Dublin, Ireland: Shrine of Venerable Matt Talbott
The life story of Matt Talbot:
Matt Talbot was one of 12 children born to an alcoholic father who died quite early. All the men in the family became alcoholics. Matt was a common laborer, who was usually drunk, but would still outwork all of the laborers. He had very little education since there was no such thing as compulsory education. He started his first job at the age of 12; it was in a wine bottling store and that is when his excessive drinking began. He started by drinking the dregs of empty beer bottles and then graduated to whiskey.
One evening when he was 28 years old, he went out and found a priest and “took the pledge” off alcohol for three months. He struggled during that first year, but during that time he renewed the pledge for life, never touching alcohol again (for 41 more years).
His resolve was maintained by a new life of much prayer, daily Mass and Rosary, hard work and much penance. Matt Talbot collapsed and died of heart failure on June 7, 1925. (We celebrate his feast day on June 19.). He died while walking to his beloved church, and the Bishop had a plaque installed on the spot. Penitential chains were found on his body after his death. Many miracles, especially those of addictions, have been attributed to his intercession.
The Shrine of Venerable Matt Talbot:
His shrine is located in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Dublin.As you approach the altar, on the left, you will find his tomb. Many votives are left here and pilgrims come to offer their petitions and prayers.
Finding the Shrine of Venerable Matt Talbot:
Address: Sean Macdermott Street Lower, Dublin 1
GPS coordinates: 53° 21′ 14.7996” N, 6° 15′ 13.0464” W
Tel: +353 (01) 8363554
We are not aware of an official website for the Church at this time other than a general website giving their Mass schedule.
It often surprises people to discover that St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin is not a Catholic church, it is protestant in the Anglican tradition. Originally a Catholic Church, it was consecrated in 450 in celebration of Patrick’s coming to Ireland. It was later elevated to the status of Cathedral (probably around 1192 although the date is not certain) and remained so until about 1537 when it became the protestant church that it is today.
The Catholic Cathedral in Dublin is Saint Mary’s pro-Cathedral.
Visitors to Dublin are also often attracted to Trinity College to view the Book of Kells. This elaborately decorated book of the four Gospels in Latin is said to date from around the 7th Century.