Note, February 1, 2021:


The following prayer request was posted on the Guild website in the spring of 2001, nearly 20 years ago. The man we were praying for was healed, is still well and thriving, and attributes his healing to Aodh’s prayers.


Prayers Requested in Hugh Roe O’Donnell Novena

Contact: Shirley Starke <>


            All supporters of the beatification of Hugh Roe O’Donnell are asked to participate in a Novena to ask Aodh Ruadh to intercede for the healing of a young man who has cancer. The Novena is scheduled for June 16-24 (St. John’s Day).


            The Novena is being requested by members of the Aodh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill Guild, which was founded in 1977 to work for the recognition of Hugh Roe (Aodh Ruadh) as a saint of the Catholic Church. Red Hugh, though he is usually regarded as a national rather than a religious hero, is well suited for sainthood. His fight against English oppression was motivated by the persecution of Catholics which had nearly destroyed the Church in most of Ireland, and his personal ambition was to become a friar of the Franciscan Order – an ambition which he realized on his deathbed. In all his actions he was motivated by his love for our Lord and our blessed Mother, to whom he was totally devoted, and his mercy towards even his most bitter enemies was unheard of in his day and age.


            There have been a number of remarkable healings through his intercession since work began for his beatification. Three of these healings involved Edith Starke, the mother of Shirley Starke, the original coordinator of the Guild. Edith’s arm was burned very badly when a pressure cooker exploded; it became severely infected and the infection did not respond to treatment. Aodh was asked to intercede, after which she infection cleared up rapidly and the arm healed. She was left with scar tissue so thick that she could not straighten the arm. After she had had this scar tissue for over a year, Aodh was asked to intercede, and the scar tissue totally disappeared overnight.


            At another time, Edith had anemia, so severe that her blood count was down to four. After many months the cause was found in a bleeding lesion in her colon, and she was scheduled for surgery. Aodh was asked to intercede. Two weeks after the diagnosis Edith was admitted to the hospital for surgery, but it was never done because when she was X-rayed in preparation for the surgery, the lesion was found to be gone. She never had surgery or any other treatment, and her blood count returned to normal.


            Sister Mary Peter, a Sister of Mercy from Ireland, was concerned because one of her relatives in Ireland was in the hospital, too sick to survive without a miracle. She prayed to all the saints who had helped her in the past, but he did not improve. Finally she said, “Red Hugh – I don’t believe in you, but if you can heal him, please do!” He began to improve at once, and recovered his health.


            Most recently, John Hennessy, of El Paso, Texas, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He did not expect to see the year 2000. But on Maundy Thursday, 2001, when we were praying for him, he went to bed after cleaning the 6 open lesions on his abdomen (the results of his many surgeries) as he done for the previous year. He woke up 4 to 6 hours later and found the lesions completely healed – two of them, he said, had the ends of sutures still protruding from the new, healthy tissue. A few months later he was checked for cancer, and this was also found to be gone. Sadly, John later died of a heart attack, but with his faith in God wonderfully strengthened: he did not merely “believe” there was a God who could heal us if He chose, he KNEW!


            These are only a few examples of many, many wonderful things that have happened through the power of God and the intercession of Hugh Roe O’Donnell.