John Austin (Jesuit)

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John Austin, S.J. (12 April 1717, Dublin - 29 September 1784, Dublin), was an Irish Jesuit.


As a young man, Austin left Ireland for France where, at the age of 18, he entered the Society of Jesus in the Champagne region on 27 November 1735. After completing his higher studies, he was employed in teaching humanities for several years, and he held the office of Prefect of the Irish College at Poitiers. In 1750 he returned to Dublin, where he obtained renown as a preacher. He was allowed to profess the fourth vow specific to the Society on 2 February 1754. Topham Bowden, an English writer, noted in his book, Tour through Ireland (1791), that

Austin was a very remarkable character, of extraordinary learning and piety; he was a great preacher, and injured his health by his exertions in the pulpit.

Austin died in Dublin on 29 September 1784, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Kevin's Church in that city. The inscription over his grave describes him as

pius, doctus, indefessus operarius, apostolicis confectus laboribus. Divites admonuit, pauperes sublevavit, juventutem erudivit, orphanis loco parentis fuit, de omni hominum genere prseclare meruit, omnibus omnia factus ut omnes Christo lucrifaceret.

A portrait of Austin, painted by George Petrie, and engraved by Henry Brocas, was published in 1792.