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Murphy, John


Spiritual director, preacher; b. Dublin, Dec. 29, 1710; d. Dublin, July 3, 1753. He was the son of Bryan Murphy, tallow chandler of Thomas Street, Dublin, and Alice McMahon. Bryan, deprived of his father by the Williamite wars, through apprenticeship had been brought up a Presbyterian, but returned to the Church on his deathbed. John showed early promise, was sent to Santiago in 1727, and then went to Salamanca, where his brilliance, linguistic ability, and ascetic spirit made a notable impression. Ill health compelled his return to Dublin, where he was ordained. His priestly ministry was remarkable for charity, preaching that attracted many non-Catholics, and extraordinary influence with the crowds in a time of many riots. Tireless in counteracting the effects of the Charter Schools, in providing for orphans, in caring for the wayward, he undermined a weak constitution by his unremitting apostolate in Dean Swift's Dublin, coupled with his self-mortification. Though a canon, he remained always an assistant priest in his native parish of St. Catherine. In 1750 he visited Rome to solicit help in the struggle against the Charter Schools and received the Doctory of Divinity degree. His funeral evoked an extraordinary manifestation of public grief, noted by the Protestant press of the day.

Bibliography: An Account of the Life of Rev. John Murphy, D.D. (Dublin 1753).

[j. j. meagher]

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