One of the most influential Franciscans of the 17th century, was Waterford’s very own Luke Wadding.
A lot of people often question why Wadding chose to join an order that had been suppressed for almost 50 years following the closure of monasteries, such as Greyfriars, before Wadding was born in 1588.
In his writings, Wadding claims that as a young boy he witnessed the secret exhumation in the dead of night of a Franciscan priest whose dying wish was to be buried here at the old Friary. When the grave was opened, the body of Fr Lucker was found to be intact – even his sandals were in perfect condition. This had a profound effect on the young Wadding and so he joined the Franciscans.
Wadding has had a lasting affect on Ireland. When based in Rome it was he who was in charge of creating the official list of saints of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1600s, and so fixed St. Patrick’s Day to the 17th of March – a day that is celebrated across the world!