During his imprisonment, Oscar Wilde came to regret his sins – writing three years before his death De Profundis, an extended treatise on his conversion and identification with Jesus Christ.
Upon his release, he told a journalist: “I intend to be received into the Catholic Church before long.”
His spiritual renewal led to him immediately writing to the Society of Jesus to request a 6 month retreat. When his request was denied, he wept.
Spending the next three years impoverished in exile, he contracted meningitis on November 25th, 1900. His son Robbie Ross arrived four days and sent for a priest.
On his deathbed, Wilde was conditionally baptized into the Catholic Church by Father Cuthbert Dunne, a Passionist priest from Dublin, as Wilde was baptized as a child. Dunne recorded the baptism”
“As the voiture rolled through the dark streets that wintry night, the sad story of Oscar Wilde was in part repeated to me… Robert Ross knelt by the bedside, assisting me as best he could while I administered conditional baptism, and afterwards answering the responses while I gave Extreme Unction to the prostrate man and recited the prayers for the dying. As the man was in a semi-comatose condition, I did not venture to administer the Holy Viaticum; still I must add that he could be roused and was roused from this state in my presence. When roused, he gave signs of being inwardly conscious… Indeed I was fully satisfied that he understood me when told that I was about to receive him into the Catholic Church and gave him the Last Sacraments… And when I repeated close to his ear the Holy Names, the Acts of Contrition, Faith, Hope and Charity, with acts of humble resignation to the Will of God, he tried all through to say the words after me.”