edel quinn

A Prayer of Edel Quinn

“Dear Jesus, make yourself to me,

A Living bright reality,

More present to faith’s vision seen,

Than any outward object seen,

More near, more intimately nigh,

Than any earthly tie”

I came across the above prayer when I was eighteen, studying for exams and I have prayed it since then, nearly every day. Edel greatly helped in the exams and she has been a life long friend since.  I must admit, even at eighteen, I was childishly drawn to her picture because it looked as if she wore lipstick and styled her hair! For me, this piqued my interest! Finally a young saint, that looked young!

So many saints didn’t care much for style I thought, but I found Edel Quinn an example of a modern woman, who held down a job , lived in the world and yet achieved sanctity. A bit of a heroine of her time you could say. Yes, she was born just ten years after St Therese, her spiritual patron died. Both loved extraordinarily well and did little things with immense love.

An Irish girl from Cork, Edel loved Our Lady. She became a world famous member of the Legion of Mary, a lay movement dedicated to Mary. I think her life as a lay woman in the Church was truly prophetic, that yes, she wasn’t under vows, but her life had a massive impact on the missions in Ireland and Africa despite her frail health. Edel’s work in Africa was extensive setting up Legion Circles and as a result of her work, the Legion of Mary is still very vibrant in Africa.

Edel’s love and trust in Mary was indominatable, her favourite response in difficulties was:  “Why can’t we trust Our Lady?”

Also, Edel didn’t worry too much about loving Jesus enough, she knew her Mother would take care of it:”Mary in me will love her Son” she used to say.

Edel died young, in Nairobi on May 12, 1944.She was a symbol of the Legion of Mary yes, but also, in the words of a Spanish Cardinal, “an image of the eternal youth of the Church”. That’s what attracted me to her as a Saint I could really look upto.

Just one miracle is needed for Edel to be Beatified, for the moment, Edel is known as Venerable. It is just a matter of time.

Let us join in prayer to this great, modern, Irish saint, this little flower of Mary’s Heart, that she is raised to the honours of the Altar.

Prayer for the Beatification of Venerable Edel Quinn

Eternal Father, I thank you for the grace you gave to your servant, Edel Quinn, of striving to live always in the joy of your presence, for the radiant charity infused into her heart by your Holy Spirit and for the strength she drew from the Bread of Life to labour until death for the glory of Your name in loving dependence on Mary, Mother of the Church.

Confident, O Merciful Father, that her life was pleasing to you, I beg you to grant me, through her intercession, the special favour I now implore ……….., and to make known by miracles the glory she enjoys in Heaven, so that she may be glorified also by your Church on earth, through Christ Our Lord, Amen


saint margaret mary For seventeen years, the Sacred Heart of Jesus spoke to Sister Margaret Mary at her Convent in Paray-le-Monial, France. “It is here that I would have thee to be’ the Lord has said to her as soon as she entered the Convent parlour way back in the 17th Century. How glorious to hear those words every day of our lives as we go to our work, our schools, our duties ‘it is hear that I would have thee to be’.

The following quote from St Margaret Mary is one of my favourites; it leaves those of us in the 21st Century brought up on having a comfortable life at whatever cost feeling a little perplexed as it goes against our hedonistic culture:

“What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ only when He caresses us, and to be cold immediately once he afflicts us. This is not true love. Those who love thus, love themselves too much to love God with all their heart.”

These are tough words indeed but very, very true words.

I am guilty of the same.

Before afflictions the Lord often sends me sweetness and consolation. However, once the clouds of misunderstanding and pain are upon me, I sometimes neglect prayer and spiritually I can go into a ‘sulk’ for a few days.

The greatest Commandment is to love God with all our hearts, souls and strength. If we love ourselves to such a degree that afflictions send us running away from God then we are in a sorry state.

Yet, how much that state is ‘normal’ these days with so many ‘enemies of the Cross of Christ’ even in the Church itself?

A contemporary of St Margaret Mary, St Madeleine Sophie Barat stated:

“We MUST suffer in order to go to God. We forget this truth far too often”

With the Lord nothing is impossible and prayer and grace are our remedy; “my grace is sufficient for you” said the Lord to St Paul and indeed, we need to make ourselves more open and worthy of Divine Grace at every moment.

God’s own life wishes to flood our souls and bring us to the heights of holiness at each moment of our lives.

“Joy be to thee always…Be of good courage, thy cure from God is at hand” (Tobias 5:11-13)

St Raphael, one of the seven spirits who worship the Lord unceasingly before his archangel raphael throne greeted Tobias with these words.

In Hebrew, the name ‘Raphael’ means ‘God has healed’ and it has long been considered in the Church’s tradition that Raphael was also the ‘Angel of the Lord’ that descended to stir the water in the pool at Bethsaida (Gospel of John).

In the 1920’s a nun, Sr Mary Jerome found an old essay on the Angels in her Convent library, in this essay was a prayer to St Raphael which she took and distributed around. It was soon world famous and many healings and heavenly aids were attributed to it. Here’s the prayer in full:

“Dear St Raphel, Angel of happy meetings, lead us by the hand toward those we are waiting for and those who are waiting for us. May all our movements, all their movements, be guided by your light and transfigured by your joy.

Angel guide of Tobias, please lay my request at the foot of Him, on whose unveiled face you are privileged to gaze, (place your request here). Lonely and weary, deeply grieved by the separation and sorrows of earth, we feel the need of calling out to you and of pleading for the protection of your wings so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy.

Remember the weak, you who are strong, whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God. Amen”

The Book of Tobit in the Old Testament gives us the greatest detail and insight into the Archangel St Raphael who was ‘..sent to heal them’ that is, sent to heal both Sara (as her previous husbands kept dying on their wedding night) and Tobias, Tobit’s father who had been blinded;

“that an example might be given to posterity of his patience, as also of holy Job”

Tobias sent Tobit out on a journey to collect some money, on looking for a companion, Tobit found a ‘beautiful young man’ who was actually St Raphael in disguise.

St Raphael greeted the blind Tobias with the words:

“Joy be to thee always…Be of good courage, thy cure from God is at hand” (Tobias 5:11-13)

We need to hear those words these days from the Archangel of joy and we need to learn to be ‘of good courage’ when many things around us are turning dark.

St Raphael in the Book of Tobit was instrumental in the two powerful healings of Sara and Tobias. Everyone wished to thank St Raphael.

Instead, as any good angel would, St Raphael referred all the thanks and glory to God alone with these words:

 “Bless the God of Heaven, give glory to him in the sight of all that live, because he has shown his mercy to you…”

Turning to Tobias, St Raphel said:

 “When you prayed with tears…I offered your prayer to the Lord”

Do we believe that our angels, who behold God face to face, offer our prayers to the Lord?

Padre Pio did.

For now I leave you with my favorite prayer (for busy people) to this Angel of joy:

“Angel St Raphael, fill my life with happy meetings,

Let each meeting fulfill the loving decrees of God’s Holy Will.

St Raphael, my protector, please by my guide, my friend and director today”