Mayo priest to be ex­humed in first step to his saint­hood

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

THE re­mains of an Irish priest who ral­lied mil­lions to his world­wide Rosary cru­sades in the 1940s and 1950s are to be ex­humed as part of the process to­wards his pro­posed canon­i­sa­tion.

May­oman Fr Pa­trick Pey­ton – who pop­u­larised the phrase, ‘the fam­ily that prays to­gether, stays to­gether’ – died aged 83 in 1992 and was buried in Bos­ton Col­lege.

Mem­bers of his fam­ily have given per­mis­sion for the ex­huma­tion, which is part of the path to saint­hood. He will likely be rein­terred at the head­quar­ters of the Holy Cross Or­der in New York.

Born to Mary Gil­lard and John Pey­ton in 1909, Pa­trick Joseph Pey­ton grew up in the vil­lage of At­ty­mas be­tween Bal­lina and the Sligo bor­der. A re­li­gious but re­bel­lious teenager he con­tem­plated a vo­ca­tion but chose work in­stead.

In 1928, he and his brother Thomas set sail for Amer­ica to join his elder sis­ters in Scran­ton, a coal-min­ing town in Penn­syl­va­nia pop­u­lar with Irish im­mi­grants.

There he started work as a cus­to­dian at St Peter’s Cathe­dral in 1928, and a large bronze statue of him stands in the cathe­dral grounds to­day.

After com­plet­ing their ed­u­ca­tion he and his brother Thomas en­tered the sem­i­nary of the Con­gre­ga­tion of the Holy Cross in 1932. While hos­pi­talised with a bout of TB in 1938, Pa­trick, en­cour­aged by his sis­ter Nel­lie, de­vel­oped a de­vo­tion to the Blessed Vir­gin and after mak­ing a good recovery went on to be or­dained in 1941.

A year after his or­di­na­tion he founded the Fam­ily Rosary Crusade, a move­ment which sought to bring fam­i­lies to­gether to pray the Rosary.

Ra­dio, tele­vi­sion, bill­boards and films were used to pro­mote the Fam­ily Rosary Crusade – with Rosary ral­lies at­tract­ing tens of thou­sands of peo­ple in­clud­ing Hollywood stars such as Bing Crosby.

Fr Pey­ton was made ven­er­a­ble by Pope Fran­cis re­cently but in or­der for him to be be­at­i­fied it must be proved that Fr Pey­ton per­formed a miracle.

One pos­si­ble med­i­cal miracle un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volves two mem­bers of a fam­ily in Africa be­ing healed of a se­ri­ous dis­ease, and who have re­mained com­pletely symp­tom-free since pray­ing for Fr Pey­ton’s in­ter­ces­sion.

‘Fam­ily that prays to­gether...’

Ven­er­a­ble: Fr Pa­trick Pey­ton leads a Rosary rally in prayer

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