Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Austin, John (1717-1784)

AUSTIN, JOHN (1717–1784), an Irish Jesuit, was born in Dublin 12 April 1717, and entered the Society of Jesus in Champagne 27 Nov. 1735. After completing the 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 professed of the four vows 2 Feb. 1754. Topham Bowden, an English protestant, in his 'Tour through Ireland' (1791), remarks '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.' Father Austin died in Dublin 29 Sept. 1784, and was buried in St. Kevin's churchyard. 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 præclarè meruit, omnibus omnia factus ut omnes Christo lucrifaceret.' His portrait, painted by Petrie, and engraved by Brocas, was published in 1792.

[Hogan's Chronological Cat. of the Irish Province S. J. 73; Oliver's Collectanea S. J. 232; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, i. 13.]

T. C.