superior of the Mission.

Before his death he made a general confession of his whole life, and when tempted by the devil with bewildering doubts, he used refer him to that confession, and when the devil appeared in visible form, he banished him by kissing the crucifix.

He died on August 4th 1616.