On 12-13 November 2023, the brothers of the priory of the Irish Province at San Clemente in Rome, in conjunction with the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, commemorated the centenary of the birth of the Dominican brother and Prefect of the Vatican Library, Leonard Eugene Boyle, OP (1923-1999).
On 12 November, in the presence of the cardinal titular of the Basilica of San Clemente, His Eminence Arrigo Miglio, of the Master of the Order, Brother Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP of the family of the deceased and of Dominican brothers from many provinces, the Provincial of Ireland, John Harris, OP presided at a Mass in memory of the Irish scholar and priest who made such an important impact among academics and among the many other people whom he met during his life.
In his homily, brother John Harris pointed out that the title of Leonard Boyle’s doctoral thesis on the cura animarum in the fourteenth century proved to be foundational for his whole life. Brother Leonard pioneered the field of pastoral studies by giving it a historical dimension and took very much to heart his role as a priest and pastor.
After the Mass, the participants went down to his tomb in the lower basilica of San Clemente to pay tribute to the great Dominican and to pray for him. On 13 November, a colloquium on the life and work of Leonard Boyle was held at San Clemente and, very significantly, at the Vatican Library, which benefited in so many ways from his expertise.