Fr Aedan McGrath

The Bird

By Fr Aedan McGrath (1906-2000)

Composed during his captivity in China  between 1950 and 1953.

I have one little friend within this jail,
Who comes each day to visit without fail;
And which he loves — just me, or what I give
I should not like to be too positive.

Christmas In Prison: 1953

This poem was composed by Fr. Aedan McGrath during his third Christmas in prison in China. He had no paper so he had to create the poem and memorize it immediately.

T’ was Caesar’s vanity that caused so much
Disturbance in their little home that day,
A soldier bidding them to have their names
Enrolled at Bethlehem with out delay.

Letter To Loretta

By the late Fr Aedan McGrath MSSC

Fr Aedan McGrath died suddenly two years ago on Christmas day. He was a veteran missionary from China as our story will show but he also spent many long years here in the Philippines promoting the Legion of Mary and a movement called INCOLAE, which sent lay missionaries from the Philippines to Oceania. While in China his passing friendship with the famous film star, Loretta Young, turned out to be a blessing which would help to save many lives. Read the letter which sixty years later or more he sent to Loretta. It will explain everything.

Dear Loretta,

You have no reason to remember me, but I have many reasons to remember you and your name, because your name as a famous film actress, and as one working for the Church (especially with Father Peyton), helped to solve one impossible problem I had in my parish in China about 1939.

I was then about 30 and I am now 94! But I did have the good fortune to meet you in Hollywood when visiting there. I even knelt beside you in the chapel during Benediction, and we did have a little chat.