8th March


Venerable Fiacre Tobin and John B. Dowdall


Martyrs, First Order


Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1620 Fiacre Tobin became a Capuchin at an early age. Father Fiacre Tobin was the most heroic figure of the terrible days following the arrival of Cromwell, truly a martyr in the service of God, St. Francis and the Irish people: while other priests fled Father Fiacre Tobin remained steadfast at his post strengthening Catholics in their faith and especially assisting the sick.

Following the law of Expulsion in 1653, Father Fiacre went to France though soon returned to Ireland where he carried out his Priestly Ministry in secret; finally unmasked by the authorities he was bound and led to the magistrates in Dublin.

When he was asked his identity he replied “I am a Capuchin priest, and have returned to my native land to shed my blood for the faith.”( Habig) They were afraid that if they executed him it would strengthen the faith of the Catholics, so they imprisoned him instead.

Habig gives us this description of his time in prison: “His bed was made out of hard boards, a block of wood was his pillow, and half cooked peas were his food.” One month later he was taken aboard a convict ship, sailing from Waterford to Barbadoes to be exiled, being broken in body and too ill to withstand further hardships he died an ostensibly "natural" death aboard ship. He died on march 6 1656 a martyr for the cause of the faith.

Father John Baptist Dowclall, a native of Glaspistol. Co. Louth, near Termpnfeckiii  and Clogher Head died in 1710, their cause of Beatification  was underway at the time Habig wrote his account of these lives. 

As Father Fiacre Tobin died in 1656, his cause will come under Process and Period IV of the General Process of the Irish Martyrs, whilst the cause of Father John Baptist Dowel all, who died in 1710, falls under Process and Period V. (The Irish Capuchin Martyrs ) – the web address seems to be corrupt so I will not cite it here)






Prayer of the Church


We beseech Thee, O Lord, let Thy sacraments perfect in us all


that is contained in them, so that one day we may taste in

unconcealed reality the things which we now celebrate in a veiled manner.

Who liveth  and reigneth

with Thee  and the Holy Spirit,  One God,

now and forever.  Amen



Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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