The Servant of God John A. Hardon, S.J.
A Man Named John, Sent By God
(Text excerpts presented with the kind permission of the Institute on Religious Life. This short article was first published in their magazine Religious Life, March/April 2010 issue. For more information you can visit IRL’s website.)
When their beloved Founder died unexpectedly from a heart attack in 1969, the Handmaids of the Precious Blood keenly felt his loss and earnestly prayed that the Lord would guide and protect them.
Their prayers were answered when their Mother General met Father John Hardon, S.J. in 1973, and stepped up to meet him saying, “You are a man named John, sent by God.” Within three days of visiting their Motherhouse in New Mexico, he had mobilized them to sponsor a national Symposium on the Priesthood. From that moment on, for the next twenty-seven years, Father Hardon was the Handmaid’s spiritual and canonical advisor, retreat master, and treasured friend. He also assisted the Handmaids in establishing three (now international) organizations to promote and pray for priests. [The Oblates of the Precious Blood, the Lay Associates of the Priesthood, and the Confraternity of Mary, Mother of Priests.]
Of the numerous books that Father Hardon published, he wrote only one biography: the spiritual biography of the Handmaid’s founder, Father Gerald Fitzgerald, whose clear understanding of the priesthood and his love for the Eucharist was so much like his own; so much is this true, that if you desire to know the heart and soul of Father Hardon, read this biography, “A Prophet for the Priesthood.”