Brendan Devlin Obituary, Death – We received the news of Monsignor Brendan Devlin’s passing last night with profound sorrow. He attended Aughnamerrigan PS, St. Columb’s Derry, St. Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, and the Pontifical Irish College in Rome after being born in Rouskey in 1931. From 1958 until his retirement in 1996, he was an outstanding professor at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he taught modern languages.
The French and Irish he wrote in made him famous. In 2001, he translated the Catechism of the Catholic Church into Irish, a volume that extends to about a thousand pages in length, in addition to works by French authors. Msgr. Devlin collaborated with An t-Athair Padraig Fiannachta to translate the Bible into Irish from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek originals. The first modern publication of the Bible in Irish, An Bobla Naofa, was a thirty-year labor of love. In his final years of retirement, he worked to translate several important conciliar texts and contemporary papal publications into Irish, including Lumen Gentium, Gaudium et Spes, and Pope Francis’ encyclical message on the climate, Laudato S.
He has recently finished an English translation of two medieval Irish poems about Mary. Before becoming Rector of the Irish College in Paris from 1984 to 2001, Monsignor Devlin served as Vice-President of St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, from 1977 to 1980. The Collège des Irlandais in Paris, which he oversaw to be renovated and transformed into the present-day Centre Culturel Irlandais, will forever bear his name as a testament to his tireless work. The highest French honor bestowed upon a non-French citizen is the Officier of the Légion d’honneur, which he received in 2001. He also officiated the burial service for fellow St. Columb’s College, Derry alumnus Séamus Heaney on September 2, 2013. God rest his departed soul.