Young, Henry (1786–1869), catholic priest, was born in Dublin on 8 June 1786, the second son and third child in the family of Charles Young (qv) and his wife, Margaret (née Hevey). After two or three years as a boarder at a catholic classical school at Inch, near Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, he entered the Propaganda College in Rome to study for the priesthood (1802). Eventually his studies were interrupted by the French invasion (1808), but he moved to the Vincentian house nearby at Monte Celino and was ordained there on 10 June 1810; he remained in the vicinity as a missionary until 1814.
Henry Young's first appointment in Ireland was as a curate at St Michan's, Mary's Lane, Dublin (1814–15). Although he was attached, as a Dublin diocesan priest, to this and (later) other parishes, as a curate or assistant, he continued, as in Italy, a missionary; his vocation was to inculcate catholicism among the lower classes, rather as Thomas Drew (qv) was inculcating protestantism among those of Belfast. Young was a curate at St Nicholas, Francis Street (1815–17), and St Michael and St John, Exchange Street (1817–1832?), then a kind of supernumary on mission (1832?–1840); he was a curate at St Audeon, Bridge Street (1840–41), at Howth, with charge of Finglas (1841–3), and at his home church of St Catherine (1843–56); and finally he was appointed chaplain to St Joseph's Asylum, Portland Row. Between 1827 and 1840 he was often away from Dublin conducting missions in rural parts of the extensive Dublin archdiocese, beginning with west Co. Wicklow and going in 1829 into north and south Co. Dublin.
Young was a promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He was in correspondence (from as early as 1822) with a German priest, Prince Hohenlohe, to whom miraculous cures were attributed, among them that of Mary Stuart, a Carmelite nun in a convent in the Dublin suburb of Ranelagh. According to Young's biographer, Myles V. Ronan (qv), Young stated publicly in 1829 that he had ‘three original pictures, presented to him by Prince Hohenlohe, of the Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin and St Mary Magdalen’.
In succession to the Rev. Bernard MacMahon (d. 1816), Young did editorial work for the Dublin diocese: he brought out a revised edition of the Laity's Directory (1821), begun (1817) by Cornelius Denvir (qv); he compiled the prospectus and rules of the Purgatorian Society, the Society of St Patrick for promoting the exercise of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy (1821), thereby promoting the confraternity formed in 1817 by his parish priest, Michael Blake (qv) ‘to instruct the ignorant, to administer comfort to dying persons and to relieve suffering souls in Purgatory’; he compiled the Catholic Directory for the Dioceses of Ireland (1821), of which some later editions were also published (no longer extant) and which was revived in 1834 by William J. Battersby (qv); he edited an evening office book, Vespers and complin, or, The evening office of the church (1822), as well as rules for the Confraternity of the Evening Office (1825); and he edited, for use in all dioceses, Directorium seu ordo divinorum officiorum (1827). Young had no interest in politics, though he did say mass at a monster meeting of repealers at Tara on 15 August 1843; indeed, he had little interest in anything but religion – he seldom read a newspaper and then only for deaths. He had no ambition for promotion, and never had full charge of a parish. Young was an ascetic who lived frugally; his piety, devotion, dedication, missionary zeal, and puritanism were legendary – he had the maypole at Finglas cut down and burnt (1842) and on the following May day smashed the fiddles and bagpipes of revellers. ‘In his own person’, in one judgement, ‘he epitomised resurgent catholicism in Ireland’ (McGrath, 51). Henry Young died 17 November 1869 at St Joseph's Asylum and was buried in the crypt of the Pro-Cathedral.