Prayer and Spiritual Guidance



In 1913 Matt's spiritual director and soul friend Fr. James Walsh died he was a great loss not only to Matt but to all the members of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Men's Sodality in Gardiner Street. He had guided Matt through the most difficult and challenging years and had helped him learn to read and write. But Matt would find another soul friend and Spiritual Director Mgr. Michael Hickey of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe. He would become Matt's trusted friend and confident. After the death of his mother in 1915 Mgr. Hickey would frequently go to Matt's little flat in Upper Rutland Street. He was fifteen years younger than Matt, a man of considerable intellectual attainments, Rome educated, a linguist and a scholar. A man who himself had a reputation for holiness and was also a popular confessor. When asked for his prayers for someone he would assure them not only of his prayers but also of his friend Matt Talbot, 'a very holy man, whom I often ask to pray for favours, and whose prayers are never refused.'

Matt was often asked for prayers. On one occasion when asked to pray for a man's wife who was seriously ill, Matt said he would ask Our Lady. Next day Matt told the man that his prayer would be answered but not perhaps in the way he would wish but not to be worried all will be well. The following day the woman died, but her husband was deeply consoled for he knew she was in heaven. Matt's prayers had been heard.