Saturday 17 March 2018

'With love - Dublin': JFK carrying souvenir pillbox when he was shot

Fr Joseph Leonard and Jackie Kennedy
Fr Joseph Leonard and Jackie Kennedy

FORMER US President John F Kennedy had a pillbox engraved “With Love – Dublin” in the pocket of his suit on the day he was assassinated.

This revelation is revealed in a one of the private letters written by Jackie, his wife, to Irish priest, Fr Joseph Leonard in 1964, according to the Irish Times.

JFK was fatally shot when he travelled by presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22nd, 1963. His wife was with him.

The former first lady wrote to Fr Leonard the following January to thank him for saying Mass and all his prayers.

The priest, originally from Sligo, was 87 was in poor health. The Vatican granted him permission to say the memorial Mass while seated.

In the letter, she reminded the priest of her 1955 Irish visit with her husband, when Fr Leonard brought her shopping for antiques. She recalled that he brought her to a little shop where she bought her husband a tiny silver pillbox.

The name of the shop is not mentioned in the letter.

She told Fr Leonard:  “Though he [JFK] lost everything – he never lost that – and always carried it with him – even when he died.”

The letter is among the archive of Jackie’s letters to Fr Leonard that will be auctioned  on June 10th by Sheppard’s Irish Auction House in Co Laois.

The  letters have an estimated value of between €80,000 to €1.2 million

The auction will also feature more modestly priced items of related memorabilia, such as a Christmas card signed by both JFK and Jackie from November 1963.

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