Venerable Edel Quinn

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 ....(Specify the favour) ...., 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

(with ecclesiastical approval)

Edel Quinn A Life In the Trinity



The author, Fr. Anselm Moynihan, Op, is the Vice-Postulator of the cause of Edel Quinn. Fr. Anselm has written a "life" of Edel and has been unsparing in his efforts to promote her cause. 'Maria Legionis' takes this opportunity to express grateful thanks to him. The saints are insistent on the necessity for distinguishing between the Three Divine Persons and for rendering to each One of Them an appropriate attention. The Athanasian Creed is mandatory and strangely menacing in regard to this requirement, which proceeds from the fact that the final purpose of Creation and of the Incarnation is the glorification of the Trinity (Handbook of the Legion of Mary, Chap. XXIX).

St. Paul's Teaching

Edel Quinn seems to have had a profound realization of sharing in the life of the Blessed Trinity by grace and of the special relations it established between her and each of the Three Divine Persons. Her personal notes, written by her over a period of years, scrappy and disjointed entries in her private notebook, show this. They represent the spontaneous outpourings of a deeply contemplative soul, nourished on the great doctrines of the faith, and indeed they form a wonderful living commentary on St Paul's words: 'God sent His Son, born of a woman, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying 'Abba, Father!" , (Gal. 4:4-6). 'Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ ... who has predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ as His sons ... unto the praise of the glory of His grace ... In Him you learned to believe and had the seal set on your faith by the promised gift of the Holy Spirit' (Eph. 1). The Son of God. 'who is the radiance of His Father's splendour and the full expression of His being' (Heb. 1:3), has come on earth to give us a share in His own Sonship, to make us true children of the heavenly Father, By incorporating us into Himself. Through Christ, 'in Christ', according to the phrase used so many times by St. Paul, we enter into the trinitarian life of God. The Third Divine Person, the Spirit of Love, has entered into our hearts to draw us to the Father and enable us to live as His children. 'Whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God' (Rom. 3:14).

In Christ; Children of the Father; led by the Spirit: We find these phrases recurring continually in Edel's notes and in a way which shows clearly that for her they were not just empty formulae but were charged with vital meaning. Her whole life was attuned to the great realities they express.

In Christ; Through the Eucharist: The phrase 'in Christ' signifies the vital, permanent union that was established between us and Our Lord at Baptism. His life flows into us. We derive our supernatural existence from Him as its source.

'From Him flows into the Body of the Church all the light which divinely illumines those who believe, and all the grace which makes them holy as He Himself is holy' (encyclical: Mystici Corporis, No. 47). It expresses our sharing in His life and Sonship, our right of access as children to the Father. The sacrament by which we are incorporated into Christ is Baptism, but the Eucharist is the sacrament by which we keep united with Him and are transformed into His likeness, the sacrament of our christification.

Edel Quinn's contemplative mastery of St Paul's teaching is little short of astonishing. The following quotations from her are taken either from Cardinal Suenens's biography or from her unpublished notes.

(All references to Cardinal Suenens's biography are indicated by the letter 'S' and the page number. References to the unpublished notes are indicated by the letter ('N'.)

Christ makes us sharers in His Life, so that, as He has taken our sins on him, He may make us 'partners' in His merits.

In Him we have everything - and what must that mean! What power it gives us to obtain graces for souls and ourselves. We cannot ask too much (S, p. 246).

In Christ Jesus we have all. Realise this (S,246)

Letting Jesus live again in me His life for the Father (S, p. 246-7).

Let us clothe ourselves with Christ. Ask Mary Mediatrix to pour His Divine Life into our souls, so that it may be He who lives and no longer we (S, p. 248). Christ could only redeem us by becoming one thing - one body (in a sense one person) with us.

'In Christ. Christ in us' (N).

Partners in His merits - share His strength (N).

In Christ

It was through the Eucharist that Edel sought to remain in Christ, to become 'one thing with Him', to share His strength. To be deprived of Communion was one of the greatest sufferings she could conceive. At one period in Africa she was a patient in a non-Catholic sanatorium and was able to receive Holy Communion only once a week. She said later that to be deprived of daily Communion gave her an experience of what hell must be like. When working in her Dublin office she made it a practice to attend seven o'clock Mass daily, not returning home for breakfast. Seemingly, she remained in the church until after the eight o'clock Mass and then went straight to work, having a snack in the office. On Sundays she normally attended two Masses before breakfast and four later Masses. And in her African diary the first entry each day is the number of Masses she had attended.

Without the Eucharist what a desolation life would be ... Thank the Trinity over and over again for this Gift ... We want to be united with Him, to give ourselves to Him utterly. Our faith tells us He is in the Eucharist; let us seek Him there (S, pp. 192-3).

More in His company in the Blessed Sacrament (S, p. 246).

Unite with Christ, present in the Blessed Sacrament, adoring the Father (S, p. 246).

Praetorian membership of the Legion, with its central obligation of daily Communion was therefore for Edel an expression of her purpose of remaining in Christ, an act of homage to the Incarnate Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Love of the Neighbour

If she herself was in Christ and Christ in her, so too it must be with her neighbour. 'We will love our neighbour if in everybody we see Christ. How, in view of that, can we criticize others or speak badly of them? .. Charity; a new commandment: 'Love one another as I have loved you'. The practical side of that: I must see You and love You in my neighbour, be prompt in the service of the Legionaries, in answering letters, reports, etc: (N). Of course it was not only in her fellow-Legionaries that she saw and loved Christ. Her dealings with the street girls of Dublin showed that for her no soul was so poor or so degraded as not to call for her utmost service, because of the Christ-life that was in it or could be induced in it. Long before Pius XII recalled all Catholics to a sense of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, she showed such a firm and practical grasp of the doctrine as surprised her friends. And her interests were truly Catholic, like the Mystical Body itself. From Africa, she followed the progress of the Legion's work for the Church and was thrilled by each new achievement. As for herself, when her task in Africa was over, perhaps they would send her to Japan, China, South America! On one occasion Archbishop Leen of Mauritius asked her if she would be ready to set off for China. 'Yes, if I am sent there', was the immediate answer. In a letter to Legion headquarters she insisted that if they sent her a card telling her to proceed to any place in the world she was off.

Her sense of the Mystical Body gave her a great confidence in the power of hidden sacrifice and prayer for the saving of souls. With all her own labours it was in the inner current of grace, that is ensured by prayer and sacrifice, that she placed her greatest hopes. She was most insistent in beseeching the prayers of her friends. She had hardly landed in Africa when urgent appeals for prayer were coming back to Ireland 'Every possible obstacle is in the way of success', she wrote. 'Prayer alone can make it a success'. And another time she wrote: 'More than anything else I believe in the power of prayer. .. one's duty not only to work but to pray and sanctify oneself for those worked for'.

Work for the Father

We are children of the Father, sharing in Our Lord's Sonship. Now while the external works of God are all produced by the one power which is common to the Three Divine Persons, we associate creation especially with the First Divine Person, as the ultimate source of all things. 'I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth'. But the Father wishes His children to be themselves cooperators in bringing His creation to perfection. And so to each of them He has appointed a work to be done for His glory in which is found the good of the whole Family. All our efforts must be directed to the perfect accomplishment of that work, whatever it may be, so that at the end we may be able to make our own the words spoken by Our Lord on the night before He died: 'Father, I have glorified Thee on earth: I have accomplished the work Thou hast given Me to do'. That was how Edel saw her work and especially her Legion work - it was work to be done for the Father, as her whole life was a life to be lived for the Father and His glory. Hence it was to be done as perfectly as possible. 'Avoid everything half done' is a resolution we find in her diary. One of her employers in Dublin described her as a treasure because of her absolute thoroughness and reliability. Members of another firm when questioned as to whether her Legionary preoccupations interfered with her office work answered immediately in chorus: 'Never in the least. Everything was done perfectly'. That this thoroughness in everything was a deliberate habit to which she attached great importance is evident from a letter written in her early twenties. She writes: 'I must relieve the fear you express about your inability to attain true holiness and I speak in all sincerity and humility . Whatever you have undertaken by way of work or recreation you have put your heart into it and you have done your utmost to get the maximum result "It was a great joy for her to be able to undertake through her legion envoyship whole-time work that was directly apostolic. From then on her active legionary service was her life's work for the glory of the Father.

My vocation is a Legionary one, Envoy and Praetorian - consecrated to work for the Father by the Holy Spirit of Jesus and by Mary (S, p. 209).

Letting Jesus live again in me His life for the Father (S, p. 247).

United with Him in love for the Father, with Mary loving Jesus in me (S, p. 247).

Practice interior charity daily in our life with Mary and Jesus, led by the Spirit, for the Father. Our love and childlike confidence is all He wants. We are children of the Father: What confidence this should give us! (S, p. 247).

Holiness is our aim. 'Perfect as our Father ( S Pg 247)

Turn to Mary for everything, that she may teach us to love Jesus, to serve the Father, to become like a child in our behaviour. Utter trust (S, p. 232).

To lose our own ideas and judgments and wishes - to have only Christ's to please the Father - to be the praise of the glory of His grace (N).

Share in Christ's Priesthood - a victim of love on the altar of Our Lady's heart to the Eternal Father (N).

Let us be in the mind of Christ, taught by Mary, working for the Father, led by the Spirit of love. Cut out all else. To cut out all, how difficult! But can we give Him less, for really how little it is as reparation and gratitude? (S, p. 250).

Led by the Spirit

The Gospel tells us that Our Lord was filled with the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1, etc.). We too have received the Holy Spirit and must be led by His inspiration in all things (Romans 8:14, etc.). It is He who brings us the life of Christ and moulds us into His image. It is He who gives us the realization of our divine adoption and teaches us to behave in all things as true children of the Father (Romans 8:14-17). But in this work of teaching us and moulding us He has chosen as His partner and instrument her who was His partner and instrument in bringing into the world Our Lord Himself, the firstborn of the many brethren that make up the Family of God. So Edel longed in all things to be led by the Spirit of God and for that she bound herself as closely as possible to Mary, the 'Sacrament of the Holy Spirit', making the consecration of the True Devotion and sealing it with a vow.

In Christ and led by His Spirit we can offer through Mary to the Eternal Father the infinite merits and satisfaction of Christ to make reparation for our sins and the sins of the world, to give thanks and glory to God. Try and realise this (S, p. 246).

Our thoughts and wishes for sanctity, our thirst for the love of God, are not our own, but the Holy Spirit's. Therefore if He puts them in our mind, He must mean to teach us how to fulfil them (S, p. 246).

Led by the Spirit of Jesus, realize that of ourselves we cannot have a good thought. If our good desires come from the Holy Spirit, how boldly we can expect their fulfilment, by offering Christ's merits to His Father through Mary (S, p. 247).

Expect great things, a burning love. It is the Holy Spirit Who breathes these desires into us (S, p. 250).

The Holy Spirit - the 'seal' of the divine life in our souls - that life we have from Christ. The 'love' of the Father and the Word -how He transforms us into His life if we leave Him free( N)

One in Christ- led by His Spirit it is He who lives His life in us. Mary, by the Holy Spirit forms Christ in us. We give her- or she takes our acts which have spiritual value and moulds then into Christ in us, to be led by the Holy Spirit ( N)

Led by the Holy Spirit. Live and act as Mary would wish. . All hers, to be all His- She with the Holy Spirit.

Adoring the Trinity

We are sharers in the very life of the Blessed Trinity, with the Incarnate Word as our Brother, His Father as our Father, His Spirit as the Soul of our souls. Yet we can never forget the transcendent holiness of God. And as a consequence, underlying, though not weakening the sublime intimacy we enjoy with the Divine Persons, will be an attitude of profound reverence and adoration. Edel certainly had that. It was manifest in her whole bearing at prayer, her behaviour towards all who represented God in any way and also in the expressions she uses in her private notes. She knew her soul to be the living sanctuary of the Triune God. She snatched at every opportunity of quiet and silence to recollect herself and be alone with God and offer Him the incense of her adoration.

Let us ask the grace to live in realization of our life in Christ, through Mary, adoring the Trinity (S, p. 246).

In Christ Jesus we have all. Realise this.

Often offer Him to the Trinity, present in our soul, giving all honour, reparation and glory throughout the day (S, p. 246).

Realise that I am the temple of God, the dwelling-place of the Trinity (S, p. 246).

In Christ we adore the Trinity, Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus. Try and adore the Trinity in our souls, even in the midst of trouble or external duties (S, p. 248).

Our Lady, dwelling place of the Trinity. With Christ and helped by Mary, let us adore the Trinity. Cut out useless worrying thoughts ... to adore with and in union with Jesus ... Trinity in soul ... per Mariam (N).

At Mass I united myself to the victim Christ, through Mary's hands, for the glory of the Trinity, in thanksgiving for everything, and on behalf of souls (S, p. 250).

For Edel Quinn, then, the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity was not just an abstraction, to be accepted indeed on faith but with little bearing on the practical working out of our lives. For her it was supremely practical, vital and energizing. Her manner of applying it to her life, her prayer, her work, her relations with others offers an example we can all imitate - to the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

'The Blessed Trinity - there is our dwelling-place, our home, the Father's house which we must never leave' (Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity).

Trinity was not just an abstraction, to be accepted indeed on faith but with little bearing on the practical working out of our lives. For her it was supremely practical, vital and energising. Her manner of applying it to her life, her prayer, her work, her relations with others offers an example we can all imitate - to the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.