John Anthony Hardon was born on June 18, 1914. He grew up in a loving Catholic family. His father died when he was very young doing a charitable work for a fellow co-worker. His mother ensured that he received a great education. In 1936, John Hardon entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained to the priesthood 11 years later.
Fr. Hardon was one of the greatest American minds the Church has ever seen. He is largely unknown to the Catholic American public because of his orthodox teachings which many people nowadays don’t want to hear. He went on to teach at numerous universities and colleges and offered many classes at numerous parishes across the United States.
The list of Fr. Hardon’s accomplishments is long therefore I will try to summarize some of them. He wrote many books on various topics. He was a disciple of the Eucharist writing on the history, importance, and benefits of the Blessed Sacrament.
While Fr. Hardon resided in New York, he met and worked with Venerable Fulton J. Sheen on the early manuscript of Treasure in Clay, the autobiography of Sheen. Fr. hardon recounts in his Spiritual Autobiography that Sheen asked him to pray before the Blessed Sacrament for half an hour before talking.
In his time in New York, Fr. Hardon also met St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Mother Teresa humbly asked for his spiritual guidance and received permission from his superiors to have Fr. Hardon counsel the Missionaries of Charity for a few hours every week. When Pope St. John Paul II called Mother Teresa to the Vatican he asked that her sister become catechists. Mother Teresa answered that they had not been trained for that. John Paul II sent her to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) who called up Fr. Hardon and asked him to write catechist manuals for Mother Teresa’s missionaries which he gladly did. Fr. Hardon’s catechist manuals are still in use by the Missionaries of Charity to this day.
When John Paul II was promulgating the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Fr. Hardon was consulted since he had written many catechisms and catechist manuals in his time.
Fr. Hardon went to his eternal rest on December 30, 2000. He spent his life teaching the truths of the Catholic faith, even when they were not “popular” beliefs, and spreading the Gospel message. Fr. Hardon is currently being considered for beatification. Please pray that God may glorify his good and loyal servant Fr. Hardon.
Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon, Pray for us!
If you would like to read some of Fr. Hardon’s work, check out Missio Dei’s latest publication: The Station of the Cross with Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stations-Cross-John-Hardon-S-J/dp/B09X55RNX9/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1649621845&sr=8-1
Thank you for posting this, Joseph. I am a huge fan of Fr. Hardon and am always delighted to see others who not only know of him, but also greatly appreciate his contributions to theology in modern times.