Sunday, October 31, 2010

Matt Talbot as Portrayed by Four Artists

Source: Rev. Altert H. Dolan, O.Carm., We knew Matt Talbot: Visits with his relatives and friends. Chicago: The Carmelite Press, 1948, facing page 20.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mother Nealis' painting of Matt Talbot

This is a picture of a painting of Matt Talbot by Mother Margaret Mary Realis, R.S.C.J. It appears at two links. One is included in Life of Matt Talbot (1942) by Sir Joseph A. Glynn online
at , facing page 80.
Sir Glynn states in the preface to this particular book edition, page iv, that "some who knew Matt Talbot well consider that this picture, drawn, of course, from descriptions, bears a striking resemblance to him."
The second online source of this painting appears in a 1993 M.A. thesis titled, The Soul pictures of Margaret Mary Nealis, R.S.C,J., 1876-1957, by Apollonia Schofield at Once the PDF is downloaded, go to page 194, Figure 84. The painting of Matt is titled, "Man with Boy and Girl (Max Talbot), 1937, lost."
An abstract of this thesis can be found at


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Booklet cover image of Matt Talbot

The initial cover of this 1972 booklet by Mary Purcell includes the head of Matt from a larger painting of him (after his death) by Mother Margaret Mary Nealis, R.S.C.J (1876 – 1957). (Later booklet printings have a different cover.)

Mary Purcell is a renown biographer of Matt who also published Matt Talbot and His Times (1977, American edition by Franciscan Herald Press) and Remembering Matt Talbot (1990, Second Edition, Veritas Publications)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

1947 book cover image of Matt Talbot

This is the book cover for the 1947 edition of Matt Talbot, Alcoholic by Fr. Albert H. Dolan, O.Carm. published by Carmelite Press. (The 1948 edition had a dark blue color with just the title and author's name). This was the first American published book on Matt Talbot

An almost identical cover (but with Matt wearing a hat and without the chain) appeared on the cover of Piety in Overalls: The Story of Matt Talbot, Dublin Laborer (Franciscan Herald Press, 1930) by Robert John Bayer.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Matt Talbot and the Franciscan Tradition

In a new book titled, The Franciscan Tradition (Liturgical Press, 2010), Regis J. Armstrong and Ingrid J. Peterson (and Series Editor, Phyllis Zagano) include a chapter on Matt Talbot as a timeless example of his relevancy as a Secular Franciscan.
Besides reading this chapter, it would be worthwhile to read the Preface and Introduction to this tradition, although some pages are not included.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Attention To The Addicted

October 11th, 2010
By Deacon Bob Yerhot

A neighboring priest, rather well known in an adjoining diocese, recently made me aware of Venerable Matt Talbot. Talbot was born the second of twelve children of Charles and Elizabeth Talbot in Dublin, Ireland on May 2, 1856. His father was a drinker, and Matt began drinking at age 12 and quickly became an alcoholic. In 1884, in dire straits, he went to Holy Cross College and pledged to not drink for three months. After the three months, he resolved to not drink for six months, and then later for life. He died in 1925 of a heart attack on the way to Mass.

For the next forty years he remained sober. He attended daily Mass, repaid all his debts and was very keen in his sense of justice to others. He gave his time and energy to others. He fasted rigorously, rose each day at 5 AM to attend Mass and spent hours each morning on his knees in prayer.

It is said that Matt Talbot is the “saint in overalls.” He would kneel outside the doors of the church and once inside, would prostrate himself before the Eucharist before entering the pew. Every Sunday he would spend seven hours in church without moving, kneeling the whole time. He did this every Sunday for forty years.

There is a prayer that one can say for a friend or family member who is afflicted by alcoholism or another form of chemical dependency. Make a novena out of it, i.e., say it for nine days.

God of mercy, we bless You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who ministered to all who came to Him.

Give Your strength to ____, Your servant, bound by the chains of addiction.

Enfold him/her in Your love and restore him/her to the freedom of God’s children.

Lord, look with compassion on all those who have lost their health and freedom.

Restore to them the assurance of Your unfailing mercy, and strengthen them in the work of recovery.

To those who care for them, grant patient understanding and a love that perseveres.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thank you Venerable Matt Talbot!


Note: We might never assume that others know of Venerable Matt Talbot, such as Deacon Bob until recently. Therefore, we might always be prepared to provide information about Matt Talbot to others. (JB)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New book chapter about Matt Talbot already online

In our continuous search for information about Venerable Matt Talbot, we found a book titled, Ascetics, published in May 2010 by Books LLC. Matt's name is included in the subtitle (along with nine others) and is the focus of one of the twenty three chapters. Some information about this book can be found at

In searching for additional information about this book and publisher, it appears that the contents are actually from the Wikipedia category of eclectic "ascetics"
(, which links to their page on Matt Talbot
( Therefore, this information is free online.