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Full text of "Cardinal Gibbons, churchman and citizen"

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CARDINAL GIBBONS 
CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 



^^^ 




I'hotogrnph hy (Uilolta 



JAMi:S CARDINAL GIBBOXS. 



Cardinal Gibbons 



CHURCHMAN and CITIZEN 



BY 
Reverend ALBERT E. SMITH 

AND 

VINCENT de p. FITZPATRICK 



O'DONOVAN BROTHERS 
Publishers 
221 Park Avenue, Baltimore, Marylano 



ggOoV'-'V 



Copyrighted by the Authors 
All Rights Ressrved 



FOREWORD 



nr^ HE following pages are presented to the lovers and 
^ friends of His Eminence, James Cardinal Gibbons, 
in the persuasion that they zvill he pleased to have even 
this account of his long career of loving service to God 
and souls, of his religious and civic virtues, his gentle, 
fatherly ways, so familiar to them, his calmness under 
trials, his humility in exaltation, — in a word, of his splen- 
did manhood, overshadowed by the nobler stature of his 
sublime priesthood and his crowning glory as a "Prince 
of the Church.'^ They will read with affection the pa- 
thetic details of his Last Days, sketched by one who 
watched every phase zvith love and sorrow. 

We realize that a complete and satisfactory Life of 
Cardinal Gibbons would require a longer perspective of 
time and the combined pens of experts; for no man 
touched more intimately and with greater fruitfulness 
than did the Archbishop of Baltimore, so many matters 
of importance, ecclesiastical and civil, national and even 
world-wide in their significance, during his long, wise 
and judicious rule of half a century. 

Yet it is the earnest hope of the Authors that what is 
herein contained may prove a delight and stimulus to 
the reader and a help to those who, at some future time, 
may undertake a larger and more comprehensive study 
of His Eminence, James Cardinal Gibbons, Churchman 
and Citizen. 

Feast of the Assumption, 1921. 



4^ T ET those tell us what manner of man he was who 
daily broke bread zvith him. Let them tell us 
of that uniform kindness, courtesy, thoiightfulness, that 
marked all his dealings zvith them. Let them attest his 
patience in adversity, his sympathy in sorrow, his anxiety 
for his friends, his charity towards all." 

Funeral Sermon of Archbishop Glennon. 



CONTENTS 



Chapter Page 

I. — Twilight and Evening Bell 9 

II —Early Years 23 

III. — Answering the Call 29 

IV. — The Ambassador of Christ 41 

V. — He Receives the Purple 48 

VI. — A Missionary Bishop 55 

XII.— In the Old Dominion 70 

VIII. — Archbishop of Baltimore 85 

IX.— The Third Plenary Council 97 

X.— A Prince of the Church 113 

XI. — The Catholic University of America 127 

XII. — Defense of the Knights of Labor 136 

XIII.— In His Titular Church : 148 

XIV.— Jubilees I55 

XV.— America First 183 

XVI. — Characteristics 192 

XVII.— His Last Illness 214 

XVIII.— Last Hours 229 

The Constitution and George Washington 239 

Archbishop John J. Glennan's Sermon at the Fune- 
ral of Cardinal Gibbons 251 

Sermon Delivered by Bishop Thomas J. Shahan at 

Month's Mind Mass for Cardinal Gibbons 265 



JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 



CHAPTER I 

Twilight and Evening Bell. 

AT half past four o'clock, on the afternoon of March 
31, 1921, the bell in the old Cathedral of Baltimore, 
the Primatial See of these United States, began to 
toll. A few minutes afterward the bell of St. Alphon- 
sus' Church, two blocks away, echoed the sad notes. 
Soon ''Church bell answered church bell," and the 
residents of the city of Baltimore knew that the last 
funeral rites for James Cardinal Gibbons, Church- 
man and Citizen, were taking place within the Cathe- 
dral of the Assumption of Our Lady, that Cathedral 
which had been home to him for nigh half a century — 
"the dearest spot on earth." 

In that Cathedral James Cardinal Gibbons had re- 
ceived the regenerating waters of Baptism nearly eighty- 
seven years before. It was there that he was raised to the 
dignity of the episcopacy — the youngest member of the 
Catholic hierarchy in all the world. There he received 
the Pallium of the archepiscopal rank and the insignia 
of the Cardinalatial dignity. 

In that church he had ordained thousands to the 
priesthood, conferred the purple of a bishop upon a 
score and more, and presided at the Third Plenary 



10 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Council of Baltimore. In the Cathedral, too, he had 
presided at the ceremonies which marked the elevation 
to the Sacred College of two learned sons of Italy who 
won that honor by their capable administration of the 
office of Apostolic Delegate. 

From the pulpit of that church whose foundations 
John Carroll, the first bishop of the United States, had 
laid in 1806, Cardinal Gibbons had preached hundreds of 
sermons, the echoes of which were heard around the 
world. Those sermons were freighted with kindness 
and helpfulness and love. In them were expressed 
the doctrines of the Church in the lucid, intimate, 
friendly style which made his book, 'The Faith of Our 
Fathers," so illuminating an exposition of the beauties 
of Catholicism that it became *'the kindly light" which 
led thousands throughout the world into the fold of 
the faith. 

In the shadow of the Cathedral Cardinal Gibbons, 
was born; in its shadow, at St. Mary's Seminary, he 
was ordained to the priesthood. All his hopes, all his 
aspirations centered there; and from the tabernacle 
in its sanctuary he received the light and courage, the 
spiritual strength and ardor to go forth and carry on to 
a successful conclusion all the things he had set out to 
do — ''for the greater honor and glory of God." When 
discouragements came to him, when at times the future 
looked dark for some of the projects he had planned for 
the spiritual betterment of his children — and there were 
many such dark hours — the Cardinal went to that sanc- 
tuary and there before the tabernacle he prayed fervently 
and with unwavering hope and confidence, for the dispell- 
ing of the discouragements, for the dispersing of the dark 
clouds, for divine blessings on his work. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN ii 

During the closing days of life, when he was too weak 
to walk, ''when the shadows thickened about him," and 
his physical strength was ebbing fast, the Cardinal would 
ask the devoted priests of his household to wheel him in 
his invalid's chair into the sanctuary, "there to pour out 
his saintly spirit in prayer for his people and his country, 
to commune in faith with the great dead of his line, and 
to beseech the loving mercies of God that if he had failed 
in aught it might be imputed to ignorance or human 
weakness and not to lack of love for the Supreme Bishop 
and Shepherd of our souls." 

He prayed with priestly heart to the Good Shepherd 
who was his example and his inspiration as an "Am- 
bassador of Christ," and to Mary, His Mother, who was 
his "life, his sweetness and his hope." 

In a sermon twenty years befor his death. Cardinal 
Gibbons, referring to his love for the venerable Cathe- 
dral, said : "Here I have labored as a priest and a prelate 
for thirty-two years. I intend to offer the Holy Sacrifice 
and to preach within these walls as long as God gives me 
life and strength. And when my earthly career is ended, 
which in the course of nature and the order of Divine 
Providence is not far distant, I expect that my body will 
repose in this crypt beside the ashes of my predecessors, 
and I hope that it may remain there undisturbed, if 
God so wills it, till the glorious dawn of the Resur- 
rection." 

The tolling of the bells on the afternoon of March 
31st informed^ the faithful of Baltimore and the Car- 
dinal's non-Catholic friends of the city, that his 
earnest desire — the last wish of his that could be com- 
plied with on earth — was being fulfilled by those who 
were members of his household. Only a few persons 



12 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

were present at that last funeral service. It was the 
Cardinal's own request. The great doors of the Cathe- 
dral had been closed on the afternoon of the thirty-first, 
after the great men of the church and nation had left 
the edifice, — after they had paid their last tribute of re- 
spect. 

Shortly after 4 o'clock, Right Reverend O. B. Cor- 
rigan, the Cardinal's vicar-general, the five priests of the 
Cardinal's household and a small group of singers from 
St. Mary's Seminary, under the direction of Monsignor 
Leo P. Manzetti, entered the Cathedral, where, gathered, 
around the sacred remains, the priests and seminarians 
sang the Canticle of Zachary : Benedictus Dominus Deus 
Israel, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He 
hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people." 

At the conclusion of the brief function in the Church, 
the five priests of the Cardinal's household, the Rev. 
Louis R. Stickney, the rector; the Rev. Eugene J. 
Connelly, the chancellor of the diocese; the Rev. Albert 
E. Smith, secretai-y to the Cardinal; the Rev. William 
J. Hafey, assistant chancellor, and the Rev. Edwin L. 
Leonard, assisted by several laymen, bore the body of his 
Eminence from its hallowed place before the tabernacle 
out through the side entrance of the Cathedral into 
the yard and thence to the crypt beneath the Sanctuary in 
whose shadow he had offered the Holy Sacrifice and 
blessed his people during forty-four years. 

It was raining as the pallbearers, preceded by the 
seminarians, marched to the crypt. Outside of the Ca- 
thedral on Mulberry Street were gathered several hun- 
dred persons who had waited to witness the last rites. 
As they saw the pallbearers carrying the purple-covered 
coffin, they bowed their heads in prayer, the men un- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 13 

The relatives of His Eminence who had 
gathered in the Cardinal's residence, accompanied the 
remains to the crypt, a narrow little room, where the 
seminarians chanted the De Profundis and the Last Ab- 
solution was pronounced by Bishop Corrigan. 

The chant of the seminarians rising from the crypt 
and reaching the people on the street reminded one of the 
stories told of the days of the early Christians when the 
followers of Christ were buried in the catacombs — 
burial places much like the one in which Cardinal 
Gibbons and six of his predecessors in office now rest. 
The Cardinal's tomb is immediately opposite that of 
the Most Rev. John Carroll, first Bishop and afterward 
first Archbishop of the United States. The others who 
lie there awaiting the call of the Resurrection ^.lorn are : 
the Most Rev. Ambrose Marechal, Most Rev. James 
Whitfield, Most Rev. Samuel Eccleston, Most Rev. 
Francis Patrick Kenrick, and Most Rev. John Martin 
Spalding. 

Thus was James Cardinal Gibbons buried as simply as 
he had lived, beneath the roof of the church where he 
was received into the faith and where, after nearly sixty 
years of priestly zeal and accomplishment of patriotic 
achievement and the promotion of the highest interests 
of his country, of comfort to the poor and of encourage 
ment to all mankind, he had heard the summons of his 
Divine Saviour calling him to Himself on Holy Thurs- 
day, March 24, 1921, the feast day commemorative of 
the Institution of the Eucharistic Sacrament. 

Beneath that altar the Cardinal will hear in spirit the 
tinkling of the Sanctuary bell as the sacred words of 
Consecration are pronounced. Above him the priests 
he loved will bend the knee before the Saviour come 



14 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

down to earth and will pray that his soul may rest in 
peace. They will remember him in the Memento of the 
Dead. The thousands who will visit the Cathedral and 
see the Red Hat hanging there, symboHc of the dignity 
that was his, will never forget him in their prayers or 
their Communions. Thousands of Masses have been 
offered for him in all corners of the globe, and thousands 
more will be offered in the years to come. Protestant 
and Jew alike will pray for him, for he was a friend 
alike to Catholic, Protestant and Jew. That crypt will be 
one of the most sacred tombs of America. 

When the five priests of his household placed the body 
of the Cardinal in his last resting place, the people real- 
ized at last that he upon whom they had depended so 
confidently, so absolutely, had gone down the Valley 
of Silence, but they knew that he had not gone down 
that Valley alone. The love and devotion of his 
spiritual children followed him and will continue to 
follow him as the decades roll on, even until that time 
when little ones yet unborn shall learn from their 
mother's and their grandmother's lips what a true Prince 
of the Church the great Cardinal was. They will invoke 
his memory and pray that they may be imbued with a 
portion of the spirit which urged him on, ever smiling, 
ever cheerful, 

"O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, 
Till the night is gone." 

The manifestation of sorrow on the death of the Car- 
dinal was universal. Cablegrams of sympathy came 
from all sections of the world. Telegrams by the hun- 
dreds arrived from all parts of the country; and the 
press in its editorials referred to him not only as the 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 15 

greatest Catholic churchman, but as one of the greatest 
Americans in the annals of the nation. French and 
English journals, and those of other peoples, sound-^d 
his praises. This frail man, born the son of Irish parents, 
who had spent most of his life in the city of his birth, 
had become a world-wide figure — had achieved uncon- 
sciously a fame to which no other American churchman 
had ever attained. 

The body of the Cardinal lay in his sleeping apart- 
ment from Thursday, March 24, the day of his happy 
death, until the following Monday morning, when at 
an early hour it was borne into the Cathedral by the 
five priests of his household and the Reverend Arsenius 
Boyer, S. S., St. Mary's Seminary, for many years Con- 
fessor to His Eminence. There they placed it reverently 
on a catafalque in front of the high altar. 

At the foot of the catafalque rested the Red Hat placed 
upon the Cardinal's head by His Holiness, Pope Leo 
Xni in 1887, but never again worn by him. This sacred 
memorial of the Cardinal will hang suspended in the Ca- 
thedral until that historic edifice is no more. 

The decorations conferred by many governments on 
the Cardinal, tributes of mighty nations to a great man 
who ever remained a simple priest, were displayed to 
view, fastened to a silken pillow side by side with the 
emblem of his cardinalatial dignity. 

While the body lay in state in the Cathedral — from 
eight o'clock Monday morning until Thursday — delegates 
from the various Catholic societies of the city, about 
nine hundred in all, formed a constant Guard of Honor, 
i^tanding beside the bier. The members of the Ladies' 
Societies of the City formed a Guard of Prayer from 
early morning until ten o'clock at night. 



i6 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

On Monday morning, March 28th, there was a Mass 
for the parochial school children of the diocese, on 
Tuesday for the members of the Sisterhoods and Brother- 
hoods, and on Wednesday for the Laity. Immediately 
after each Mass the Cathedral was opened to the public 
to view for the last time their venerated Cardinal. It 
is estimated that more than 200,000 persons performed 
this filial duty to the dead, many in deep emotion, a si- 
lent awe and reverence so pervading the scene, that it 
seemed almost ethereal. Through the day thousands en- 
tered the sacred precincts almost unceasingl}^ At night 
they passed around the catafalque at the rate of 7.000 
an hour. On the night before the funeral the line wait- 
ing for entrance into the church stretched over seven 
blocks. Old and young, rich and poor, those of high 
estate as well as low went to pay their last tribute 
of affection and gratitude to Cardinal Gibbons, the friend 
of all. And though he lay there cold and lifeless, it was 
easy to conceive his spirit near blessing his cherished 
flock. 

It was raining on the day of the funeral, Thursday, 
March 31st; but thousands of persons stood outside the 
Cathedral, umbrellas in hand, to witness the procession 
of church dignitaries from Calvert Hall College to the 
Church. The procession was an inspiring one, though 
on account of the weather, the program could not be 
carried out as fully as planned. The officers of the 
Mass, the Cardinals and Archbishops, went direct to 
the Church from the Cardinal's residence. 

Two Princes of the Church, William Cardinal O'Con- 
nell of Boston and Louis Cardinal Begin of Quebec 
were present at the Solemn Requiem Mass ; and there, 
bowed in sorrow, were nearly fifty bishops and arch- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 17 

bishops, many monsignori and hundreds of priests from 
the Diocese of Baltimore and from other parts of the 
country. Abbots and heads of the various orders were 
seen in solemn garb, as were the members of the reli- 
gious orders, wearing the distinctive dress v/hich marks 
their organizations. 

Post-Master General Will Hays attended the Mass 
as the representative of President Harding. M. Rene 
Viviani, former premier of France, was present as 
the representative of his Government ; and practically 
all the embassies and ministries in Washington v/ere rep- 
resented. Governor Albert Ritchie of Maryland, Mayor 
William Broening of Baltimore, and officials of the 
Nation, State and City v/ere there present. 

The Apostolic Delegate, Most Rev. John Bonzano, v/as 
celebrant of the Mass and the Most Rev. John J. Glen- 
non, Archbshop of Saint Louis, preached the funeral 
sermon. In his eloquent tribute. Archbishop Glennon 
declared that Cardinal Gibbons was one of the three 
great men of the last half-century. The other two 
members of the triumvirate, he said, were Pope Leo XHI 
and Cardinal Manning. These three m.en had come into 
the world to win the world back from the false philoso- 
phy of the scientists to the true philosophy of the Cross. 
His Grace sketched the work the three churchmen had 
done in championing the cause of labor and proclaiming 
the right of man to a reward that shall secure to him 
and his family the means of comfort and happiness. 
God had raised up Cardinal Gibbons at a providential 
time, he said, when bigotry was threatening to stir up 
the whole country; but the fearlessness, the piety, the 
learning and kindness of the Cardinal had dispelled the 



i8 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS ' 

evil clouds and made religion shine forth in greater 
beauty. 

''The source of his power," continued the Prelate, 
''is traceable to the inner Hfe of the man, which was a 
blending of strength and sweetness, of simplicity and 
prudence. Thus when we consider what manner of 
man he was and how he worked for peace through the 
truth, and that the way of his work was charity, we 
now can understand how like the rainbow of God he 
stood before this generation a symbol of peace and 
promise; but unlike that fitful image which the sun 
paints on the storm clouds, he has endured through the 
years. Even now as we look toward the flaming west 
of his setting, there comes through the purple twilight 
his spirit's parting benediction. 

"As we stand in the shadows listening to that voice that 
speaks to our souls, ours is the solemn duty to take up the 
work he has left us to do — to promote peace, to teach the 
truth, to serve God, to build up anew the falling walls 
of Christendom. Soon we shall find how much we shall 
need him who is gone. Soon will the wish unbidden 
arise, if it were only the blessed will of God that he 
should remain with us yet a little longer — Mane nobis- 
cum qiioniam advesperasclt. 

"Let us hope, now that he has gone to his judgment 
and to his reward, that the angels' song, of which he 
spoke at the Christmas time, will greet him also on his 
way — that he will hear their voices calling to him to give 
glory to his Master and to the attainment of the kingdom 
of peace. While this is our hope, it must also be our 
prayer." 

Five absolutions were pronounced after the Mass, by 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 19 

Rt. Rev. Leo Haid, O. S. B., North Carolina; Rt. Rev. 
P. J. Donohue, Wheeling, W. Va. ; Rt. Rev. Denis 
O'Connell, Richmond, Va. ; Rt. Rev. John Monaghan, 
Wilmington, Del., and by the Apostolic Delegate, Most 
Rev. John Bonzano. 

At the hour the Mass zvas begun, all aetivities in Balti- 
more and other cities and tozvns in the State ceased 
for a minute. 

This was in consequence of a Proclamation issued by 
Governor Albert C. Ritchie. Trolley cars and auto- 
mobiles halted; the anvil failed to ring as the hammer 
rested unused for a minute beside the forge ; there was 
no outcry of men calling their wares ; and the rush and 
turmoil of the marts of trade were not thought of for 
the moment. Baltimore's great citizen was about to 
pass to his eternal rest ; and the heart of Baltimore, and 
the heart of the Catholics of the country, and the heart 
of all who loved Cardinal Gibbons were to rise in prayer 
to God for him. 



20 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

CHAPTER II 

Early Years 

'TpO few men who have attained the heights of inter- 
^ national greatness has the consolation been given of 
doing most of the great things of their lives in the place 
they call their home. 

If we scan the pages of history and read the stories 
of brave men and true, we find that once these men had 
begun to travel ''the path to glory," they left far behind 
them the old home, the old faces, the old friends, the 
old associations, which, nevertheless, must have remained 
ever dear to them. 

This is equally true of the man of war and the man of 
peace, of the scientist and the scholar, of the poet and 
the priest, of the statesman and the discoverer. They 
have gone into strange fields and lived among strange 
peoples to win a name and fame — to prove that "a 
prophet is not without honor save in his own country." 

But to Cardinal Gibbons came what is probably the 
unique distinction of carrying on the greater part of 
his life's work among the people whom he liked to call 
"my people" and who liked to call him "Our Cardinal." 

All the honors of his life, ecclesiastical and civil, cen- 
tered in Baltimore — the Baltimore to which his thoughts 
always turned no matter how far his travels carried him. 

The poet says truly : 

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends. 
Rough-hew them how we will." 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 21 

Never was this better exemplified than in the hfe of 
Cardinal Gibbons; for though born in Baltimore, and 
destined to so great and preternatural a work there, yet 
an overruling Providence intervened in his life at the 
age of three years. In 1837, with his father and mother 
and the other children of the family, he was borne four 
thousand miles across the ocean to Ireland, the land of 
his parents' nativity. There he was to breathe the living 
atmosphere of faith, to behold examples of heroic vir- 
tue, to be schooled in the principles of earthly and hea- 
venly wisdom, and to practise amid the hard facts and 
discipline of experience the moral and spiritual lessons 
he, as Christ's ambassador, was to inculcate for more 
than half a century. 

Divine Providence was evidently watching over James 
Gibbons, when it permitted him to leave his native city at 
so tender an age only to return later as a young semina- 
rian, there to begin and end a career of devotion to God 
and his fellowmen, that, in its varied and astonishing 
developments, was not only to lead him to fame, but to 
attract to him the affection and esteem of the world. 

It was on Gay Street near Fayette that the Car- 
dinal was born on July 23, 1834. We are told by a 
biographer that the house was a substantial two-story 
building with a high pitched roof, much like hundreds of 
houses in the Baltimore of fifty years ago. There, in the 
heart of what is known as *'01d Town," little James 
Gibbons played with his young companions, laughing- 
eyed and brimming with life. Then came a day 
when his young playmates heard with tearful amaze- 
ment, that the Gibbons family was going to leave Balti- 
more, and that the father and mother and all the Gibbons 
children were to sail across the sea to Ireland. James, 



22 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

the three year old boy, did not reahze what it all meant, 
but his parents knew and they were sorry to say good-by 
to the town they had karned to love. Little did that 
Irish father and Irish mother think when they left Bal- 
more that any member of the family would set eyes on 
the city again. Never did they dream that little James 
was destined one day to return to his home city, there 
to become the greatest citizen in its long and honorable 
history, and one of the great men of all American history. 

If his parents could have visioned the future, if they 
could have seen their son laboring for nearly sixty years 
in the vineyard of the Lord as priest, bishop, archbishop 
and Cardinal, their hearts would have throbbed more vio- 
lently ; and they would have fallen on their knees and 
from the depths of their Irish hearts would have sent 
forth burning prayers of thanksgiving for the great 
favor conferred upon them by Heaven. 

In October last, while His Eminence was returning 
to his residence in a limousine from the silver jubilee 
celebration of St. Elizabeth's Church in East Baltimore, 
he directed the chauffeur to stop the car at Fayette and 
Gay Streets. Sitting in the limousine, the Cardinal 
pointed out to his secretary the spot where his old home 
stood. He spoke for several minutes of the old-fashioned 
bedstead in which he slept. He told of the pranks of the 
other children and lived over again the scenes which his 
parents had pictured for him. The house was razed 
in 1892. There must have been a tug at the Cardinal's 
heart when he saw the old home of his nativity being laid 
in ruins. 

There were six children in the Gibbons' family, three 
boys and three girls. The Cardinal's parents were 
typically Irish, and from them he received as a heritage 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 23 

those qualities so characteristic of the Celtic nature — 
gentleness and unselfishness, sympathy for those in dis- 
tress, the gift of smiling through the tears ot discour- 
agement, the knowledge that a man only proves himself 
a man by subduing difficulties and surmounting obstacles 
when ''everything goes dead wrong." 

Thomas Gibbons, father of the Cardinal, was born in 
1800, and brought up in Westport, County Mayo, 
Ireland. There he married Bridget Walsh, a young 
maiden of strong character and deeply religious prin- 
ciples. Shortly after their marriage the youthful couple 
emigrated to the United States and made their home 

in Baltimore. 

I 

James, the future Primate, was the eldest of the 
sons. A few days after his birth, he was baptised 
in the Cathedral by Dr. Charles I. White, a priest of 
great learning and piety, whose funeral sermon the babe 
he had made ''heir of Heaven" was destined to preach 
forty-four years later as Archbishop of Baltimore. 

Mary, the eldest daughter, after a life of sterling vir- 
tue and piety, died at her home in New Orleans in 
December, 1920, at the age of ninety-two years. The 
Cardinal, who had been one in heart with her, was 
deeply affected ; from all parts of the country there 
came to him telegrams and letters of condolence. Ca- 
therine, gentle, innocent, lovable, the favorite of all, 
met the Angel Death in the bloom of her seventeenth 
year, in Ireland, and was bitterly mourned, especially by 
little James, who loved her passionately. Bridget, the 
youngest sister, married in New Orleans Mr. George 
Swarbrick ; by her beautiful life she carried out the 
family traditions of excellence in virtue; and at her 



24 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

death in 191 3 slie left a host of worthy descendants, 
who are held in the highest esteem in the Crescent City. 

Thomas, the third son, died in New Orleans. John 
the only surviving member of the family, now in his 
eighty-fifth year, lives in New Orleans, one of the fore- 
most citizens of that historic and eminently attractive 
city, where, annually, the Cardinal was welcomed with 
all the aftection and honor a generous people could 
bestow. 

On their arrival in Ireland Yiv. Gibbons settled with 
his family in Westport, his former home, where he 
purchased a farm. The Gibbons home, presided over 
by such a mother, was a model one where all the nobler 
qualities were inculcated by v/ord and example. There 
were the solid virtues of life planted in the hearts of 
the children, v.'ith a corresponding horror of sin. Faith 
and devotion attra.cted them; and there in the nightly 
gatherings to say the Rosary — an eminent Irish custom — 
the youthful James learned his unwavering devotion to 
the Blessed A'irgin. 

In their Celtic home, Mr. and Mrs. Gibbons clung to 
the memories of the land they had left behind them ; 
and of evenings, gathered around the turf fire, they 
recalled the beautiful scenes of Maryland, the majestic 
Potomac, the forests, the Cathedral, v/here they had 
v/orshipped, painting them in glowing colors to their 
children. Not forgotten v/as the famous Fort McHenry, 
near their former home, where the Star-Spangled Banner 
waved during the night of the bombardment of the fort 
by the British in 1814, and wdicre Francis Scott Key was 
inspired to write his immortal anthem; the little boy 
listened, all unconscious that he was the predestined 
Chaplain of the Fort during a great Civil War yet to 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 25 

come. His father told him of the time when he had put 
his boy on his shoulder that he might see the father's 
hero, Andrew Jackson, /'Old Hickory," as he passed 
through the city of Baltimore. 

So it came about that love of his native land took pos- 
session of the breast of James Gibbons, having as a co- 
possessor his love for the suffering, heroic land of his 
parents. His father did not forget Charles Carroll of 
Carrollton, the signer of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, whose home was not far from the Gibbons' home 
in Baltimore, and who died two years before James was 
born; more interested was the boy, when he learned of 
Archbishop John Carroll and the Cathedral Church built 
on a hill in Baltimore, which could be seen for a long dis- 
tance, a monument to the progress of Catholicism in the 
United States, the home of the first Catholic See in this 
country — that Cathedral which, by the decree of the 
Most High, was to be his home and his tomb. 

In Ireland the boy learned much of Erin's woes; so 
that in after-life he never ceased to pity and defend her 
and to denounce the tyranny and persecution excercised 
there. He also developed a taste for American history. 
He read much on that subject, and kept plying his 
father and mother with questions concerning the story 
of the American Revolution, and the history of the 
heroes connected with it. The eager, thoughtful little 
boy drank in all he heard and found stirring in his 
heart those patriotic impulses which were to become so 
pronounced in after years. They were impressions which 
were to make his patriotic speeches so fruitful and so 
promotive of the best interests of his country. More 
than that, they were to be the best barriers against bigotry. 

In Ireland, the Cardinal absorbed those qualities char- 



26 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

acteristic of the Celt in a literary sense — a sympathetic 
eloquence, a felicity of style and an ability to say a thing 
in a way that best grips the hearts of one's hearers. 

At the age of seven years, James attended a private 
classical school at Ballinrobe, near Westport, where a 
Mr. Jennings and a Mr. John J. Rooney were his teach- 
ers. His Eminence said in after Hfe that he wondered 
how the vocation to the priesthood ever came to him; 
for in Ireland he was not taught Catechism in the schools, 
a thing which always seemed to him difficult of explana- 
tion. However, he had such a truly Catholic home-life in 
such a truly Catholic land that it is not surprising that 
religion interpenetrated his very life and made his soul 
a temple of the highest spiritual ideals. 

James was a normal, healthy boy, frail in body, but a 
real athlete, leader at all games, wiry and agile and 
quick to score over his opponents in every contest. He 
played football, cricket and other games. He never 
seemed to tire, but was on the alert all the time, enjoy- 
ing every minute given to sport. This agility, this quick- 
ness of movement, remained with him throughout life 
even to a few weeks before his death. Members of his 
household, newspaper men who often went to interview 
him, and others know that the Cardinal never walked 
up or down the steps. He always tripped up and down, 
like a youngster, and with that smile on his face that 
told at a glance that he was enjoying life in its fullness. 

Those early far away days in Erin must have made 
a deep impression upon the youth, for to the very end 
of his life he loved to recall them. He laughingly told 
members of his household that while visiting a small town 
near his home on one occasion, his father hfted him up on 
his shoulder so that he might get a look at the famous 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 27 

Irish leader, Isaac Butt. Butt was short and round, and 
hence was nicknamed Tub, i. e. Butt spelled backward. 
From all accounts Butt was not popular ; and on this oc- 
casion he was subjected to shouts of derision on emerging 
from the hotel. It was delightful to see the Cardinal 
imitate in pantomine Butt's facial mockery of the jeering, 
hooting crowd. 

Among his schoolmates were a boy named McCormick, 
afterward a Bishop, and the two sons of an English offi- 
cer. Captain Celery. A warm friendship sprang up be- 
tween the future Cardinal and the two Celery boys. On 
the removal of Captain Celery to another post, the boys 
exchanged marbles as a proof of their undying friend- 
ship. 'The marbles, I hid in the garret of my home," 
said the Cardinal in telling the story, ''and many were 
the times I used to take them from their hiding place 
and handle them with the glee of a miser." 

Mr. Gibbons, large-hearted, industrious and pious, 
died when the boy James was thirteen years old. The 
widowed mother decided to return to America with her 
dependent little family. 

The sailing vessel on which the Gibbons family em- 
barked for this country was wrecked off one of the 
Bahamas. The passengers clung to the ship all night, 
fearing every moment that she would be swallowed up 
by the waves. How easy it is to picture the agonized 
faces looking up through the darkness to Her who is the 
Star of the Sea, while supplicating voices called to Her 
aloud as the beads slipped through trembling fingers. 

But God's angels were watching over His children in 
distress. With the dawn of day came rescue; and the 
passengers, not one was lost, were conveyed to Nassau. 

The passengers were forced to remain two weeks in 



28 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

the Bahamas. The Gibbons family found a faithful 
friend in a Mr. Johnson, who took them to his home and 
provided amply for their wants. A warm friendship 
sprang up between the little Catholic boy and his non- 
Catholic benefactor; and many conversations ensued 
between them on religious subjects, arguments full of 
interest on both sides. The zeal of the future Levite 
was already enkindled and his faith and knowledge 
brought earnestly into play. The Cardinal never forgot 
Mr. Johnson's kindness; he corresponded with him at 
intervals all his life, Mr. Johnson following with appre- 
ciation the phases of distinction through which the Car- 
dinal passed, though he himself never entered the fold. 
He preceded the Cardinal to the tomb by a few years. 
From Nassau the Gibbons family took passage for New 
Orleans. In that most Catholic city, the brave mother 
had determined they should take up their residence. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEh 2c, 

CHAPTER III 

Answering the Call 

T T was while young James Gibbons was at work as a 
-*• clerk in a grocery store in New Orleans, conducted 
by a Mr. William C. Raymond, that the inspiration came 
to him to enter the priesthood. He received that divine call 
at a mission held in the Spring of 1854 in St. Joseph's 
Church, New Orleans, by the Redemptorist Fathers, the 
Reverends Isaac Thomas Hecker, Augustine Hewitt, 
Clarence Walworth and Alexander Czvitkovicz. 

Many persons have attributed to Father Hecker the 
sermon which aroused the young clerk's desire to leave 
the world and to prepare himself to become an "Am- 
bassador of Christ." It seems to be definitely estab- 
lished, however, that the sermon which had this all- 
powerful effect was one deahng with vocations to the 
priesthood and that it was preached by Father Walworth. 
The missionaries sailed from New York on December 
27, 1853, ^^d reached New Orleans ten days later. On 
the voyage, Father Hecker contracted pneumonia and 
was unable to take part in the mission until near its close. 
In ''Life Sketches of Father Walworth" by Ellen FI. 
Walworth, we read on page 130: — 

*'An earnest youth listened to Father Walworth's 
sermon on the priesthood as preached in that city (New 
Orleans) and, thinking it over, offered himself to the 
bishop for the service of the altar. Father Walworth 



30 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

did not know that the seed of the divine word he had 
scattered had fallen thus upon good ground, until he sent 
his volume of poems '"Andiatorocte" to the Cardinal. At 
that time he was made very happy by receiving in answer 
a note of thanks stating the above facts in a few simple 
words. In 1902, the writer of these biographical sketches 
was with her mother in a book store in Baltimore, when 
they were recognized and accosted by Cardinal Gibbons 
in his own gentle and gracious manner. On that occasion 
he again alluded to the above-mentioned fact, saying that 
he owed his vocation to a sermon which Father Walworth 
preached at New Orleans." 

Mr. John T. Gibbons, of New Orleans, brother of the 
Cardinal, in a letter to a member of the Cardinal's house- 
hold, referring to the circumstances leading to His Emin- 
ence's espousal of the priestly life, said that Dr. Orestes 
Brownson exerted a powerful influence in guiding the 
Cardinal's footsteps to the altar. Mr. Gibbons, in des- 
cribing the Cardinal at the time he was 19 years old, a 
clerk in Mr. Raymond's store in New Orleans, said . 

"My brother often spoke about Dr. Orestes Brownson, 
the New England convert to the church. He had Brown- 
son in his mind and on his lips for a long time, and the 
impression that eminent man made on him must have been 
very great, for it could be seen in his face that a joyous 
sufficiency of Faith and Grace had taken possession of 
him and that there was nothing more needed to make 
him satisfied and happy. Brownson lectured here in the 
armory hall on Camp Street, within a fev/ doors of the 
building in which my brother was employed, and of 
course, he went to hear him and was charmed with his 
independent American manner of speaking and the way 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 31 

he put forth his sledge-hammer arguments in defense 
of the Church. If the Brownson smile left his face 
at any time, it was only when he read of what some 
few Catholic writers of the day had to say in criticism 
of his idol. In the next issue of his review or in his 
speeches, Brownson would so demolish his critics that 
nothing more would be heard from them, and the Cardi- 
nal held up his hands rejoicing." 

The young aspirant to the priesthood was nine- 
teen years old at the time of this turning-point of his life. 
Though the call came to him in January, 1854, he did 
not enter St. Charles' College until the summer of 1855, 
when he Avas twenty-one. His employer was reluctant 
to give him up. He offered his young clerk an increase in 
salary and told him his future was bright in the business 
world ; but young Mr. Gibbons was determined to leave 
the world. He would not refuse the heavenly mission 
offered him by God. Like Samuel of old, he answered 
in spirit, ''Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth." 

In describing his trip from New Orleans to the Col- 
lege, the Cardinal said : — 'Tn that year, the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad was attempting to push its way to 
Cincinnati. Arriving by boat at Cincinnati from New 
Orleans, I took the B. & O. to a point west of the Alle- 
gheny Mountains. Here I detrained and continued the 
journey by stage. At that time there were no such 
things as dining and sleeping cars. Usually twenty 
minutes were allowed for meals at some eating place — 
in most cases ill-kept and uninviting. There was no co- 
ordination between the different railroads, so that a whole 
day would be lost if one were so unlucky as to have to 
continue the journey on a rival road. Neither were the 



32 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

rails of a uniform distance apart. The result was that in 
the transfer of a car from one road to another the wheels 
had to be shortened or lengthened, as the case might be. 
I recall now that I was exactly sixteen days en route 
from New Orleans to Baltimore." 

Thus after an absence of eighteen years, during 
which time he had travelled many miles and had been 
brought face to face with death, the coming seminarian 
was back in Baltimore, his native city. Perhaps before 
he went out to St. Charles' College, at that time situated 
about seventeen miles from Baltimore, he visited his 
Gay Street home and looked upon it and thought of the 
days he had spent there, of his mother and father — that 
father who was buried far away in the Emerald Isle. 

According to the Cardinal's description of his first days 
at St. Charles', he vvas by no means a timid and bashful 
young man. In fact, he felt in after life, that he was 
inclined in his first few days there to be more or less 
"forward." Speaking of his first day at the college his 
Eminence said, only a few weeks before his death : 

'T shall never forget my first day at St. Charles'. I 
arrived, I remem-ber, on a Thursday, which was the week- 
ly holiday. I had scarcely heard the word discipline, and 
so when the bell rang calling us in to supper, I was at 
once struck by the silence of the boys as they marched 
in to tea. At table that night we talked as usual. But 
again the bell rang for night prayers and we filed into the 
prayer hall. I must confess the silence struck me as 
rather peculiar. In due time followed night prayers, and 
then came the march to the dormitory. At the head 
of the line was Mr. Menu, like a shepherd, stern of 
countenance, and we followed like sheep. By this time 




FA'l" 1 1 KR JA AJ i:S G 1 BBOX S 
Ay iiiK Ti.MK OF His Onkixatiox. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 33 

the silence became overbearing, and not able to restrain 
my thoughts any longer, I blurted out in the dormitory : 
'Where are we going?' The only answer to my question 
was the long finger of Mr. Menu pointing out to me a 
little bed, with not a word of explanation. The whole 
thing was done in pantomime. 

"The next morning the bell vang and the boys filed 
into the prayer hall for morning prayers. Kneeling on 
his priedieu and about to begin the morning exercises 
was Mr. Jenkins, a thin, delicate looking man, with 
thoughts fixed upon the coming occupation. Up to him 
I walked, put out my hand, and in a loud voice said 
T hope you are well this morning, Mr. Jenkins.' I got 
no response to my salutation, and I need not add I never 
again shook hands with ]\Ir. Jenkins before morning 
prayers. 

'Tn my day, the style was to wear very tight breeches. 
I was merely conforming to custom when I reached St. 
Charles' with two suits of clothes of the approved style. 
But very soon, from playing prisoners' base and foot- 
ball, the breeches did not last. Accordingly, Mr. 
Randan had made for me a suit of clothes. The 
vest came up to my chin. The coat came down to my 
heels and John T.. Sullivan could have gotten into the 
legs of the trousers. T remember Mr. Randan's remark : 
T will cure you of your vanities.' 

One of the Cardinal's chums at St. Charles' was the 
Right Rev. John S. Foley, late bishop of Detroit, who in 
after years still remained one of the intimate circle of the 
Cardinal's friends. Bishop Foley once described the 
Cardinal as he knew him at St. Charles : — 



34 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

"The burdens of high office have told upon his slender 
frame with advancing years, and yet as he rises before 
my mental retrospect I cannot see much change in the 
supple, trim figure that entered so ardently into our 
youthful sports. He still preserves the grace of move- 
ment of his early days, when, with all his apparent deli- 
cacy, he proved himself to be as elastic as tempered steel. 
Those were the days when the fixed rules of football a 
la Rugby were unknown or ignored; and I recall with 
accelerated pulse the dash with which the Cardinal 'in 
petto' broke into the melee around the elusive sphere and 
ruthlessly beat down all opponents. Whatever he did 
was done with all his might, and that is the philosophy 
of his story. He engaged in his studies in the same earn- 
est, indefatigable fashion that he exhibited at football or 
in the racquet court, and his mind was as active as his 
body, full of spring and resiliency. He was a youth, too. 
of noble and generous impulses, and his unaffected mod- 
esty was a most charming trait of his character. All these 
splendid attributes he has carried with him into the tur- 
bulent arena of life. W'ith him life is real, life is earnest." 

Those Who know how active the Cardinal was, when he 
was an octogenarian, can imagine how dashing, how alert 
he must have been on the athletic field. 

He was an expert football player at St. Charles', 
for he had learned to play that game well when 
he was a boy in Ireland. In some circles, the impression 
has gained ground that while at college, his Eminence was 
by no means a brilliant student. As a matter of fact, 
those who were associated with him say that he was an 
excellent student, showing all the keenness and alert- 
ness of mind which he displayed in later years. It 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 35 

must l>e remembered that he entered the college in 1855 
and was graduated with distinction in 1857, finishing the 
course io a remarkably short time. 

In September, 1857, the young student entered bt. 
Mary's Seminary, then under the presidency of the 
Reverend Francis L'Homme. There he developed into 
a fine scriptural scholar. He loved the study of the Bible 
and that Ichve reflected itself in after life. In the Cardi- 
nal's writings and sermons one will find scriptural quota- 
tions interwoven with an eloquence and appropriateness 
indicative of his thorough mastery of the Scriptures. 
This knowledge of the Bible served him well in his work 
in the Vicariate-Apostolic of North Carolina and in Vir- 
ginia, enabling him to drive home to non-Catholics the 
conclusive fact that the Catholic Church, far from being 
an enemy of the Bible, is its protector and safeguard; in 
it she finds the Hfe of her teachings; and her ardent and 
oft-repeated desire is that her children should love the 
Sacred Word of God and make it the subject of frequent 
reading and devout meditation. 

In his sermons, as well as in his writings, the Cardinal 
had a happy faculty of presenting his argument by simple 
but eloquent word pictures, references to Biblical inci- 
dents or to historical events. His diction was extraordi- 
narily simple, yet classical, holding all his hearers, the 
most highly educated and the least so among them. His 
Eminence did not preach long sermons. He could say 
much in little, following the old Horatian axiom ; but all 
of his sermons were masterpieces of pulpit oratory as dis- 
tinct from that flamboyant style popular among others in 
the early part of his priestly career. Such a style never 
ajjpealed to him. His was the oratory which the world 
of today likes — simplicity and truth delivered by men of 



36 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

simple tastes, whose lives have been stamped with 
honesty. 

This knack of preaching well, of painting word pic- 
tures, was learned by the young student at St. Charles' 
and at St. Mary's Seminary; but he supplemented his 
acquisitions there by his careful and appreciative reading 
of great British essayists and poets — the poets of Ireland 
in a marked degree — as well as the historians of America 
and other countries. 

In subsequent years he repeatedly expressed the debt 
.of gratitude which he owed the Sulpician Fathers who 
had charge of his education to the priesthood. He loved 
them in an especial manner. His confessor for many 
years, Faher Boyer of St. Mary's Seminary, is a Sul- 
pician. On the occasion of the celebration of the Golden 
Jubilee of his episcopacy held at St. Mary's Seminary, 
October. 21, 191 8, the Cardinal thus expressed his appre- 
ciation of the good done by the Sulpician Fathers : 

"This morning I vras reminded by one of the speakers, 
of the days before I entered upon my studies at St. 
Mary's. I recall that for some time I was on the fence 
and did not know whether I would serve God in the 
church as a priest, or as a layman in the world. Besides 
two Sulpician Fathers who created in me a great desire 
to serve in the sacred ministry, there was another who 
gave me inspiration, and that was a good Redemptorist 
priest, who recommended that I should enter a Sulpician 
seminary. I followed that Redemptorist's advice. Never 
shall I regret that I placed myself under the care of the 
Sulpicians, who are eminent in learning, but more eminent 
in piety. 

*T solemnly declare with the true sense of the respon- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 37 

sibility of my word that Almighty God in His power, 
mercy and influence has never conferred a greater 
blessing on the Church in America than when he inspired 
Bishop Carroll to invite the Suipicians of France to come 
to this country. The coming of these men has been a 
singular benediction to the United States. The Suipi- 
cians have formed and moulded the character of the 
young men studying for the priesthood. They were the 
original teachers of the clergy in the United States. They 
gave to the non-Catholic and to the Catholic an idea of 
what the Catholic priest ought to be. When I look back 
today to the days I spent in the seminary under their 
guidance and influence, I find I have forgotten much 
they taught me, but I shall never forget what is im- 
printed on my heart and memory and deepest affection.'' 

In an article, contributed to The Baltimore Catholic 
Review for the special ordination number of St. Mary's 
Seminary, the Rev. Dr. Wendell Reilly, S. S., of the Semi- 
nary gives some interesting sidelights on the days spent by 
the Cardinal at that great Sulpician Institution. 

'AVhen we come to look up college archives and to 
think over old college stories,'' writes Father Reilly, "in 
an attempt to place 'Mr. Gibbons back in his surround- 
ings in the years 1 855-1 861 which he spent at St. Charles' 
College and St. Mary's Seminary, we find a remarkable 
verification of the old Sulpician maxim. 'As the semi- 
narian is, so the priest.' He neither did nor said any 
thing very extraordinary in those years, but he delighted 
the hearts of his directors by doing ordinary things with 
extraordinary carefulness. The philosophers were only 
ten in number in the class of 1857- 1858, at St. Mary's, 
into which James Gibbons entered ; their rooms were 



38 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

in the buildings of the old seminary. The theologians, 
some thirty in number, were lodged in the buildings of 
St. Mary's College, which had been suppressed in 1852, 
when the Sulpicians found it posible to devote themselves 
exclusively to clerical education. Philosophers and 
theologians formed, however, but one community. 

'Tf the seminarians were less numerous in 1857 than 
in 192 1, they were in some respects more imposing. It 
must have been an impressive sight, if somewhat pro- 
vocative for the Know Nothings, to witness the weekly 
community walk through the streets of Baltimore of the 
forty seminarians and their six directors, all attired in 
long frock coats and silk hats. 

"Father Dissez, who was a director at the Seminary 
from 1857-1908, and ever a spiritual guide of the Cardi- 
nal, has left a few interesting notes, written at some 
date not mentioned, to furnish materials for a short 
notice of the life of His Eminence. Father Dissez 
records first the very words in which Father Jenkins, 
the president of St. Charles', recommends Mr. James 
Gibbons to the faculty of St. Mary's: ''Bon esprit; tal- 
ent." Sulpician alumni will realize that these French 
words cannot be translated : they conveyed the informa- 
tion that the aspirant to the priesthood was talented and 
had shown at St. Charles' from 1855- 1857 that 'good 
spirit' which makes a man responsive to the influences 
which are brought to bear on him in a clerical training 
school. 

'The professor of Philosophy at St. Mary's next 

gives the mark which recorded success in studies during 

the first part of the year, 83^ out of a possible 10. *He 

ranked second at the beginning. But in the course of 

the year he came out the first and was appointed master 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 39 

of conference, presiding over an exercise of review of 
the matter already seen in class, and preparnig by this 
review the public weekly Examination called the Domini- 
cale/ According to the diary of L'Homme, Mr. Gibbons 
was appointed master of conference April 29, 1858. The 
late Bishop Burke of Albany used to say that he himself 
succeeded Mr. Gibbons in another office at the Seminary ; 
he had charge of the spiritual welfare of the servants un- 
der the treasurer. 

"Father Dissez wrote : 'J^^^^s Gibbons manifested the 
Bon esprit at St. Mary's as at St. Charles* by his affa- 
bility, politeness and kindness towards all, superiors and 
fellow-students. He was a regular and edifying sem- 
inarian. He profited by all opportunities to increase 
his knowledge. Even in recreation he liked to ask his 
Professors about the subject-matter of his studies or 
readings. He had a special zeal for the study of Holy 
Scripture; in his private rule he set apart one hour to 
read it every day. . . Another excellent trait mani- 
fested by Mr. James Gibbons during his Seminary course 
was his tenderness exercised in a special way towards his 
excellent and severely tried friend, Mr. Onthank who 
died of consumption after a long period of sickness.' " 

At the Seminary, the Cardinal displayed those quali- 
ties of "pedestrianism" which were to baffle all those who 
were called upon to make trips with him later in his life. 
He thought nothing of walking ten, fifteen, even twenty, 
miles a day when a young archbishop. He walked rap- 
idly and without the least exertion. Priests liked to take 
short walks with him, but some of them were not eager 
for the long ''hikes. " The Cardinal knew this and he 
used good-humoredly to tell how on occasions some 



40 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

of the "huskiest members" of the clergy in Baltimore 
had to beg him to *'cut short" jaunts on which they went 
with him. 

During the last few years of his life, the seminarians 
from St. Mary's took walks with His Eminence. A semi- 
narian was assigned regularly for the daily walk. The 
Cardinal talked to the young men about their studies, 
about their lives and their home-towns. If a semi- 
narian came from San Francisco, the Cardinal knew 
priests in that diocese. If he came from Portland, Maine, 
the Cardinal had friends in that diocese. No matter 
whence t4ie seminarians hailed, His Eminence almost 
■invariably knew some of their friends in the priesthood 
and could sum up accurately and in a few words the 
characteristics of those friends. As they parted at the 
door of the Cardinal's residence. His Eminence said 
good-by to the seminarians with a courteous *T thank you." 

In the last published interview v/ith the Cardinal, in 
which His Eminence gave advice to the young men of 
the nation under the title, ''Young Man, Expect Great 
Things," the Cardinal said that until he was 40 years 
old he always associated with old men to get their view- 
point, but that after he had passed his fortieth milestone 
he associated with young men to get their viewpoint, and 
to learn faith and hope from their optimism. That is 
one of the reasons why he liked to walk with the Semin- 
arians. 

James Gibbons w^as ordained in St. Mary's Seminary 
on June 30, 1861, by the Most Reverend Francis P. 
Kenrick, D. D.. brother of the venerable Archbishop 
Kenrick of St. Louis, who, twenty-five years later, to 
the very day, almost to the very hour, placed the red 
biretta of "a Prince of the Church" upon the Cardinal's 
head at the Cathedral. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 



CHAPTER IV 

The Ambassador of Christ 

DARK were the days and dark loomed the future for 
this country when Father Gibbons entered upon his 
work as a priest at old St. Patrick's, Baltimore, in July, 
1861. 

The country was divided against itself and there were 
many who predicted that "a house divided against itself 
would fall." Civil War was in its first days then — cruel 
first days, in which all the agonies of the conflict were 
brought home forcibly to the people of this land. In 
few places did it press with so much sorrow, so much 
anguish, so much division of natural feeling among 
members of one household, as it did in the State of 
Maryland and notably in the city of Baltimore. 

There were men in the Cardinal's native city who 
espoused the cause of the Confederacy. There were 
others who stood for the Union. The first blood of the 
Civil War had ''flecked the streets of Baltimore.'' 
There were sons of the finest families in the city, who 
had escaped the surveillance of the Union soldiers and 
made their way to the South to enlist under the ''Stars 
and Bars." Their parents, their wives, their sisters and 
brothers were praying for them, hoping against hope 
for the safety of those from whom they never could 
hope to hear, except by some outwitting of the v/atch ful- 
ness of the ''Yankee" soldiers. 

The loyalty of Baltimore to the Union was so seriously 



42 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

doubted that that city was kept under especial vigilance. 
Cannon looked down menacingly from Federal Hill 
where Union troops were stationed under the command 
of General B. F. Butler. Every citizen was suspected. 
Many of the best Catholics of the city left the Cathedral 
on Sundays, when the prayers for the authorities ordered 
by Archbishop John Carroll and composed by him, were 
read. Confederate sympathizers did not relish the peti- 
tion for the preservation of the Union as contained in 
that prayer. 

It was in an atmosphere and at a time when one indis- 
creet word would have brought down the wrath of the 
Federal authorities or the indignation and enmity of the 
Confederate sympathizers, that Father Gibbons became 
assistant pastor of St. Patrick's. The people saw as 
their new assistant a frail young priest, who appeared to 
be in delicate health and who, it was confidently predicted 
by many, would be unable to stand long the strain of 
duty. He said Mass on that first Sunday morning and 
preached a sermon simple and eloquent. Those who heard 
it were pleased and at once expressed the opinion that 
they would like "the new priest." 

St. Patrick's is situated in a part of Baltimore which is 
known as "Fell's Point." It is not far from the Balti- 
more harbor, in which ships from the seven seas find 
port. In East Baltimore, the future Cardinal met sailors 
from every port and every clime. He used to stop to 
chat with them and learn the news from all the world, 
assimilating such news and -inquiring in a friendly way 
concerning the spiritual health of these men. The pastor 
of the church was the Rev. James Dolan, known as 
"The Apostle of the Point," because of his zeal, his suc- 
cess in ministering to the needs of the souls of his people, 
and his interest, too, in their temporal welfare. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 43 

Father Gibbons did not remain long at St. Patrick's. 
Six weeks later he was sent to St. Brigid's, in Canton, a 
mission of St. Patrick's. Before the end of the year 
he was given full charge of the congregation, his first 
and only pastorate as a priest. 

The church was surrounded by farms and the only 
house near by was occupied by a family of Smyths, 
Mrs. Bridget Smyth was a motherly woman with the real 
Irish instinct of hospitality and sympathy. On the 
Saturday night that the young priest arrived to assume 
his duties at St. Brigid's, Mrs. Smyth sent to him his 
first meal in the parish. Father Gibbons never forgot her 
kindness. He blessed her and expressed the hope that 
many spiritual and temporal blessings would come to 
her. Four of Mrs. Smyth's grandsons were ordained to 
the priesthood. One of them is pastor of a church in 
Baltimore, another is pastor of a church in Washington, 
a third, a member of the Paulist Order of Priests. The 
fourth grandson, who was an assistant pastor of St. Mar- 
tin's Church, Baltimore, died two years ago. 

The men of Father Gibbons' parish, for the most part 
either Irish or of Irish descent, were employed at the 
copper mills. The neighborhood indeed was like a 
transplanted bit of Erin. The rectory of the church was 
not only unpretentious — it was worse than that. It was 
a poor, shabby dwelling, part of which Father Gibbons 
had to devote to the use of church meetings. But he 
was not one to complain. To the very day of his death, 
he lived in the humblest surroundings. He felt that as 
his Master had lived in the poorest of homes in Nazareth, 
it was not fitting for him to seek the splendor of a great 
edifice. He wanted to be poor in spirit and to follow 
out the priestly life in humility and sacrifice. 



44 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Within the hmits of St. Brigid's parish was Fort Mar- 
shall, one of the temporary forts thrown up by the Fed- 
eral authorities. On several occasions, soldiers from 
that fort overran the limits of discipline and acted in an 
ugly and threatening manner. One night, it is said, the 
young priest found one of the soldiers asleep in the 
church yard. He remonstrated with the man, who be- 
came so enraged that he picked up a fence paling and 
with mocking words, attacked the young pastor. Father 
Gibbons, the frail man, acted quickly : striking the soldier 
with his fist, he knocked him half stunned to the ground. 
Rising with difficulty — he had had enough to satisfy 
him — the cowardly assailant left the premises. Soldiers 
under the influence of drink sometimes addressed sneer- 
ing remarks to the priest ; but Father Gibbons as a rule 
quietly continued on his way, recognizing that the condi- 
tion of the men took away from them much of the respon- 
sibility for their act. 

He had ministered only a few months at St. Brigid's, 
when Archbishop Kenrick, appreciating his talent, his 
energy, his gifts and his executive ability, informed 
Father Gibbons that he desired him also to assume 
charge of St. Lawrence's Church — now Our Lady of 
Good Counsel Church — at Locust Point. In connection 
with his duties there he was to look out for the spiritual 
wants of the soldiers at Fort McHenry. At that time 
there were imprisoned at the fort some of Baltimore's 
distinguished citizens. Locust Point is directly across the 
harbor from Canton. For many years, except during the 
recent world war, the big immigrant ships from Euope 
have come to that point, bearing tens of thousands of new 
citizens to this country. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 45 

Every Sunday morning after the six o'clock Mass at 
St. Brigid's, the pastor was rowed across the harbor to St. 
Lawrence's. There, before Mass, he heard confessions, 
then celebrated the Holy Sacrifice, preached, baptized, 
and visited members of the parish, especially those Vv'ho 
were sick. He paid visits also to Fort McHenry, only a 
few blocks from the church. His duties at the Point over, 
he rccrossed the Patapsco to Canton, where he preached 
again at ten o'clock. 

His sermons were much on the order of httle heart to 
heart talks filled with scriptural quotations, picturing 
some of the great events of sacred history. In a diplo- 
matic, persuasive way he taught the doctrines of peace 
and concord when such doctrines were so greatly needed. 
He always proclaimed the truth with wisdom, for he 
knew that in those times of strife and turmoil, one indis- 
creet word might undo all the good work he was trying 
to accomplish. 

In those early days of the Civil War, as well as the 
days immediately preceding it, bigotry was rife — in few 
places more so than in Baltimore. In Maryland, the 
Land of Sanctuary, where religious freedom was first 
guaranteed in the New World, the name of Catholic had 
come to be hated and a member of that church was 
looked upon with bitterness. The ''Know Noihing 
Party" had carried the state only a short time before, 
and the results of that victory were evident everywhere. 

Not with denunciation did Father Gibbons fight such 
bigotry. He knew, rather, that words of love and expres- 
sions of desire to meet one's fellowmen on the level of 
fair play would accomplish more good than condemna- 
tions and vitriolic attacks. More than that, he knew that 



46 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

the example of a good life would have a more positive 
effect in breaking down bigotry than controversies 
entered into with a fighting spirit. 

He learned in those days, as he learned afterward in 
North Carolina and Virginia, that bigotry is due mainly 
to ignorance. Pie remembered his lessons in later years 
and was never drawn into controversies, though when it 
was necessary to protest against any usurpation of the 
rights of a Catholic, he spoke vigorously and with 
authority. He forestalled injustice and obtained his 
rights. 

Father Gibbons made those trips across the water in 
stormy as well as in fair weather. When the harbor 
became ice-boimd, he made the trip to South Baltimore 
and St. Lawrence's by carriage, sleigh or some other 
vehicle — a round-about trip which consumed much time. 
During the course of his administrations at Fort Mc- 
Henry, four Confederate soldiers confined there were 
sentenced to death by the Federal Government. They had 
been captured on Maryland soil, three of them while on a 
visit to their homes on the Eastern Shore. Father Gibbons 
was asked by one of the four, John R. H. Embert, to give 
spiritual consolation to him and prepare him for death. 
The sentences of the four were afterward commuted to 
life imprisonment. The story -is told in Mr. Allen S. 
Will's delightful "Life of Cardinal Gibbons," that a feu- 
years later, Mr. Embert made a surprise visit to the 
Cathedral while Father Gibbons was stationed there as 
secretary to Archbishop Spalding, and asked his former 
chaplain to marry him, remarking with a smile : *'As you 
did not have the opportunity of tying the knot around 
my neck, I ask you now to tie a more pleasant knot." 
The yoimg pastor's life at St. Brigid's was in other 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 47 

respects much like the hfe of the ordinary priest. He 
said Mass daily, preached in season and out of season, 
heard confessions and gave Holy Communion to his 
flock; he truly went about doing good, responding to 
sick calls at all hours of the day or night. Wl^erever he 
went those who met him felt that they had indeed in their 
midst a worthy priest and all hearts went out to him in 
love and respect. 

His popularity as a preacher soon grew ; and he was in 
demand at many churches, especially for the Lenten 
exhortations and sermons at special ceremonies of the 
church. It was on the Good Friday night of the year 
1865, now historic, that he preached a sermon on the 
Passion of Our Saviour. He showed with words of 
condemnation the ingratitude of those who had crucified 
Christ, painting in a word picture as an analogy the slay- 
ing of some wise and benevolent ruler of a people. 

The congregation had scarcely left the church when 
the news resounded throughout Baltimore that President 
Abraham Lincoln had been shot. A few days later, 
when the body of the martyred President was brought to 
Baltimore, Father Gibbons, with other clergymen, fol- 
lowed it in the procession from the railroad station to 
the Exchange Building, where it lay in statd 



48 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

CHAPTER V. 

He Receives the Purple 

A RCHBISHOP Spalding had heard many pleasing 
^ ^ reports of the work of the young pastor of St. 
Brigid's. An investigation by him convinced the new 
prelate that Father Gibbons was the man he needed as 
his secretary. 

As has been seen, the people of his charge had become 
dear to the young priest and he had endeared himself 
to them; so it was with genuine sorrow they received 
the formal announcement that he had been appointed sec- 
retary to the newly consecrated Archbishop of Baltimore, 
the Most Reverend Martin J. Spalding, D.D. The news 
of his appointment brought sorrow to Father Gibbons. 
The night he received the notification, he wrote to sev- 
eral priests in Baltimore asking them to use their influ- 
ence to have the appointment recalled. Then realizing 
suddenly that such a course was not in accordance with 
the promise of obedience which he had made to his 
Bishop at the time of his ordination, he recalled his re- 
quest and v.'ith heavy but loyal heart obeyed the summons. 

In later years, the Cardinal spoke to many seminarians 
on his walks about his reluctance to assume the post 
of secretary. He told them the importance of obedi- 
ence. Indeed, he preached on that subject repeatedly. 
In addressing soldiers in the American Army during the 
recent world war, he impressed upon them the necessity 
of that virtue and told them that without obedience on 
their part to their officers, success would be impossible. 




RIGHT REV. lAMES GIBBONS. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 49 

In October, 1865, Father Gibbons said good-bye to his 
flock and went to hve in the Cathedral rectory, where 
he was to spend most of his future years and where he 
was to receive from his Master the summons to eter- 
nity. 

The Archepsicopal residence, which was to become 
known in later years to all Baltimoreans as *'The 
Cardinal's House," has long since earned the right to be 
called the nursery of bishops. Gibbons, Becker, Foley, 
Curtis, Donahue, Russell, are the names of some who 
entered as priests the house on Charles Street near Mul- 
berry Street and who afterward became the heads of 
dioceses. 

As at St. Brigid's, Father Gibbons speedily won friends 
at the Cathedral by his charm of manner and by the excel- 
lent qualities of a true priest which everyone observed in 
him. He became a popular confessor, and outside his con- 
fessional in the Cathedral long lines of penitents were to 
be seen. Numbered among them were leaders in the State 
and City, as well as the poorest of the poor. They were all 
children of God in his sight; and to all, before raising the 
hand of absolution, he gave instructions suited to their 
state of life. His sermons continued to attract attention 
and he received invitations to preach in many places. At 
Calvert Hall College and at St. Mary's Orphan Asylum, 
at that time on Franklin Street, he taught Catechism. His 
instructions, simple and clear, had a winning power of 
appeal to the members of his class ; and the good he 
accomplishd in the hearts of the little ones he so loved 
was augmented by his popular sermons for the children 
of the parish delivered on Sundays at the Cathedral ; the 
latter, indeed, like the catechetical instructions of St. 



50 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Francis de Sales, attracted those of a larger growth, 
who went away better men and women. 

Archbishop Spalding was proud of his young secretary ; 
his penetrating mind, his genial, sunny temper, his deep- 
seated humility, with his modest manner of address, 
continued to draw more and more the confidence of that 
prelate. 

About a year later, there occurred an event which was 
to mould the future of Father Gibbons, to send him on the 
road to international fame and lead him eventually to the 
very highest office in the Catholic Church outside of the 
Papacy itself. This was the Second Plenary Council of 
Baltimore, convened in October, 1866, by Archbishop 
Spalding, and presided over by him. His young secretary 
was made the assistant chancellor, and the Archbishop 
delegated much work to him. Father Gibbons speedily at- 
tracted the attention of the prelates assembled there, by 
his energy, his tactfulnes, his courtesy, and his readiness 
to do everything that lay within human power to add to 
the comfort of those who took part in the proceedings. 
He was often called upon to give information neccessary 
for the carrying on of the work of the Council, For this 
his persistent studies as well as his wide and well-selected 
course of reading, all acted upon by his reflective mind, 
seemed to fit him. Soon his work began to be talked 
about outside the Council sessions, and the word of praise 
was sounded for him everywhere. 

The assistant chancellor was, of course, present at all 
the sessions of the Council ; there he learned much that 
was to stand him in good stead in the future. An eager 
listener to the debates of the Bishops, he took into his 
heart all the words of wisdom that fell from their lips, 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 51 

and derived from them much that guided him afterward 
in the administration of his episcopal and archepiscopal 
duties. 

Among- the numerous reforms advocated there, was 
the cultivation of a spirit of sympathy and tolerance 
towards those outside the fold. Non-Catholics were to 
be looked upon as sincere in their convictions ; their 
feelings were to be respected and all efforts to convert 
them were to be made in conformity with the teachings 
of Christian charity. Controversies were to be avoided 
as far as possible, though Catholic teachers of doctrine 
were not to stand by idly and allow their faith to be at- 
tacked with impunity. They were to teach from pulpits 
the doctrines of Catholicism, preaching them in a manner 
so clear and intelligent as to be understood by all. Politics 
were to be avoided. Vocations to the priesthood were to 
be encouraged, and preparatory seminaries were to be 
erected as well as higher seminaries where philosophy 
and theology were to be taught. 

At the closing ceremonies of the Council, Andrew John- 
son, President of the United States, was present. 
Father Gibbons was introduced to him, the first executive 
of the nation whom he had met. The modest young sec- 
retary could not foresee that he was to meet all the Presi- 
dents of the country after that, including President Hard- 
ing, to win their esteem, and to be on terms of great 
friendliness with most of them. 

Wholly intent on the momentous problems that were 
before the Council, his mind teeming with activity and 
enthusiasm, while he recorded the discussions and gave 
to his prelate the aid of his frank suggestions, the modest 
young priest had no conception of the eyes that were 



52 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

watching with astonishment and admiration his successful 
labors. What was his amazement, therefore, when he 
learned that he had been nominated by that august body 
Bishop of the newly created Vicariate-Apostolic of North 
Carolina ! He had been ordained only five years ; and 
less than twelve years had elapsed since he had begun 
his studies for the priesthood. 

It was not until two years later that the consecration 
of Bishop-elect Gibbons and another Bishop-elect took 
place. The Reverend Thomas A. Becker, who also 
was a member of the Cathedral household, was nom- 
inated Bishop of Wilmington, Delaware. Both were 
raised to the episcopacy in the Cathedral on August i6, 
1868. Father Gibbons was consecrated titular Bishop of 
Adramyttium and Vicar-Apostolic of North Carolina. 
The unique ceremony drew a vast congregation, and the 
Cathedral sanctuary was filled with priests from all parts 
of the diocese and even from distant cities. Archbishop 
Spalding presided at the ceremonies and the Reverend 
Thomas Foley, chancellor of the diocese, afterward 
Bishop of Chicago, preached the sermon. 

Among the bishops present were Right Reverend 
John McGill of Richmond, whom Bishop Gibbons was to 
succeed in a few years, and Right Reverend James Roose- 
velt Bayley, who, the destined successor of Archbishop 
Spalding, was to leave his pallium to the young Vicar 
Apostolic in the course of a decade. Father Foley, in 
his discourse on the occasion, eulogized the many estima- 
ble qualities v/hich the members of the Cathedral house- 
hold and other eminent ecclesiastics had found in the 
two bishops. Turning to Bishop Gibbons, he said : 

"And you, Right Reverend Sir, are to go to the large 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 53 

State of North Carolina. It appals one to think of that 
State of more than a million inhabitants with but few 
altars and one or two priests to minister to them. This 
is the work which the tloly Ghost, which the Supreme 
Pontiff, which the united body of our Bishops in Council 
assembled, have cut out for you, a work which plainly 
bespeaks the character which you hold with them. 

"I cannot congratulate you on going to North Carolina, 
but I do rejoice for the honor which the Church of God 
has conferred on you ; and I congratulate your flock, 
few and scattered, upon the advantage they are to derive 
from the apostolic mission you are to establish in that 
State, which, in a religious sense, may be called a desert. 
It will not be long, I predict, before that desert will be 
made to bloom and produce much fruit ; and your vicari- 
ate, now so poor and uninviting, will be able to compare 
with other dioceses of longer existence in religious 
prosperity." 

Before going to Wilmington, N. C, the see of his new 
charge. Bishop Gibbons performed in the diocese of Bal- 
timore several duties of his new office. He administered 
Confirmation at St. Brigid's, his first pastoral charge. 
He dedicated St. Joseph's Passionist ^Monastery Church, 
at whose golden jubilee he presided in 1916; and he 
ordained his first class to the priesthood, three Jesuits 
from Frederick, Maryland. It was a coincidence that the 
last class the Cardinal ordained was the the class of 1920 
of Woodstock College, Jesuits, the ceremony taking place 
at Georgetown College, June 30, 1920. All the members 
of that class marched as a delegation in his funeral pro- 
cession. 

The Cardinal, it is affirmed, ordained more Jesuit 



54 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

priests than any other prelate in the entire history of the 
Order throughout the world. On the occasion of the 
Golden Jubilee of his episcopacy, a book was presented to 
him containing the name of every Jesuit raised by him to 
the priesthood. At every ordination ceremony at Wood- 
stock or at Georgetown, he asked those among the Jesuits 
whom he had ordained to stand up so that he might greet 
them. He looked upon all priests whom he had ordained 
as spiritual children especially dear to him. 



CHURCHMEN AND CITIZEN 55 

CHAPTER VI 
A Missionary Bishop '; 

ON the first page of a "boarJ-back" note book, a book 
much like the one in which store-keepers used to 
enter their accounts half a century and more ago, is the 
following notation written by Bishop James Gibbons on 
All Saints' Day, 1868. 

"This day I was invested in St. Thomas' Church 
(Wilmington) by Most Rev. Archbishop Spalding, 
w^ho preached an admirable sermon at Pontifical 
High Mass celebrated by me. I preached at Ponti- 
fical Vespers. Many Protestants attended both ser- 
vices. Father McManus of Baltimore, the Very 
Rev. Dr. Birmingham of Charleston and Fathers 
Northrop, O'Connell and Gross were present." 

The diary in which this entry was made, marking the 
beginning of the Cardinal's work in the Vicariate of 
North Carolina, has written on the front cover in tlic 
Cardinal's handwriting in Roman characters : 

Jacohi Gibbons 
Acta Episcopalia a 25 die Septeinbris, 1868 ad — 
Episcopal Acts of James Gibbons from September 25, 1868, to — 

The diary was kept by His Eminence until 191 7. The 
book is yellow with age. lj\ it is found the record of the; 



56 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Cardinal's hopes and joys and sorrows. It breathes his 
deep-abiding faith, his optimism, and his belief in his 
fellowman. 

One regrets that the Cardinal did not go more into 
detail in some of the entries of the diary concerning some 
of the events which had a far-reaching influence on the 
future of the Church in this country. In his diary he 
either touches lightly on some of ' the great events or 
ignores them entirely. His comments on them or his ex- 
planations of them would have opened up a great vein of 
research for those who will seek in future years to write 
a complete estimate of his work for Catholicism in the 
United States. This present work is merely put forth 
in the hopes of giving the people of America a rather 
intimate pen picture of him — a picture which no matter 
how hard one may labor upon it never will do the model 
justice. 

Father Northrop, whom he mentions in the entry of 
November i, afterward became Bishop of Charleston. 
Father O'Connell was the Rev. Lawrence J. O'Connell, 
uncle of Rt. Rev. Denis J. O'Connell of Richmond. 
Father Gross was Father Mark Gross, brother of the 
late Archbishop William H. Gross. Father McManus, 
afterward Monsignor McManus, was pastor of St. John's 
Church, Baltimore. At the time of Monsignor McManus* 
death on February 28, 1888, the Cardinal recorded it 
thus : 

''Monsignor B. J. McManus, the dearest friend 
I had among the clergy, died this morning. Deus tibi 
det pacem siiain, amice cordis mei" (May God give 
you peace, friend of my heart.) 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 57 

Father McAIanus' picture hung in the Cardinal's bed- 
room for many years, up to the day he died. 

Archbishop Spalding and Father McManus accom- 
panied Bishop Gibbons from Baltimore to the vicariate. 
The three arrived at Wilmington on the night of Octo- 
ber 30th, where they were received by Father Gross and 
a delegation of the laity. Father Gross was pastor of 
St, Thomas', which was to be Bishop Gibbons' headquar- 
ters. Addresses of welcome to the new Vicar Apostolic 
were made by Colonel F, W, Kerchner and Major Reily, 
They promised that the Catholics of North Carolina 
would co-operate with their new shepherd in every way 
and expressed their gratitude that a bishop had been sent 
to their assistance. 

In a paper read by His Eminence before the Historical 
Society of New York — "Recollections of North Carol- 
ina," he said of this early period : 

"My sole companion here was Reverend Mark S. 
Gross. Our accommodation (we had no house) con- 
sisted of two small rooms, one for an ofifice, another 
for library, attached to the rear of the church. But 
my work on hand left no leisure to breed homesick- 
ness. Everything had to be started, missions inaugu- 
rated, schools established, priests to be had, conver- 
sions to be made." 

A few days after his arrival, on November loth, Bishop 
Gibbons made an entry in his diary on his first pastoral 
visit in his new field of labor: 

"Father Gross and myself visited Fayetteville ac- 
cording to previous arrangement. The church lot in 
Fayetteville is 300x100. The church is a frame 



58 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

building 40x60 feet with a well-sounding organ and 
galleries running all around. The church is sadly 
in need of repairs. I ordered a shingle roof to be 
put on at once at a cost of $155." 

Entries of November 11 and 12 show that he had 
started on his evangelical work in earnest ; an entry reads : 

'T preached on Wednesday and Thursday nights. 
The first night the church was comfortably filled. On 
the second night every available space in the pews, 
aisles and galleries was crowded. Some 500 persons 
were present, including a Presbyterian and a ^letho- 
dist minister. The entire Catholic population of 
Fayetteville and immediate vicinity amounts to a- 
bout 50." 

The Bishop administered Confirmation for the first 
time in the vicariate on November 19, at Goldsboro, where 
he preached in the town hall. There were 31 Catholics in 
the town which had a population of 3500. He adminis- 
tered the Sacrament to eight persons. Father Northrop 
baptized a colored girl. Bishop Gibbons made arrange- 
ments to build a church in Goldsboro, and was pleased 
to find the Protestants very friendly and disposed to con- 
tribute to the new building. 

At New Berne, the new \'icar was gratified with the 
success he met with during these first weeks, but one Sun- 
day evening, November 22nd, he was quite nonplussed 
when his congregation, composed mostly of Protestants, 
suddenly ran out of the church, when a fire was dis- 
covered in a neighboring building. 

At the time Bishop Gibbons assumed the pastorate of 
St. Brigid's Church in Baltimore, 1861, the evil eflfects of 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 59 

the Civil War were to be seen around him. He Hved 
in a city where brother was arrayed against brother, and 
even father against son. There was at least one case in 
Catholic circles where a husband was fighting in the 
Union Army, while his wife was under arrest by the 
Federal authorities on charge of giving comfort and aid 
to the enemy. 

When the Bishop arrived in North Carolina, the war 
was over, but its terrible effects remained. He entered 
that State when the carpet-bag regime was in full sway, 
when many negroes recently liberated from slavery, some 
of them with no moral influences to hold them in check, 
were preparing to wreak vengeance upon the white 
people. 

He had been in North Carolina only a few hours, when 
he saw a procession of negroes, many of them inflamed 
with drink, carrying torches and boasting of the revenge 
they meant to take. "An eye for an eye, a tooth for 
a tooth," was their battle-cry. 

Of this scene the Cardinal wrote many years later: 

*'I remember on the Saturday after my arrival in 
Wilmington, October 31, 1868, I witnessed a political 
torchlight procession of colored people. I learned 
that this element was the leading political factor in 
the State, as it was at that time in the South general- 
ly. While right-thinking men are ready to accord 
the colored citizen all to which he is entitled, yet 
to give him control over a highly intellectual and in- 
tricate civilization in creating which he had borne 
no essential part and for conducting which his an- 
tecedents had manifestly unfitted him, would be 
hurtful to the country as well as to himself." 



6o JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

On a visit to Plymouth during his first month in the 
vicariate, tlie Bishop stopped at the home of a Captain 
McNamara, an ex-Confederate officer, through v^hose 
reports his eyes were opened to the excesses of the car- 
pet-bag regime. Among many startling things the Cap- 
tain related that while in New Berne he had found some 
of the followers of the Union Army, parasites who had 
thrived on the sufferings of the South, in full possession 
of a Catholic Church there. A preacher with a body of 
school teachers constituted the usurpers. Captain ]\Ic- 
Xamara demanded by what authority they had taken 
possession of the church. "By the authority of Jesus 
Christ and the United Slates," they replied. "I respect 
those authorities," the Captain said reverently; ''but 
you have no written commission from either of them ;'' 
and he expelled them forthwith from the building. 

A large number of the families the Bishop visited had 
been prosperous in pre-war times. The heads of those 
homes had been rich planters, with numerous slaves, and 
hospitality had been a reigning virtue. At this time, how- 
ever, all were greatly reduced in circumstances, many of 
the families, indeed, being in a state of actual indigence. 
Poverty and culture and education were there combined. 
A hard lot ! And the recollection of all that had been 
made it the more bitter and unbearaljle. The Bishop, who 
was a man instinctively kind and forgiving, was repelled 
by the repressive measures exercised toward such fam- 
ilies. His heart bled for their sufferings, and was filled 
with admiration for the sacrafices they had made in 
the cause so dear to them. The memory of those days 
never left him ; and it strengthened his convictions 
formed long before, that gentleness, not harshness, wins. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 6i 

I'he L)islH)p was in s\ ni])athy. too, with the negroes, in 
their new Hfe; many of them were uneducated and some 
mistook their newly acquired hberty for license. Their 
new prelate, to whom the soul of a negro was as precious 
as the soul of a king, afterward visited the Josephite 
Fathers in Mill Hill, England, studied their methods and 
was instrumental in having them brought to our country 
to attend to the spiritual needs of this class of people. 

Bishop Gibbons led in every sense of the word the 
life of a missionary of the Gospel. On some days he 
rode twenty-eight miles on horseback to say Mass and 
confer the Sacrament of Confirmation. He sometimes 
rose as early as four o'clock in the morning, said Mass 
at four-thirty o'clock, administered Confirmation, and 
then set out for other points in his vicariate. On some 
of these occasions, he traveled by train, carriage and 
horseback. Once he traveled on a freight engine. At 
times he slept in log cabins, v/ith little to eat, and that 
food only of the most unpalatable quality The beds he 
sometimes slept on were beds only in name. He never 
complained, but was always buoyed up by the spirit of 
true Catholicity he found among the faithful, by the 
charity and hospitality of so many Protestants, and es- 
pecially by the numerous conversions which attended his 
zealous labors. He early learned in North Carolina that 
much of the bigotry was based on ignorance and not oti 
malice. He emphasized this fact repeatedly in his ser- 
mons in later years ; and in his talks with his priests he 
counselled them to let charity always be their guide in 
dealing with persons of another faith. 

It was with emotions of gratitude he learned, on his ar- 
rival in Wilmington, North Carolina, that the Episco- 



62 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

pal minister of the church in that town had announced 
from his pulpit on the previous Sunday the coming of 
Bishop Gibbons and the place where he was to hold 
- services. 

He arrived in Tarboro on December 7th, the first visit 
ever made by a Catholic Bishop to that town. In his 
diary is the following comment : 

*'I preached in the Court House in the morning 
and in the evening to a large audience. The most 
intelligent citizens of the town were present, includ- 
ing three judges, one of whom is an ex-Senator of 
the United States. Father Northrop and myself 
visited the gaol to see a colored man under sentence 
of death. I gave him a short instruction and 
baptized him." 

On December 13th, he preached to an overflowing con- 
gregation at Raleigh. The members of the North Caro- 
lina Legislature, which was in session at the time, attended 
in large numbers. He praeched in that town again on 
December i6th, making this entry in his diary: 

'T promised to send scapulars to 'Ww Robert M. 
Douglas a Catholic, son of General Douglas, and 
books to the Attorney-General, who desires to learn 
more about the church, with the view to becom- 
ing a Catholic." 

The young Bishop was obviously making an im- 
pression upon the people of the State even during the 
first few weeks of his mission. The leaders of the 
State went to hear him, and they were struck by his 
words. Thev had not known the Catholic Church be- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 63 

fore, but they were learning to know it and they were see- 
ing it in its true light. The words of the Bishop were en- 
lightening them. Being true men and sincere men, they 
were grateful ; and most of them were open to conviction. 

On one of his trips the Bishop came across a family by 
the name of Devine living in a little house in the woods. 
The father had not seen a bishop for thirty-six years, 
and a priest was a rare visitor; but he had kept the faith. 
More than that, he had converted his wife to Catholicism 
and had given his ten children such a thorough education 
in their religion that they were sterling defenders of the 
faith. "This man's vigilance in the religious education 
of his children is truly edifying," wrote the Bishop. 

In another town he visited, the Bishop was not quite so 
edified, when he found that in the place there were only 
three Catholics, one of the three being the father of ten 
children, all attending a Protestant Church. The man 
expressed regret that he had not been more firm in his 
convictions. He confessed that it was moral cowardice 
which had led him to permit his children to be brought 
up outside the faith. 

While on a visit to Plymouth, the Bishop learned that 
an Irishman had apostatized and had become a Baptist. 
The Irishman was immersed, and after the ceremony was 
asked by his new co-religionists to lead in prayer. He 
astonished them by reciting the **Hail, Holy Queen." 
Perhaps the devotion to the Blessed Virgin remained still 
in his heart, for he afterward returned to the church and 
manifested sincere repentance for his apostasy. 

During the first few weeks of his vicariate, the Bishop 
administered Confirmation once in tlie garret of a home. 



64 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Indeed he administered the Sacrament in any place that 
was offered. He knew that God gave grace to those 
confirmed and made them strong and perfect Christians, 
whether they received the Sacrament in majestic cathed- 
rals or in the hovels of the poor. During his first month in 
North Carolina, he traveled 925 miles, confirmed 64 per- 
sons, ten of whom were converts, and baptized 16, ten of 
them also converts. 

The young Bishop was wearied at the end of his first 
month of missionary work, but his heart was filled with 
gratitude to God for the abundant rewards bestowed upon 
his labors in numerous conversions to the true fold. His 
zeal urged him to greater things through the realiza- 
tion that he was tilling the soil for the planting of the 
seed of God's faith. He not only went about building 
churches, but, convinced that parochial schools are the 
safeguards of religion, he began to make provision for 
the Catholic education of the children of his flock. 

On September 20th, 1870, at his invitation, the Sisters 
of Mercy arrived in Wilmington from Charleston to be- 
gin the first parish school, which was opened on January 
3, 1 87 1. Other schools sprang up in the diocese, and 
Catholic education, which always found an indefatigable 
sponsor in the future Cardinal, began to make head- 
way in North Carolina. A school for St. Thomas' parish 
was opened in the basement of the church in 1871 with 
twenty pupils under tlie direction of Fathers Gross and 
White. The Bishop brought the Benedictine Fathers to 
Belmont, near Charlotte, where an Abbey was established. 
In later years the Cardinal recommended the appointment 
of the Rev. Leo Haid, O. S. B., head of the Abbey, as 
Mcar Apostolic of North Carolina. Bishop Haid, who 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 65 

is still Vicar, was the oldest bishop in point of years in 
the episcopacy to attend the Cardinal's funeral. 

As a boy on his way to America, the Cardinal had a 
narrow escape from drowning. As a Bishop in North 
Carolina he had a narrow escape from death by freezing. 
Many years afterward the Cardinal referred to the 
escape in the following manner : 

*1 remember it was the month of March. The day 
of my departure opened with difficulties. The rail- 
way train left very early in the morning. Rising 
at 4 o'clock, I found the weather cold and rainy. The 
carriage failing to call for me, I was compelled, with 
the help of a boy to carry my large, heavy valise 
packed with mission articles, the distance of a mile 
to the depot. As I traveled northward the rain be- 
came a furious storm of sleet and snow. Reaching 
the station, I found the brother of Dr. Monk, who 
had come to meet me, and on horseback, too, with axe 
in hand, to cut our way through the forests. The 
sleet and snow had covered the country, and bound 
to earth in many places across our course the pine 
saplings that grew in dense bodies up to the margin 
of the road. A neighbor w^as with him to take me 
in his buggy. We started. It was a journey to be 
remembered — a trip of 21 miles in the teeth of wind, 
rain, sleet and snow. 

''After a short exposure I was all but frozen by 
the violence, of the storm and the intense cold. 
We had ridden a number of miles when, ta my de- 
light, my friend drew rein at his own house. I entered 
the hospitable door, and the change was most grate- 
ful — from cold and misery to warmth and comfort. 



66 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

''In a few moments the housewife had brought in 
a hot bath for my frozen feet, and the husband a 
supplement in the way of a hot drink. The generous 
hospitahty restored, in a very short time, my almost 
perished frame/' 

Bishop Gibbons' host at Newton Grove on that occa- 
sion was Dr. J. C. Monk, a physician, who had become 
a convert to the faith and who worked zealously for the 
conversion of others. The Bishop made the trip in ful- 
fillment of a promise to Dr. Monk. In speaking of the 
doctor, the Cardinal said in later years : 

*'Dr. Monk, a gentleman of piety and intelligence, had 
for a long time entertained doubts about his religious 
opinions. It happened that a parcel came to him one 
day, wrapped in a copy of the Nezv York Herald. He 
fell to reading the pages and was soon deeply engrossed 
in a sermon by Archbishop McCloskey on the "One 
True Church." He rose from its perusal profoundly 
impressed, his soul awakened to the dawning light of 
faith. 

"While I was absent in Europe at the Vatican Council, 
in 1870, a letter came through the post addressed 'To 
any Catholic Priest of Wilmington, N. C/ Father Gross 
received the letter, which was one of inquiry about the 
doctrines of the Catholic Church, and from a Dr. J. C. 
Monk. A correspondence was opened between us after 
my return from Rome. I recommended certain Cath- 
olic books. Dr. Monk procured them, and, having more 
fully instructed himself and his family in the faith, he 
and his household were all received into the Church. He 
came to Wilmington to make a profession of faith. I 
baptized the family and learned with the deepest interest 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 67 

of the circumstances that had led to his conversion, and 
of his hopes in regard to the community in which he had 
Hved all his life as a prominent physician. 

'This was a remarkable conversion. The finger of 
God Vv^as here. Nor was the conversion to be barren of 
results. Dr. Monk returned home, after receiving my 
promise of a visit to his family. In due time Father 
Gross visited Newton Grove, and to a great throng in 
the open air preached on the true faith. From that 
time an earnest inquiry into the tenets of the Catholic 
Church sprang up among the people. Dr. Monk was a 
providential man for the diffusion of the faith. He 
was highly respected, and as a physician had access to 
every family in all that region. His zeal to enlighten the 
people was surpassed only by his solid piety and good 
example. Possessed of means, he liberally aided in 
every way the spread of the faith. 

"The religious movement started by Dr. Monk became 
a movement of the whole district toward the Catholic 
Church.. 

''Regular appointments were made, on the occasion 
of the Bishop's visit, for a visit by the priest, and in a 
short time the brother of Dr. Monk, with his family, 
embraced the Catholic faith. The congregations that 
met on the occasions of the priest's visits to Newton 
Grove were so large (they grew to three hundred) that 
it became necessary to erect a temporary structure of 
rough boards for their accommodation. 

"The Faith daily gathered strength by the accession of 
many of the most respectable families in the vicinity. 
Withn a short time the number of conversions warranted 
the erection of a church and a schoolhouse. On their 



68 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

completion, this apostolic mission became firmly estab- 
lished and continues to prosper." 

Another mission, which began in a similar manner, was 
started by three brothers, Irish peddlers, who had settled 
in Duplin County. Although totally uneducated, they, by 
their piety, strong faith and integrity of life, attained a 
wide influence. Calling a priest to their home, they as- 
sisted him powerfully in the work of conversion and 
helped to erect the Church of the Good Shepherd. The 
number of accessions to the faith equalled that of Newton 
Grove. 

While paying his first visit to Asheville in 1868, a va- 
cant lot of land seven and a half acres in extent attracted 
Bishop Gibbons' attention as a suitable site for a church. 
While conducting negotiations for the purchase, the 
now valuable Battery Park property was offered him for 
a few hundred dollars. But the necessary funds were lack- 
ing: at present, millions cannot buy it. After strenuous 
efforts on his part, a brick edifice was erected and ded- 
icated by him to St. Lawrence. Father Gross built a 
small church at Hot Springs, forty miles distant, for 
the spiritual comfort of visitors to that favorite resort. 

The present handsome little church in Salisbury, an old 
mission forty miles north of Charlotte, owes its exist- 
ance to the celebrated Fisher family, on wTiose property 
it is located. Colonel Fisher, a Confederate officer, fell in 
the first battle of the Civil War. His sister and his child- 
ren entered the Church. Among them was the gifted 
Frances, who, under the nom de plume of Christian Reid, 
became one of the leading Catholic novelists. In the 
parlor of their colonial residence they were baptized and 
later confirmed by Bishop Gibbons, who held them in 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 69 

the highest esteem and declared that the congregation 
steadily increased owing to the pious example of the 
Fisher family. 

The many conversions which followed as a result of 
the Cardinal's visits to the various towns of his vicariate 
made him forget the trials and difficuties of his work. 
Privations and discomforts counted naught to him where 
souls were to be saved. He had the spirit of the Good 
Shepherd and rejoiced as he saw the sheep coming into 
the spiritual fold. 



70 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

CHAPTER VII 

In the Old Dominion 

'* I ^ HERE are no entries in the Bishop's diary from 
-^ August 20, 1869, until October 4, 1870, a period 
of more than a year. The "board-covered book" lay all 
the time untouched in the desk of the young Vicar- 
Apostolic. 

The entry of October 4, 1870, gives the reason : 

"Returned to Wilmington from the Ecumenical 
Council at Rome, having sailed from Baltimore, 
October 20, 1869." 

Bishop Gibbons was the youngest of more than seven 
hundred delegates to the Council — Cardinals, Archbishops 
and Bishops. Representatives of the Catholic hierarchy 
of the world journeyed to Rome to take part in the Coun- 
cil, which v/as to proclaim the doctrine of jthe^ Infalli- 
bility of the Pope. 

Europe was represented by 514 prelates. North and 
South America by 113, Asia by 83, Africa by 14 and 
Oceanica by 13. Dignitaries whose Cathedrals have been 
numbered for centuries among the great architectural 
monuments of the world, sat side by side with humble 
missionary bishops from China, Africa and other places, 
some of whom had to acquire "the gift of tongues," since 
they were obliged to speak in a number of languages 
in order to minister to their people. 
At the Council there was an English Episcopate "num- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 71 

bering upwards of one hundred and twenty members. 
Prelates speaking the EngUsh tongue assembled from 
England, Ireland, Scotland, the United States, Canada, 
Oceanica, the East Indies and Africa." 

A.t the opening of the Council of Trent, 325 yean 
before the summoning of the Vatican Council, America 
had been discovered only a half century. In that Council 
there were four English-speaking prelates assembled from 
the entire world. 

The Vatican Council was convened on the feast of 
the Immaculate Conception, 1869. There Bishop Gib- 
bons met the men who were the leaders of his church, 
whose names were to be written in ecclesiastical history. 
Some of these leaders were to become his warmest friends 
and ablest allies in after years. Their ideals were to be 
his ideals. He was to be drawn to them and cherished 
by them because of a harmony of interests. 

There were two prelates present with whose names 
his was to be linked in future years, who were to stand 
boldly and unafraid for the same principles and whose 
fame was to sweep the world. One was a frail, 
ascetic man, with a spirtual countenance, who looked 
every inch a scholar. Those who met him wondered how 
so frail a body could withstand so strenuous a life de- 
voted to the glory of the Church. He was an Italian, of 
an ancient aristocratic family, whose voice was seldom if 
ever heard in the Council, but whose words of wisdom in 
advising others, including the Holy Father, were welcomed 
gladly. Cardinal Pecci they called him. He was held in 
high esteem by those who had followed his career. Yet 
there were few gathered in the Eternal City at the time 
who could have surmised that within a decade, this frail. 



y2 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

brilliant Prince of the Church would be elected to the 
throne of Peter, and that under the name of Leo XIII he 
would grace history as one of the most illustrious of the 
long line of Sovereign Pontiffs. 

The other prelate referred to was also of aristocratic 
birth — a convert to the faith. His conversion, in fact, 
shook religious England to its very foundation stones. 
Born of wealthy parents, a social leader when a young 
man, he afterward became a dominant figure in the Ang- 
lican Church. Eventually he made his way during the 
height of the Oxford movement, to the Church of Rome. 
This was Archbishop Henry Edward Manning, after- 
wards Cardinal IManning. He Vv^as so emaciated 
of figure that Archbishop Spalding once in the course 
of a conversation, in the hearing of Bishop Gibbons at 
the Vatican Council, said to the English prelate, 'T know 
not how your Grace can work so much, for you neither 
eat nor sleep." In an article published in the North 
American Review in 1894 and afterward reprinted in 
"A Retrospect of Fifty Years," Cardinal Gibbons said of 
The English Cardinal : "He delivered the longest oration in 
the Council, with one exception, and yet it hardly exceed- 
ed an hour and a half, which is evidence of the usual brev- 
ity of the speeches. Cardinal Manning's discourse was a 
most logical and persuasive argument, and, like all his 
utterances, was entirely free from rhetorical ornament 
and from any effect to arouse the feelings or emotions. 
It was a Scriptural and historical treatise appealing solely 
to the intellect and honest convictions of the hearers." 

How like Cardinal Manning was Cardinal Gibbons in 
his sermons! He never strove for effect, never indulged 
in the dramatic ; he used Scriptural texts freely in illus- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 73 

trating his teachings, beheving as he did that the most 
beautiful language ever written was to be found in the 
Sacred Book. His writings were like his sermons. His 
simple, chaste style attracted millions and held them by its 
pure eloquence. Pope Leo XHI, Cardinal Manning 
and Cardinal Gibbons, (the last named, not an aristo- 
crat, but the son of Irish immigrants) were to form a 
triumvirate in future years whose achievements gen- 
erations would praise. They were to become the friends 
of the working man — proclaimers of the right of man to 
enjoy as the fruit of his labors, decent home conditions 
and an opportunity to give his children a good education 
and other advantages of modern society. 

At the Council, the future Cardinal met other men 
whose character and learning were not lost upon him. 
Among them was Archbishop Darboy ot Paris, friend 
of the Emperor Napoleon HI. Monseigneur Darboy, 
we are told in the Cardinal's ''Retrospect of Fifty Years," 
had witnessed the assassination of two of his predecess- 
ors, Archbishops Affre and Sibour. Archibishop Darboy 
was murdered a few months later. At the close of the 
Franco-Prussian War, he was arrested and imprisoned 
as a hostage by the Commune. In May, 1871, he was 
shot in the prison of La Roquette, ''his hand uplifted in 
benediction, and a prayer on his lips for his murderers." 

Bishop Gibbons took no part in the debates at the 
Council. He was young and felt that his part was to 
listen to the arguments of the men who had attained 
distinction in the Church by reason of their piety and 
their wisdom. He listened to their debates so that his 
vote on the various questions, particularly the Infalli- 
bility of the Pope, might be cast not only in all humility 



74 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

but with the words of the great minds of the Council to 
guide him. 

His stay in the Eternal City with all that it holds dear 
to the Catholic heart, left an indelible impression on his 
after-life. How his soul v/as uplifted, as its seven hills 
crowned with the towers and gleaming crosses of its 
hundreds of churches, burst upon his view! And his 
heart had thrilled with profound reverence and love in 
the presence of the saintly Pius IX, the first of four 
Sovereign Pontiffs with whom he was to be in intimate 
relation. His spiritual being was saturated vrith the 
beauty and glory and truth of the faith of his fathers. 
He returned to Wilmington v/ith heart bent upon carry- 
ing that faith to all parts of the vast field of labor which 
had been assigned him. 

"I have loved the beauty of Thy House, O Lord!" 
the devoted J)relate could say with David. And in the 
home of sacred art he did not forget his beloved Pro- 
Cathedral. He brought back with him from Rome mar- 
ble altars and superb paintings to adorn its bareness 
and poverty. 

In his sermon at the consecration of Father Gibbons 
as bishop, Father Foley of the Cathedral had predicted 
that the Vicariate of North Carolina, which at that time 
was so poor and uninviting, would be made to bloom and 
produce much fruit. The vicariate remained poor, very 
poor in a worldly sense, while Bishop Gibbons was there, 
but in a spiritual sense it fulfilled the prediction of Father 
Foley. Even in their poverty, the people of the vicariate 
responded generously and contributed all they could 
afford to the building of schools and churches. Thus it 
w^s that *'the desert did begin to bloom and produce 
much fruit." 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 75 

Everywhere the Bishop went, the seed seemed to fall 
on good ground, and numerous conversion- were report- 
ed. Bigotry began to disappear and former foes of the 
Church gave the Vicar a cordial welcome. Everybody 
was glad to see him. This joy was manifested in a 
strange way on one occasion. The Bishop arrived 
at a station on his v/ay to a small town which he 
had to reach by carriage. He waited for the carriage 
to appear but it failed him. He and his companion 
started to walk and on the way at last met the carriage ; 
but the driver was decidedly under the influence of drink. 
Bishop Gibbons chided him gently, telling him that 
it would not look well for a bishop to enter the town in 
company with a drunken man, especially when that 
drunken man was a Catholic. The driver apologized, 
explaining that he was so overjoyed at the thought of the 
arrival of a Catholic Bishop that he had imbibed too 
freely. 

Nothing occurred to disturb the even tenor of the 
Bishop's v/ay in North Carolina, until Bishop McGill's 
death at Richmond, June 14th, 1872. Bishop Gibbons 
attended the funeral and on his return home on the seven- 
teenth, found a telegram announcing his appointment as 
Administrator of the diocese of Richmond. The appoint- 
ment was made by Archbishop Spalding. It was the 
last appointment made by that distinguished prelate, one 
of the eminent men of the Catholic Church in the nine- 
teenth century. Three weeks later he died. The North 
Carolina prelate attended the Archbishop in his dying 
moments, administered the Holy Viaticum and read for 
him the Profession of Faith. 

"A great light is extinguished in Israel." wrote Bishoo 
Gibbons in his diary. 



76 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

On August 29, Bishop Gibbons received the Papal 
Bulls from Pope Pius IX designating him ruler over 
the See of Richmond and informing him that he was to 
continue his mission as Vicar Apostolic of North Caro- 
lina. On the same day, Rt. Rev. James Roosevelt Bayley 
of Newark received the Papal Bulls appointing him 
Archbishop of Baltimore. Bishop Gibbons, in calling at- 
tention to this fact in his diary, seems not to have had 
the slightest intimation that he was one day to be the 
new Archbishop's successor. Archbishop Bayley was in- 
stalled on October 13th. He in turn installed Bishop 
Gibbons at Richmond on October 20; the Archbishop 
preached the sermon, and Bishop Becker pontificated. 
St. Peter's Cathedral was crowded to the doors and many 
were unable to gain admission. The new Bishop of the 
See made a short address. 

The election of Bishop Gibbons of Richmond meant 
the increase of responsibilities — the doubling of responsi- 
bilities, in fact, without any added means of assistance in 
fulfilling them. Virginia, more than any other State in 
the Union, had suft"ered from the evil effects of the Civil 
War. She had been the real battle ground of that 
conflict. Her soil was sacred by reason of the sac- 
rifices made upon it. The best blood of the North and the 
South had bathed it. That blood which had been in con- 
flict in life was commingled in death. The soil became hal- 
lowed ground to those who loved the Stars and Stripes, 
hallowed too, to those who loved the Stars and Bars. 
And yet while the ground was thus enriched in a spirit- 
ual sense, Virginia, the home of bravery and chivalry, 
the home of Washington and Jefferson and Robert Lee 
and other great men of our country, had been physically 
wrecked. It was pitifully impoverished. The mansions 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN yy 

which once housed wealth and gayety were now, in many 
instances, sad reHcs of their former grandeur. The pinch 
of poverty was felt everywhere. Only men and women 
animated with the spirit of Virginia could have looked 
forward hopefully. But Virginia was the Flanders* 
Fields of America, and from the blood red poppies of 
sacrifice and devotion came the inspiration to those who 
remained. 

Bishop Gibbons found this poverty, these blasted hopes 
everywhere, but he found the spirit of the people un- 
daunted. He came to love them. He went about doing 
good, building churches and schools, winning converts to 
the faith and making friends for his religion. Not 
always, however, did he find help and co-operation. On 
one occasion, the Court House at Lancaster, Va., was 
refused him and he had to hold Divine Service in an 
old shop. On another occasion, he preached and gave 
Confirmation in an Engine House. He was usea to hard- 
ships and willingly held divine service and preached the 
word of God wherever he could bring the people to- 
gether. He still kept up his work in the vicariate of 
North Carolina. 

Before his appointment as Bishop of Richmond, the 
Vicar had sent out a circular letter to the people of 
those towns in North Carolina where no priest was 
stationed, telling them how they could pay an act of 
worship to their Creator on Sundays. One ot their num- 
ber was to be appointed by them to preside at the ser- 
vices. This gentleman was "to speak" in an audible and 
distinct manner as follows : 

"Being assembled by the authority of the Bishop, as 
we have not the happiness of being actually present at 
the Holy Srxrifice of the Mass, let us join in spirit with 



yS JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

our pastor in that Sacrifice which he this day offers up 
for us and the rest of the flock." 

Bishop Gibbons' letter, which followed closely one 
written by Bishop England to the same effect, said : 
"After which (the exhortation referred to) you shall 
devoutly read the prayers for Mass, which being ended, 
some one of you shall read or procure to be read, one or 
more chapters of the Catholic books which we shall have 
appointed for such occasion. And then the children and 
others standing in need of catechetical instruction shall 
be arranged in their respective classes and taught their 
prayers and the Christian doctrines carefully and atten- 
tively, after which the remainder of the day shall be spent 
in a decent and becoming manner; for. Beloved Children, 
the Lord's Day has been appointed by divine ordinance, 
principally that Christians may on that day redeem the 
time they have misspent during the week, prepare their 
souls for judgment by the examination of their con- 
science, and by prayer and instruction obtain spiritual 
support for the ensuing week." 

The Bishop found that his spiritual children in North 
Carolina were acting upon his counsels. Catholics and 
non-Catholics in the Old North State looked forward 
to his coming among them, for there had been 
universal regret when he was called to Richmond. The 
Cardinal never forgot the devotion of his people to 
him. He attended, year after year, the banquets of the 
North Carolina Society of Baltimore, New York and 
other cities. About a year before he died, he visited some 
of his old parishes in North Carolina and inquired for 
the children and grandchildren of his old friends, all of 
whom had gone to their eternal reward before him. 

As a proof of the affection in which he was held by 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 79 

the non-Catholics, the pastor of the Methodist Church 
at Greenville turned over the church on one occasion to 
the Bishop. The Methodist Church bell called the people 
to the services, the members of the Methodist choir sang 
hymns and the Bishop preached a sermon on Catholic 
doctrines. An incident which was not quite so pleasant 
occurred on one of these trips, at Hahfax, N. C, on 
January 4, 1874, and is recorded in his diary: 

"About 4:30 o'clock this morning, my sleep 
was disturbed by a noise in my room, which was 
caused by a thief who v/as searching for plun- 
der. I called out tw^ice : 'Who's there ?', but re- 
ceiving no answer, I jumped out of bed and the 
robber just escaped, leaving my vest at the door, 
which contained about $150. Fortunately, I 
missed nothing, though my cross was lying on 
the table and my watch under the pillow. I have 
reason to thank a watchful Providence for the 
safety of my effects and still more for the pre- 
servation of my life. The would-be robber had 
entered the house through a window, and re- 
treating, left on the ground, the print of a large 
naked foot. It was fortunate that I did not 
seize him, as he probably would have overpow- 
ered me." 

In Richmond and in other parts of Virginia, the 
Bishop was welcomed into the homes of the elite, where 
he charmed all by virtue of his pleasing personality. 
He was received with joy into the homes of the poorest 
of the poor where he brought spiritual comfort and often 
temporal help. None will ever know how many 
poor families the Bishop helped from his slender means, 



8o JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

both in Virginia and North Carohna. In the course of 
his diary the Bishop tells us: 

''I joined in Holy Matrimony John B. Purcell 
and Olympia Williamson in the home of Colonel 
Williamson, the bride's father, in presence of 
General Custis Lee, son of R. E. Lee, the offi- 
cials of Washington and Lee University and the 
Military Institute, and a large number of gentry 
and the ladies of the neighborhood." 

This was on the twelfth of November, 1872, at Lex- 
ington. 

The means of travel were not what they 'came to be 
in after years. Bishop Gibbons was obliged to wait for 
the stage which passed through the town at 2 o'clock 
the morning after the wedding, to get the train at Goshen. 
He reached Richmond at 6 o'clock that evening, after a 
trip of sixteen hours. 

In Richmond, the old people dwell long on the blessed 
memory of the days at old St. Peter's, when the Car- 
dinal was stationed there. They recall how he used to 
go out on Sunday afternoons to preach at the colored 
church and return to face large mixed congregations at 
the Cathedral, where he preached sermons which were 
the beginnings of The Faith of Our Fathers. 

In his diary, the Cardinal refers briefly, and apparent- 
ly without much thought, to those sermons, which in a 
few years were to bring his name before the whole world 
and eventuate in a book which millions of Catholics in 
many lands would read. "The Faith of Our Fathers" 
was translated into several languages and thousands 
of persons of many nations came into the faith 
because of it. Alore than a million and a half copies have 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 8i 

been sold and it is still in great demand. Certainly it 
stands in a class by itself as far as the exposition of 
Catholic doctrine during the last century or more is con- 
cerned. 

The impulse — for such it was that led Bishop Gibbons 
to write "The Faith of Our Fathers" — came about in this 
way. During his vicariate in North Carolina, he 
had learned to know the great obstacles that lay in the 
way of those who were friendly to Catholicism ; they were 
deterred from seeking admission into the true fold be- 
cause of their conviction that they could not subscribe 
to some of the doctrines and practices of the Catholic 
Church. The Bishop found in his travels that bigotry 
was for the most part founded on a misunderstand- 
ing of the teaching of the Church, that many who 
were termed ''bigots" could not honestly approve of 
the things they thought the Church taught. Had their 
information been correct, they would have been justified 
in their stand. Bishop Gibbons discovered their fairness 
by explaining away their misapprehensions and shedding 
a true light on the subject. The manner in which he 
made his explanations, his simple, eloquent style, illus- 
trated with Scriptural quotations and word pictures from 
the Bible, proved the open sesame to their hearts. 

The Bishop one day, in conversation with Reverend 
Mark Gross, who had been stationed with him at St. 
Thomas' Church, Wilmington, N. C, suggested that 
Father Gross write a book dealing with the subjects he 
had preached upon in his missionary travels and treating 
them in such a way as to clear the path for Protestants. 
"No," answered Father Gross with decision ; "you are 
the one to write that book." 

Bishop Gibbons at once yielded to the judgment of 



82 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

his friend and began the work. He wrote chapters 
while on the train, sometimes at the residences of persons 
whom he visited — \vhenever and wherever he could crowd 
in a few minutes' time. The book is popular because it 
is a reflection of his life during the days of his great 
missionary work. Sincerity and simplicity are its leading 
merits. 

In *'The Faith of Our Fathers" Bishop Gibbons ex- 
plained comprehensively and clearly all the teachings of 
the Church — especially those which the sincere non- 
Catholic seeking light finds hard to understand. He 
used the question and answer form successfully in many 
parts of the book — a method which is used frequently by 
Catholic missionaries on non-Catholic missions. 

A few days before the Cardinal's death, a member of 
the nobility of Sweden called to see him at his home 
on Charles Street. He told the Cardinal he had 
become a Catholic through the reading of "The Faith 
of Our Fathers." Through all his years he said he had 
had one great wish, and that was to meet His Eminence. 
That man from Sweden was far advanced in years. Had 
he waited a m.onth longer before coming to this country 
to meet the man whose writings had helped toward his 
conversion, his wish would not have been realized. 

V/hile ruling the Diocese of Richmond and con- 
tinuing . his work in the Vicariate of North Caro- 
lina, the Bishop lectured on the Ecumenical Council 
and other subjects. He gave lectures, too, on "Temper- 
ance" to Catholic and non-Catholic societies. Apropos 
of this, it may be said, that the Cardinal never believed 
in "Prohibition," but he did beheve in temperance. 
He taught that virtue at every opportunity that came 
in his way. Whenever he administered the Sacrament 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 83 

of Confirmation, he always gave to the new Soldiers of 
Christ the pledge to abstain from intoxicating drinks. 
He gave it to thousands of boys. He told them to keep 
that pledge until they were twenty-one years old. 

"I do not mean by that," the Cardinal would say with 
a twinkle in his eye, "that you are to rush off to the very 
nearest tavern as soon as you obtain your majority and 
make up for lost time." 

The Cardinal respected the opinions of all men on the 
subject of prohibition; many bishops and priests dis- 
agreed with him on the question, but he never tried to 
influence them to adopt his views. Unfortunately, some of 
the paid promoters of the prohibition propaganda did not 
show him the same degree of respect. They attacked 
him with unexampled virulence. Their attacks were 
boomerangs. 

Apparently there is nothing new under the sun. For 
some months past, the Catholics of this country have 
been expressing their opposition to the Smith-Towner 
bill for the Federalization of Education. Yet as far back 
as 1875, when the Cardinal was Bishop of Richmond, 
attempts were made to introduce such legislation at 
Washington, and President Grant was one of its chief 
supporters. The Bishop attacked that bill as un-Ameri- 
can and tyrannical and said so without halting words in 
an interview : — 

"The constitutional amendment regarding the school 
question recommended by President Grant," said the 
bishop, "if carried out, would reduce our American Re- 
public to the condition of things existing in pagan Rome. 
In the old Roman Empire, the individual was absorbed 
by the State, which was a political Juggernaut, crushing 



% 



84 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

under its wheels all personal liberty. In those days, the 
citizens had no individuality, but were counted only as 
part and parcel of that vast and complicated machinery 
called the State. The most crushing of all despotism is 
that of a centralized government. It is the idol before 
which the citizen must offer sacrifice; the government, in 
assuming the education of the child, usurps the place of 
the father and robs him of his most sacred privilege, that 
of directing the training of his offspring. The general 
Government has no more right to dictate to the father 
when and where and how he must educate his children 
than it has to prescribe his food or the shape of his 
clothes. If popular education is wrested from the family 
and the State and placed in the hands of the Federal 
Government, of whatever political party, it will give the 
administration an overwhelming patronage, which would 
v^ destroy all balance of power and reduce minorities to a 
mere cipher." 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 85 

CHAPTER VIII 

Archbishop of Baltimore. 

1\ T ANY invitations to speak in public came to Bishop 
^^ ^ Gibbons while he was at Richmond. His repu- 
tation as a preacher began to spread. His sermons were 
sermons of helpfulness. He spoke to the hearts of the 
people, for he knew the hearts of men. He knew that if 
he could touch their hearts, their intellects would be his 
captives also. That is why St. Peter's Cathedral at 
Richmond was crowded to the doors every time he ascen- 
ded the pulpit. The same held true in the Baltimore 
Cathedral, and in all the other churches in which h 
preached. For many years after he became head of the 
Archdiocese of Baltimore it was the Cardinal's practice 
to deliver the sermon on the first Sunday of every month 
at the Baltimore Cathedral; but for several years before 
his death he discontinued the practice, and spoke there 
only a few times a year. He continued to preach when 
he administered Confirmation and at other ceremonies ; 
and he rarely declined invitations to Commencements and 
other college and school exercises, where his classic and 
genial addresses were always welcomed and appreciated. 
While in Richmond, Bishop Gibbons was called 
upon to preach the sermon at the dedication of the Sa- 
vannah Cathedral. Six thousand persons heard him on 
that occasion, the largest audience he had addressed 
up to that time. That was on November 19th, 1873. He 
was in demand as a preacher and lecturer in Balti- 



86 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

more, and made frequent trips to that city. On August 
30, 1874, he preached at the re-opening of St. Patrick's 
Church, the first church at which he had been stationed 
after ordination. On January 6th of the following year, 
he preached at the rededication of St. Brigid's Church, 
his first and only pastorate. But the greatest honor of 
all, the best tribute to his ability as a preacher, came in 
the form of an invitation to deliver the sermon at the 
consecration of the Cathedral in Baltimore on May 25, 
1876. It was meet and fitting that this privilege should 
have been accorded him. He was a true son of the Cathe- 
dral parish. He had been baptized in that church, had 
served as a priest there and had been cunstcrated a bishop 
within its sacred walls. 

At that time — forty-five years ago — there were persons 
who predicted that the Richmond prelate would be called 
upon some day to preside on the archepiscopal throne of 
the Cathedral. They could not suspect that their 
prophecy would be fulfilled in a little more than a year. 
They could not forecast the unusual honors which were 
to be conferred upon Bishop Gibbons in that church, nor 
the long years that he would hold his gentle rule there as 
archbishop and Cardinal. 

On that memorable day, Bishop Gibbons discoursed 
upon the perpetuity and indestructibility of the Church. 
He traced the course of the Church through all the ages, 
and showed how the mightiest men of all times, with all 
their power, were unable to crush her; neither could 
schism, nor dissensions from within compass her 
destruction. In praising the Church, he recounted the 
gories of his country. 

"May the God of Israel who is with His 
Church be also with our beloved Republic," he 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 87 

said. *'It is not our habit to make fulsome pro- 
fessions of loyalty to our country. Our de- 
votion to her is too deep, too sacred to be 
wasted away in idle declamation. We prove 
our loyalty not by words, but by acts. But I am 
sure that I am expressing the sentiment of your 
hearts when I offer the fervent prayer that this 
nation may survive to celebrate her tenth cen- 
tennial and more ; that as she grows in strength 
and years she may grow in righteousness and 
wisdom, the only stable foundation of any gov- 
ernment, and that the motto 'esto perpetua' may 
be fulfilled in her." 

In 1876, the United States celebrated the centennial of 
the Declaration of Independence; hence the Cardinal's 
reference to the hundredth birthday of his country. 

Continuing, he pointed out that in 1806, when the cor- 
ner-stone of the Cathedral was laid by the illustrious 
Archbishop Carroll, there was but one diocese, and in 
its vast extent but a few modest churches and a handful 
of priests to minister to the spiritual needs of the people. 
There were but two colleges which Archbishop Carroll 
had erected, St. Mary's and Georgetown. Sketching the 
progress that had been made since those early days, the 
Cardinal said : 

"We count today ^y bishops, upwards of 5000 
priests, 6500 churches and chapels, 1700 parish 
schools, with an aggregate attendance of nearly 
500,000 pupils, and a Catholic population ex- 
ceeding 6,000,000." 

At the time of the Cardinal's death the Catholic popula- 
tion of the United States and its possessions was estim- 



88 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

ated at 28,122,589 persons. There are 17,885,646 Cath- 
olics in this country alone. There are 16 archbishops, 93 
bishops and 21,643 priests; 6,048 parochial schools 
with a daily attendance of 1,771,518 are doing honor to 
the dioceses of the country. 

When Bishop Gibbons went back to Richmond after 
the consecration of the Cathedral, he carried with him 
the admiration of all who had heard his sermon. The 
press was united in praise of it and his colleagues in the 
hierarchy in their comments admitted that it confirmed 
their faith in him and their confidence that the head of 
the Richmond See was destined to be one of the out- 
standing figures of the Church in coming years. 

Bishop Gibbons did his work well in Richmond. The 
head of that see built churches and schools and brought 
many who had walked outside the church to the taber- 
nacle home. He established the Little Sisters of the 
Poor, the Sisters of Charity, and the Sisters of the Visi- 
tation in his diocese. He dedicated both the Diocese of 
Richmond and the Mcariate of North Carolina to the 
Sacred Heart. Relying on the promises of the Sacred 
Heart of Jesus, that He would always be with those who 
honored It, the Bishop pursued his work of evangelizing 
the two states. 

But the time was at hand when he was to leave Rich- 
mond and his vicariate. On April 15, 1877, Bishop 
Gibbons received a telegram apprising him that he had 
been named co-ad jutor Bishop of Baltimore with the 
right of succession. 

"Fiat voluntas tiia. In nianu tiia sortes meae," wrote 
the Bishop in his diary that night. 

The Papal Bulls appointing him Bishop of Jonopolis 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 89 

in partihns and releasing him from the charge of the 
Diocese of Richmond were received by him on August 
I, 1877. 

"May God give me Hght to know my duty and strength 
to fulfill it," wrote the new Coadjutor in the book which 
contains the record of his life. 

The coadjutorship was not to remain with Bishop 
Gibbons long. He writes that on the twenty-seventh of 
the same month he went to Newark where Archbishop 
Bayley, in poor health, had stopped on his return from 
Europe. The Archbishop's health was so precarious 
that his coadjutor anointed him on August 29th. 

Archbishop Bayley died on October 3, 1877. The fu- 
neral services were held on Tuesday, October 9th. His 
Eminence Cardinal McCloskey of New York was present 
with other prelates and a large number of clergy. The 
body of the Archbishop was carried in solemn procession 
to Union Station, whence it was taken to Emmitsburg 
Md., to be buried by the side of his saintly aunt, Mother 
Seton, who had introduced the Sisters of Chariy into 
the United States. Bishop Gibbons accompanied the 
funeral cortege. 

Five days later, the Archbishop-elect preached his 
farewell sermon in St. Peter's Cathedral, Richmond, 
before an immense congregation.. Many non-Catholics 
were present. He praised the devotion of his clergy 
and laity and expressed his appreciation of their loyalty, 
the co-operation they had given him, and the sacrifices 
they had made. He paid a tribute to his predecessor, 
Bishop McGill, who, he said, had left him "few debts to 
pay and few scandals to heal." In his closing words, his 
valedictory, he said : 



90 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

"I cannot without regret depart from a city to 
which I am bound by so many attachments, and 
from a people who have always manifested so 
much kindness toward me. I ask your prayers 
all the time. I do not ask you to pray that I 
may have a long life — that is immaterial — but 
pray that God may give light to my understand- 
ing, strength to my heart, and rectitude to my 
vv'ill, in order to fulfill well the duties that may 
devolve upon me. I pray that God may send 
you a Bishop according to His own heart — a 
man of zeal and mercy, who will cause virtue 
and religion to flourish and bear fruit through- 
out the length of the diocese." 

On the sixteenth of October, the clergy from all parts 
of the diocese met at the episcopal residence to say good- 
bye to their spiritual guide. They dined with him. After 
dinner, the late Reverend Matthew O'Keefe, on behalf 
of the clergy, presented the Archbishop-elect a chalice. 
The paten and cup were of gold and the remaining part 
of silver. On the eighteenth, the new head of the Arch- 
diocese of Baltimore left for his native city vv^here he 
was to spend the remainder of his days. 

The Archbishop-elect entered his new house on Charles 
Street on October 19, 1877, where he was to live in the 
utmost simplicity for more than forty-three years, until 
death should summon him from earth. 

At that time the clergy at the Cathedral were, the Rev- 
erend Thomas S. Lee, rector; Reverend William E. 
Starr, chancellor, and Reverend Alfred A. Curtis, sec- 
retary. Father Curtis was afterward to become Bishop of 




u 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 91 

Wilmington, and Fathers Lee and Starr were eacli to be 
invested with the purple of a domestic prelate of the Pap- 
al household. Writing of these priests on the first night 
at his new home, the Cardinal said: ''They are zealous 
and accomplished gentlem.en as far as my observation 
and information enable me to judge." 

The pallium was received by Archbishop Gibbons on 
February loth, 1878, three days after the death of Pope 
Pius IX. It was the last pallium bestowed by that 
saintly Pontiff. 

In referring to the Pope's death and the conferring of 
the pallium, the Archbishop wrote : 

'T was hesitating about proceeding with the cere- 
monies in consequence of the Holy Father's death, 
but yielded to the judgement of the clergy and 
several prelates, including Cardinal McCloskey, 
whom I consulted and who advised me not to post- 
pone the ceremony." 

The Pallium was placed upon Archbishop Gibbons by 
Bishop Lynch of Charleston, v/ho also celebrated the 
Pontifical Mass. Among the members of the American 
hierarchy present were Archbishop Williams of Boston, 
Bishops Loughlin of Brooklyn, Fitzgerald of Little Rock, 
Shanahan of Harrisburg, Becker of Wilmington, Foley 
of Chicago, Gross of Savannah, Corrigan of Newark, 
afterward Archbishop of New York ; Kain of V/heeling, 
Spalding of Peoria, and Moore of St. Augustine. At the 
beginning of the Mass, the Right Rev. George Conroy, 
Bishop of Ardagh, and Apostolic-Delegate of the Holy 
See, entered the sanctuary, attended by Father McManus 



92 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

of St. John's Church and Father Delavigne, S. S., of 
Montreal College. 

There was a procession before the Mass in which the 
seminarians, the clergy and the dignitaries took part. 
Thousands stood outside of the edifice. Inside every 
seat was occupied. Leaders of the City and State wtere 
there, Catholic, Protestant and Jew. As the new Arch- 
bishop crossed the threshold of the Cathedral, there must 
have arisen before his mind's eye the scene which had 
taken place in that Cathedral forty-three years before 
when James Gibbons of Baltimore was carried into that 
church to be baptized into the faith of which he now had 
become so brilliant an exponent. The infant could 
not speak his loyalty to his Church on that summer day 
in 1834. He could not promise that he would be true 
to that faith. He could not promise that he would work 
in season and out of season for its promotion, but his 
sponsors spoke well and truly for him — more truly than 
they knew. 

James Gibbons, priest, and James Gibbons, bishop, 
had toiled amid hardships and sufferings to spread the 
Gospel. He had been all things to all men and had seen 
the Church thrive and grow wherever he went. He had 
met the rich and the poor, had baptized them and con- 
firmed them and given them the Sacrament of the Holy 
Eucharist. In the midst of all these accessions to the 
faith, the fruit of his words and works, he had remained 
the same humble shepherd of the flock — the good shep- 
herd who knew that there were sheep of other folds 
whom he must bring into the true fold. He knew, too, 
that there were sheep of the true fold who had wandered 
away and whom he must bring back home. When as 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 93 

Archbishop he had received word that he was to be the 
future head of the See of Bahimore, he had said in 
humble submission, 'Thy Will be done." He prayed that 
he might be a faithful and watchful guide. 

The name of James Gibbons was beginning to attract 
attention throughout the country — aye, more than that — 
it was beginning to travel across the ocean to Rome and 
other places where the words of the leaders of Catholi- 
cism throughout the world were discussed. It was to be 
noted, moreover, within the next few years, that whatever 
the head of the Primatial See of the United States had to 
say was freighted with wisdom and gentleness and kind- 
ness — never equivocal, never yielding when the right was 
defended, attracting by its logic and its clear exposition 
of the doctrines of Catholicism. Archbishop Gibbons was 
destined to preach hundreds of sermons in the Cathedral, 
but never in one of them was heard the word of rancor. 
In all, he preached not only the religion of his Saviour 
but charity to all men. Those words of charity were to 
win men to him in his native city so that Jew and 
Protestant would vie with Catholics in honoring him. 

In that Cathedral during his archepiscopacy and 
cardinalate, he was to ordain hundreds of young men to 
the priesthood, to consecrate a score or more of bishops 
and to place the red biretta upon two Cardinals. The 
new Archbishop thought of the future only in terms of 
prayer and supplication on the day he received the Pal- 
lium. He thought of the past with a grateful heart. 

Bishop Becker and Bishop Foley, both of whom had 
been priests at the Cathedral with the new Archbishop, 
assisted Bishop Lynch in conferring the Pallium. After 
the Archbishop had been vested at his throne in the robes 



94 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

of his office, he proceeded to the foot of the altar, laid 
aside crozier and mitre, and ascending the steps of the 
altar knelt before the three prelates who were to confer 
the Pallium. He read the oath of his sacred office, and 
then, with his hands on the Holy Gospels, confirmed his 
oath. Bishop Lynch took from the altar the Pallium 
and, assisted by Bishops Foley and Becker, placed it on 
the shoulders of the kneeling archbishop, saying: '*In 
honor of Almighty God, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and 
of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, of our Holy 
Father Pope Pius the Ninth of blessed memory, of the 
Holy Roman Church, as well as the church of Baltimore 
committed to your care, we confer on you the Pallium 
taken from the body of the Blessed Peter, and in which 
is the plenitude of the Pontifical office, together with the 
title of Archbishop, that you may use the Pallium within 
your church on stated days, which are named in the 
privileges conceded to you by the Apostolic See. In the 
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy 
Ghost." 

Bishop Lynch in his sermon reviewed briefly the his- 
tory of the Catholic Church, rehearsing what it had done 
in the cause of society, truth, virtue and science, and then 
referring to the Pallium explained its origin. He con- 
gratulated the people of the province on having an Arch- 
bishop who had given promise of being a most worthy 
successor to the prelates who had gone to their reward. 
Should he congratulate the Archbishop, he asked. He 
had worn the mitre long enough to know that a Bishop 
needs condolence and sympathy more than congratula- 
tion. There were trials of mind and heart, he said, that 
make the mitre a crown of thorns. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 95 

The Archbishop in his reply alluded to the history of 
the See and the growth of Catholicity in the United 
States : 

"li this See of Baltimore is venerable for its anti- 
quity/' he said, ''it is still more conspicuous for that 
bright constellation of prelates who diffused their light 
over the American Church as well as over this diocese. 
It is not necessary that I should enlarge upon the great- 
ness of these eminent men, for many of them were per- 
sonally kuown to yourselves by familiar acquaintance. 
All are known to you by splendid reputation : their |:)ames 
are cherished as household words in your families, and 
their bright examples are held up to the admiration and 
emulation of your children. Otherwise I might speak of 
Bishop Carroll, who possessed the virtues of a Christian 
priest with the patriotism of an American citizen : I 
might speak of a Neale, whose life was hidden with Christ 
in God ; of a Marechal, who united in his person the 
refined manners of a Frenchman with the sturdy virtues 
of a pioneer prelate; of a Whitfield, v/ho expended a 
fortune in the promotion of piety and devotion; of the 
accomplished Eccleston, who presided with equal grace 
and dignity in the professor's chair, on this throne, and at 
the Council of Bishops; of a Kenrick whose praise is in 
the churches — he has not only adorned this See, by his 
virtues, but also I might say, illuminated all Christendom 
by his vast learning. I might speak of a Spalding, 
whose paternal face is to this day stamped upon your 
memories and affections, whose paternal rule I myself 
have had the privilege of experiencing, whose very name 
does not fail, even at this day, to evoke feelings of heart- 
felt emotion ; of a Bayley, I can simply say that those who 



96 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

knew him best loved him most. His was a soul of honor. 
He never hesitated to make any sacrifice that God's honor 
and his conscience demanded." 

The Archbishop praised the secular clergy and laity 
and paid his meed of praise to the religious orders, the 
Jesuits, the Redemptorists, the Passionists and others. 
In after years the Cardinal testified repeatedly to the 
benefits his archdiocese and the country had derived from 
the religious orders. He was a friend of them all and 
proved that friendship in many ways. In alluding to 
them that day, he said that while they were diiTerent in 
their founders, in their dress, in their rules, they were 
all happily guided by the same spirit. "There are diversi- 
ties of graces, but the same spirit," he said, ''diversities 
of ministries but the same God who 'worketh all in all.' 
United together they are invincible. They will labor 
together in promoting the kingdom of Jesus Christ, in 
vindicating the claims of the Apostolic See. In foster- 
ing faith, charity, piety and pure patriotism, they will 
flourish still more in this favored State, the Land of the 
Sanctuary and the asylum of civil and religious liberty." 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 97 

CHAPTER IX 
The Third Plenary Council 

Archbishop Gibbons immediately began his work of 
administration in the diocese with that zeal and energy 
which were to characterize him almost up to the day of 
his death. His was a keen mind, keener indeed, than 
some of those who met him realized. He continued build- 
ing churches and schools and asylums and performing a 
thousand and one other duties incident to his office as 
Archbishop. 

At his death he had more than trebled the number of 
churches in the diocese, while the clergy had been in- 
creased to more than 600. There were eleven colleges 
and academies for boys with an enrollment of approxi- 
mately 2000 students. The colleges and academies for 
young ladies numbered 19, with nearly 2000 pupils. More 
than 30,000 children were in attendance in the parochial 
schools. 

Nor did he overlook the sick, the poor and the way- 
ward. Under his wise direction, hospitals were erected. 
The aged poor were looked out for by the Little Sisters 
of the Poor. The very last visit of the Cardinal's life 
Vv^as to the Home of the Little Sisters in Baltimore. Way- 
ward boys and girls were cared for in such institutions 
as St. Mary's Industrial School and the splendid Houses of 
Good Shepherd in both Baltimore and Washington. In 
the course of his 43 years as head of the Archdiocese of 
Baltimore the seed of truth v/as planted in many parts of 



98 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

the diocese, and on all sides there were evident the devo- 
tion and the zeal of the devoted pastor ever laboring for 
the flock. 

How he possibly found the time in the midst of such 
labors to write the charming books which have delighted 
millions of readers will always remain a mystery. Yet 
the fact remains that in the midst of his travels through- 
out the diocese and abroad, he still was able to do much 
literary work. 

Twelve years after the Faith of Our Fathers had gone 
forth on its marvelous mission, the Cardinal gave to the 
church his second book ''Our Christian Heritage". The 
twelve years between the publication of the two books had 
been years of spiritual growth for the Cardinal, of growth 
in mind-culture, in powers of observation, and in social 
and civic experience. More than ever his zeal for souls 
burned; he longed to gather into the "One Glorio;us 
Church without spot or wrinkle," all dissenters, for among 
them were large numbers of upright souls whom he es- 
teemed and loved. 

The time was indeed ripe for this second book. He 
was engaged in the writing of it during the year 1888 and 
the early months of 1889. It appeared at an auspicious 
moment, with which the dedication was in perfect accord : 

"To the Memory of John Carroll, the Patriarch of 
the American Church, and to the Prelates and Clergy of 
the United States, Heirs of his Faith and his Mission, 
this Volume is Affectionately Inscribed on the One Hun- 
dredth Anniversary of the Creation of our Hierarchy." 

In the Foreword His Eminence tells the readers that 
"he has endeavored to compress within as small a com- 
pass as possible a variety of subjects which he considers 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 99 

of vital consequence to all men who take a serious view 
of the solemn duties and of the sublime destiny of hu- 
man life." The Introduction disclaims polemics ; the au- 
thor declares that the ''little volume is affectionately 
addressed to a large class of persons who, through asso- 
ciation, the absence of Christian training, a distorted edu- 
cation, and pernicious reading, have not only become 
estranged from the specific teachings of the Gospel, but 
whose moral and religious nature has received such a 
shock that they have only a vague and undefined faith 
even in the truths of natural religion underlying Chris- 
tianity. They deserve more pity than blame. They have 
never shared in the Christian heritage of their Fathers, 
or they were robbed of it before they had the moral and 
intellectual vigor to resist the invader, or they quietly 
surrendered their inheritance before they could appre- 
ciate its inestimable value." 

The pages retain the sacrificial perfume of his mission 
in North Carolina. The variety of topics discussed, from 
the first chapter, "Was the World Created, or is it Eternal 
and Self-Existing?" to the thirty-fifth and last, satisfy 
the mind and touch the heart, as well as gratify the 
taste by the choice diction and musical periods. Yet one 
stops not over his flowing, lucid phrasing, wholly arrested 
by the dignity and earnestness of his thought. Scarce a 
sentence but the reflective mind will pause upon, tasting 
it over and over again. 

In 1896 the Cardinal issued "The Ambassador of 
Christ," a work inspired by ''his sincere affection for his 
devoted and venerable fellow-laborers, the clergy of 
North America," and intended for all who feel a call to 
the priesthood. In its pages his own personal experiences 



,n.vl7\ 



29bo 



100 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

are related. '*A Retrospect of Fifty Years'' was pub- 
lished at the time of his Golden Jubilee. 

Ten days after the conferring of the Pallium upon 
him, February 20, 1878, the Archbishop received a 
telegram from the Associated Press notifying him that 
Cardinal Pecci of the Sacred College had been elected 
Pope in the Conclave and had ascended the throne of 
Peter under the name of Leo the Thirteenth. In re- 
ferring to the election of the new Pope, the Archbishop 
notes in his diary: 

"Cardinal IMcCloskey did not arrive in tim.e 
for the Conclave, having arrived in Queenstown 
from New York on the eighteenth." 

The failure of the New York Cardinal to reach Rome 
made no great impression on Archbishop Gibbons at the 
time; and yet that failure meant that in future years to 
Cardinal Gibbons was to fall the honor of being the first 
American Cardinal to vote for a Pope. Nor did the 
Archbishop realize that the new Sovereign Pontiff and he 
were to be drawn together by a community of interests, 
that on many important subjects they were to stand 
shoulder to shoulder. The election of Cardinal Pecci 
meant much to Cardinal Gibbons, but it meant more to 
the United States. As after events proved, Pope Leo 
was in complete accord with all the principles of Ameri- 
canism for w^hich the Baltimore prelate spoke. He 
learned to rely on the Cardinal implicitly, while the Car- 
dinal in turn discovered that the Holy Father was in 
deepest sympathy with his plans — plans v/hich in the eyes 
of some of his colleagues in the American hierarchy 
looked radical. But Cardinal Gibbons was no radical. He 
was conservative in every way, standing four-square 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN loi 

against the encroachments of unreasoning or hostile 
propagandists, but seeing clearly where the future of 
this country lay and anticipating in many instances its 
needs. 

The Archbishop was to make many trips to the Eternal 
City in the course of the next few decades. It was in 
1903 that the Cardinal had the honor of being the first 
American to cast a vote in the Papal Conclave. At that 
Conclave Cardinal Sarto of Venice was raised to the 
throne of St. Peter under the title of Piux X. Everyone 
knows the story of that Conclave. When the humble son 
of a peasant learned that his brother-Cardinals were 
thinking of electing him, he begged them, with tears, not 
to name him. Cardinal Gibbons was one of those who 
urged Cardinal Sarto to accept, telling him that it was 
the will of God that he become Pope. 

The Archbishop's first ad Ihnina visit to Rome was 
made in 1880. To meet the expenses of the journey, his 
priests, as a mark of affection, presented him a thousand 
dollars. For the first time he greeted Leo XIII person- 
ally as Pope. Nearly a month was passed in ''the City 
of the Soul;" during this period, among other remini- 
scences, he chronicles two delightful audiences with Leo 
XIII and some important conferences on American af- 
fairs with the Cardinals Simeoni and Nina. Several halts 
were made during his homeward journey: at Innspruck 
he witnessed the Passion Play ; in London Tie visited Lul- 
worth Castle and prayed in the Chapel which had wit- 
nessed Bishop John Carroll's consecration. He records 
at length his meeting, on his birthday, July 2^), with Card- 
inal Newman at the Oratory of Edgbaston. He break- 
fasted with that renowned churchman and author and 
was charmed with his brilliant conversation. At his de- 



102 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

parture he bore with him several of the Cardinal's works, 
enriched with his autograph. A month in Ireland com- 
pleted his list of sojourns, and he embarked from 
Queenstown for home on August 25th. 

His return to Baltimore coincided with the one hun- 
dred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Balti- 
more. Full of enthusiasm for the city of his birth, Arch- 
bishop Gibbons joined in the plans for the celebration, 
directing all the Catholic Societies and the parochial 
school children to take part in the parades and other 
demonstrations. This indication of broad public spirit 
inspired the citizens, especially the leaders of the com- 
memorative festivities, with gratitude and admiratibn for 
their Catholic Archbishop. 

Under date of January 4, 1882, the Archbishop has 
an important memorandum : 

''Most Rev. D. Corrigan, at the instance of 
Cardinal McCloskey, called on me in relation to 
the expediency of holding a National Council. 
Some bishops and clergy of the United States 
have been urging Cardinal Simeoni, Prefect of 
the Propaganda, to authorize and recommend 
the Council as important to the interests of re- 
ligion. Cardinal Simeoni asked His Eminence of 
New York to give his views, which are rath- 
er adverse to the measure. I gave it as my 
opinion that it would not be expedient to hold 
a Council for some time to come ; but as a pre- 
liminary step, provincial councils might be held, 
or the bishops of each province might assemble 
informally and consider together what subjects 
might be discussed in the Plenary Council. The 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 103 

bishops of the West seem to favor a National 
Council as some of them have intimated to me." 

The views of Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop Gib- 
bons and other prelates were sent to Rome. Correspond- 
ence followed which rsulted in the issuing of a call by 
Pope Leo for the American Archbishops to visit Rome 
to discuss with him the needs of the Church in America. 

Before the Archbishop went to Rome the greatest 
sorrow of his life came upon him. A single-line entry in 
his diary under date of May 8, 1883, reads: 

**My dear mother died last night at the age 
of 80 years. May she rest in peace !" 

His grief, quiet and deep, was in proportion to his 
filial love and reverence for his mother, a love which 
knew no bounds. From the moment of his father's death 
in Ireland, he had striven with manly devotion to ease 
her burden. The labors of the farm alternated with his 
studies. He had witnessed all the struggles of her 
widowhood in crossing the ocean and making a new 
home for her children in the Crescent City. It is easy 
to paint the loyal-hearted, pious, laborious boy as a col- 
umn of support in that home. Her sorrow at parting 
with a son so beloved, whose character indeed she had 
unawares so fittingly moulded for the sanctuary, was 
sustained by a fortitude and faith that made her sacri- 
fice a complete and joyous one. But how abundant and 
continuous was her reward from that far-away day in 
1855 when the young aspirant left her for St. Charles' 
College, to that beautiful day of May when her soul 
went forth to its eternal Home ! Her dutiful son had al- 
ways kept in touch with her by genial and affectionate 



104 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

letters ; and after his promotion to the episcopate he had 
made her happy by home visits and many heart-to-heart 
talks ; in her declining years these visits of ten days or 
a fortnight were made annually to the old home in New 
Orleans. She saw her son raised to the honors of the 
Church, and his name, his words, and his achievements 
proclaimed with respect throughout the country, and her 
overflowing heart was uplifted to God in thanksgiving. 

Mrs. Bridget Walsh Gibbons is a name entitled to 
honor. Hers was a life filled with merits and good deeds ; 
and had she done naught but give to the Church James 
Cardinal Gibbons, she would have deserved well of the 
Church and the whole world. 

A few days after his mother's death, Archbishop Gib- 
bons preached the sermon at the funeral of Archbishop 
Wood of Philadelphia. He took for his text the same 
text which Bishop Thomas J. Shahan, rector of the Cath- 
olic University, used in the sermon he preached at the 
month's mind Mass for Cardinal Gibbons : — 

I Machabees, IX. 19 — 21 : "And Jonathan and Simon 
took Judas, their brother, and buried him in the sepulchre 
of their fathers, in the city of Modin. And all the 
people of Israel bewailed him with great lamentation, 
and they m.ourned for him many days, and said : How is 
the mighty fallen that saved the people of Israel." 

In his peroration, the Cardinal expressed on behalf of 
Archbishop Wood's spiritual children the same feelings 
which nearly forty years later the Cardinal's own people 
were to experience : — 

"It is sad to think that you shall never look upon his 
face again. But I would not have you without hope like 
the Gentiles who know not God. That great soul of his 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 105 

still lives and moves and has its being. That kind heart 
breathes love for you still. Having loved you in life, 
he loves you in death. Could the veil be lifted up which 
separates time from eternity, we might see him praying 
for his beloved Philadelphia, even as Juaas Macchabeus 
saw Jeremiah after d^ath praying for his beloved Jeru- 
salem. He says to your hearts today : 'You shall not be 
left orphans. You have sorrow now, but I will see you 
again, and your heart shall rejoice. God will send you 
another Comforter, and Father.' O Divine Shepherd of 
souls, grant this favor to thy people through the in- 
tercession of Thy departed prelate. Give them a Bishop 
according to Thine own heart. Give them a shep- 
herd like Thyself, who vvill lead his f^ock to healthy 
pastures. Give them a judge like Thee, who will also 
temper justice with mercy. Give them a father like 
Thyself, who will v/elcome his clergy and people with 
paternal kindness, and who will be a father to the poor." 

The Archbishop left Baltimore for the Eternal City 
on October 8, 1883. 

The Papal Conference began November 12, 1883, and 
ended December 13th of that year. iVrchbishop Gibbons 
had three private audiences with Pope Leo XHI and a 
number of conferences at which the other Archbishops 
were present. Affairs of the Church in the United States 
were discussed. Pope Leo was impressed by the wide 
experience, the solid judgment and the prudent sugges- 
tions of the Baltimore Archbishop, and designated him 
to preside over the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, 
which at the request of the Pontiff, after a conference 
with Archbishop Gibbons, was set for November of the 
following year. 



io6 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

On the return of the Archbishop from Rome in March, 
1884, the people of Baltimore prepared to hold a parade 
and demonstration in his honor, but the committee, 
at his request, cancelled the program. His reason for 
declining, was an edifying one : — *'It would have taken 
place in the midst of Lent," he said, "and I would have 
felt very much mortified to consider myself conducted 
home in a procession of triumph at a time when our 
Church directs our minds to the spectacle of Our Saviour 
conducted to suffering in a procession of shame." 

In a sermon preached at the Cathedral on a Sunday 
after his return, the Archbishop gave a word picture of 
Pope Leo XIIL That picture, as many who knew the 
Cardinal will testify, was a portrait of himself, though 
the Prelate did not realize it. 

*'No one can spend a half hour in the presence of Leo 
XIII without giving thanks to God for granting to His 
Holy Church so great a Pontiff, and without being pro- 
foundly impressed with the breadth and elevation of the 
sentiments that inspire him. In my first interview he 
remarked to me : 'I dislike severe and harsh measures, I 
dislike anathemas ; I love to appeal to the good sense and 
intelligence and heart of the world. As the Vicar ard 
Servant of Christ, I desire to draw all souls more closely 
to our common Master. To all I am debtor. I have the 
solicitude of all the Churches of Europe, Asia, Africa, 
and especially of your own great and beloved country, 
whose spiritual progress gives me such consolation.' " 

Like Pope Leo, Cardinal Gibbons "disliked severe and 
harsh measures." He loved "to appeal to the good sense, 
intelligence and heart" of the American people, espe- 
cially when bigotry raised its head. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 107 

Early in 1884, Archbishop Gibbons wrote a Pastoral 
Letter protesting against the contemplated confiscation by 
the Italian Government of the American College in 
Rome. The prelate had been in touch with the Rev. 
Denis J. O'Connell, rector of the College, and had been 
disturbed for some years by the Statutes of the Gov- 
ernment usurping to the uses of the State the pro'jerty 
of religious corporations. 

The American College, founded by Pius IX in 1857 
and formally opened on December 8, 1859, with thirteen 
students from the Propaganda, had increased notably 
in influence as well as in the number of its students, 
who returned to the United States ordained priests, 
with the spirit of faith and devotion one breathes in 
Rome, the City of St. Peter and his successors. 

During the Vatican Council the American Prelates in 
Rome thought it prudent to transfer the property of the 
College to the Congregation of Propaganda, which had 
been contending in the courts against the oppressive 
Statutes for ten years. In 1884, the supreme court 
decided in favor of the State. 

A paragraph from Archbishop Gibbons' Pastoral rel- 
ative to the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda (con- 
stituted permanently in 1622 by Gregory XV) reads 
thus : — 

"Who, then, without a feeling of regret or indignation, 
can contemplate the idea of such a noble institution, 
after doing its good work of promoting 'peace among 
men of good will' for nearly three hundred years, falling 
at last a victim of injustice? Even Napoleon, who 
seemed to have respect for nothing that could not lurnish 
him with means for carrying on his ambitious campaigns, 



io8 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

had too much reverence for the Propaganda to despoil it. 
Humanity has certain rights and interests in common, 
and surely the protection of the Propaganda is one. It 
cannot be that our Government, jealous of the rights of 
the least of its citizens, can allow ours to be violated with- 
out a protest, and we look for protection from it. And 
who knows but that, in the providence of God, the glory 
of saving the Propaganda may rest a second time on the 
banner of our country." 

Cardinal McCloskey, with Archbishop Gibbons, Arch- 
bishop Ryan and other members of the hierarchy, in 
letters to the Secretary of State, protested vigorously 
against the proposed confiscation. The President of 
the United States directed Minister Astor to lay the case 
before the King of Italy, urging that "although technic- 
ally the American College is held by the Propaganda, it 
is virtually American property." The College was 
saved. 

The Third Plenary Council was opened November 9, 
1884, with a Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated by the 
Most Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, Archbishop of St. 
Louis. Archbishop Gibbons, who had been appointed 
Apostohc Delegate by Pope Leo XIII to preside over 
the meetings, sat on his throne at the gospel side of the 
sanctuary. His Eminence, Cardinal McCloskey of New 
York, was too ill to take part in the proceedings of the 
Council. The ''golden-tongued" Ryan, Archbishop of 
Philadelphia, preached the sermon. His subject was 
''The Church in her Councils." Every Sunday night 
during the sessions, Solemn Pontifical Vespers were 
sung, a sermon preached, and Solemn Benediction given. 
On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of each 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 109 

week there was a sermon, followed by Benediction of 
the Blessed Sacrament. 

At the sessions of the Council there were present 
twelve Archbishops, fifty-nine Bishops, five visiting Bish- 
ops from Canada and Japan, seven Abbots, one Prefect- 
Apostolic, eleven Monsignori, eighteen Vicar Generals, 
twenty-three Superiors of Religious Orders, twelve Rec- 
tors of Seminaries and ninety theologians. Archbishop 
Gibbons appointed Dr. O'Connell, head of the American 
College, his assistant. 

Many subjects were considered in the Council, includ- 
ing changes in the discipline and administration of the 
Church in this country. The country was making such 
tremendous strides forward, and Catholicity was keeping 
pace with it, that such changes were demanded. 

The debates at the sessions covered all phases of the 
various questions discussed. Every member of the 
Council was given an opportunity to state his views freely 
without fear or embarrassment. The debates at times 
became vigorous, but always the spirit of Christian 
charity prevailed. There was an Ireland in that Coun- 
cil, a Ryan, a Keane and a Spalding, men whose oratori- 
cal ability held the delegates bound by virtue of their 
eloquence and whose arguments provoked deep thought. 
With the greatest minds of the United States there, all 
conscious of their responsibility before Almighty God, 
all loving their Church with a loyalty and devotion m- 
tense in quality — the Council reflected in all its pro- 
ceedings the real spirit of the Church, and its work 
redounded to the greater honor and glory of God. So 
successful was it that it was taken as a model for similar 
councils held in Ireland, Australia and other parts of the 
world. 



no JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

One of the chief decisions reached at the Council was 
the establishment of the Catholic University at Washing- 
ton — that institution which was to be the child of the 
Cardinal's own heart. It was to bring him sorrow as well 
as joy, but when his closing days were upon him, he knew 
that the child had grown in strength and wisdom and had 
become mighty in the capital of the nation he loved. 

The Council advocated the establishment of parochial 
schools throughout the country and with such urgen- 
cy that the members pleased the heart of their Apostolic 
Delegate. Year in and year out, Archbishop Gibbbons 
had preached the necessity of establishing such schools. 
He had set about founding them soon after his arrival in 
the Vicariate of North Carolina — poor as that field of 
labor was from a worldly point of view. He had con- 
tinued that work in Richmond, and while Bishop there, 
as has been seen, he was outspoken in his opposition 
to the plan suggested by President Grant to federalize 
the system of education, and thus deprive the Catholic 
father and mother of their right to educate their chil- 
dren in the parish school in keeping with the dictates of 
their conscience. This work which he had <ione in North 
Carolina and Virginia, he continued in the diocese of 
Baltimore. Indeed, the next to the last public cere- 
mony in which he took part was the dedication of the 
new parochial school in St. Aloysius' parish, Washington, 
on Thanksgiving Day, 1920. 

The aged Kenrick of St. Louis, in the closing moments 
of the Council, expressed the thanks of the members of 
the body to their Apostolic Delegate. In a voice vibrant 
with emotion, and with his eyes filled with tears, he 
recalled that he had been present in the same Cathedral 
more than thirty years before, then as a spectator, at 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN iii 

the First Plenary Council of Baltimore. For some min- 
utes he engaged in reminiscences turning time backward 
in its flight- Then looking to the future as he said good- 
by to the delegates, he continud : 

"When Xerxes beheld his army of a million men stand- 
ing in their martial strength before him, he wept on re- 
flecting that not one of that mighty host would survive 
a century; and so of us, venerable Fathers, m nalt that 
time death shall claim us all." Archbishop Kenrick was 
to have one happiness before he passed to his eternal rest. 
Within nineteen months he was to present the red biretta 
to the Apostolic Delegate whom he was that day address- 
ing. 

Everyone present was touched by the words of the 
Saint Louis prelate. In his reply, Archbishop Gibbons 
said: 

''Venerable Fathers, we have met as bishops of a com- 
mon faith ; we part as brothers, bound by the closest ties 
of charity. Though differing in nationality, in language, 
in habits, in tastes, in local interests, we have met as 
members of the same immortal episcopate, having one 
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all ; 
and if the Holy Father, whose portrait adorns our Coun- 
cil chamber, could speak from the canvas, well could he 
exclaim, 'Behold how ^ood and how pleasant a thing it 
is for brethren to dwell together in unity.' 

"This is the last time that we shall assemble under the 
dome of this venerable Cathedral, with the portraits of 
God's saints looking down upon us. The venerable Arch- 
bishop has reminded us of our short tenure of life, but 
we are immortal. God grant that the scene of today may 
be a presage of our future reunion in the temple above, 



112 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

not made with hands, in the company of God's saints, 
where, clothed in white robes and with pahns in our 
hands, we shall sing benediction and honor and glory 
to our God forever." 

The Third Plenary Council was called at a time when 
the Church taking cognizance of the marvelous progress 
of Catholicism in this country had to provide means for 
the utilization of such advantages and to prepare for the 
still greater progress and attendant problems of the 
future. These problems, including those affecting the 
social and economic condition of her own children and 
those not of her number, were considered from every 
angle. The wisdom of the provisions made at the Coun- 
cil in this respect has been verified repeatedly in the last 
three decades and more. 

The Catholic Church, though it has outlasted many of 
the empires, monarchies and Republics of the world, 
and has seen the mightiest of governments die from decay, 
is still as alive and as alert and as quick to defend the 
interests of man today as she ever has been. The rights 
of mankind — be they Catholics or non-Catholics, believ- 
ers or unbelievers, have ever a place in her considerate 
heart. The question of such rights took up much of the 
time set apart for the discussion by the Council. Arch- 
bishop Gibbons, keen as he v/as, and understanding condi- 
tions in America as he did, was in every way a guiding- 
influence in the Council. He proved to the Church and to 
his country that he was really a leader among men. Pope 
Leo delighted with the success of the Council and of the 
Vv'ork of his Apostolic delegate at the sessions thought 
often of him and planned his reward. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 113 

CHAPTER X 
A Prince of the Church 

TWO weeks after the inauguration of Mr. Cleveland, 
as President of the United States, Archbishop Gib- 
bons visited him in the White House. The Baltimore pre- 
late was received with the utmost cordiality, and writes 
in his diary that ''the President expressed the hope that 
my visits would be renewed from time to time during 
his administration." 

The Cardinal did visit Mr. Cleveland often. The 
two became close friends. Mr. Allen S. Will in his "Life 
of Cardinal Gibbons" says that on one occasion, Presi- 
dent Cfeveland read to His Eminence that president's 
famous message on the tariff question, and asked him his 
opinion concerning it. The Cardinal told the President 
frankly that it was an admirable paper, but that in all 
probability it would not be well received. His judg- 
ment was right, for Mr. Cleveland was defeated for re- 
election in 1888, though he was sent back to the Execu- 
tive Mansion for a second term in 1892. 

Mr. McKinley, Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Taft and the pres- 
ent Executive, Mr. Harding, all were good friends of 
Cardinal Gibbons. The Cardinal had formed plans for a 
visit to the last-named President, to be made in April, 
1921. Mr. Taft's fair-mindedness and liberality in deal- 
ing with the Friar question in the Philippines won the 
Cardinal's admiration. It is said that the present Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court studied canon law on the 



114 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

way to the Philippines in order to famiHarize himself 
with every possible phase of the problem he was to solve. 

Mr. Roosevelt's strenuosity always appealed to the 
Cardinal. He used to chuckle over some of the epigrams 
coined by the irrepressible "Teddy." Mr. Roosevelt in 
a discussion with some friends in Washington said on one 
occasion that the United States was suffering from a lack 
of candor, that there was only one man in the country 
who had nerve enough to get up and speak the truth no 
matter how much it hurt. That man, he said, was Car- 
dinal Gibbons. Mr. Roosevelt's condemnation of the 
evils affecting the home life of this nation won the com- 
mendation of the Cardinal, who declared on more than 
one occasion that Mr. Roosevelt's ''sermons" on such 
topics were bound to result in an awakening of the moral 
sense of the people. 

The Cardinal accepted many invitations to dine with 
Presidents, ambassadors and other leaders of this coun- 
try and foreign countries. At such table talks, the Car- 
dinal was enabled to present the attitude on many occa- 
sions of American Catholics on subjects of national and 
international scope. He gave the Catholic point of view 
without incurring the least suspision of ulterior motives, 
for no man was more opposed to the intrusion of religion 
into politics than Cardinal Gibbons. He believed the 
policy of separation of church and state as carried on in 
this country, with the rights of the church given every 
consideration, and with the church abstaining absolutely 
from the asking of any privileges, was a wise and just one. 
Under such a policy he saw the church untrammeled by 
governmental restrictions grow and thrive and gain favor 
among men of all creeds and no creed. No man of intel- 
ligence ever suspected Cardinal Gibbons of hidden motives 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 115 

in his dealings with the great men of many countries. His 
Americanism was so pure and undefiled that no man who 
knew him or his works ever harbored an unjust thought 
concerning such meetings. No clergyman in the history 
of this country ever had so many friends among the 
leaders of the world. 

On October 10, 1885, Cardinal McCloskey of New 
York died. He was buried on October 18. Shortly after 
the death of the New York Cardinal, it became under- 
stood that Pope Leo XHI would raise another member 
of the American hierarchy to the Sacred College. By 
almost common consent Archbishop Gibbons was picked 
as the man. Could the people of this country have seen 
the Archbishop's diary and his entries in it concerning 
the many and varied commissions which the Holy See 
gave to him to carry out in this country in connection 
with the development of the church and its problems, 
they would have realized the absolute dependence the 
Sovereign Pontiff had upon the ruler of the Archdiocese 
of Baltimore. Many times when the country thought that 
the Archbishop was taking mere pleasure trips here and 
there about the United States, he was engaged in carrying 
on the work of the Holy Father. He was commissioned 
to straighten out financial tangles, to interview heads of 
various sees concerning the progress of the church in 
their dioceses, to adjust misunderstandings, to send to 
Rome accounts of incidents concerning which there had 
been diversity in explanations, to smooth troubled waters 
and to soothe hurt feelings. The Archbishop in his diary 
tells of trips, here there and everywhere, relating without 
personal glorification what means he took to end matters 
satisfactory. On some of these trips the Archbishop was 
able to do his work so quietly and well that those who 



ii6 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

ordinarily would have been most interested in the work 
knew nothing about the real reason of his mission. He 
was always glad, as was almost invariably the case, when 
he could give a favorable report to Rome and sound the 
praises of the heads of the various sees of the country. 
He always liked to praise. In any report which could not 
be pronounced favorable, he, by means of his tact and 
gentleness, took away the sting. 

One instance of the way the Archbishop did things is 
to be found in his adjustment of difficulties which arose 
between a Toledo priest and one of his parishioners. 
The layman thought that the priest had made personal 
references to him from the pulpit, and in his indignation 
said rash, unjust and unkind words about the priest. 
The Archbishop summoned the priest and layman to 
Baltimore ; heard their story, pointed out to the layman 
where he was V\'rong, and soothed the wounded feelings 
of the priest. This done, he told priest and layman to 
kneel down. He gave them his blessing. The priest 
then blessed the layman and the two walked out of the 
Cardinal's residence together, good friends again. 

The news that he was about to be elevated to the Car- 
dinalate came to Archbishop Gibbons on February lo, 
1886. according to the following entry in his diary: 

'T received from my kind friend. Archbishop 
Corrigan, a telegram informing me that he has 
authentic information from Rome that the Holy 
Father has determined to raise me to the Cardi- 
nalatial dignity, and that the biglietto would 
reach me about the twenty-second of this month. 
I have also received congratulatory telegrams 
from Archbishop Williams, Mgr. Farley and 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 117 

Mr. Benziger. The news is not yet known in 
our city. Should the report be verified, may 
God give me grace as he gave to his servant, 
David, an humble heart, that I may bear the 
honor with becoming modesty and a profound 
sense of my unworthiness ; 'Susdtans de terra 
inopen et de stercore erigens pauperein ut collocet 
eun cmn principihus popiili/ The Archbishop 
of New York says that the Cardinal Secretary 
mailed the bighetto on the eighth." 

Though the Archbishop was thus unofficially informed 
of the honor that was to be conferred upon him, he was 
not notified officially of his dignity until a few months 
later. On May 5, he received a cablegram from Dr. 
O'Connell, stating that the biglietto had been mailed in 
Rome on May 5. The Sovereign Pontiff was pleased, 
v/e are told by the Archbishop to send the following 
cablegram : 

''Papa vult te informare primus" — ''The Holy 
Father wishes to be the first to notify you." 

On the eighteenth Archbishop Gibbons received from 
Cardinal Jacobini, Secretary of State, the biglietto or 
official document informing him of the Holy Father's 
intention to elevate him to the Cardinalatial dignity at 
the Consistory to be held probably on June 7 of that 
year. The translation of the biglietto from the original 
Italian is as follows : 

''Most Illustrious and Reverend Sir: His 
Holiness has determined to raise your Grace to 
the honors of the Roman purple in the Consis- 
tory which will most probably be held on the 



ii8 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

seventh of the coming month of June. The 
Sovereign Pontiff, in conferring upon you the 
Cardinalatial dignity, wishes in a particular man- 
ner to attest the high esteem and consideration 
he has for the virtues which adorn your Grace, 
for the many claims you have already on ac- 
count of your merits, as well as to increase the 
lustre of the Metropolitan See of Baltimore 
first among all the churches of the vast Republic 
of the United States, and on that account 
adorned with the honorable title of Primatial 
See. I am glad to be able to give to you so 
agreeable a notice by express order of His 
Holiness. There is nothing left to add but to 
congratulate you with all my heart on your well- 
merited promotion and to reaffirm myself with 
most sincere esteem. Your humble servant, 
L. Cardinal Jacobini.'' 

The official news, so long anticipated, that the Balti- 
more Archbishop had been named a prince of the Church 
thrilled the Catholics of the United States, and thousands 
of other fellow-citizens, non-Catholics and Jews, for all 
had come to admire him. They had followed his career 
and discovered that in all his dealings with them, in all 
his enthusiasm for his church, he never had said a hurt- 
ful word to anyone, never had denounced anyone who 
in all sincerity followed his religious convictions But 
if the country at large was inspired by the news, by far the 
greatest thrill, the greatest pride, the greatest joy of all 
came to the people of Baltimore and the members of the 
Archdiocese of Baltimore that such honor had come to 
him whom they claimed as their very own. 



CHURCHMAX AND CITIZEN 119 

The insignia of the cardinalatial dignity, the zuchetto, 
was conferred upon Cardinal Gibbons June 21, that year, 
and he selected June 30, 1886, the silver jubilee of his 
ordination, as the date for his formal investiture. 

In that month Monsignor Straniero, the Pontifical rep- 
resentative, in company with Count Muccioli of the 
Papal Court and the Rev. Thomas S. Lee, rector of the 
Baltimore Cathedral, who was in Rome at the time, started 
for Baltimore to notify formally the Cardinal and to con- 
fer upon him the zuchetto and red biretta. They were to 
take part in the ceremonies of investiture. 

There was a tremendous crowd outside the newly- 
appointed Cardinal's residence when the Count and other 
members of his party arrived there for the formal noti- 
fication on June 21, 1886. Ushered into the south parlor 
of the archepiscopal residence, the Count found Cardinal 
Gibbons awaiting him, surrounded by a large number of 
Catholic clergy of the chy and by some of his Protestant 
friends. 

The Count, who was an impressive-looking man, wore 
a beautiful uniform. A towering helmet was upon his 
head. After his introduction to the Cardinal he read an 
address formally notifying His Eminence of the honor 
that had been conferred upon him. The address finished, 
the Count took from a dome-shaped casket of red and 
gold the zuchetto, or red skull cap, typical of the strength 
of the Church. 

The Cardinal placed the cap upon his head and made a 
brief reply, thanking the Holy Father for the favors be- 
stowed upon him, and welcoming members of the Papal 
delegation to the city. The clergy then approached the 
Cardinal, and kneeling before him, kissed the rmg. The 
first to extend congratulations was the Rev. Dr. John S. 



120 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Foley, the Cardinal's old college mate, afterward Bishop 
of Detroit. 

The Cardinal wore a happy smile throughout the cere- 
mony — that smile of genuine pleasure at the esteem of 
the Sovereign Pontiff and the loyalty of the members of 
his devoted band of priests. The smile of the Cardinal 
always was baffling for him who v/ould seek to describe 
it. It seemed to brighten up his v/hole face, that wonder- 
ful face which always Vv^as the delight of the sculptors 
and the artists for whom he sat. Those artists and sculp- 
tors, in speaking of that face, said that it was as near 
perfection as any vvcU could be for those who sought 
to reproduce it in bronze or painting. 

After the presentation of the zuchetto all present were 
the guests of Cardinal Gibbons at a banquet in the arch- 
episcopal residence. The Cardinal occupied the central 
seat, with Monsignor Straniero on his right and Count 
Muccioli on his left. There were no speeches. 

Next cam.e the great day — that memorable day m 
the history of the City of Baltimore, of the diocese and 
of the Catholic Church in America — when James Gib- 
bons, the Baltim.ore boy of Irish immigrants, was in- 
vested formally with the robes of the Prince of the 
Church and elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals. 
It was a day that stood out above all other days in the 
memories of those who were privileged to witness even 
a part of the ceremonies. 

Early on the morning of June 30, 1886, the anniver- 
sary of the new Cardinal's ordination, the streets in the 
neighborhood of the Cathedral were so jammed that it 
required almost herculean efforts on the part of the 
police to keep traffic moving. Inside the Cathedral was 
gathered a congregation such as is seldom -seen in any 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 121 

church outside the Eternal City. The distinguished men 
of the city and nation were present. Members of the 
Sisterhoods and of the Brotherhoods were there. Every 
pew was filled and hundreds stood in the back of the 
church and even in the aisles. The altar was decorated 
with hundreds of blazing candles and flowers, which 
flowers, from the number and beauty of them, must have 
been culled vvath the utmost discrimination from the rich- 
est gardens of the State. It was a scene like a pageant of 
some medieval day when "knighthood was in flower," 
and when pomp and beauty attended the great cere- 
monies of the court and the Church. It was an extraor- 
dinary setting for so democratic a man who Vv^as this day 
to receive so signal a tribute. 

At 10:15 o'clock that morning the Cathedral bells 
began to ring, denoting the departure of the procession 
from St. Alphonsus' Hall to the scene of the investiture. 
Various Catholic Societies marched in this parade to the 
Cathedral, where they were joined by the new Cardinal 
and by the prelates. The ecclesiastical procession was 
led by the sanctuary boys of the Cathedral and 170 stu- 
dents from St. Charles' College. Following them came 
the students of St. Mary's Seminary, the priests, the 
monsignori, the Bishops, the Archbishops, and last of 
all the Cardinal. There were in line representatives 
from many religious orders, distinguished by the color 
of their habits. Among the prelates were those two 
giants in stature and in intellect. Archbishops Ryan and 
Feehan. In the same ranks was the feeble, tottering 
Kenrick of St. Louis, who had been especially designated 
by Pope Leo to confer the red biretta on Cadinal Gib- 
bons. 

As the covv'ds on the street saw this new Prince of the 



122 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Church, clothed in his archepiscopal robes but with 
the Httle red skull cap showing beneath his purple biretta, 
a thrill came over them. The Cardinal looked supremely 
happy. He was attended by Monsignor McColgan 
and Fathers McManus and Magnien. A thrill, too, 
must have come to His Eminence himself as he crossed 
the threshold of his beloved church. His early days must 
have come flying back to him on memory's wings. There 
he was, entering that church which was dearer to him 
than any place in the world. In that church he was 
baptized, in that church consecrated a Bishop, raised to 
the dignity of Archbishop in this primatial see of the 
United States, the recipient of many honors. In that 
church was he to be elevated this day to the cardinalate. 

Happiness surged through the heart of every mem- 
ber of that congregation a? the organ's tones swelled 
through the church and the choir broke into a hymn of 
jubilation. The Cardinal's face once again was illumined 
with the joy that was his, and at the thought of the 
other joys that had come to him in the venerable edifice — 
joys that were attended with the heaviest of responsibili- 
ties, but which never weighed this frail man down, be- 
cause he knew how to bear them so well. 

The Most Rev. Archbishop Williams sang the pontifical 
Mass. The Rev. John T. Gaitley was assistant priest ; 
the Rev. Jacob Walter deacon and the Rev. William 
Jordan subdeacon. 

Once again was the eloquent Archbishop Ryan called 
upon to preach from the Cathedral pulpit. Often did 
he speak from that pulpit, and always did he hold his 
hearers by virtue of his great gifts of oratory, but on 
this day the atmosphere of the Cathedral, the singular 
solemnity of the occasion and the love for his asso- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 123 

ciate in the hierarchy who had been elevated to such 
heights, drew forth from the stores of eloquence com- 
manded by the head of the Archcepiscopal See of Phila- 
delphia all that was greatest and best. The congregation 
was held captive by his words. 

The whole hierarchy was assembled on that occasion. 
At the conclusion of the last Gospel of the Mass, the 
Cardinal walked, preceded by the archiepiscopal cross, 
to the gospel side of the altar. Archbishop Kenrick 
followed him, and the two, the one who was to receive 
the red biretta and the one who was to present it, stood 
on the top step of the altar facing each other. 

The Rev. Dr. Foley presented Archbishop Kenrick 
with the Apostolic brief of delegation. Archbishop Ken- 
rick returned the brief with the instruction: ''Let it be 
read," and Dr. Foley proceeded to read it in Latin and 
English. With trembling hands Archbishop Kenrick 
presented the red biretta to the Cardinal. There was a 
united gasp of joy from the congregation, most of the 
members of which were now on tiptoe, trying to see 
every incident in the ceremony. 

Monsignor Straniero, the papal representative, placed 
the red biretta upon the Cardinal's head, and addressed 
the new Prince of the Church, bespeaking in his address 
the love and affection of Pope Leo for his eminent 
spiritual son. Among other things in his address, Mon- 
signor Straniero said : 

''Your writings have been universally read 
and all have admired the depth of your learning, 
your zeal and your virtues. Those who have 
known you intimately have been deeply im- 
pressed by your remarkable qualities of heart 



124 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

and power of mind. Waiving all else, it is 
enough for me to recall that when the American 
Bishops assembled in Plenary Comicil, the Ro- 
man Pontiff appointed you to preside therein 
and to discharge the office of Apostolic Delegate. 
"To Your Eminence may God grant a life 
of many years for the service and adornment of 
the Holy See and the welfare of the loving flock 
entrusted to your care. And as today is, more- 
over, the twenty-fifth anniversary of your or- 
dination to the priesthood, do I on this account 
also congratulate you. From the bottom of my 
heart I pray that God may grant you many anni- 
versaries of this day." 

The Cardinal could not conceal the emotion which was 
his. In responding to the address of Monsignor Straniero 
he said : 

"Beloved brethren of the laity, I say from m.y 
heart of hearts that earth has for me no place 
dearer than the sanctuary where I now stand 
and the diocese which I now serve. And how 
could it be otherwise ? It was in this Cathedral 
that I first breathed the breath of life as a Chris- 
tian. At yonder font, I was regenerated in 
the waters of baptism. Almost beneath the 
shadov/ of this temple, in the old St. Mary's 
Seminary, I was raised to the dignity of the 
priesthood by the hands of the venerable Arch- 
bishop Kenrick, the illustrious brother of him 
from whom I have the honor of receiving the 
biretta today. It was at this very altar that I 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 125 

was consecrated Bishop by my predecessor and 
father in Christ, the venerable Spalding. 

*'We of this diocese, down to the humblest 
priest, hold it an honor as well as a duty to labor 
in the sacred soil of Maryland, where your fore- 
fathers, two hundred and fifty years ago, plant- 
ed the cross and raised the banner of rehgious 
liberty and called forth the oppressed of other 
lands to take their shelter beneath its protect- 
ing folds. May it be the study of my Hfe to 
walk in the footsteps of my illustrious predeces- 
sors in this ancient See, and in the footsteps of 
the first Cardinal Archbishop in the United 
States, who has lately passed to his reward, 
and whose sterling merit was surpassed only 
by his modesty and humility. And may it be 
your good fortune also, dearly beloved breth- 
ren, to emulate the faith and civic virtues of 
your ancestors and hand down that faith and 
those virtues untarnished as precious heirlooms 
to the generations yet to be." 

After the ceremonies at the church a banquet was 
held at St. Mary's Seminary. At night there was a 
parade of Catholic Knights and other Catholic organiza- 
tions of the city. Red lights blazed along the streets, 
many buildings were illuminated and a holiday crowd 
was out to rejoice in the honor that had come to the city. 
The Marine Band serenaded the Cardinal, and as His 
Eminence appeared at the window on the Charles street 
side of his residence the thousands massed on Charles 
street broke into cheers, which seemed to grow in volume 
with the passing minutes. Cries of "Speech, speech!" 



126 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

were heard on all sides. The Cardinal smilingly re- 
sponded to the invitation. He thanked the people once 
again, told them how proud he was to be a Baltimorean 
and to call them fellow-citizens, and asked them to re- 
member him in their prayers. Thus was the finale of a 
day which was quite unlike any that had been seen in 
the history of the city up to that time and unlike any 
in the city's history since that time. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 127 



CHAPTER XI 

The Catholic University of America 

TT was during the days of his illness in the last month 
-^ of his life, March, 1921, while seated in his invalid's 
chair in his room and with his Cardinal's cloak wrapped 
around him, that His Eminence turned suddenly, and 
without warning said to the priest beside him : 

''Father, I wish I could tell you the full story of the 
Catholic University. There was a time in its history 
when some of my closest friends begged me to desert 
the work, but I would not. Night after night, I sat at 
the desk there, and with my own hand wrote letter after 
letter. 'We must go on with the work,' I wrote. All 
the time my heart was heavy. Those nearest to me were 
falling away one by one and I was facing the future alone. 
The University was the child of my old age, and like 
children begotten in old age, its beginnings caused me 
much pain." 

His Eminence referred to the time of trial through 
which the University passed in 1904, caused by the finan- 
cial failure of Mr. Thomas Waggaman, then treas- 
urer of the University. As the Cardinal often remarked 
afterward : "The Waggaman failure was a blessing in 
disguise, for it made plain the weak spots in the system, 
brought to the aid of the institution the ablest minds 
in the financial world, and awakened a generous re- 
sponse from Catholics all over the country. 



128 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

The first gleam of encouragement in those dark days 
referred to came when Mr. Michael Jenkins, President 
of the Safe Deposit and Trust Co., of Baltimore, con- 
sented to assume the office of treasurer. This he did, 
upon the one conditioai, that he should have the services 
of a young clergyman, Rev. George Dougherty, at that 
time assistant pastor of St. Augustine's Church, Wash- 
ington. The last ceremony of the Cardinal's life was 
the investiture in the Cardinal's room of Father Dough- 
erty with the purple of a monsignor. With Mr. Jenkins' 
acceptance of the responsibility, confidence was restored 
and the many friends of this distinguished citizen ral- 
lied to the support of the University. The death of Mr. 
Jenkins some years later was one of the great sorrows 
of the Cardinal's life. Not only had Mr. Jenkins been 
his close business adviser but he was one of the Cardi- 
nal's closest friends. In the funeral sermon over Mr. 
Jenkins, the Cardinal declared that one of the penalties 
suffered by those of advanced years was to see their 
friends passing onv/ard, leaving them behind to experi- 
ence the loneliness of life. 

The Cardinal's thoughts must have gone down the 
vista of years on that March day when he turned so sud- 
denly to the priest at his side and spoke of his struggles 
and his anxieties in fighting for the preservation of the 
University. That University might well be called the 
crowning work of his career, for he more than all the 
others interested in that work gave to it the very best 
of his time and talents and means. In the beginning, he 
met with encouragement and the outlook was bright, but 
when the dark days came, his friends began to desert 
him. Yet he still worked on and hoped on and prayed 
on, believing that the efforts he had made would not 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN i2g 

go to naught. He never regretted the sacrifices he made 
or the anxieties he bore — never regretted writing those 
letters pleading for help and co-operation and sounding 
always the watchword ''The work must go on." 

On the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Catholic 
University, celebrated in St. Patrick's Church, Wash- 
ington, on April 15, 191 3, His Eminence delivered the 
sermon. 

"From the beginning," to quote from his words on 
that day, ''the University has been for me an object 
of deepest personal concern. Through its growth and 
through its struggles, through all the vicissitudes which 
it has experienced, it has been very dear to my heart. 
It has cost me in anxiety and tension of spirit, far more 
than any other of the duties or cares which have fallen 
to my lot, but, for this reason, I feel a greater satisfac- 
tion in its progress. I feel amply compensated for what- 
ever I have been able to do in bearing its burdens and 
in helping it through trial to prosperity and success." 

The project of establishing a Catholic University in the 
United States had been broached first in the Second Plen- 
ary Council of Baltimore, held in October, 1866. At that 
Council, all the Bishops were of the opinion that such 
an institute of higher learning was necessary, though they 
did not think the time had fully arrived for its establish- 
ment. Their words plainly show the urgent need of such 
an institution: 

"We have no longer to contend with the ott 
refuted heresies and errors of a bygone age; but 
with new adversaries — unbelievers of a pagan 
rather than a Christian character; men who ac- 
count as naught God and His Divine Promises, 



130 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

but who do not the less possess cultivated minds. 
According to them, the things of heaven and earth 
have no other meaning or value than that which 
natural reason assigns them. Thus they flatter 
pride, so deeply rooted in our nature, and seduce 
those who are not on their guard. If truth cannot 
persuade them, since they do not care to listen, it 
must, at least, close their mouths, lest their vain 
discourse and high sounding words delude the 
simple." 

The age was one in which pseudo educators vrere try- 
ing to lure men away from "the true philosophy of the 
cross to the false philosophy of science." The pseudo 
educators taught that men were not made in the image 
and likeness of their Creator. They taught that there 
was no Creator ; they ridiculed the doctrine that man had 
an immortal soul; they set up the doctrine of evolution 
and asked men to believe in that doctrine. Seeking to 
break down the defenses of rehgion against immorality, 
they were making the world more wicked, more irrespon- 
sive to what is decent in life. They were preaching an 
education divorced from religion, not realizing that an 
education which considered only the mind and not the 
heart was no education at all. 

The members of the American hierarchy, like watch- 
men on the walls of the citadel, sought by Catholic educa- 
tion, which considered both the heart and the mind, to 
repulse the foes of morality and decent living. The 
Catholic University of America was to be one of the 
great ramparts. In that institution, rehgion and science 
both were to be taught, for the Catholic Church in all 
ages and in all countries has been the patron of sciences ; 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 131 

her sons have been among the great savants of all times, 
and they knew that religion and true science always go 
hand in hand. The future Archbishop of Baltimore was 
to point out on many occasions the harmony existing be- 
tween religion and science, but he was to tell his people 
to beware false scientists — ^the ''shallow-thinkers ;" he was 
to lead men away from that false philosophy to Calvary's 
Hill, where they were to look upon the form of the 
Crucified Saviour who had suffered and died for the sal- 
vation of their immortal souls. 

It was at the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, in 
1884, that the decision to establish such a National 
University took definite shape. This consummation had 
been the life object of Bishop Spalding of Peoria from 
the period of his graduation at Louvain, after a Divinity 
course of five years. An offer of $300,000 had been made 
to him by Miss Mary Gwendoline Caldwell as a basis of 
a university fund ; and he had obtained in a visit to Rome 
the approval of Leo XIII for the project. 

On Bishop Spalding's announcement at the Council of 
the successful conclusion of his efforts, there was uni- 
versal joy; and a board of trustees was appointed, with 
Archbishop Gibbons at the head, to carry into execution 
the great enterprise. Plans ^vere formed to provide 
means for the endowment of professorships and the erec- 
tion of buildings. 

Pope Leo XIII confirmed this laudable determination 
of the American Hierarchy and by special letter fixed the 
location of the University in the Archdiocese of Balti- 
more ; to the Archbishop of Baltimore and his successors 
he granted the privilege of discharging the office of Su- 
preme Moderator or Chancellor. 



132 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

President Cleveland and the members of his Cabinet 
honored the occasion when the cornerstone of the first 
building of the University, Divinity Hall, was blessed 
on May 24, 1888. The Cardinal was surrounded by the 
Archbishops and Bishops of the country. There was 
a choir of 200 members, composed of students from St. 
Mary's Seminary and St. Charles' College, and the Marine 
Band was on hand to play. The arrangements in honor 
of the great day were perfect — all except the weather. 
While all the pomp and ceremony were going on, the rain 
fell in torrents. As the choir sang the Psalm **How 
lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts," the Cardinal 
blessed the site. When the singers chanted "Except the 
Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it" 
the Cardinal blessed the cornerstone. Then all sang 
the Veni Creator Spirit us, begging that the Holy Ghost 
would let the spirit of wisdom shine upon the new Univer- 
sity and enlighten the professors who would teach within 
its walls. Bishop Spalding, of Peoria, the brilliant pulpit 
orator and educator, deivered the sermon. 

The Divinity Building was dedicated on November 13, 
1889. Another President, another Vice-President and 
another Cabinet were present on that day. Benjamin 
Harrison had succeeded Grover Cleveland. Two princes 
of the Church took part in the dedicatory exercises, Car- 
dinal Gibbons and Cardinal Taschereau, of Canada. 
There was a future Cardinal present also. Archbishop 
Satolli. As on the occasion of the laying of the corner- 
stone, it rained in torrents and the program could not be 
followed out as originally planned. A choir composed 
of students from St. Mary's Seminary and St. Charles' 
College sang. Following the ceremony, the President, 
Vice President Morton, the members of the Cabinet, the 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 133 

two Cardinals, the members of the hierarchy and others 
were guests at a banquet. In spite of the rain on the 
day of the laying of the cornerstone and of the ded- 
ication, the auguries seemed to betoken the success of 
the University. Two Presidents of the United States 
had seen it started on its way and all was hope. 

From time to time various departments and buildings 
have been founded by persons interested in the cause 
of religious education. 

In 1895, through the generosity of Monsignor James 
McMahon of New York, a hall of philosophy bearing 
the name of the donor was erected. Soon other buildings, 
spacious and architecturally beautiful were added, includ- 
ing the Cardinal Gibbons' Memorial Hall, built in 191 1 
in honor of the golden jubilee of the priesthood and the 
silver jubilee of the Cardinalate of him who had made 
this great dream of Catholic education come true. Pro- 
fessors of known ability and international reputation were 
secured and the religious orders allied themselves with 
and became a part of the University. Thus, within a 
few years, under the able leardership of the rectors, Right 
Rev. John Keane, Right Rev. Thomas Conaty, Right 
Rev. Denis J. O'Connell and the present rector, the 
Right Rev. Thomas J. Shahan, the University grew apace. 
That is why it boasts today a group of buildings sur- 
passed by but few institutions with so short a history, 
a corps of professors most learned and zealous and a 
student body of no mean proportions. 

The enthusiasm of Cardinal Gibbons in the work 
of the university and his courage, especially, in the days 
of trouble, brought to his side individual friends and 
Catholic organizations desirous of helping him accompHsh 
his ambition. It was solely through regard for His 



134 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Eminence that the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient 
Order of Hibernians joined heartily in the work of 
upbuilding this Catholic centre of education. By means 
of magnificent endownment funds they have enabled the 
University to continue and expand its work. 

In October, 1920, thirty-two years after the laying 
of the cornerstone of the first building of the University 
group, Cardinal Gibbons laid the foundation stone of 
the National Shrine to Mary Immaculate, which is built 
on the University grounds. Within a quarter of a cent- 
ury, the University had grown beyond the highest hopes 
of its most ardent champions. 

In his sermon at the Cardinal's funeral, Archbishop 
Glennon, speaking of His Eminence's love for he Cath- 
olic University said : 

"Paralleling the dying request of a national hero of 
other days, the Cardinal were he to speak, v\'Ould, I be- 
lieve, leave as a heritage, his body to Baltimore, his heart 
to the University and his soul to God." 

The University adopted as its motto : Deits lux mea — 
''God is my light." In the dark days of financial dis- 
couragements, in the days when men who had supported 
him in the work were falling away from him, the Card- 
inal felt that God was his light and that the light would 
shine through the darkness. With such faith and such 
hope, he sat down therefore night after night at his desk 
and wrote : — "The work must go on." 

The work did go on. At the present time, there are 
some fourteen houses of study grouped around the 
University. In these houses, priests of many religious 
orders pursue their higher studies and acquire that 
learning which makes them an honor and an adorn- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 135 

ment to the Church. They learn that God is their Hght 
and that while knowledge is a glorious possession, they 
must thank God for it and make use of their ^ifts in 
all humility of heart. The Catholic University is the 
great centre of Catholic learning in this country and 
its influence is growing from year to year. Bright in- 
deed is the future — though once it seemed so hope- 
lessely dark. 



136 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

CHAPTER XIL 

Defense of the Knights of Labor 

SE\'EN and a half months after his investiture with 
tlie robes of a Prince of the Church, Cardinal Gib- 
bons received a cablegram from Pope Leo XIII inviting 
him to Rome to attend the Consistory to be held in March. 
At that Consistory the Cardinal was to receive the Red 
Hat and ring of his office from the Holy Father. By a 
coincidence, Cardinal Taschereau, of Canada, who was to 
receive the Red Hat in the same Consistory, was a fellow- 
passenger of His Eminence from Baltimore on the trip 
across the ocean. 

Cardinal Gibbons and Cardinal Taschereau were warm 
friends ; but at that time they were in opposition to each 
other on the question of the Knights of Labor. This 
was an organization of working men banded together in 
the same manner as are our labor unions of today, to 
obtain by their united strength certain rights and privi- 
leges which they declared v/ere due the workingman. 
They were organized to fight long hours and low wages, 
to combat those leaders of the capitalistic classes who 
were seeking to take unfair advantage of labor. At 
that time there were many capitalists who seemed to 
believe that labor had no rights which Big Business was 
bound to respect. 

Now the Knights of Labor was a secret organization 
in so far as the members of the organization were pledged 
not to reveal the business of their meetings and the aims 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 137 

of the society. They were not prohibited from unfolding 
such secrets to their spiritual advisers, or to others, who 
were in a position to command such information but who 
would not reveal it to the injury of the organization. 

Cardinal Taschereau had frowned upon the Knights 
of Labor in Canada. He was so convinced that it was 
an avowed enemy of the Church and all the Church 
stood for, that he convened a meeting of the Canadian 
hierarchy, which placed the Knights under the ecclesiasti- 
cal ban. Catholics were forbidden to join it, under pain 
of being barred from the Sacraments. The position of 
the Canadian Catholic members of the organization was 
a pitiable one ; for they felt that the organization, as they 
knew it, was simply an association formed in the interests 
of the workingman, that there was nothing in its consti- 
tution inimical to the interests of their Church. To be 
obliged to forswear allegiance to it under pain of being 
deprived of spiritual consolation added greatly to their 
distress of soul. 

Soon it became rumored that the same steps that had 
been taken against the organization in Canada were to be 
repeated in the United States — rumors which afterward 
proved to be without foundation. Mr. Powderly, who 
was the head of the Knights in this country, was a fer- 
vent Catholic. He communicated with Cardinal Gib- 
bons, had a conference with him, and convinced His 
Eminence that there was nothing contrary to the teach- 
ings of the Church in the association; that it was com- 
posed of workingmen, irrespective of religious ties, and 
had nothing in its constitution which 'would interfere 
with the religious duties of anyone. Afterward, Presi- 
dent Cleveland, Cardinal Gibbons and Mr. Powderly had 
a conference. The Cardinal saw at once that the only 



138 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

reason for secrecy by the members was their desire to 
protect their interests from those opposed to the organi- 
zation, or from their capitalistic foes. The Cardinal 
agreed with Mr. Powderly that such secrecy was not only 
legitimate, but wise. Hence, on September 3, 1886, 
the Cardinal sent a letter to Cardinal Simeoni, Sec- 
retary of Propaganda, through Monsignor Denis J. 
O'Connell at Rome, deprecating a hasty condemiuation of 
the Knights. A conference of the twelve Archbishops of 
the country was held to consider what action should be 
taken concerning the organization. Only two of tlie 
twelve were in favor of condemnation. All the others 
stood with Cardinal Gibbons in his defense of the 
Knights. His own convictions strengthened, the Cardi- 
nal was determined that he would present a plea for the 
Knights in person as soon as he got to Rome. 

In his "Retrospect of Fifty Years," the Cardinal ex- 
plained his attitude in the situation : — 

"Numerous societies for the protection of the working 
man rose during the administration of President Cleve- 
land — societies to which working people began to adhere 
more and more as their only protection from economic 
slavery, but which were vehemently attacked upon the 
other side as destructive, revolutionary, and even anarch- 
istic ; and indeed the oppression of the wealthy was driv- 
ing the poor into excesses of which the anarchist riots of 
Chicago were but one example. 

"These societies could not long escape the wise over- 
sight of the Church; and it was a foregone conclusion 
that in a few years the principles of such organizations 
of working people must either be approved or condemned. 
On the one hand, great numbers of ecclesiastics were 
alarmed at the revolutionary principles which undoubt- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 139 

edly disgraced some members of the trade unions, the 
more so as many of them were at least nominally secret 
societies. So great was this alarm in Canada that the 
Canadian Bishops obtained from the Holy See a condem- 
nation of the Knights of Labor for Canada. But if many 
Bishops were alarmed at what they considered the revo- 
lutionary tendencies of these associations, many other 
Bishops, including Cardinal Manning and myself, were 
equally alarmed at the prospect of the Church being pre- 
sented before our age as the friend of the powerful rich 
and the enemy of the helpless poor ; for not only would 
such an alliance, or even apparent alliance, have done the 
Church untold harm, but it would have been the boule- 
versement of our whole history. Moreover, to us, it 
seemed that such a thing never could take place. The 
one body in the world which had been the protector of 
the poor and the weak for nearly 1900 years could not 
possibly desert these sam.e classes in their hour of need." 

On the same steamer, therefore, were two new Cardi- 
nals, the one going to Rome to urge the Holy See to 
adhere to the condemnation placed upon the Knights in 
Canada, the other to protest with all the vigor of his 
great priestly heart against such a condemnation in the 
United States. 

To the general observer, it appeared at that time, 
that Cardinal Gibbons' task was a hopeless one. There 
were some who mistook the conservatism of the Vatican 
for narrowness; others who judged the sincerity and 
perspicacity of Cardinal Gibbons as revolutionary. In- 
deed, there were many who had been led to condemn the 
Knights of Labor because of the acts that had been com- 
mitted during riots of strikers. Anarchism had raised 



140 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

its head in the United States and the Knights of Labor 
had been blamed. There have been men always willing 
to argue against the use of a thing because of its abuse 
by a few. Cardinal Taschereau was convinced of the 
righteousness of his cause, and it must be said in fairness 
that there were circumstances and conditions surrounding 
the regime of the Knights of Labor in Canada that were 
radically different from the circumstances and conditions 
surrounding the organization in this country. 

There was one other Cardinal of the Church who was 
watching the proceedings with the greatest interest. He 
had been called a revolutionary, when he was really the 
friend of the workingman. The born aristocrat, Henry 
Edward Manning, Cardinal of \^^estminster, who did 
not hesitate to preach from public platform the rights of 
the workingman in England, sympathized with and 
encouraged the Cardinal of Baltimore. Other big men 
of this nation were working with him, among them the 
intrepid Ireland of Saint Paul, Keane of Richmond and 
Monsignor O 'Council, rector of the American College at 
Rome. These men conferred with Cardinal Gibbons in 
the Eternal City. 

On February 20th, nearly a month before the Consis- 
tory, the placid, gentle, peace-loving Gibbons sent an- 
other letter to Cardinal Simeoni on the subject, this 
time entering into a full discussion of the merits of 
the case. The Rome correspondent of the New York 
Herald got hold of a copy of the letter and it was pub- 
lished in that paper. It caused a sensation in this coun- 
try but met with universal approval. The Baltimore 
Cardinal in that letter spoke with the greatest reverence, 
the greatest loyalty and the greatest affection for the Holy 
See, but he also spoke with the greatest frankness. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 141 

He told in words that were clear and incapable of 
misinterpretation why he thought that such a condem- 
nation would be both inexpedient and unjust. He made 
it plain that such harsh measures against the workingman 
would paint the Catholic Church before the people of 
America as a foe to freedom and the defender of the 
rights of the rich. The United States was a country 
in which Catholic and non-Catholic worked together in 
harmony; Catholic, Protestant and Jew were friends in 
the lodge room, in business, in recreation, though each 
served God in his own way. ''The Catholic workingmen 
of the United States," he wrote, *'love the Church, 
and wish to save their souls; but they must also earn 
their living; and labor is now so organized that without 
belonging to the organization it is almost impossible to 
earn one's living." 

He described the spirit that would be engendered in 
the United States by a condemnation :— 

"To alienate from ourselves the friendship of the 
people would be to run the risk of losing the respect 
which the Church has won in the estimation of the 
American nation and of forfeiting the peace and pros- 
perity which form so admirable a contrast with her 
condition in some so-called Catholic countries. Angry 
utterances have not been wanting of late, and it is well 
that we shoould act prudently." 

The Cardinal's presentation of the case was so frank, 
so loyal, so convincing that the Vatican did not hesitate 
to promise that there would be no condemnation. More 
than that the ban was afterwards removed from the or- 
ganization in Canada. 

The way in which Cardinal Gibbons' letter, now his- 
toric, was received is indicated in a letter written by 



142 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Bishop Keane from Rome to Cardinal ^Manning. Dated 
February 28, 1887, this interesting letter v/as published 
in the Dublin Review in 1919 in an article wriiten by 
Shane Leslie. 

"You will see," writes Bishop Keane, ''how the utter- 
ances which have forever secured to your Eminence the 
noble title of 'Friend of the People' have done our 
Cardinal good service in his defense of the rights of the 
working millions. He had an interview this morning on 
these subjects with the chief officials of the Holy Office, 
with most gratifying results. It was easy to see that in 
his words they felt the weight of the whole Hierarchy, 
the whole clergy, and the whole people of America, and 
that his sentiments had already produced among them an 
evident change of front. A few weeks ago the drift was 
toward condemnation, regardless of the widespread, 
disastrous consequences that would inevitably have en- 
sued. Today the keynote was that the convictions of the 
Bishops of America are the safest guide of the Holy Of- 
fice in its action on American affairs, and that they will 
let well enough alone." 

On March 14, 1887, Bishop Keane wrote: "It is no 
small venture to utter such sentiments in an atmosphere 
like this of Rome ; and to make the situation more trying, 
the document was somehow gotten hold of by a reporter 
of the New York Herald and published in full. For a 
time the Cardinal was very apprehensive ; but telegrams, 
and now newspaper comments, are coming in of a most 
cheering character, showing that the publication of the 
document has done great good among the people of 
America." 

Pope Leo XIII undoubtedly applauded the courage 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 143 

of the Cardinal of Baltimore. A friend of labor himself, 
and an admirer of him who speaks his heart "though the 
heavens fall," the Sovereign Pontiff v/as drawn closer 
to the great Prelate from the Primatial See of the United 
States. Afterward, in his famous Encyclical ''Rcruui 
Novarum;' Leo proved beyond all shadow of a doult 
that the Catholic Church is now, as it ever ha- been, 
"the friend of Labor." 

In connection with his plea in behalf of the Knights 
of Labor, it is pertinent to refer to Cardinal Gibbons' 
request of the Sovereign Pontiff that there should be no 
condemnation of Henry George's book ''Progress and 
Poverty." The differences which arose between 
Archbishop Corrigan of New York and Mr. George 
on the single tax problem at the time Mr. George 
was running for Mayor of New York, differences 
which involved Dr. McGlynn, one of the leading 
priests of New York, are well known. Dr. McGlynn's 
refusal to refrain from attending a political meeting 
conducted by Mr. George brought about the forfeiture 
of his pastorate and for a time he was under an ecclesi- 
astical cloud in New York. He was suspended for a 
time. He was restored to his priestly privileges by 
Archbishop Satolli, ApostoHc Delegate from Rome, after 
it had been found that Dr. McGlynn advocated nothing 
contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church in his 
espousal of Mr. George's theories and had used only his 
prerogative to think freely on all political questions, a 
prerogative Vv-hich the Church does not interfere with 
in any land. 

Dr. McGlynn's fault was not that he supported Mr. 
George's principles, but that he had been indiscreet, at 
least, in his conduct toward his ecclesiastical superiors. 



144 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Archbishop Corrigan was sincere in his stand, though 
many believe he was a Httle too severe in the restrictions 
he placed upon some of Mr. George's teachings. The 
specific teachings referred to were in no way contrary to 
the doctrines of the Church. Cardinal Manning was in 
sympathy with many of Mr. George's views, and Arch- 
bishop Corrigan's efforts to obtain the English Cardinal's 
support in his stand were not successful. No one 
doubted Archbishop Corrigan's deep religious zeal, and 
the saintliness of his Hfe. He bore misrepresentation in 
the press with all humility, though it is generally known 
that it was with a heavy heart he carried on his work 
during the last few years of his archepiscopacy. 

Cardinal Gibbons induced Archbishop Williams of 
Boston and others to join him in asking that there i-hould 
be no condemnation of Mr. George's book- In a letter to 
Cardinal Manning, he made it plain that he was not 
taking the position of approval of Mr. George's theories 
and that it was not his purpose to enter into a political 
argument. This letter to the Cardinal of Westminster 
dated March 23, 1888, and published by Mr. Leslie in 
The Dublin Review, was as follows: 

"Private and Confidential. While I was in Rome in 
the spring of '87, I felt it my duty to urge the Congre- 
gation of the Index not to condemn Henry George's 
'Progress and Poverty.' I addressed the letter to Car- 
dinal Simeoni, and my impression is that I sent Your Emi- 
nence a copy of the letter at the time. I have been in- 
formed confidentially, within the last few days, that yield- 
ing to a pressure from a certain quarter in this country, 
the Congregation was inclined to put the book on the In- 
dex- notwithstanding my earnest deprecating letter of last 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 145 

year, whose force is perhaps weakened for want of 
insistence. The reasons I presented then for withholding 
a condemnation are stronger today, and my anticipations 
have been verified regarding the effect of Mr. George's 
book on the pubHc mind. I would deplore an official 
condemnation of the book for the following reasons, 
among others : ( i ) The book is now almost forgotten, 
and to put it on the Index would revive it in the popular 
mind, would arouse a morbid interest in the work, and 
would tend to increase its circulation. (2) The author 
himself has ceased to be a prominent leader in politics, 
he excites little or no attention, and whatever influence 
he has politically, he promises to exert in favor of the re- 
election of President Cleveland. (3) The condemnation 
of this book would awaken sympathy for him. He 
would be regarded as a martyr to Catholic intolerance by 
many Protestants. (4) It would afford to the bigots, 
(always anxious to find a weak spot in our armour) an 
occasion to denounce the Church as an enemy of free 
discussion. (5) The errors in the book have been amply 
refuted by able theologians. I write to beg Your Emi- 
nence to help us in preventing a condemnation, especially 
as you belong to the Congregation of the Index. It is 
important not to reveal any knowledge of the threatened 
condemnation. The letter might be based on the recent 
surreptitious publication of my letter in the New York 
Herald, and the favourable comments on it, as far as I 
have seen, on the part of the secular press. My belief is 
that with very few, not a half dozen, exceptions, the 
Episcopate of this country would deplore a condemna- 
tion. Your Eminence's knightly help to me last year 
prompts me to call on you again." 
The book was not condemned. 



146 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Cardinal Gibbons had visited Cardinal Manning in 
England the year before on his return home from the 
Consistory when he stopped in London. Of their meeting, 
Shane Leslie writes : — 

''Both had played lonely and difficult parts in laying 
the foundations of the Church of the future under the 
cross fire of both the reactionary and the revolutionary. 
Both had weighed the standard laws of political economy 
and found them wanting. Both had sought to exert 
influence on Democracy, and to be colored therefrom in 
turn. Manning declared he was a radical after the 
pattern of the Pentateuch ; and Gibbons was an American 
citizen primus inter pares whether among his fellow citi- 
zens or on the Bench of Bishops. It was inevitable that 
under the attacks of the less enlightened they should have 
gravitated to a heartfelt understanding. When they 
met to compare notes, and discuss the championship 
of the unchampioned, it may be said that the East and 
West were meeting in a sense that had not occurred be- 
fore. Gibbons returned to America to gather for thirty 
years to come the fruit of his far-sighted action; while 
Manning, with but a few years left of life, was yet to 
interpose in the great London dock strike, and by his 
action win for himself, in the words of the Times, the 
"Primacy of England." 

Cardinal Gibbons' fight in behalf of the Knights of 
Labor opened the eyes of a suspicious and ignorant world 
to the fact that a man may be a Catholic, aye, stand high 
in the Councils of the Catholic Church, and be honored by 
that Church with a dignity next to the Papacy itself, and 
yet speak boldly and frankly, though with the utmost hi- 
ial respect and love, his dissent on questions, not of faith 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 147 

and morals, from other leaders of the Church. Persons 
who inferred from the Decree of the Infallibility of the 
Pope that a Catholic's political, financial and social views 
were to be checked and balanced by the Papacy, discov- 
ered that only in the spiritual realms, only when the Pope 
speaks ex cathedra, on questions of faith and morals, is 
a Catholic required to give allegiance to that power, and 
submit to its guidance. 

A Catholic is no more compelled to listen to the wishes 
of the Pope, when it comes to his vote for example, than 
the most pronounced atheist. The Catholic Church does 
not gag her children. There are no chained Bibles; 
there is no tyranny over the mind, no slavery of the 
intellect or heart, as those who misunderstand the Church 
or v/ho misrepresent her wilfully, would have the world 
beheve. In the long span of the Cardinal's life, acts like 
the one in behalf of the Knights of Labor, and of all 
workingmen, enlightened and dispelled misunderstanding, 
shamed and silenced misrepresentation, ana won a place 
for the Catholic Church in this country, that made her 
looked up to and admired instead of being frowned up- 
on and reviled, as was the case when the young priest, 
Father Gibbons, began his work at the Church of St. 
Brigid's in Canton. Bigotry found in the frail man of 
Charles Street its greatest barrier to popular success in 
this country. With Cardinal Gibbons as the best exam- 
ple of what the Catholic Church stands for, it was im- 
possible to convince any honest, intelligent man or wom- 
an that Catholicism is un-American, or that the Catho- 
lic Church was seeking the enslavement of the nation. 

What Pope Leo XIII did for the world in general, 
Cardinal Gibbons and Cardinal Manning did for the 
lesser worlds of the United States and England. 



148 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

CHAPTER XIII. 

In His Titular Church. 

T F the Cardinal's letter in defense of the Knights of 
-^Labor was destined to strengthen the love of the 
American people for His Eminence, the sermon which 
he delivered a few days later in his Titular Church of 
Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome, proclaiming the 
glories of his native land and the virtues of the Con- 
stitution of the United States, was to intensify that love 
still more and was to bind the Cardinal to the heart of 
the American people with hoops of steel. 

The circumstances under which the sermon was 
preached, the congregation to which it was preached, 
the sincerity and patriotism of the Cardinal manifested 
in it, were to win a place for the Catholic Church which 
the united efforts of all the members of the Catholic 
Hierarchy of the United States could not have hoped 
to accomplish in many years. The sermon was 
uttered within a stone's throw of the great basilica 
of St. Peter's marking the center of Catholicity, the un- 
changing and unchangeable in her doctrines. That ser- 
mon proved, as nothing else could have proved, that a 
true Catholic may be a true American, or a true French- 
man, or a true German — a true member of any na- 
tionality. It demonstrated convincingly that in the 
teachings of the Catholic Church there is nothing 
which commands or even tolerates a divided allegiance 
on the part of any man — that in loving the Catholic 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 149 

Church with all his spiritual devotion, a man must love 
at one and the same time with a devotion intense the 
country which has given him birth or which has adopted 
him and to which he has pledged his loyalty. 

The sermon was preached on March 25, 1887, eight 
days after the Cardinal had received the Red Hat from 
the hands of Pope Leo. 

The Consistory had been held on St. Patrick's Day 
that year in the Sala Regia in the presence of the mem- 
bers of the Sacred College stationed in Rome, and the 
representatives of many nations. In placing the Red Hat 
upon Cardinal Gibbons' head. Pope Leo said in Latin : 

"Receive for the glory of Almighty God, the sign of 
the unequalled dignity of the Cardinalate, by which it is 
declared that even to death by the shedding of thy blood 
thou shouldst show thyself intrepid for the exaltation of 
the blessed Faith, for the peace and tranquillity of the 
Christian people, for the increase and prosperity of the 
Holy Ghost." 

The Cardinal was installed in his titular church on 
the feast of the Annunciation — a fitting feast for him 
who was always such a devout client of his Heavenly 
Mother. Santa Maria was the first Church built in the 
world in honor of the Blessed Virgin. The Baltimore 
Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady was thr 
first church in the United States dedicated to her. 

The Cardinal, accompanied by Bishops Ireland, Keane 
and Watterson, and attended by a numerous suite, was 
met at the door of the church of Santa Maria in Tras- 
tevere by twenty-five canons of the resident chapter, 
with the senior canon at their head. In accordance with 
the ancient custom, the Cardinal kissed the crucifix offered 
him and entered the church followed by Archbishops Kir- 



I50 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

by and Carr, the American bishops, and the attendants. 
The choir sang "Ecce sacerdos niagnus." The Cardinal 
entered the side chapel and knelt in prayer. After- 
ward, His Eminence was escorted to the throne erected 
in the rear of the sanctuary. Monsignor Pericoli, apos- 
tolic prothonotary read the Papal bull bestowing the 
church upon the Cardinal. The Senior Canon addressed 
the Cardinal in Latin. He said the church was favored in 
passing into the hands of the Baltimore prelate. He spoke 
of the unity of the Church and said that even the oceans 
-were powerless to divide it. 

The Cardinal seated on his throne and wearing his 
red biretta replied. He presented his thanks to the Senior 
Canon in Latin and then made his address in English, 
because of the great number of Americans present. There 
were present, too, persons of many other nationalities. 
The cable dispatches tell us that the assemblage was the 
most varied ever seen in the church. His Eminence be- 
gan by sketching the history of the Church in his own 
country. He expressed his gratitude to the Holy Father 
on behalf of himself, the clergy and laity of the United 
States ''and of our separated brethren in America, who 
have shown in many ways that they are not insensible 
to the honor done our common country and who have 
frequently expressed admiration for the statesmanship 
and virtuous character of our illustrious Pontiff." 

The Americans v.-ere follovv'ing his every word intently. 
A young priest, the Rev. Dr. Edward J. Hanna, pressed 
forward that he might hear better. He afterward be- 
came, and is now, the Archbishop of San Francisco. 

After his introductory remarks, the Cardinal warmed 
up to his subject, and in that vibrant, sympathetic, musi- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 151 

cal voice of his, began proclaiming the virtues of his 
native land. • "5.1 **!^ 

"Our Holy Father, Leo XIII in his luminous ency- 
clical on the Constitution of Christian states," he said, 
"declares that the Church is not committed to any 
particular form of civil government. She adapts her- 
self to all. She leavens all with the sacred leaven of 
the Gospel. She has lived under absolute empires, under 
constitutional monarchies and in free republics, and 
everywhere she grows and expands. She has often, 
indeed' been hampered in her divine mission. She has 
even been forced to struggle for existence w^herever 
despotism has cast its dark shadow like a plant shut out 
from the blessed sunlight of heaven. But in the genial 
atmosphere of liberty she blossoms like the rose. 

"For myself, as a citizen of the United States, and 
without closing my eyes to our shortcomings as a nation, 
I say, with a deep sense of pride and gratitude, that I 
belong to a country where the civil government holds 
over all of us the aegis of its protection without inter- 
fering with us in the legitimate exercise of our sublime 
mission as ministers of the Gospel of Christ. Our Coun- 
try has liberty without license and authority without 
despotism. She rears no wall to exclude the stranger 
from coming among us. She has few frowning forti- 
fications to repel the invader, for she is at peace v/ith all 
the world. She rests secure in the consciousness of her 
strength and her good-will tov/ard all. Her harbors 
are open to welcome the honest emigrant who comes 
to advance his temporal interests and find a peaceful 
home. But while we are acknowledged to have a free 
government, perhaps, we do not receive the credit that 



152 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

belongs to us for having a strong government. Yes, our 
nation is strong, and her strength lies in the majesty 
and supremacy of law, in the loyalty of her citizens, and 
in the affection of her people for her free institutions. 

"There are, indeed, great social problems now engaging 
the earnest attention of the citizens of the United States, 
but I have no doubt that with God's blessing these prob- 
lems will be solved by the calm judgment and sound 
sense of the American people without violence or revo- 
lution, or any injury to individual rights." 

The Americans who heard the Cardinal's words that 
day in Santa Maria in Trastevere were at first amazed. 
It was hard for them to realize that in the city where the 
Caesars had sat enthroned, and where tyranny had been 
exalted in pre-Christian days, was a prince of the Church 
describing to the Old World the priceless heritage of 
liberty which he, a child of the New World, possessed. 

In that Church, whose walls were hoary with age, and 
which had looked down upon many a royal pageant, this 
saintly churchman was preaching in a voice which vibrated 
with the joy he felt, the glories of American Democracy. 
There were many in that congregation who by birth, en- 
vironment and education had been taught to look with 
distrust upon a democratic form of government,«,and who 
had given of all their loyalty to the monarchial form of 
government. 

They were astonished at what they thought was the 
boldness of the speaker. They wondered why a church- 
man dare talk upon such a subject on such an occasion 
and in such a place. Some of them did not like the ser- 
mon. But when the Americans present realized that Car- 
dinal Gibbons was not only pronouncing his loyalty to 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 153 

America, but was declaring to the world that the Catholic 
Church in his native land was unequivocally and without 
reservation devoted to the cause of America and that her 
sons and daughters were pledged to give their whole 
heart and soul to the cause of America, — they felt the 
patriotic promptings beating in their hearts ; they caught 
the spirit of the Cardinal as reflected by his sparkling 
eyes and radiant countenance ; James Cardinal Gibbons, 
true priest, — James Cardinal Gibbons, true citizen. 

The words of the Cardinal were acclaimed throughout 
the United States. Editorials congratulated him and 
paid tribute to his Church. Men of all creeds said the 
sermon denoted that the Catholic Church, universal as 
it is, and embracing all nations, taught the doctrine of 
love of country as one of the requirements for consci- 
entious profession of that faith. 

The fearlessness of this new Prince of the Church, who 
by his very nature was all gentleness, a man who disliked 
strong methods but loved to rear his spiritual children 
in ways of tenderness — his fearlessness in speaking thus 
boldly and uncompromisingly in a strange land, stamped 
him forever on the minds of his fellow-countrymen as 
an American among Americans — a prestige which he 
never was to lose, but was to prove himself worthy of 
by many future utterances on "Americanism." 

Indeed, in the eyes of many of his countrymen the 
Cardinal was considered the first of all Americans. By 
that title was he called in the city of Baltimore a few 
days before his death, when the Rev. Dr. Peter Guilday 
of the Catholic University in a sermon to the Knights 
of Columbus declared that Cardinal Gibbons had wrought 
more good for his country in the last fifty years than 



154 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

any other man in that period. ''The Cardinal, the em- 
bodiment of meekness," he declared, ''could put in words 
that burned, his denunciation of anything that was op- 
posed to the rights of his Church or country." The Car- 
dinal never let "I dare not" wait upon "I would." To use 
a term that is commonplace, "he spoke right out in meet- 
ing" when it was necessary to protest. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 155 



CHAPTER XIV 

Jubilees. 

The Cardinal's letter on the Knights of Labor and his 
sermon on America in his titular church were two of the 
important agencies which were to make the people of his 
country look upon him as the embodiment of the true 
American spirit. He was from that time on destined to 
become, in thfe opinion of many, the greatest and most 
popular churchman in the annals of the nation. Cardinal 
Gibbons' popularity had been gaining way for years, but 
now that popularity had become as a great wave sweep- 
ing over the country, carrying the Cardinal into the hearts 
of his fellow-citizens. 

Thus it was that the American people on his return 
from Rome after the memorable events that had taken 
place during his stay in the Eternal City prepared to give 
him a reception that would make him realize their esteem. 
They wanted him to know that they vv^ere grateful to him 
for upholding the principles of Americanism and for 
proclaiming his allegiance in the Old World to the ideals 
of his native land. 

The Cardinal received a magnificent ovation in New 
York on his return from Rome. Other receptions were 
to be given him in the city of his birth and in other parts 
of the country. Everywhere his worth as a citizen as well 
as a churchman was to be proclaimed. The Cardinal 



156 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

spent several days in New York after his arrival in Amer- 
ica and pontificated at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Every- 
where he went in the great metropolis of his country his 
praises were sounded. In his home city, everyone was 
preparing to give a gala welcome — not only to James Car- 
dinal Gibbons, Churchman, but also to James Gibbons, 
Citizen. 

His Eminence arrived in Baltimore on the afternoon 
of June 7, 1887. Thousands were gathered at Union 
Station to greet him. As the train, with the Cardinal's 
special car, rolled into the station there was a mighty 
cheer which grew in volume. It reached its maximum 
as the Cardinal stepped from the train. Mayor Hodges 
was present on behalf of the city to greet His Eminence 
and Mr. Charles J. Bonaparte, afterward Attorney-Gen- 
eral of the United States, on the part of the Catholic 
laity. All the pastors of the city were there as well as 
most of the priests ; and numbers came from Washington 
and the various towns of Maryland. Mayor Hodges 
made an address of welcome in which he expressed his 
pleasure at the honor conferred upon the city by the 
exaltation of one of its citizens. ' 

'Tt is gratifying to know that so good a man as Your 
Eminence belongs to so fair a city as Baltimore and this 
fact may now be regarded among us as a matter of 
mutual congratulation," he declared. Mr. Bonaparte 
expressing the joy of the laity, pledged their aid and sup- 
port in carrying on the work of the Church. 

In the course of his response to the adaresses, the Car- 
dinal said : 




"^^ ft ^'t 



THE BALTOIORE CATHEDRAL. 



. CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 157 

"While traveling in Italy and on the Continent, it 
was always a source of pleasure to meet some oi^e 
who spoke our mother tongue ; still more gratifying to me 
was it when I saw some one who hailed from America ; 
but how great was my delight when I had the pleasure of 
meeting one who could claim Baltimore as his home ! 
I thank you again, and assure you that the beautiful 
sentiments you have expressed and the circumstances of 
this delightful welcome will be impressed indelibly 
upon my heart, and will make me feel more recon- 
ciled to the pains and vicissitudes of travel and the 
sorrow which I experienced in consequence of my en- 
forced absence. They will bind me still more strongly, if 
that is possible, to my fellow-citizens and to the city 
of Baltimore, where I was born, where Providence has 
cast my lot, and where I hope to die." 

Then followed a procession to the Cathedral in which 
thousands of Catholics of the city took part. Along 
both sides of the street, stretching from the station to 
the Cardinal's residence, were lines of men and boys all 
wearing Cardinal badges which bore words of greeting. 
Thousands lined the streets and cheered His Eminence. 
At the Cathedral there was a ceremony of thanksgiving 
at which the Cardinal presided. The seminary choir 
sang. Bishops Moore and Curtis were present, as were 
Monsignor McColgan, the vicar-general, Monsignor Mc- 
Manus, the Very Rev. Alphonse Magnien, S. S., Fathers 
Lee, Donahue, Whelan and Riordan of the Cardinal's 
household and many other priests. 

Monsignor McColgan made the address of welcome 
on behalf of the clergy and laity, saying in part : 

''Dearly Beloved Cardinal : — Words are inadequate to 



158 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

express our gratitude to God in protecting you from 
the perils of sea and land, and in restoring you once more 
to your devoted flock, who have always entertained for 
you the affection of children for a kind father. You 
have exposed to the view of European nations the bless- 
ings which civil and religious liberty bestow on the in- 
stitutions of America, where the rights of all are guaran- 
teed, where political and social distinctions are open 
to all, where freedom reigns for all Vvdthout license and 
where authority is recognized and maintained without 
despotism." 

The Cardinal, in reply, said : — 

"Right Reverend dear Father : — I am profoundly 
moved by the address so full of filial affection with which, 
in the name of the clergy and laity, you have welcomed 
me back to my beloved diocese. Since my departure 
from Baltimore I have, indeed, received marked favors 
in the countries through which I have passed. In Rome 
and throughout Italy, in France, Belgium, Holland, Scot- 
land and Ireland, many kind attentions have been shovv^n 
me, which I shall never forget ; but while tully appreciat- 
ing the courtesies which have been paid me in foreign 
lands, I value immeasurably more than all, the words of 
greeting which have fallen from your lips. For what 
would a father care for all the honors that might be lav- 
ished upon him abroad, were he not revered and loved by 
his own children and in his own household ? The best trib- 
ute of praise I can pay to you. Right Reverend Father, 
the highest praise I can bestov/ upon you. Venerable 
Brethren of the Clergy, the best eulogy, I can pronounce 
upon you, beloved children of the laity, is this, that since 
my departure four months ago, nothing has occurred in 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 159 

the diocese to give me one moment's pain or cause one 
moment's anxiety or solicitude. So deep-rooted among 
you, Brethren of the Clergy, is the spirit of obedience, so 
traditional is your respect for authority, so attentive are 
you to the voice of your Master, who is in Heaven, that 
you seldom have need of being admonished by the voice 
of visible superiors. And in you, too, beloved brethren 
of the laity, I find verified the words of the Holy Scrip- 
ture, — *As the clergy are, so shall the people be.' Your 
piety and zeal for the glory of God, your spirit of obedi- 
ence have edified me, and I need not attempt to express 
what joy I experience today in once more beholding your 
faces." 

The words of the Cardinal in praise of his native city 
and his fellow-citizens, whether of the faith or outside 
the faith were not insincere. They came from the depths 
of his heart. In olden days, the Roman ahvays felt 
that his proudest privilege was to say: 'T am a Roman 
citizen." For Cardinal Gibbons there were three laudable 
boasts : ''I am a Catholic. I am an American. I am a 
Baltimorean." 

In September of that year, 1887, the Centennial of the 
American Constitution was celebratd in Philadelphia; 
and Cardinal Gibbons was invited to ofifer the closing 
prayer on September 17, the anniversary of the signing 
of the great document. The prayer of Archbishop 
Carroll, still recited in our churches, was offered by the 
Cardinal, somewhat modified. The following paragraph 
formed a most apt insertion. 

''We pray Thee especially for the judges of our 
Supreme Court, that they may interpret the laws with 
even-handed justice. May they ever be the faithful 



i6o JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

guardians of the temple of the Constitution, whose con- 
struction and solemn dedication to our country's liber- 
ties we commemorate today. May they stand as 
watchful and incorruptible sentinels at the portals of 
this temple, shielding it from profanation and hostile 
invasion. 

''Grant, O Lord, that our Republic, unexampled in 
the history of the world in material prosperity and growth 
of population, may be also, under Thy over-ruling Pro- 
vidence, a model to all nations in upholding liberty with- 
out license, and in wielding authority without despot- 
ism." 

Apropos of this Philadelphia speech, the Cardinal al- 
ways proclaimed his belief that the Constitution of the 
Uiited States was the bulwark of the country's liberties. 
In the first sentence of the very last article he ever wrote 
he said that the longer he lived the more he became con- 
vinced that the Constitution was the greatest document of 
civil liberty ever penned by man. In the closing years of 
his life, by voice and pen, the Cardinal protested against 
the attempts of those who sought to break down that 
Constitution and to abridge the personal liberties of men. 
That is why he was so vigorous in his opposition to Pro- 
hibition. He felt that Prohibition could not be enforced, 
and that it would give rise among men to contempt for 
the laws of the country. He considered the Constitution 
the defense of American liberties and was struck not only 
with sorrow but indignation as he read of the attempts to 
weaken it by amendments. No man, in the long history 
of the country, ever excelled Cardinal Gibbons in his love 
for the Constitution, and no man ever excelled him in 
trying to foster that love among his fellow citizens. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN i6i 

Leaving Philadelphia, the Cardinal proceeded on a 
long journey to Portland, Oregon, to confer the pallium 
on his life-long friend, Archbishop Gross, who, he used 
to say "was born almost in the same street with him," 
and who was a brother of his early and valued co-helper 
in North Carolina. Splendid receptions were accorded 
him in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and other cities. 
In answer to one of the addresses in the episcopal city 
of Archbishop Ireland, his friend and champion, he 
remarked : 

''You were pleased to mention my pride in being an 
American citizen ; it is the proudest earthly title I 
possess." 

On Sunday, October 9, he performed the ceremony of 
investiture of Archbishop Gross, which was attended by 
all the prelates of the Northwest. A banquet and recep 
tion followed during which many tributes of eloquence 
were paid the Cardinal. In referring to Cardinal Gib- 
bons as the defender of the rights of Labor, one of the 
speakers said : 

"As long as men are compelled to labor ; as long as they 
feel called upon to unite for their own protection ; as lo l.^' 
as the Divine mandate remains true that 'In the sweat of 
thy face shalt thou eat bread,' so long shall the name of 
Cardinal Gibbons be venerated among men." 

At Fort Vancouver he was entertained by the com- 
mander. On his arrival His Eminence was saluted with 
these words, most pleasant to his humane heart : — "Your 
Eminence, it was customary in acient times, when a prince 
of the realm traveled, for the governors of cities to release 
some prisoners in honor of his visit. As you are a prince 



i62 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

of the Church, I propose to release some men confined 
here.'' 

Six private soldiers from the fort prison were then 
summoned to whom the commandant said: ''Soldiers, 
consider yourselves free in honor of Cardinal Gibbons." 

Returning home by way of San Francisco His Emin- 
ence was the recipient of many honors there and also at 
Los Angeles. He visited his family in New Orleans, and 
was greeted as the guest of the city. At a great public 
reception he was presented a diamond Cross and a gold 
ring and chain ; the address of welcome was made by the 
late chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Edward Douglas 
White. 

The Cardinal's modesty under all these overwhelming- 
honors captivated all hearts. At the close he would repeat 
with grateful emotion: ''Non nobis, Dominie; these words 
of praise are not merited." 

1887 brought in its train another joy to His Eminence, 
the Golden Jubilee of the Priesthood of Leo XHL As 
the rulers of all the nations were vying with each other in 
their gifts to His Holiness, the Cardinal was solicitious 
that the head of our Republic be represented when lo ! 
shortly after his arrival home in November a friendly 
letter from President Cleveland conveyed his desire to 
show this courtesy to Leo XHL His Eminence visited 
the White House to thank the President; and before his 
departure it was decided, at his suggestion, that a copy 
of the "Constitution of the United States," bound in a 
costly and beautiful manner" would be the most appro- 
priate gift. Ten days afterward a superb volume print- 
ed on vellum, bound in white and red, and bearing the 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 163 

President's inscription, arrived at the Cardinal's resi- 
dence by express from a New York jeweler. 

President Cleveland's gift was presented to Leo XIII in 
the throne-room of the Vatican with much ceremony ; and 
Leo's response manifested his special love for our country 
and its government. "Your President," he said, "com- 
mands my highest admiration." 

Presidents delighted to pay the Cardinal the meed of 
respect ; so too did the distinguished men of Europe. One 
of his dearest friends was King Albert of the Belgians. 
Several times His Eminence dined at the palace of the 
King — the last time a few weeks before the beginning of 
the World War. Then Belgium v/as smiling and happy. 
In a few days it was torn and bleeding and in the hands 
of its captors. 

When the King and Queen of the Belgians visited 
America in 1919, they invited the Cardinal to Washing- 
ton, where he was their guest at dinner at the Belgian 
Embassy. 

Leaders in the financial world — the men of great 
industrial achievements in America, entertained His 
Eminence in their homes. Yet they knew that James 
Cardinal Gibbons was one of the truest friends of labor 
in all the v/orld, and that any capitalistic injustice would 
be speedily denounced by him. But the Cardinal was 
not one-sided in the matter. He was as quick to warn 
labor if it committed any injustice in regard to the rights 
of capital. 

Apropos of the visit of King Albert of the Belgians 
and Queen Elizabeth, one of the most inspiring scenes 
witnessed in recent years in Baltimore was the meeting 
between Cardinal Gibbons and the hero of Belgium, Car- 
dinal Mercier — that man of God, who was not afraid 



i64 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

to speak his love for his country while its enemies sur- 
rounded his very home. He raised his voice in protest 
against the invader even at the moment when those who 
held his land in subjection commanded him to be silent. 

The meeting between the two Cardinals took place 
one September afternoon in 191 9 at IMount Royal Station 
in Baltimore, The throng w^ho saw the tall, slender, 
ascetic-looking hero from ]\Ialines stoop down to kiss the 
cheeks of the frail Cardinal from Baltimore were 
thrilled through and through and a mighty cheer arose. 
Passengers in a train which had stopped in the station for 
a minute rushed to the windows of their cars. They, 
too, gave a cheer. Cardinal Mercier spent several days 
in Baltimore as the guest of the Cardinal and delivered a 
famous sermon at the Cathedral and an address at the 
Lyric Theatre. 

In a letter to Bishop Corrigan, the Diocesan Adminis- 
trator after the Cardinal's death, Cardinal Alercier said : 

"The tidings of his death, though not unexpected, was 
indeed a blow, and went to my heart. It stirred up all 
the memories of his kindness and warm welcome to us 
when he received us as his guests. 

*'The fame of his virtues, of his sterling qualities,, had 
of course reached my ears long ago ; but sharing the 
intimate, quiet atmosphere of his home for a few days, 
opened to us the secrets of his wonderful personality, 
and I learned to love and revere him all the more." 

The Cardinal was called on repeatedly to say the 
opening prayer at events of national importance. He 
opened with prayer the Democratic National Convention 
in Baltimore in 19 12, when Woodrow Wilson was nom- 
inated ; and he offered the prayer at one of the sessions 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 165 

of the Republican National Convention m Chicago in 
1920, when Warren G. Harding, Mr. Wilson's successor 
in the presidency, was nominated. Relative to the Car- 
dinal's visit to Chicago on that occasion, Archbishp Mun- 
delein tells a story of how worried he became concerning 
the Cardinal's health following His Eminence's participa- 
tion in the Golden Jubilee celebration of the establishment 
of the Chicago Diocese. It had been an unusually hot day 
and the Cardinal looked fatigued at the close of the 
ceremonies. He went to his room to take a siesta. Sev- 
eral hours passed and no word came from His Emi- 
nence's room. Archbishop Mundelein began to fear. 
He had a foreboding that something was wrong — that the 
Cardinal was critically ill. Determined to end the sus- 
pense, he started for the Cardinal's room. Just at that 
moment the Cardinal's voice came ringing down the hall : 
"Your Grace, where are the afternoon papers?" The 
Cardinal was as fresh and as active as if he had returned 
from a pleasant vacation trip. 

Parades were held on the occasion of the Cardinal's 
return from his several visits to Rome, of the silver jubi- 
lee of his episcopacy, of the golden jubilee of his priest- 
hood and the silver jubilee of his cardinalate, and at other 
times. At the time of the Silver Jubilee of his episcopacy 
Archbishop Ireland of Saint Paul, who preached the 
sermon at the Cathedral, eulogized the Cardinal's work 
for th^ Church and Country. 

"Gibbons of Baltimore. I cannot give to my words 
the warmth of my heart," he said, "I shall give 
to them its sincerity. I have spoken of the provi- 
dential Pope of Rome. I speak now of the provi- 
dential Archbishop of Baltimore. How oft, in past 



i66 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

years, I have thanked God that in this last quarter of 
the Nineteenth Century Cardinal Gibbons has been given 
to us as primate, as leader. Catholic of Catholics, Ameri- 
can of Americans, a Bishop of his age and of his country; 
far beyond America does his influence go. Men are not 
:onfined by frontier lines, and Gibbons is European as 
Manning is American. A particular mission is reserved 
to the American Cardinal. The Church and the age fight 
their battles with especial intensity in America. America 
is watched. The prelate who in America is the repre- 
sentative of the union of Church and age is watched. 
His leadership guides the combatant the world over. The 
name of Cardinal Gibbons lights up the page of nearly 
every European book which treats of modern social and 
political questions. The ripplings of Cardinal Gibbons' in- 
fluence cross the threshold of the Vatican. Leo, the 
mighty inspirer of men, is inspired and encouraged by his 
faithful lieutenant, from whom he often asks: *Watch- 
man, what of the night?' The historic incident of the 
Knights of Labor, whose condemnation Cardinal Gibbons 
averted by personal interview with Leo, was one of the 
preparations for the encyclical on the 'Condition of La- 
bor.' But Cardinal Gibbons is an American; let him be 
judged from America. 

''The work of Cardinal Gibbons forms an epoch in the 
history of the Church in America. He has made known, 
as no one before him did, the Church to the people of 
America; he has demonstrated the fitness of the Church 
for America, the natural alliance existing betv/een the 
Church and the freedom-giving democratic institutions 
of America. Through his action the scales have fallen 
from the eyes of non-Catholics, prejudices have van- 
ished. He, the great churchman, is the great citizen. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 167 

Church and country unite in him, and the magnetism of 
the union pervades the whole land, teaching laggard 
Catholics to love America, teaching well-disposed non- 
Catholics to trust the Church. 

*'I need not tell the qualities of mind and heart which 
have brought the reward of success to the labors of Cardi- 
nal Gibbons — the nation knows them. He is large- 
minded. His vision cannot be narrowed to a one-sided 
consideration of men or things. He is large-hearted. 
His sympathies are limited by the frontiers of humanity ; 
careless of self, he gives his best activities to the good of 
others. He is ready for every noble work, patriotic, 
intellectual, social, philanthropic, as well as religious, and 
in the prosecution of it he joins hands with the laborer 
and the capitalist, with the white man and the black man, 
with the Catholic, the Protestant and the Jew. He is 
brave ; he has the courage to speak and to act according 
to his convictions; he rejoices when men work with him; 
he works when men fall away from him. 

"Bravery is as needful in labors of peace as in those 
of war. 

"Cardinal Gibbons, the most outspoken of Catholics, 
the most loyal co-laborer of the Pope of Rome, is the 
American of Americans." 

Indeed, Archbishop Ireland spoke truly when he said 
he could not give to his words the warmth of the affec- 
tion his heart felt for Cardinal Gibbons. The two great 
churchmen, both Americans with their every heart-beat, 
were bound to each other by bonds of personal affection 
and common ideals and beliefs. Cardinal Gibbons and 
Archbishop Ireland were allies frequently; on opposite 
sides of a question seldom ; friends always. 



i68 JAMES CARDIXAL GIBBONS 

When Archbishop Ireland deHvered that jubilee ser- 
mon, he must have remembered how manfully and elo- 
quently the Archbishop of Baltimore had defended him 
before the Holy Father when some of the members of the 
American hierarchy and many of the priests and other 
Catholics of the country had condemned certain of his 
actions and utterances in this country. James Cardinal 
Gibbons had told Rome, with all the earnestness that he 
could command, that Archbishop Ireland had been mis- 
represented, and that the prelate of St. Paul was shedding 
lustre and glory on the church in America. Rome knew 
that what Cardinal Gibbons said was true, and Arch- 
bishop Ireland was exonerated. 

An allusion to the circumstances of the criticism of 
Archbishop Ireland may not be out of place here. 

In the early nineties, the Saint Paul prelate aroused in- 
tense opposition in certain circles because of his attitude 
on the public school question. There were many Catho- 
lics, including certain members of the hierarchy, who 
contended that Archbishop Ireland's preachments on the 
subject were not in line with the teachings of the Church. 
A system adopted by the head of the Saint Paul See in 
allowing the State of ^Minnesota to use a parochial school 
in Faribault, ^Minnesota, for the teaching of state- 
educated pupils, in return for certain privileges granted 
the parochial school, came in for much censure. It was 
attacked most bitterly, though Archbishop Ireland 
proved in his answer that in no way was he sacrificing 
the policy of the Catholic Church in advocating religious 
education, but was in reality strengthening its stand. 
Cardinal Gibbons agreed with him. A speech which 
Archbishop Ireland delivered on the subject of public 
schools at the Public School convention held in St. Paul 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 169 

in July, 1890, drew adverse criticism from many Catho- 
lics, including even members of the hierarchy. The 
Saint Paul Archbishop was attacked from Catholic pul- 
pits. In that address. Archbishop Ireland said : 

''The secular instruction in our state schools is our 
pride and glory, and I regret that there is necessity for 
the parish school. The spirit of the parish school, if not 
the school itself, is wide-spread among American Protes- 
tants and it is made manifest by their determined opposi- 
tion to the exclusion of the Scripure reading and other 
devotional exercises from the school-room. 

"The state school is non-religious: ignores religion. 
There is and there can be no positive religious teachings 
where the principle of non-sectarianism rules. It follows 
then that the child will grow up in the belief that religion 
is of minor importance, and religious indifiference will be 
his creed. You say the school teaches morals, but morals 
without religious principles do not exist. Secularists and 
unbelievers wall interpose their rights. Again there are 
differences among Christians and Catholics. Catholic* 
would not inflict their beliefs upon Protestants, nor should 
Protestantism be inflicted upon Catholic children. Some 
compromise becomes necessary. Taxation without repre- 
sentation is wrong, and while the minority pays school 
taxes, its beliefs should be respected. America is trying 
to divorce religion and the school, although religion per- 
vades our systems and the school was originally religious 
through and through. As a solution of the difficulty, I 
would permeate the regular state school with the religion 
of the majority of the land, be it as Protestant as Protes- 
tantism can be, and I would do as they do in England — 
pay for the secular instruction given in denominational 



I70 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

schools according to results; that is, each pupil passing 
the examination before state officials and in full accord- 
ance with the state program. Another plan : I would do 
as Protestants and Catholics in Poughkeepsie and in other 
places in our country have agreed to do, to the greatest 
satisfaction of their citizens and the great advancement 
of educational interests. In Poughkeepsie, the city school 
board rents the building formerly used as schools, and 
from the hour of 9 A. M. to that of 6 P. M., the school 
is in every particular a state school, no religious instruc- 
tions coming between the hours named and the school 
being in charge of the city school board." 

The Poughkeepsie plan was the same plan in a modified 
form established with the co-operation of the Minnesota 
authorities and Archbishop Ireland at Faribault. Better 
opportunities in teaching the Catholic children were 
offered at Faribault than at Poughkeepsie. 

The Saint Paul speech caused a tremendous sensation 
and the denunciation of it from Catholic pulpits attracted 
the attention of Rome, vv^hich asked Cardinal Gibbons to 
investigate it. Cardinal Gibbons sent for the copy of 
Archbishop Ireland's speech, corresponded at length with 
the Saint Paul prelate on the subject and became con- 
vinced that the Archbishop had pointed out unequivocally 
and without apology why the Catholics of this country 
believed that the parochial school was necessary. As long 
as religion was divorced from education. Archbishop Ire-' 
land contended in his speech, parochial schools were im- 
perative. The Cardinal found that the Faribault plan did 
not compromise the Catholic Church and that it did not 
hinder the cause of Catholic education. In his diary 
under date of December 30, 1890, the Cardinal wrote: 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN ■ 171 

''I sent the Holy Father a reply to a letter of 
November 24, from Cardinal Secretary of State 
(Rampolla) written in the Pope's name, in 
which my opinion was asked about the sound- 
ness oi Archbishop Ireland's discourse at the 
Public School Convention held in St. Paul, July 
10. My reply covering ten pages of large letter 
is a full vindication of the Archbishop. I also 
sent a French translation of the Archbishop's 
address and wrote a brief letter to Cardinal 
Rampolla and to Dr. O'Connell to whom I en- 
closed the other letters." 

Under date of March i, 1892, the following entry ap- 
pears in the Cardinal's diary: 

"Wrote to the Pope today commending the 
course of Archbishop Ireland in the Faribault 
School controversy and protesting against the 
bitterness of his enemies." 

One of the most eloquent sermons ever heard of the 
thousands preached beneath the Cathedral roof was that 
by xA.rchbishop Glennon on the occasion of the Golden 
Jubilee of the Cardinal's priesthood. It was delivered on 
Sunday, October 15, 191 1. 

The St. Louis Archbishop began his sermon by con- 
gratulating the jubilarian. He then described how the 
young priest Father Gibbons had entered upon his ec- 
clesiastical life amid the storm and stress of Civil War, 
how "the blood-red tide of carnage flecked the streets of 
Baltimore and turned to the darkness of night the sun 
of the Southland." He described, too, the coming of 
better days when the Cardinal went forth as an evangel- 



172- JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

ist of peace and ''by words of Impelling force, but 
withal of Christian charity conjured a restless world 
to lay aside the arms of slaughter and put on the armor 
of the Prince of Peace, holding up the beautiful ideal, 
a dream now no longer, of the blessed day when the 
war drum throbbed no longer and the battle flags were 
furled." 

The Archbishop pictured the work of the young 
Bishop Gibbons in the vicariate of North Carolina and 
afterward in Richmond. He told of the appeal for 
light, for faith from those who walked in the darkness 
and cried through the night. 

"Their appeal was not in vain ; the new Bishop re- 
sponded to their call and gave from out the very soul 
of his charity a golden book which would set before 
them as a temple fair and bright the city of God ; and 
in the manner of Southern courtesy and in the spirit 
of a prophet of God, he offered them the best exposi- 
tion that modern times have given us: the 'Taith of 
Our Fathers." 

"We may not speak of sunset," continued the Arch- 
bishop on that October day, ''Our hope and prayer is that 
yours is still far out in the West. Yet we cannot help re- 
membering, and occasions such as these are certain re- 
minders of the journey we all have entered on, and whith- 
er the journey ends. The shadows come from the West; 
though the sky be crimson and gold, yet the shadows 
come; they fall across our jubilee days. And yet again 
what can they have of sinister meaning where the one 
who journeys bears still in his hands the white flower 
of his priestly consecration, a priest forever, accord- 
ing to the order of Melchisedech ? Naught, indeed, ex- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 173 

cept trusting still, praying still, working still, our trust 
shall be in God, and our prayer the cadenced prayer to 
the Great High Priest. May He support us all the 
day long, till the shadows lengthen, and the evening 
comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever 
of life is over, and our work is done. Then in His 
mercy may He give us a safe lodging and a holy rest 
and peace at last." 

When the shadows lengthened, when the evening came, 
when the busy world was hushed and the fever of that 
noble life was over, Archbishop Glennon again stood 
in the pulpit of that venerable Cathedral and paid the 
eulogy of America to him whose work was done. 

As those shadows lengthened and his twilight star ap- 
peared. Cardinal Gibbons must have looked down the 
years and thanked God that to him had come a realiza- 
tion of the glories of his religion and of his citizenship. 
He must have murmured a prayer in behalf of his fellow- 
Americans of all creeds and no creeds who in the long 
years of his churchly Hfe had showered their esteem and 
affection upon him. 

It fell to Cardinal Gibbons' lot to observe in the course 
of his life the silver jubilee of his priesthood and his 
cardinalate and the golden jubilee of his priesthood and 
his episcopacy. At the time of his death he had served 
sixty years, lacking three months, in the priesthood and 
nearly fifty-three years as a bishop — a record unusual in 
the history of the Catholic Church in this country or any 
other country. 

The Catholic Church throughout the world prepared to 
honor him on the occasion of his golden jubilee as a 
bishop in the Fall of 1918, but the influenza epidemic 



174 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

raging at that time in Baltimore prevented any formal 
celebration. Missions came from England, France and 
other countries to do him honor that year, but the pro- 
posed celebration v/as called off because of the influenza. 
For the first time in history, the Catholic Churches of 
Baltimore were closed on Sundays during that epidemic. 
A private reception in honor of the Cardinal was held at 
St. Mary's Seminary on October 20 that year. The greet- 
ings of the seminarians to the most distinguished alumnus 
of their Alma Mater were conveyed to the Cardinal. 
Members of the faculty spoke and Cardinal Gibbons re- 
plied, declaring in his speech how greatly indebted he was 
to the Sulpician fathers for the training they had given 
him. 

^lle next day, October 21, there was another private 
reception at the Cardinal's residence at which the English 
and French delegates who had come to attend the jubilee 
delivered their messages of congratulation. Bishop Cor- 
rigan, Vicar-General to the Cardinal, introduced the 
speakers. ' The Right-Reverend Frederick William 
Keating, D. D., then Bishop of Northampton but now 
Archbishop of Liverpool, spoke on behalf of the Catholics 
of England and presented the message signed by the 
members of the English hierarchy. The Very Rev. Mon- 
signor Arthur Barnes, chaplain to the Catholic students at 
Oxford, extended felicitations. He was follov/ed by the 
Right Rev. Eugene Julien, Bishop of Arras, France, who 
spoke on behalf of the French Catholics and the French 
hierarchy. An address was made also by the Right Rev. 
Monsignor Baudrillart, Vicar-General of Paris and rector 
of the Catholic University of Paris. The Right Rev. 
i\Ionsignor Charles Guillemant, Vicar-General of Arras, 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 175 

and other visitors from Europe were present, including 
members of the French High Commission. 

Bishop Corrigan spoke for the clergy and the people of 
the diocese of Baltimore pledging anew their loyalty and 
affection. A message of congratulation was received 
from Pope Benedict XV, who sent as a jubilee present 
a handsome crucifix. In his message ,the Holy Father 
said: 

"We join our grateful heart with yours to 
the God who has sustained you, and moreover 
we wish your joy to be augmented by our own 
congratulations, for indeed it is pleasing to us 
to fold in our fatherly embrace those who like 
yourself have labored long in the offices of the 
Good Shepherd." 

Messages of congratluations came from Cardinal 
Logue and the hierarchy and people of Ireland ; from 
Cardinal Mercier and the hierarchy and people of Bel- 
gium, and from Catholic bishops and others in all parts 
of the world. The President of the United States and 
members of his cabinet and the Ambassadors in Wash- 
ington all sent congratulations. The French Government 
conferred on him the decoration of the Legion of Honor. 
The v/hole world honored him. 

Even over in France soldiers of America who served 
the Cardinal as sanctuary boys remembered his jubilee 
and observed it within sound of the enemy's guns. One 
of the boys in France, writing to his mother, told her 
that services were held in honor of the jubilee in the 
Cathedral of the town in vv^hich his unit v/as quartered. 
"Special reservations were made for the members of the 
American forces at the celebration," he wrote. There 



176 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

was also quite a gathering of French people in the other 
parts of the church. A priest delivered a short sermon in 
English, explaining the object of the affair, and offered up 
prayers. Then followed a short sermon in French by 
the Bishop of this diocese, and after that Vespers. It was 
all very impressive." 

Not only Catholics but members of all creeds mani- 
fested their esteem for the Cardinal "many a time and 
oft." On one occasion, a lecturer from Europe attacked 
the Cardinal in a speech which he delivered in Baltimore. 
The pastor of Mount Vernon Methodist Episcopal 
Church, which is near the Cathedral, and the pastor of 
another Baltimore Church, rose to their feet at once, 
and sternly told the astonished foreigner that he could 
not come into the Cardinal's home town and say such 
words; that all Baltimore, Protestants, Jews and 
Catholics, loved His Eminence and would resent any 
slander of him. The speaker apologized. 

Protestants and Jews remembered Catholic charities 
in their wills because of their esteem for Cardinal Gib- 
bons. They knew that while he was ''every inch a prince 
of the Roman Catholic Church" he was at the same time 
"every inch an American." In the last article written by 
him in his life, the Cardinal said: 

"No one knows better than myself what line of de- 
marcation and separation religion can cut in this coun- 
try from ocean to ocean, and no one has been more eager 
and earnest in his effort to keep down and repress all 
religious distinction. 

"I fear no enemy from without. The enemy I fear 
is he who, forgetting human nature and the history of 
Europe, would raise the question of another's religious 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 177 

belief and introduce strife and discord into the life of 
our country. So deep and strong are religious feelings 
that any fostering of religious differences can have but 
one effect, to destroy what a hundred years of trial and 
test has proved to be the greatest blessing enjoyed by 
man here below." 

When the Cardinal entered upon his duties as priest, 
bigotry was flourishing in all its cowardly unfairness, 
seeking to ostracize all who bore the name of Catholic, 
all who were loyal to the faith of their fathers. Car- 
dinal Gibbons felt the breath of that bigotry. More than 
once did he have to bear insults and taunts and jeers 
which must have cried to the human instmcts m him to 
rise in retaliation. His soft answer turned away wrath. 
The goodness of his life overcame his enemies. In later 
years when any ignorant or bitter man sought to say un- 
kind things about him, all his friends of every creed rose 
in indignation and the character-assassin's tongue was 
tied. The Cardinal said often that he did not mind 
how much anyone attacked him, he would remain silent. 
If, however, anyone dared to attack his right to be con- 
sidered an American citizen or to attack the loyalty of 
his Church to the Republic, then he spoke in terms which 
echoed through the land. 

The Cardinal never forgot that in the early days of 
his episcopacy — those days of rampant bigotry — there 
were men and women in North Carolina and Virginia — 
non-Catholic men and women — who were eager to min- 
ister to his comfort and show him the most generous 
hospitality. He did not forget the Episcopalian minister 
who announced his coming to a town in North Carolina, 
nor the Methodist minister who turned over his church, 
his choir and his church-bell for the services conducted 



178 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

by the Bishop. He remembered the Protestant Judge 
who adjourned court in Virginia that he might hear him 
preach, and the members of the North Carolina Legis- 
lature, who invited him to speak to them on the doctrines 
of his Church. Those acts of kindness were ever before 
him in memory. The benefactions, too, of his Jewish 
friends were welcomed with a grateful heart; and more 
than once he wrote and spoke in behalf of some charity 
or other cause dear to Jewish hearts. 

This charity of heart and broadmindedness of the 
Cardinal scattered seeds that did not fall on barren 
ground. The harvest came in the recognition of his 
worth by his fellow-countrymen on many auspicious oc- 
casions. That recognition reached its climax at the mem- 
orable civic reception given His Eminence at the Fifth 
Regiment Armory, Baltimore, on June 6, 191 1, the year 
the Cardinal celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his Priest- 
hood, and the Silver Jubilee of his Cardinalate. There 
has never been in the history of the country, a celebra- 
tion quite like it; and in all probability, there will never 
be another. This glorious adjunct to the solemnities of 
the Jubilee was inaugurated by the esteemed proprietors 
of the Baltimore Sun (whose columns had never failed 
during those fifty years to set forth in all their strength 
and splendor, the Cardinal's utterances and the striking 
events of his career) and was carried to its wonderful 
conclusion with the magnanimous co-operation of the 
leaders of the City and State. 

The whole aspect of this brilliant tribute to the great 
Churchman and Citizen, was non-sectarian in conception 
and execution. In the vast Armory Hall, which was 
decorated in a gala manner, were gathered more than 
20,000 fellow-citizens of the Cardinal, Catholics and non- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 179 

Catholics, men and woman, all inspired with affection and 
reverence. On the immense platform, the Nation, State 
and City were represented by a galaxy of distinguished 
men. The President and Vice-President, with the Cabi- 
net, Senators and Congressmen, and members of the em- 
bassies at Washington, with a host of ecclesiastics of dif- 
ferent denominations, looked down upon the crowded 
assemblage. It was America's tribute to Cardinal Gib- 
bons, the Citizen. 

Loud cheering greeted the entrance of Cardinal Gib- 
bons, who walked in, arm in arm with President Taft, 
to the strains of "Maryland, My Maryland," played by 
the band of St. Mary's Industrial School of Baltimore. 
Ascending the stairs, the Cardinal and the President 
were escorted to the seats of honor. A striking pic- 
ture was presented as the entire assemblage stood while 
the band played "The Star-Spangled Banner." 

Governor Austin L. Crothers, who presided, empha- 
sized the fact that the celebration was "typically repre- 
sentative" of America. After words of heartfelt praise 
of the Cardinal, he concluded : 

"We salute you. Cardinal Gibbons, as a torch-bearer 
in our midst of religion, justice and patriotism. The 
State of Maryland tenders you its warmest and deepest 
felicitations, and most earnestly wishes you many more 
years of life and happiness." 

President Taft, being introduced, said in part: 
"Nothing could more clearly show the character of 
the man whose Jubilee we celebrate than the living testi- 
monial that this assemblage is to his value as a neigh- 
bor in the community of Baltimore. If you would find 
what a man is, go to his home and his neighbors, and 



i8o JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

there, if everything that he says and does rings true, and 
shows his heart-whole interest in the welfare of men and 
women and children about him, you have the strongest 
proof of his virtues as a lover of mankind." 

Ex-President Roosevelt declared that no Church in 
the United States will ever have to defend itself as long 
as those standing highest in the Church, as well as those 
under them, devote their lives to the service of the men 
and women round about them. 

''Cardinal Gibbons," he continued, "has devoted his 
life to the service of his fellow-countrymen. The Car- 
dinal has set an example to all of us in public and in 
private life both by that for which he has striven, and 
the way in which he has striven to achieve it. He has 
striven for justice, he has striven for fair dealing and 
he has striven for it in the spirit that has no relation 
to lawlessness or disorder— ^I am honored — we are all 
honored — that the opportunity has come to us today to 
pay a tribute to what is highest and best in American 
citizenship." 

Vice-President Sherman congratulated His Eminence 
on behalf of the Senate, and Speaker Champ Clark of 
Missouri, offered him the greetings of the House of Rep- 
resentatives. ''Cardinal Gibbons," he said, "stands here 
today, honored by the entire American people, without 
respect to politics or religion or geographical lines. The 
Cardinal's words are quoted as often, his influence is 
as great, the affection for him is as strong, west of the 
great river as it is in the City of Baltimore." 

Other speakers were : Senator Elihu Root and Am- 
bassador Bryce, of England. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN i8i 

Mayor Preston, after a tribute of earnest praise of 
the illustrious guest concluded with the felicitations of 
the City of Baltimore on his public recognition of his 
life and labors. 

When the Cardinal arose to express his thanks for the 
remarkable demonstration that had been accorded him 
there was a great outburst of cheering from the twenty 
thousand and more persons standing on the floor of the 
Armory and from those on the platform. President Taft, 
ex-President Roosevelt, Vice-President Sherman, Gov- 
ernor Crothers and all other distinguished guests joined in 
the demonstration. In reply, the Cardinal said : 

"One merit only can I truly claim regarding my civic 
life and that is an ardent love for my country and her 
political institutions. Ever since I entered the sacred 
ministry my aim has been to make those over whom I 
have exerted any influence not only more upright Chris- 
tians, but also more loyal citizens, for the most faithful 
Christian makes the best citizen. 

"I consider the Republic of the United States one of 
the most precious heirlooms ever bestowed on mankind 
down the ages, and that it is the duty and should be 
the delight of every citizen to strengthen and perpetuate 
our Government by the observance of its laws and by 
the integrity of his private Hfe. ^'Righteousness," says 
the Book of Proverbs, 'exalteth a nation, but sin is a 
reproach to the people.' 

''If our Government is destined to be enduring' it 
must rest on the eternal principles of justice, truth' and 
righteousness, and these principles must have for their 
sanction the recognition of a Supreme Being v.ho cre- 
ated all things by His Povv^er, who governs them by His 



i82 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

wisdom and whose superintending Providence watches 
over the affairs of the nations and of men. 

"It is the duty of us all, churchmen and lay- 
men to hold up the hands of our President, as 
Aaron and Hur stayed up the hand of Moses. Let us 
remember that our Chief Executive and all subordinate 
magistrates are the accredited agents and ministers of 
God and are clothed with divine authority, and therefore 
it is our duty and should be our delight to aid them by 
every means in our power in guiding and controlling 
the destiny of our glorious Republic." 

As the Cardinal was leaving the hall he was asked 
what he thought of the reception. He replied: ''I am 
overwhelmed. I did not deserve it." 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 183 

CHAPTER XV 

America First 

^^[OBODY knew better than Cardinal Gibbons how 
-^ ^ to use the time, the place and the occasion in pre- 
senting the attitude of the Catholic Church on any sub- 
ject. He was not an opportunist in the narrow sense of 
the word; he was one who had the newspaperman's in- 
stinct of knowing just when and where and how to make 
a statement. If he felt that there was anything important 
to be said and that a wide disseminaion of his views as 
spokesman for the American hierarchy was to be desired, 
he bided his time and picked the right moment. 

Newspapermen who were close to him received from 
the Cardinal stories which were to be held in strictest 
confidence. He asked them not to release such stories 
until certain dates, when he knew that the local and out- 
of-town papers would be in a position, because of space 
conditions, to carry the statement fully or to present a 
cause at length. He was well aware that there is a scarcity 
of what is termed routine news on Sundays, and that the 
Monday morning papers accordingly could devote more 
space to certain plans or causes in which he was inter- 
ested. He early learned the value of publicity and realized 
the great part the big press associations of the country 
play in frunishing information to millions of readers in 
the United States and abroad. On a subject of particular 
importance he either asked the reporters covering his resi- 
dence to turn over the stories to the press associations, or 



i84 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

he summoned the representatives of such associations, to 
his residence to discuss the matters with them. He in- 
sisted on accuracy at all times, knowing what harm might 
be done by one little slip-up in writing or transmission. In 
none of these interviews did the Cardinal project himself. 
His humility kept him in the background. He did not 
think of himself but of the cause he was presenting. 

If the famous sermon on xA.mericanism, which the 
Cardinal preached in the Church of Santa Maria in Tras- 
tevere in Rome, had been preached at the Baltimore 
Cathedral or any other church in this country, it would 
not have produced the tremendous sensation it did. The 
words of His Eminence would have been praised in sev- 
eral papers, and parts of his sermon would have Keen 
quoted ; but the country would have dismissed it, no 
doubt, as simply the expression of a man who loved his 
country and was proud to profess that love in an Ameri- 
can church before American people who were in sym- 
pathy with him. 

But it must be remembered that at the time the Cardi- 
nal preached that sermon there were many who thought 
spiritual allegiance to Rome meant political allegiance 
also. They believed that a man who was a Catholic was 
guided absolutely in questions of state by the opinion 
of Rome, that even his vote was swayed by Rome, and 
that, if the Holy Father saw fit to dabble in political con- 
ditions in this country and to command Americans to do 
what was un-American, they would have to obey his com- 
mands without question. In a word, spiritual and poliitcal 
allegience meant one and the same thing to millions of 
Americans as far as Catholics were concerned. 

Hence, when the Cardinal spoke out his allegiance to 
.\merica in the very shadow of the Vatican itself, when 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 185 

he gloried in his American citizenship in the very city 
where the Romans were wont to glory in their citizen- 
ship, and when Americans learned that the very words 
he uttered were repeated in the Vatican and commended, 
too, a few minutes after the conclusion of the very speech 
itself, they began to see that the Americanism of the Cath- 
olic citizen was as true and genuine as the Americanism of 
any other man in all the broad land. The Cardinal, by 
using the time and the place and occasion, had wrought 
more good than all the declarations of allegiance on the 
part of Catholics could have accomplished in decades. 

The same thing held true when the Cardinal saw fit 
to denounce Cahenslyism. That was a doctrine w^iich 
was named after the man whose brain gave it birth, 
Herr Cahensly, one of the Catholic leaders of Germany. 
It was Herr Cahensly's ambition to have the sons and 
daughters of Germany in this country and their descend- 
ants kept true to their old allegiance to the Fatherland 
by the preservation of the German language in their 
churches and schools and by the appointment of Ger- 
man bishops in dioceses in which there was a large con- 
tingent of German-born Catholics. He wanted the Ger- 
man language to be used exclusively in sermons, in Cath- 
olic institutions, and in schools. Herr Cahensly's de- 
sire was to build up in this country Catholic parishes 
which would not be American, but distinctly German, 
with German aspirations, the chief object being to pre- 
serve allegiance to Germany on the part of the parishion- 
ers. The hopes and wishes of such congregations were 
not to see America prosper, but to see Germany trium- 
phant. 

Cardinal Gibbons at once saw the danger. He realized 



i86 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

that such a movement, however praiseworthy it might 
seem to Herr Cahensly and his associates in Germany and 
the United States, would strike at the very root of the 
love of country which the Catholic Church in the United 
States and in every other land plants in the hearts of her 
children. Herr Cahensly made representations to Pope 
Leo XIII to have such a plan inaugurated. He was 
backed in this movement by some German priests and lay- 
men in this country, who either did not possess the real 
spirit of America or who could not sense the danger. The 
Cardinal wrote to Rome, protesting against Cahenslyism 
and declaring that the appointment of German bishops in 
dioceses that were predominanly German in their makeup 
would be inimical both to the interests of the Church and 
the country. He asked that such a movement might be 
frowned upon immediately. Pope Leo, who had learned 
to know America through Cardinal Gibbons, indorsed his 
stand and refused to consider Herr Cahensly's program. 
When the movement began to gain ground in this coun- 
try, Cardinal Gibbons spoke against it vigorously and 
without hesitancy. His protest against it was not made 
from his pulpit in Baltimore. He seized the time, the 
place and the occasion for his condemnation. He de- 
nounced Cahenslyism from the pulpit of the Cathedral of 
St. John in Milwaukee, one of the most German cities 
in the United States, a place where Cahenslyism had 
made an impression. The occasion was the installation 
in August, 1 891, of Archbishop Katzer, whom the Car- 
dinal invested with the pallium. In the sermon of 
that day, replete with beautiful Biblical pictures and 
infiltrated with principles of the highest patriotism, the 
Cardinal condemned the plot in words of unmistakable 
import : 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 187 

''Woe to him, my brethren, who would destroy or im- 
pair this blessed harmony that reigns among us ! Woe 
to him who would sow tares of discord in the fair field 
of the Church of America ! Woe to him who would 
breed dissension among the leaders of Israel by intro- 
ducing a spirit of nationalism into the camps of the 
Lord! Brothers we are, whatever may be our national- 
ity, and brothers we shall remain; we will prove to our 
countrymen that the ties formed by grace and faith are 
stronger than flesh and blood — God and our country ! 
This is our watchword — Loyalty to God's Church and 
to our country ! — this is our religious and political faith ! 

"Next to our love for God should be our love for our ♦ 
country. The Author of our being has stamped in the 
human breast a love for one's country, and therefore 
patriotism is a sentiment commended by Almighty God 
Himself. If the inhabitant of the Arctic Regions clings 
to his country though living through perpetual ice and 
snow, how much more should we be attached to this land 
of ours, so bountifully favored by Heaven ! And if the 
Apostles inculcated respect for their rulers and obedi- 
ence to the laws of the Roman Empire, though these 
were often framed for the purpose of crushing and ex- 
terminating the primitive Christians, how much more 
should we be devoted to this civil Government, which 
protects us in our person and property without inter- 
fering with our rights and liberties, and with what alac- 
rity should we observe the laws of our country, which 
were framed solely with the view of promoting our peace 
and happiness ! 

''Let us glory in the title of American citizens. We 
owe our allegiance to one countrv^ and that country is 
America. We must be in harmony with our political 



i88 JAMES CARDIXAL GIBBONS 

institutions. It matters not whether this is the land of 
our birth or the land of our adoption. It is the land of 
our destiny. Here we intend to live and here we hope to 
die. When our brethren across the Atlantic resolve to 
come to our shores may they be animated by the senti- 
ments of Ruth, when she determined to join her hus- 
band's kindred in the land of Israel ; and may they say 
unto you as she said to her relations : 'Whither thou hast 
gone, I also shall go — where thou dwellest, I also shall 
dwell — thy people shall be my people — and thy God my 
God. The land that shall receive thee dying, in the same 
I will die and there I will be buried." 

The German people themselves realized how truly the 
Cardinal had spoken and the vast majority in this coun- 
try approved his words. During the world war, the Car- 
dinal more than once in private interviews, called attention 
to the unfairness of certain elements in accusing the Ger- 
man people of being lukewarm in their support of the 
cause of the United States. He pointed out how many 
thousands of German boys had entered the service and 
how loyal the Germans were in the matter of buying 
Liberty Bonds and in other ways showing their devotion 
to the cause. In a conversation with some friends one 
day. his attention was called to the fact that the first man 
killed in the United States forces was a youth of 
German descent, a sailor, whose home was in East Bal- 
timore ; and that the last man killed was also of German 
descent and an East Baltimorean ; the latter was a soldier 
in a Baltimore regiment and was killed twenty seconds be- 
fore the armistice went into effect. The Cardinal said it 
would be well for the deaths of these two young men 
to become a matter of historical record — a source of pride 
to those of German blood and to all Baltimoreans. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 189 

A movement similar to Cahenslyism threatened to get 
under way in the closing months of the Cardinal's life, 
but, like its predecessor, the movement was halted quickly. 
At a meeting of the American hierarchy in Washington in 
September, 1920, a plea was presented from some Euro- 
pean nationals in regard to the composition of the Ameri- 
can hierarchy. These leaders felt that because the num- 
ber of immigrants ^from their native land in recent years 
had been great and because the immigrants had reached 
power and influence in certain sections of the country 
recognition should be given to priests who spoke the 
language of the immigrants and understood their old- 
world customs in the selection of bishops for such sec- 
tions. The question came up for discussion and Cardinal 
Gibbons was asked his opinion. ''The bent figure was 
suddenly erect," says Archbishop Glennon, ''and in a 
voice vibrant with emotion he addressed us : 'We are 
bound in the unity of faith and obedience to the Vicar of 
Christ, but our Church knows nothing of European poli- 
ticians and we must never allow them to lay hands on its 
fair structure.' " 

It is interesting to note that the last entry made in the 
Cardinal's Diary was his reference on April 10, 191 7, to 
the action of the American hierarchy assembled in Wash- 
ington that day, in pledging the devotion and support of 
the Catholics of his country to the carrying on of the war 
to a successful conclusion. 

Throughout the war, by voice and pen, Cardinal Gib- 
bons seconded the efforts of the Administration; he 
was untiring in his efforts to keep the fires of pa- 
triotism burning brightly. Although more than 83 years 
of age, he made trips to various camps where the sol- 



iQo JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

diers were in training and spoke to the assembled troops 
of the necessity they were under of giving their best 
to the nation's cause. At the time of the dedication of 
the Knights of Columbus hut at Camp Meade, the 
Cardinal addressed the men of the Seventy-ninth Divi- 
sion on the question of morale. Following the address, 
Major-General Joseph E. Kuhn, commander of the divi- 
sion, said : ''Cardinal Gibbons has done more with these 
men in his half -hour's talk today than I could ever hope 
to do in many months of training." 

For more than half a century the Cardinal's word was 
awaited in every crisis, and never did he fail to sound 
the right note of warning or of counsel. Regardless 
of creed, his fellow-citizens throughout the land heark- 
ened to his call, and the universal comment was that 
he had on every occasion spoken opportunely and well 
His was the sane practical Americanism that was keen 
to discern the real evil despite the hue and cry of fad- 
dists. Steering always a wise, if conservative course, and 
avoiding party politics, the Cardinal ever took a firm 
stand for civic duties on the solid ground of morality, 
and therefore religion. In his Cathedral, as well as on 
public platform and through the press, religious and sec- 
ular, he constantly preached on American citizenship, its 
rights and duties and privileges, and the perpetuity of 
the Republic, the beauty and simplicity of our form of 
government, and other kindred subjects. In Amer- 
ica he did much to quicken civic righteousness ; while 
abroad in Europe his utterances always added much to 
the understanding of and sympathy with American insti- 
tutions. 

Priest and patriot, he gloried in his Christian Heri- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 191 

tage and in his American citizenship, and by his daily 
simple devotion to the interests of both Church and 
State, he caused the one to be respected and revered by 
those who shared not his faith in all its details, and the 
other to be prized by every zealous lover of America. 



192 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBOXS 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Characteristics. 

TTUMILITY was a striking characteristic of Cardi- 
-*' -■■ nal Gibbons. He loved to see the ceremonial of 
the Church carried out to the full, for the honor and 
glory of God and the advancement of souls ; but his own 
part in it never exalted him ; he deemed himself but a 
weak instrument in the hands of God. 

One of his priests said to him one day with frank- 
ness : "Your Eminence, people say you are a Providential 
man. When I told Archbishop Bonzano of your illness, 
he expressed deep regret and pointed out how necessary 
you are to the Church in this country. And Bishop Rus- 
sell remarked that the meetings of the Bishops depend 
upon you." The Cardinal merely listened, but said never 
a word. On another occasion a priest of his household, 
having presented a letter for his signature, he refused to 
sign it, adding that little or no judgment was displayed 
in asking him to sign such a letter. That afternoon the 
door of the priest's study was opened and there stood the 
Cardinal. He had come to apologize. ''Father, I wish to 
apologize for having spoken to you so sharply this morn- 
ing." 

No man could be more loyal to his Alma Mater than 
Cardinal Gibbons to St. Charles' College and St. Mary's 
Seminary. Never did he allow an opportunity to pass by 
without a word of praise and gratitude for the good 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 193 

Fathers of St. Sulpice. For his teachers, as well as for 
the priesthood, he retained to the very end of his life a 
deep, genuine affection. Anything that Was of interest to 
those two schools interested him. This interest he showed 
in a practical way by giving them financial assistance 
whenever it was needed. His book of ''Discourses and 
Sermons for Sundays and Festivals," published in 1908, 
''the fruit of nearly fifty years' serious meditation in the 
Sacred Ministry," as the Cardinal remarks in his preface, 
was dedicated 

TO THE 

PROFESSORS OF ST. MARY'S SEMINARY, 

BALTIMORE 

Whose Daily Lectures for over a Century have been 
Mirrored and Illumined by their Evangelical Lives. 

When Father Dineen of the Seminary paid him a visit 
during his illness, the Cardinal said to him, "Father, I 
am glad to see you personally ; it was I who sent you to 
college. As you are a Sulpician I am doubly glad to see 
you. I am always happy in the atmosphere of the Sul- 
picians. I consider them my right arm." 

In his dealings with his priests, the Cardinal was always 
most kind and fatherly. Never did he command, but 
always requested that such and such a thing might be 
done. Even when called upon to deal harshly with some, 
fortunately very few, found guilty of a breach of disci- 
pline, he tempered justice with mercy, generally excusing 
the culpable party with such remarks as, "He is a queer 
man;" "He is an odd character." This faithful servant 
of God had so trained himself to see the good in others, 



194 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

that far from thinking ill of anyone, he could not bring 
himself to say or do aught that could wound ever so 
slightly a reputation, or give unnecessary pain to a fellow- 
creature. As a consequence. Cardinal Gibbons was re- 
garded by his clergy more as a father than as a superior ; 
and His Eminence received in turn from them an affec- 
tionate and most cheerful obedience. 

Cardinal Gibbons' heart was large and affectionate, 
large enough in very truth to bear within its living walls 
the whole world. The masses were dear to him for he 
counted the individual, immortal souls in the multitude ; 
and each had been purchased by the Precious Blood of 
his Master. What wonderful tales could his parlors tell 
of words and deeds wrought in favor of his visitors, the 
high and the lowly, the wealthy and the needy, and all 
enhanced by his delicate courtesy and urbanity, his cheer- 
ful smile, and the grace that overflowed from the super- 
natural life within! If hospital wards could speak, or 
prison cells, what revelations of sympathy, of upift, of 
souls won to God going forth with eternal blessings on 
their friend and father ! And the Religious Communities 
of the Diocese, Priests, Brothers, Sisters — what volumi- 
nous histories might be written of those long years of 
prudent jurisdiction and guidance, of compliance with 
their requests, of appreciation of their labors ! Not the 
least of all was his gracious presence at entertainments 
and at the annual commencements, when with words of 
power and encouragement, eloquent with feeling, he 
blessed and sent forth from their school and college home 
of years, thousands of aspiring youth to win the victory 
in a world of temptations and snares. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 195 

The Cardinal loved children, his "little people," as his 
favorite St. Francis de Sales used to call them, and the 
children loved him. He would stop on the street to greet 
them. With his altar boys, he was a boy again; when 
seated in his chair in the bay window waiting to go into 
the Cathedral, he would put to them riddles and conun- 
drums, all the while enjoying with smiles their earnest 
efforts to answer. After the services, it was not an un- 
common sight to see the Cardinal ascending the steps 
leading to his room with his arms about the necks of the 
boys. On reaching his room, he always rewarded them 
for their supposed help with a box of candy. 

Whenever he returned from a trip, he always greeted 
the priests of the household with an affectionate em- 
brace and a kiss on the cheek. This affection was more 
marked during the days of his sickness. Oftentimes they 
stroked him on the head, kissed him on the cheek, and in 
a hundred different ways showed their love and venera- 
tion for him. Never once was there a drawing away on 
his part. Rather did he appear to relish these little atten- 
tions. In every way he made them feel easy and com- 
fortable in his presence. 

The Cardinal was a man of infinite tact and con- 
sideration. It pained him to see the feelings of anyone 
wounded by reason of a thoughtless word or act. One 
afternoon, some children, accompanied by a gentleman, 
called upon the Cardinal to give him some little 
mementoes of their own handiwork. They were quite 
simple little things, the mementoes, but they seemed 
masterpieces — precious treasures in the eyes of the chil- 
dren, presented by them to the Cardinal because they 
thought nothing was too good for His Eminence. The 



196 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

gentleman who made the address did not reahze their 
feelings. In making the presentation speech, he depre- 
cated the value of the gifts but impressed upon the 
Cardinal that they were the simple testimonials from 
young and innocent hearts and asked the Cardinal to 
receive them in that light. The children's faces became 
a study. Everyone of them was on the verge of tears. 
The words of the speaker had brought sorrow to their 
hearts. The Cardinal saw this at once. When he arose 
to speak, he walked over to the table in the parlor on 
which the gifts rested, picked them up, looked them over 
several times and said as if to himself : ''Aren't they 
wonderful ! Aren't they wonderful !" Then he turned 
and passed the gifts around to the priests and others in 
the parlor. He had brought back the smiles to the 
children's faces and he delivered a speech of thanks that 
sent them into the seventh heaven of delight. 

During one of his annual visits when Archbishop to 
his home in New Orleans, the Cardinal met at a social 
reception a young bride of a year. Enchanted by the 
Cardinal's personality, she obtained her father's per- 
mission to entertain him at his home ; her preparations, 
it may be well believed, were of the most elaborate 
kind. Besides the guest of honor there were present at 
the banquet Archbishop Janssens, a number of clergy 
and some elite of the city. The table, sumptuously laid, 
was "smothered" in the choicest flowers. Scarcely had 
the first course become of interest to the diners, when 
Archbishop Janssens suddenly exclaimed: ''Take away 
the flowers ; I can't see the people for them." The young 
bride, disconcerted, began to pout, but arose to obey the 
order; Archbishop Gibbons, ever tactful, beckoned to 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 197 

her and with his sweet smile, said softly: "Madam, the 
light of your countenance is sufficient for us." 

While the Cardinal was taking a walk on one occasion 
with a seminarian, an automobile swung out from behind 
a big motor truck and began bearing down on the Car- 
dinal. The seminarian grabbed the Cardinal's arm and 
rushed him to the sidewalk. With His Eminence safely 
out of danger, the seminarian apologized for his lack of 
gentleness. 

"Oh!" replied His Eminence, ''never mind that, my 
son;" and standing on the corner, apparently to regain 
his usual composure, he continued, ''let me tell you a 
story." 

"Two clerical friends of mine were 'roughing it' in 
the backwoods of Virginia. One day as they were tramp- 
ing along, one suddenly struck the other a heavy blow — 
a blow that knocked him sprawling. The one who had 
dealt the blow assisted his friend to his feet. At the 
same time he apologized for his apparent rudeness in 
these words: 'If I had not hit you, you would have 
stepped on a rattlesnake.' 

"Thus you see," concluded the Cardinal, "that it is 
necessary to use rough tactics sometimes." 

The story is told that once, while the Cardinal was 
in New Orleans, he had for his temporary secre- 
tary, a priest who did not understand all the intricacies 
of the English language. The Cardinal received a tele- 
gram from a group of distinguished St. Louis citizens 
asking him to stop in that city on a trip he was contem- 
plating. His Eminence directed his secretary to send 
word that he could not accept the invitation as he would 



198 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

not pass by St. Louis- The Cardinal was amazed when 
he received a telegram from the Committee expressing 
its delight at his acceptance of its invitation and as- 
suring him a hearty welcome. An investigation by the 
Cardinal showed him that the secretary had sent this 
telegram : 

'T cannot pass St. Louis by." 

His Eminence kept his secretary's promise. 

Few knew Cardinal Gibbons' political allegiances, for, 
like all priests, he felt that religion and politics should 
not be mixed. There is a story told of him that he once 
sent for a public man who held a post of high political 
influence in Baltimore. His Eminence informed the 
politician that a friend of his, a man of education, re- 
finement and high character was in need of a position. 

''Cardinal, send your friend to me, and I will have a 
position ready for him," was the courteous answer. When 
the friend turned up he proved to be a retired Protestant 
minister, a devout member of the sect to which he ad- 
hered, and of which he always remained a faithful fol- 
lower. 

The Cardinal was all things to all men. If a dip- 
lomat came, he knew on what subject of talk; if the 
governor of the state, he discussed the joys and wor- 
ries of his administration ; if the mayor, he told him 
how delighted he was the city was progressing so nicely. 
Immediately after having a talk with one of the great 
men of the nation, the Cardinal was apt to turn to chat 
with the newsboy who had brought him his paper. 

One Sunday morning some Catholic and Protestant 
soldiers from Camp Meade, near Baltimore, about eight 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 199 

of them in all, went to the Cathedral to the solemn high 
mass to hear the music and in the hope of getting a 
glimpse of the Cardinal. They were pleased when they 
got such a glimpse but they were the proudest young men 
in the world, when one of the priests of the Cathedral 
household invited them into the Cardinal's residence to 
see His Eminence. When the Cardinal came tripping 
down the steps, the soldiers were abashed. They did 
not know how to act. The Catholic soldiers kissed the 
Cardinal's ring and the Protestants followed suit, rather 
awkwardly. In a few minutes. His Eminence had those 
young soldiers telling him all about camp life as if they 
had known him for years. They told him stories of 
the army and he laughed heartily, telling them jokes in 
turn. Then, as they were about to leave, they asked for 
his blessing, informing His Eminence that they were to 
sail for the war zone within a few days. One of the 
Catholic boys took his identification tag from around 
his neck and asked the Cardinal to bless it. All the 
others followed and the Cardinal blessed the tags. He 
told the soldiers that he would pray for them and hoped 
to see them after they came back. "I know you will 
come back," the Cardinal said as he bade them goodbye. 

On the first Sunday of every year, the Cardinal held a 
reception at his residence, which was attended by hun- 
dreds of Baltimoreans. He had a pleasant word for 
his visitors and gave each one a holy picture or some, 
other memento. He would stop some of his close friends- 
and chat for a minute or two about their families.. 
For all he had a friendly word and smile, that wonder- 
ful smile of his which bespoke his joy of Hie and brought 
cheerfulness to the hearts of all.. 



200 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

On the second Sunday of the year, he held a similar 
reception at St. Patrick's Church, Washington,. Numb- 
ered among his callers were the great men of the nation. 

The Cardinal was extremely fond of music, his heart 
and taste being especially captivated by sacred music. 
The perfection of the instrumental and vocal perform- 
ance of his Cathedral Choir, rising on great occasions to 
the sublime, affords sufificient testimony of this. The 
hymns of the little children were dear to him and he took 
delight in listening to them. Cardinal Newman's "Lead, 
Kindly Light !" was a favorite, and he often directed the 
choirmaster to have the beautiful lyric sung by the choir. 

There were probably a hundred or more replicas of 
the following charming episode in the long career of the 
Cardinal. It happened when an epidemic of Yellow 
Fever was ravaging the South and when all hearts 
at the North, overflowing with sympathy, w^ere giving 
freely of their substance for, the relief of the sufiferers. 
His Eminence appealed earnestly to his people, who re- 
sponded generously. In his audience were several little 
girls so deeply touched that they met and resolved "to do 
something." Each begged money or pretty things from 
her friends ; and on a stated afternoon a large drawing- 
room in the home of one was arranged in holiday style 
and a lovely bazaar presented to their delighted friends 
by the six little misses. The result of their efiforts was 
fifty dollars, which they proudly bore to the Cardinal 
on the ensuing morning. His Eminence descended to 
the parlor, and, surprised and grateful, praised their 
labor of love with many sweet and cordial words. Then 
ascending to his room, he returned with a pretty book 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 201 

for each, as a "memorial of their good work in behalf of 
the sick and dying." 

The Cardinal's memory, not only for faces, but for 
names as well, was truly remarkable, and created a fav- 
orable impression. Only a few months before his death 
he was present at Clifton School in Washington. Notic- 
ing a certain young lady student in the gathering, he 
beckoned her to his side, and before there was time for 
an introduction, called her by name. ''Your resem- 
blance," said the Cardinal, "to your ancestor is so strik- 
ing, that I can see my old friend living in you." 

In any gathering of men and women, the Cardinal 
was always able to connect the person with whom he 
was talking with some long-forgotten relatives, and re- 
late some story of their customs and habits. ''I knew 
your father," or '1 was well acquainted with your grand- 
father," or '*I met your mother last in 1875." Needless 
to say this faculty of remembering names brought much 
pleasure. 

The Cardinal loved the company of men and women. 
On his trips to Europe, what interested him most were 
the men and women whom he met in traveling or who 
might happen to be in the city he was visiting. A cele- 
brated cathedral or a painting by a famous artist always 
had to give way whenever he learned that Mr. So and 
So lived here, or Mrs. So and So was stopping at such 
or such a place. This was all the more true when Mr. 
So and So happened to be from the United States. At 
his residence, whenever a visitor was announced, he 
lost no time in reaching the parlor. No matter who the 
visitor might be, young or old, rich or poor, he always 



202 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

drew his chair up close, and took the keenest interest 
in the conversation. 

Very often such visits were to enHst his help in se- 
curing a position or to obtain financial aid. How much 
money he gave away in charity only God and His angels 
know. When he was up in the country in December 
last, he did not forget a certain lady whom he had been 
helping monthly for many years. His last gift to her 
was a cheque for $ioo. It is pleasant to be able to add 
that those he befriended, either by gifts or by obtaining 
employment, were as a rule, grateful for his kindness. 

One of the most beautiful pictures of the Cardinal was 
had a few days before his death, when one of the priests 
of his household going quietly to his room to see how His 
Eminence was, saw him with his eyes shut and his beads 
moving through his fingers as he spoke his love to his 
Heavenly Mother. Those beads of his spoke to the 
Mother in Heaven and brought down upon him and those 
he loved, countless blessings throughout his whole career. 

The Rosary was an inseparable part of the Cardinal's 
life. Persons visiting the Cathedral in Baltimore found 
him telling his beads as he knelt before the high altar. 
Members of his household coming suddenly upon him 
often found him bowed in prayer, his beads in his hands, 
while the echoes of the busy world were heard without. 
On railroad trains and on board ship, at home and far 
from home, he said his Rosary daily. 

Few persons outside the members of his own immediate 
household knew what efforts the Cardinal really made to 
help adjust the wrongs of Ireland. He was particularly 
active in the last months of his life when the reign of 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 203 

terror in that distressful country, ''the atrocities of the 
Black and Tans," and the other persecutions to which the 
Irish were subjected, aroused his indignation as it did 
that of every other person who loved freedom and hated 
iniquity. 

Much of the work of the Cardinal in behalf of Ireland 
was done quietly and with infinite tact and diplomacy: 
but it was a work which left its impress. There is a part 
of that work which, because of certain confidential circum- 
stances, must remain untold, but which, if it could be 
recounted, would bring forth a chorus of praise and grati- 
tude from lovers of Irish freedom in all parts of the 
world. 

The Cardinal, a few weeks before his death, became 
a member of an association organized for the relief of 
svifferers in Ireland. On this committee were many of 
the repesentative men of America. Cardinal Gibbons 
communicated with Cardinal Logue and other mem- 
bers of the Irish hierarchy to find out what was needed in 
the way of relief in that country. The answers which he 
received to his inquiries helped this committee to proceed 
intelligently with its work. The Cardinal's heart was 
with Ireland. He worked quitely, but none the less 
effectively. The Cardinal was not a man quick to anger ; 
but it happened on one occasion that a delegation called 
upon him in the interests of the Irish question. The 
Cardinal discussed the question, made known his pro- 
Irish sympathies in regard to it, and promised to see what 
he could do concerning it. One of the visitors, however, 
thoughtlessly made a suggestion which seemed to indicate 
that the Cardinal was not as interested in the subject as 
he should be. His Eminence turned quickly and looking 



204 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

at the man with his eyes flashing, replied, "Why, I was 
working in the interests of Ireland liefore you were born." 

Everybody in Baltimore has for years looked for the 
blooming of the tulips — the red tulips and the golden 
tulips in the yard in front of the Cardinal's home. The 
blooming of those flowers were for Baltimoreans the first 
sign of Spring. Reporters on the Baltimore papers 
watched eagerly for the first peep of them and as soon 
as the flowers began to push their heads through the soil, 
the announcement that Spring was at hand was heralded 
in the Baltimore press. The Cardinal loved those tulips 
and watched for them every year. A few days before 
his death he looked at them and the same smile which had 
been his at their discovery came back to him. Mr. Folger 
McKinsey, the Benztown Bard of the Baltimore Sun, 
who had written of those flowers in several poems, wrote 
of them in this wise the day after the Cardinal's death: 

A little yard on Charles street in springtime's sweet array, 

I could not help but linger as I passed it yesterday. 

It seemed as if the blossoms on their stems were bowed 

and old. 
The crocuses had lost their pride, the daffodils their gold. 
And over them a shadow, 

How fast a shadow grew, 
Of grief for one whose gentle smile 
Each lovely tulip knew ! 

Oh, little yard on Charles street, you'll never be the same 
When springtime kisses all your blooms into immortal 

flame ! 
And though glad eyes behold you, and wait your vernal 

sign, 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 205 

They'll know the dear frtend of your dreams has passed 
to yards divine. 
Peep, little crocus brother. 

And sing, O birds of glee, 

But ever in your morning note 

Will grief be borne to me ! 

In the last months of life, when he was lying ill at 
the home of the Shrivers in Union Mills, Md., that truly 
Catholic home which he loved so well, the Cardinal felt 
that death was close at hand. Feeling it near he wanted 
to be home when the Angel of Death came. He asked 
constantly that he might be permitted to go back "home." 
When the doctors gave him permission for the necessary 
trip in the early part of January his face brightened. He 
was a happy man. As he was carried into his home in an 
invalid chair on that day, he voiced almost inaudibly his 
gratitude. One of the first questions he put was: 
"Where is my little red-headed boy?" The little red- 
headed boy was Edgar Eisner, who attended the door of 
the Cardinal's residence and ran errands for His Emi- 
nence. The last Sunday of His Eminence's life, the 
Cardinal told Father Stickney, rector of the Catherdral, 
to give Edgar a holiday on Easter Sunday and to give 
him money to go to Wilmington to see his sister. His 
Eminence left the boy $100 in his will. 

There was a young colored boy, by the name of Walter 
who worked at the Cardinal's residence. Walter was the 
proud brother of twins. Every day he had some story 
to relate to His Eminence of those twins. The first thing 
every morning when the Cardinal saw Walter, he asked, 
"Well, how are the twins coming along?". 



2o6 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

One day the Cardinal learned that one of the twins was 
dead and that Walter and his mother were disconsolate. 
That afternoon while in his robes returning from a church 
celebration in East Baltimore, the Cardinal turned to 
Father Stickney who was in the limousine with him and 
said: ''We must call on Walter's mother and see if we 
cannot offer her a few consoling words". His Eminence 
asked the chauffeur to drive the car to Walter's home in 
a little alley in Northeast Baltimore. When the Cardinal 
in his robes of office got out of the limousine, there was 
excitement in the alley. All the residents flocked to 
Walter's home, while the Cardinal went inside to speak 
words of comfort to the grief-stricken mother and to tell 
her how very sorry he was to hear of the child's death. 

The classic Latin poets had a certain fascination for 
the Cardinal as is evidenced by his numerous citations 
from their volumes ; he had his favorites among the 
British makers of song; but the legacy he loved most, 
was that bequeathed to posterity by the poets of Ireland. 
His prose readings were choice and voluminous, and 
brought him a heritage of thought, of worldly and spirit- 
ual wisdom, as Well as a wealth of vocabulary. No doubt 
the Bible did more to form his style than all other books 
combined. His love of the Sacred Scriptures dated from 
childhood. As a youth of twelve he began this sacred 
reading, a practice he adhered to daily until the close of 
his life. While a student of St. Charles' College, required 
by the rule to devote a quarter of an hour daily to the 
Scriptures, it was his delight to prolong for an hour or 
more his studies in that treasury of Divine Wisdom. 

How profound his study of the Acts of the Apostles 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 207 

and his interior contemplation of the sublime details re- 
corded there — items which would make but a transient 
impression on others — is luminous in the graphic de- 
scriptions and striking inferences drawn from them in 
the "Ambassador of Christ/' But the Acts was a favorite 
and at times an engrossing study ; the details of the found- 
ing of the Church formed the theme of conversation 
frequently with his young priests and seminarians. In 
this he was like to his favorite St. Francis de Sales, who 
impressed upon his disciple, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, 
a most ardent love for the early Church as portrayed in 
the inimitable pages of St. Luke. 

Cardinal Gibbons was a shining example of the faith- 
ful priest as he painted him. *'He is the servant of the 
flock to which he is assigned ; he responds to their 
summons night and day. He is to be a light to those 
that are in darkness ; he is food to the hungry, a refresh- 
ing fountain to those who thirst after righteousness, a 
guide to the wayfarer, a physician to the soul-sick, and 
a father to the whole congregation." 

He pictures the sacrifices, the hardships and humilia- 
tions which a priest must necessarily encounter; but he 
calls them to reflect that honors, too, fall in their way, 
which serve as a counterpoise to life's trials. Yet the 
latter is not without its word of warning: 

*'We may occasionally pluck the fruits of honor along 
the roadside if they hang in our way, but we are not to 
cross the fence to reach them, still less are they to be our 
sustaining food." 

It is estimated that thousands of persons were con- 
verted to Catholicism either directly or indirectly by 



2o8 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

means of the Cardinal's book : "The Faith of Our 
Fathers." The success in a spiritual way was a source 
of great joy to His Eminence, for all priests are made 
happy by the conversion of one soul. It is doubtful if in 
modern times any other religious book ever has 
achieved such great results. The financial returns enabled 
the Cardinal to carry on his work of charity, of educating 
students for the priesthood, of helping on the work of 
the Church. 

The Cardinal was most abstemious. When a young 
man he suffered from stomach trouble. He often said 
that it was his poor stomach which enabled him to live 
so long, that he had to take good care both of that 
stomach and his general health. He began with and cul- 
tivated a habit of "Early to bed and early to rise''. 

His study and his bed-room were simply furnished. 
In his bed-room there were besides his bed, a few chairs, 
a pre-dieu and several pictures, including portraits of 
priests, friends of his in the early days of his priesthood ; 
a picture of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and an oil painting 
of the Good Shepherd which hung directly above his bed. 
The Cardinal saw that painting the first thing when he 
opened his eyes in the morning and the last thing at night. 
It was fitting that this was so, for his whole life was 
guided by the life of the Good Shepherd. 

The Cardinal was a thoroughly unworldly man. The 
advantages of rank and position meant nothing to him 
personally. But he did not underrate them. He used 
them for God's service. He loved the pomp and the 
splendor of the Church ceremonial because he felt that 
no appeal to ear or eye should be neglected to lead men 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 209 

to God. He loved the company of men for the good he 
saw in his fellow-man, and for the good he hoped to do to 
his fellow-man. Hence his attendance at dinners and 
secular functions. "It is a great pity,'' he said once, ''that 
the Archbishop of such a place refuses the invitations to 
dine of these best people. What an opportunity of doing 
good !" 

The Cardinal's social life was actuated as sincerely and 
fully by the love of Christ as his spiritual life. Christ 
was his model in every phase and circumstance of his 
career. He said once to a friend : 'T dine out because 
Christ dined out." Like Him and His Apostle he made 
himself all to all that he might gain all. Not honor, not 
pleasure, incited him to accept invitations, to lend his 
presence to social functions and gatherings : he was sway- 
ed by his ever present opportunities of good, and no less 
by his deep-rooted, wholehearted love of his people, who 
reciprocated that affection in an extraordinary manner. 

A man of serious and devout mind will reveal himself 
unfailingly in his method of intercourse with God and 
His saints. Herein the Cardinal was a lover of the old 
ways and a stickler for ancient traditions. The simple 
devotions of a good Catholic mother and father, the 
devotion to our Lord, to His Blessed Mother and St. 
Joseph, — these were the devotions upon which his soul 
fed and was nourished. The many other forms of devo- 
tion v/hich are necessary to varying times and tempers, 
if approved of by the Church, he did not undervalue, but 
these appealed not to his spiritual side. Our Lord and 
His Blessed Mother were his sources of benediction and 
helpfulness ; and his soul was united with them in many 
hours of silent meditation and prayer. 

Union with God was, indeed, the especial grace of 



210 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

the Cardinal. It may be said he Hved in the sunHght of 
His Divine Majesty. His soul bowed before God in innate 
reverence ; his model of prayer was the Son of God, who 
St. Paul tells us, ''was heard for his reverence." And 
this divine light in which he lived and moved was reflect- 
ed on individual souls, on some nearest his ideals, with 
splendor, radiating their lives and hastening their ap- 
proach to God. 

Reverence is worship. It is a blending of many vir- 
tues, profound humility, ardent love, unshaken trust in 
God and adhesion to His Will, and these were the special 
virtues his friends saw daily in the Cardinal. They had 
their source in that inner, invisible union with Christ in 
the temple of his soul, and thence streamed forth those 
divine influences, not on individual souls alone, but on 
multitudes as far as his tongue could reveal or his pen 
portray the things he learned there. 

Cardinal Gibbons could well give, without fear of 
reproach, from the pulpit and from the silent pulpit of 
his books, those earnest exhortations to humility, for 
humility had saturated his own soul. His love for that 
virtue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus made him mute 
before the sharp words of blame, or unjust criticism ; 
he let "the thorns of difficulty pierce his brow and the 
spear of contradiction penetrate his heart," without 
yielding to natural feelings of resentment. Those who 
knew his Eminence best know how true is all this. And, 
to steal once more from a page of the gentle Bishop of 
Geneva, humility had ''made 'his heart tender toward the 
perfect and the imperfect — toward the sinner and the 
fallen — through reverence for the one and compassion 
for the other." 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 211 

His heart was a furnace of love ; his love for God drew 
him to hours of holy contemplation before his Eucharistic 
Lord in his dear Cathedral. When he knelt in the 
presence of the Blessed Sacrament, all cares and worries 
were dispelled, all difficulties smoothed, all sorrows 
assuaged. Every shadow had passed away as he arose 
from his knees, his calm face and gentle smile giving an 
assurance of his supreme confidence in God — his certainty 
that God's cause, in God's own time would prevail. 

The beautiful scenes of nature thrilled his being and 
uplifted it in adoration and thanksgiving to the Creator ; in 
the crowds of men and women he saw the most sublime 
act of creation — the soul destined for immortal life, and 
his missionary zeal was fired to flame for their salvation. 
To win them to God what humble, piercing prayers, what 
offerings of personal sacrifice, suflfering, hardships, rose 
from the chaste depths of his heart, made one with his 
Saviour's Heart in contemplation of His Passion of 
Calvary, "the mount of lovers!" 

The Cardinal's trust in God and His Providence was 
most delicate and sure, at times it seemed to those around 
him heroic. Like a child he rested in the arms of His 
Heavenly Father ; but his hope in Him made him spring 
forth hke a giant when evil stalked abroad, or injustice 
or oppression stretched out its threatening hand ; never 
was his union with God more close and strong than in 
those periods of greatest stress. 

Faith was the keynote of Cardinal Gibbons' whole life. 
During an unusually long life, the sorrow and bereave- 
ment of seeing relatives and friends die, tried him 
sorely. But always, after a prayer for the soul of the 
deceased, followed the words of holy trust, ''God knows 



212 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

best." His last message was Faith in man, Faith in 
God, and his last words were an exhortation to those 
about him to trust in God. It was Faith in God which 
carried him through difficulties that might have shaken 
a less courageous heart. It was Faith in God which gave 
him strength beyond his physical powers to undertake 
works of the greatest moment and magnitude. It was 
Faith in God that gave a reality to the truths of revela- 
tion and made visible to him the things of Eternity. 

The Cardinal's last public utterance was given to his 
Diocesan paper, the Baltimore Catholic Review, on the 
subject, "The Constitution and George Washington." 
This article was carried by several leading papers of the 
country, and read by millions of citizens. In it the Car- 
dinal reaffirmed his faith in America and her institutions. 

It was hailed editorially by the great journals of the 
country as a document containing the wisest and purest 
principles of patriotism. The papers besought some of 
the national legislators to read the document, to meditate 
upon it, and to stop in their attacks on the Constitution. 
These papers declared that if the principles which ac- 
tuated Cardinal Gibbons throughout his life had actuated 
representatives in the Halls of Congress and our state 
legislators, the Americanism of Washington and Jeffer- 
son and Lincoln would command more respect in these 
days and the country would be the better for it. The 
article was published a month before the Cardinal died. 
The echoes of his pronouncements came to him from all 
parts of the country and proved consoling to him in the 
last days of his life. 

As the Cardinal lay on his sick bed in his last illness 
he had his secretary and other priests of his household 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 213 

read to him a monumental work of seven volumes on the 
subject of 'The Constitution." He commented from time 
to time on various passages in the book, showing that 
few men in the country had such a profound knowledge 
of the subject as he. 

On many other subjects likewise did the Cardinal speak 
out his mind, whenever necessity called for a cry of 
warning and counsel. For over half a century he never 
hesitated to raise his voice against divorce, declaring it 
to be a "canker which is eating into the very vitals of our 
life," and calling upon the government to ''expunge from 
its statutes the criminal divorce laws, which the best of 
our life abhors." He cried out against prohibition as an 
invasion of the sanctity of the home and calculated to 
raise up in our midst hypocrites, spies and law violators. 
Race suicide, government ownership, lynch law, he de- 
nounced in the strongest terms possible. On the other 
hand, he advocated military training for the youth of the 
country, lauded motherhood, and ever pleaded for mutual 
charitable relations of man to man. 

The stone which marks the last resting place of James 
Cardinal Gibbons tells the story of the rise of this son of 
Irish immigrants, to the highest position save one within 
the gift of the Catholic Church, Priest, Bishop, Arch- 
bishop and Cardinal. Were the wishes of the dead ad- 
justed to the feelings of the living, beneath would be in- 
scribed his political faith: 

"I am an American citizen." 



214 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 



CHAPTER XVII 

His Last Illness. 

^ I "^HE illness which terminated in the death of the 
-*- Cardinal appeared first on November 7th of 1920. 
It was a Sunday, and he was then the guest of Reverend 
J. P. Fitzgerald, of St. Patrick's Church, Havre de 
Grace, Maryland, whither His Eminence had gone to 
administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. 

His Secretary attended him early that morning. To 
ease his anxious inquiries the Cardinal answered, 'T have 
spent a very restless night, and my voice is very hoarse; 
I fear I shall be unable to preach." 

On entering the church, however, and noticing the 
large congregation the Cardinal changed his mind. After 
the Gospel of the Mass, calling the secretary to his side, 
he said : 'T cannot disappoint these good people. I will 
say a few words at the close of the Mass." 

It was while speaking, that suddenly and without 
warning, the Cardinal was seen to falter. He would have 
fallen if those near by had not sprung to his side. Rev. 
Francis Siggins, pastor of Aberdeen, Maryland, Mr. 
William S. Aumen of the Knights of Columbus and the 
Cardinal's Secretary helped him to a chair. In a short 
time he had recovered and resumed his remarks in his 
usual vigorous style. Afterwards he confirmed a class of 
over one hundred children and adults, held a reception in 
the sacristy for the congregation, and in the afternoon 
was the guest of honor at a reception held at the home of 



-<. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN ^15 

Commodore and Mrs. Richards, about six miles from 
Havre de Grace. On his return to his residence in Balti- 
more, His Eminence experienced no ill effects, apparent- 
ly, from the morning attack. 

The remainder of November was filled in with the 
usual routine business. He presided at the Annual 
Meeting of the Indian and Negro IMission Board, held 
at his residence, and attended by the Archbishop of 
Philadelphia, Cardinal Dougherty; the Archbishop of 
New York, Most Rev. Patrick J. Hayes ; the Director 
of the Catholic Indian Bureau, Rt. Rev. William 
Ketcham, and Very Rev. E. R. Dyer, S. S., secretary to 
the board. Later in the month, the Cardinal was the 
guest at dinner at the home of friends in Washington, 
D. C. On Thanksgiving Day he was present at the Pan- 
American Mass celebrated in St. Patrick's Church, Wash- 
ington ; and on the afternoon of the same day he blessed 
the new parochial school of the Jesuit Fathers of St. 
Aloysius' Church. At times during this month there was 
a recurrence of the trouble, a labored breathing, difficulty 
in ascending the stairs, and for the briefest moment loss 
of consciousness ; but his general appearance made those 
close to him believe that these were only passing spells, 
and that in time he would be himself again. 

On December fifth, the Cardinal was at St. Joseph's 
College, Mother-House of the • Sisters of Charity, in 
Emmitsburg, Maryland, too ill to pontificate at the Mass 
held in honor of the beatification of Blessed Louise De 
Marillac and the Four Martyrs of Arras, but present on 
the throne during the service. That afternoon he was 
taken by automobile to the home of Miss Mary O. Shriver 
at Union Mills, about 18 miles distan.t There he most 
remained until the third of January. 



2i6 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

It was to the home of the Shrivers that the Cardinal 
was wont to repair for a much-needed rest and recrea- 
tion after_ every trying ordeal. His first visit was back in 
1868 when he offered the first Mass ever said in the 
family chapel ; on that occasion he baptized Mr. William 
Shriver, a convert to the faith, and the father of a long 
line of exemplary sons and daughters. It is not surprising 
that Mr. Shriver was drawn to the Church, for Mrs. 
Shriver was a woman of genuine piety and gentleness of 
soul. 

A son of Mr. and Mrs. Shriver was T. Herbert Shriver, 
whom the Cardinal, then a young priest, met when young 
Mr. Shriver was a student at St. Charles' College. A seri- 
ous injury to his knee compelled Herbert to relinquish 
his studies for the priesthood. He afterwards married 
Miss EHzabeth Lawson, and lived at Union Mills until the 
day of his death in the house which the Cardinal used 
to pleasantly refer to as the ''Lower House or the House 
of Commons," by way of distinguishing it from the 
''Upper House or the House of Lords," in which resides 
Mr. Frank Shriver, a brother of T. Herbert Shriver. To 
these two houses the Cq,rdinal paid alternate visits. He 
spent all his birthdays at Union Mills. The Cardinal offi- 
ciated at the marriages of all the Shriver children, and 
until the day of his death maintained a deep interest in 
their welfare. At the death of Mr. T. Herber Shriver, 
the old homestead was presided over by Miss Alary O. 
Shriver. 

Here then at the home of Miss Mary O. Shriver, the 
Cardinal usually spent several weeks of each year, and 
never did he return home without referring to the great 
benefit he had derived from his sojourn there. He loved 
the beauty of Carroll County, and was supremely happy 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 217 

when enjoying, in that sequestered spot, a few days of 
repose from the cares of his high office. Yet still more 
he loved the peace of the Shriver home and the virtues 
practised there, and often referred to the edification given 
him there. After the boys and girls of yesterday had 
become men and women, the young men still served his 
daily Mass and all waited upon him with the tenderness 
of children. ''Those good people are to me a constant 
source of edification. I know of no finer Catholic family 
than the Shrivers," was his frequent remark. 

Here he lived his own life and was treated as he wish- 
ed to be treated, as an ordinary guest. . His room was on 
the second floor, overlooking the main road leading from 
Westminster to Gettysburg ; there he remained a great 
part of the day, reading and writing. He said Mass at 
7 o'clock, and heard the Mass following, whenever he 
was accompanied by a clergyman, which was usually the 
case. After breakfast, the time until dinner was filled 
in with the reading of the Divine Office, the perusal of 
the morning mail, and a walk which many a younger man 
w^ould have found too long. In the afternoon, Matins and 
Lauds disposed of, there was another walk, sometimes 
varied with a game of quoits. 

After supper the Cardinal was at his best, when, sur- 
rounded by the Shriver families of the Mills and West- 
minister. He was the life of the gathering. While the 
young men unfolded the day's business, with its hopes 
and disappointments, the Cardinal exhibited the keenest 
interest, adding words of advice and encouragement, and 
supplementing the recital by some similar story drawn 
from his own experience. His friends who were privi- 
leged to be in his company at these times, can well re- 
call the ardor with which he entered into the conversa- 



2i8 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

tion. The recitation of the Rosary was the last act of 
the day, performed in the chapel before the Blessed 
Sacrament. After this tribute of devotion to Mary, and 
night prayers, the Cardinal retired to bed at about nine 
o'clock. 

It seemed fitting, then, that here in the chapel at Union 
Mills, where he had said the first Mass, the Cardinal 
should ofifer the last Mass he was ever to say upon earth. 
His Eminence celebrated that last mass on December 9, 
the day after the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 
1920. The Cardinal showed that indomitable spirit of his 
which fought off illness and which, though he did not 
know it at the time, was making a vain fight against death. 
He was unable to go down the altar steps to give Com- 
munion and Bishop O'Connell, who was there at the time, 
ascended the altar and offered to give the Holy Sacra- 
ment. The Cardinal declined. So weak, he could hardly 
stand, he leaned against the altar and gave Communion 
to the members of the Shrivcr family as they came up 
the steps and knelt before him. The last person to re- 
ceive from him was Robert T. Shriver. 

The next day it was decided to call in Dr. G. Louis 
Wetzel of Union Mills. Of the kindly, sympathetic and 
talented services of this physician, the Cardinal could 
never sufficiently express his appreciation. - Always at 
the call of the Cardinal day or night, Dr. Wetzel left 
nothing undone to relieve and comfort His Eminence. 
On the Cardinal's return to Baltimore, Dr. Wetzel accom- 
panied him, and afterward paid him several visits, which 
the Cardinal valued and enjoyed. Later on Dr. O'Dono- 
van, physician for many years to His Eminence, and Dr. 
Barker were called in. Both of these gentlemen were 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 219 

unsparing in their services, and their visits were ever most 
welcome. 

In a diary kept of these days is the following entry : 

"December 17 — The Cardinal was anoint- 
ed this morning by his Secretary at 2 a. m., 
and received Holy Communion." 

This early morning attack was probably the conse- 
quence of over-exertion the evening before. An oil 
painting, a portrait of himself, executed by Miss Marie 
de Ford Keller, was presented by him to Miss Mary 
Shriver. All felt that the Cardinal was too weak for the 
effort; but he, with his proverbial forgetfulness of self, 
insisted on gratifying the artist and the family by his 
presence in the parlor. The Shriver boys, with great 
affection and pride, made a chair with their hands and 
carried the illustrious patient down stairs. The little 
presentation ceremonies proceeded, and His Eminence, 
having inspected the work of art, with his usual happy 
smile, expressed his satisfaction that the portrait was 
completed and with such success. 

"I don't want you to forget me," he said, in present- 
ing the picture to Miss Mary Shriver. 'This gift is 
only a slight token of my appreciation of your goodness 
to me." 

On the following morning the Cardinal, after the re- 
ception of Holy Communion, was reminded that Mass 
was about to begin and would be said for his intention. 
''No, not for me," he replied ; "I am in the hands of God. 
Say the Mass for the Diocese." 

It was at Miss Shriver's home that the Cardinal spent 
his last Christmas. 



220 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

The Midnight Mass of Christmas, 1920, was unlike in 
its setting any other Mass during the long life of the Car- 
dinal. It was the first Christmas in fifty-two years on 
which he Cardinal did not pontificate. 

The year before and for many years preceding it His 
Eminence had pontificated in the Cathedral before a con- 
gregation which filled that church, with the Cathedral 
choir and the Seminary choir singing the music of the 
Mass and with the strains of the orchestra and organ fill- 
ing the edifice. Always at the Cathedral there had been 
pomp and ceremony. The main altar on such occasions 
was always banked with palms and cut flowers, while 
electric lights gleamed through the floral decorations. But 
here in the Shriver home, nestled midst the rolling hills of 
beautiful Carroll County, the leader of his church in this 
country, this man admired by millions of his fellow- 
Americans, lay on his bed, following the low Mass which 
he had asked his secretary to celebrate for him. 

It was about 11.55 o'clock on the night of Christmas 
Eve when the Cardinal's Secretary went to the Cardinal's 
room and awakening him from a sound slumber, said : 
"Your Eminence, it is midnight. I am ready to begin 
the Mass." 

The Cardinal awoke, gazed, bewildered for a moment, 
at his secretary and then, thoroughly aw^ke, smiled and 
nodded his readiness to assist at the Holy Sacrifice, the 
same sacrifice which was to be ofifered in thousands of 
churches in this country and at many of which the priests 
would pray for the speedy restoration of the Cardinal to - 
health. 

The Cardinal spoke to his Secretary telling him that he 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 221 

felt strong and asking him to say a few words to those 
present on the spirit of Christmas. 

In a corner of the room was the altar, aglow with 
candles, and beautifully decorated with flowers, among 
them roses sent him as a Christmas remembrance from 
New Orleans. In the room were as many of the mem- 
bers of the Shriver family as could be accommodated, to- 
gether with the two Sisters of Bon Secours, who had ar- 
rived a few days before. Out in the hallway were the 
other members of the family. 

There was no orchestra, no Cathedral choir, no Semi- 
nary choir, but there was the singing of the old Christmas 
carols which the Cardinal had first heard when a boy in 
his home in Ireland and which brought joy to him as he 
lay upon his bed. 

Two young men and two young women from St. John's 
Church, Westminster, Md., Mr. and Mrs. Achille Thiele, 
Mr. Francis Keefer and Miss" Theresa Rupert, sang those 
Christmas hymns so dear to the Catholic heart, whether 
the heart be that of a Prince of the Church or that of a 
child. The quartet sang: Adeste Fideles, Noel, "Silent 
Night," Ad Regent Past or um and other hymns. 

At the end of the first Mass, Father Smith said a sec- 
ond Mass. At the Cardinal's request the quartet in the 
parlor sang again the Christmas carols. His Eminence 
sent word to the singers that he enjoyed their singing. 

As His Eminence lay in bed that Christmas morning, 
there were many eyes dimmed with tears, for all were 
conscious that his illness could have but one termina- 
tion, however far off that might be.. Nor had the Cardi- 
nal himself any illusions as to the possibility of recovery. 



222 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Frequently he remarked that day in a tired voice, "I 
am a sick man, a very sick man." 

One day after a weak spell of unusual length, he said 
in a pleading tone, "I wish that our good Lord would 
take me to Himself !" In his own mind he was convinced 
that this was to be his last Christmas on earth, that the 
Angel of Death was drawing very near to conduct him 
to his eternal home. 

On Christmas Day the Cardinal received messages 
from many of his friends, who wished him speedy recov- 
ery and who had conveyed to his room their affectionate 
esteem for him. One of these messages came in the way 
of a cablegram sent by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict 
XV, through his secretary. Cardinal Gasparri. This ca- 
blegram translated read : 

"His Holiness begs of the Lord every grace 
and comfort to Your Eminence, who in your 
laborious life has rendered such service to the 
Church. He sends to you with paternal affection 
his special Apostolic Benediction. 

''Cardinal Gasparri."' 

This cablegram from the Sovereign Pontiff touched the 
Cardinal deeply. He learned later that Pope Benedict 
at midnight Mass at the Vatican had remembered him 
and had offered up special prayers at the end of the Mass 
for his recovery. These assurances of the Pontiff's abid- 
ing affection for His Eminence traveling over so many 
thousands of miles had a cheering effect upon the Car- 
dinal. 

While the Cardinal received this message from the 
Pope, a message which he himself had sent to those who 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 223 

were deprived of many Christmas pleasures was read to 
the 800 prisoners in the jail, workhouse and reformatory 
of the Distict of Columbia. This message read : 

"The men and women in prison everywhere can bring 
comfort to their hearts by submitting to the ways of 
Divine Providence and speaking to Him. How many 
have buried themselves in the desert to talk with God? 
They also can commune with God by daily, hourly prayer 
and thus strengthen their souls, and shorten their time." 

During these days he was always accessible to his 
Vicar-General, Rt. Rev. O. B. Corrigan — whose attention 
and devotion to His Eminence language would fail to 
express — to visiting prelates, priests and friends who 
came to the Mills to see him. And many came. The 
Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Bonzano, Bishop Shahan 
and Bishop Russell, Monsignor Rempe of Chicago, 
before setting out on his journey to the starving people of 
Austria and Germany, Monsignors George Dougherty of 
the Catholic University and Tierney of Mt. St. Mary's 
College, Emmitsburg, Fathers Dyer, Boyer, Bruneau, 
Fenlon and Dinneen, Sulpicians, Monsignor Pace and 
Dr. McKenna of the University, and Rev. Thomas 
McGuigan of Westminster, were among those who called 
on His Eminence and were always welcome. The priests 
of his household often motored over from Baltimore. 
Propped up in bed with pillows or seated in his big 
arm chair, breathing sometimes with difficulty, but always 
cheerful and bright, the Cardinal entered into conversa- 
tion with them or listened as they related to him the 
affairs of the diocese. 

It was after such a visit from Bishop Corrigan, that 
the Cardinal remarked: "Bishop Corrigan is the most 



224 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

honest and loyal man I ever met." Later on, when Bish- 
op Shahan called, the Cardinal was very anxious about 
a certain letter which he had charged the Bishop to write. 
Finding that the matter had not as yet been attended to, 
His Eminence urged that it should be done at once. He 
was referring to the well-merited honor of Domestic 
Prelate to his Holiness which later came to Father 
George Dougherty, and which Cardinal Gibbons was 
instrumental in securing. 

One of his priests having made a casual remark upon 
his improvement, the Cardinal, conscious ot his state, 
shook his head in disagreement, "But I have so much to 
be thankful for," he said with feeling, ''for see how dif- 
ferent is the end of my life from that of L^ardmal Man- 
ning. My clergy are devoted ; I have a loyal Vicar-Gen- 
eral, and a Diocese in which there are no factions." 

The intervening hours were filled in with daily Mass, 
at which the Cardinel received Holy Communion, with 
the recitation of the Divine Office, the saying of the 
beads, and the reading of the Imitation of Christ. During 
those last days of his life, the Cardinal spent hours in 
prayer and meditation, the reading of the Imitation 
bringing to him the comfort and solace that so many 
others have derived from it in moments of trial and sick- 
ness. 

The Cardinal realized that notwithstanding the ex- 
traordinary kindness and attention lavished upon him 
by the members of the household at Union Mills, he 
ought to await the solemn coming of death in his own 
Archepiscopal residence. And so with that fine delicacy 
and innate considerateness for the feelings of others, 
which had marked his whole life, he communicated his 
wish to those about him„. He assured them that his going 




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CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 225 

was not to be taken as lack of appreciation of their kind- 
ness ; that perhaps he might be able to pay them yet an- 
other visit, but as Archbishop of Baltimore he felt it his 
duty to go home. *'I want to die in my own home," he 
said to his secretary. "When I reach Baltimore, I can 
then say, Nunc Dimittis." 

After due consultation, the doctors decided that the 
Cardinal might be permitted to return home with safety. 
His Eminence assured them he had an instinct that 
he would make the journey, adding what to him was 
the strongest argument, "Besides, I do want to see my 
Cathedral." No man ever loved his native city more 
than Cardinal Gibbons. Wherever he went, and his 
journeys were far and wide and frequent, he ever talked 
of the beauties of Baltimore City and the first among 
them was to him its noble, old Cathedral. Within 
the sacred precincts of its walls he had received every 
spiritual grace and every churchly dignity. Every stone 
of it was dear to him. He said to his predecessor. Arch- 
bishop Bayley, who contemplated making some material 
changes in the edifice, "Spare it, and change it not, for 
to me it is holy ground." Beneath the sanctuary of that 
Cathedral he had marked out the place of his burial. "I 
do want to see my Cathedral," was therefore a wish that 
could hardly be denied. 

The trip to Baltimore was made on Monday, January 
third. At the appointed hour, the auto that was to convey 
the Cardinal home was ready, wonderfully supplied 
with wrappings, pillows and cushions. An ambulance 
had been suggested, but he would not hear of it. "I 
want Robert to drive me home," he insisted, meaning 
Robert T. Shriver. Good-byes were said, and soon the 
Cardinal appeared, borne to the machine in the strong 



226 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

arms of Dr. Wetzel, who, with Dr. O'Donovan, a Bon 
Secours Sister and his Secretary, accompanied His Emi- 
nence on the trip. Bishop Corrigan followed in a second 
auto with members of the Shriver family. 

While passing through Westminster, Maryland, Dr. 
O'Donovan remarked, "Your Eminence, there are a 
couple of your priests." Standing on the curb were Rev. 
Thomas IMcGuigan, pastor of St. John's Church, and 
Rev. Thomas Wheeler of Thurmont. The Cardinal lifted 
his head, smiled and gave them his blessing. From that 
moment he began to take notice of the scenery, chatted 
pleasantly with all about him, and seemed to improve as 
the car drew nearer to Baltimore. 

When at last it pulled up at the Mulberry street en- 
trance to the Cathedral grounds, the clergy of the house- 
hold were there to greet their beloved Cardinal and carry 
him into the residence, as he lay on a stretcher. They 
were indeed glad to have him back home again, to lavish 
upon him the care and attention of sons. More happy 
was he to be in his own home. When one of his clergy 
playfully asked if he was willing to chant his ''Nunc 
Dimittis," he answered wnth a smile, "Not yet, I hope." 

Whenever the weather permitted. His Eminence was 
carried down the stairs in his wheel chair and out to 
the limousine to enjoy an hour's ride through the streets 
of his beloved Baltimore. More frequently the ride led to 
some one of the Catholic institutions : here the Sisters 
and the children would crowd about the machine eager to 
see His Eminence and get his blessing. In late February 
he visited St. Agnes' Hospital — where he was to say a 
word of comfort to an anxious Sister of Charity who, 
for over twenty years, had spent her days in a wheel 
chair, paralyzed from the waist down ; the early days 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 227 

of March found him in turn at Mount de Sales Convent, 
St. Mary's Female Orphan Asylum, Bon Secours Hos- 
pital and St. Charles' College, Catonsville. The Saturday 
before his death he visited the Home of the Little Sisters 
of the Poor. 

A few days before he died, the Cardinal went to the 
Bon Secours Hospital to see Monsignor Devine, pastor 
of St. John's Church, Baltimore, who was numbered 
among his dearest friends. Monsignor Devine had been 
ill for several weeks and His Eminence, though he was 
weak at the time, insisted on going to see him to express 
his sincere wish for a speedy recovery. 

During this time his thoughts and plans were con- 
stantly turning toward two things, his appearance in the 
Cathedral on Easter Sunday and his presence at the an- 
nual meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic 
University. 

Every day he was carried in his wheel chair into the 
Cathedral for a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament. 
It was during one of these visits that he had his chair 
wheeled close to the sanctuary so that he might count 
the number of steps leading to the throne. 

'T think I might be able to mount those steps," said 
His Eminence, "and from the throne on Easter Sunday 
give my blessing to the people." 

On another visit he stopped at the altar railing and 
decided that that would be a better place than the throne 
since he could remain seated in his wheel chair and so 
give the Papal Blessing. 

Thus day after day the same thought recurred, so pre- 
dominating was his desire to be with his dear flock on the 
great Paschal Feast, to give them, if possible, his last 
m&ssage from his Risen Lord, or at least to raise his hand 



228 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

over them once more in blessing. They were his dear 
people ; no sacrifice seemed to him too extreme if he 
might but be near them, and he was determined to make 
the effort to be in their midst once again and pronounce 
what he felt to be his "Vale." 

His projected visit to the Catholic University to meet 
the members of the American hierarchy was also a sub- 
ject of frequent comment. "If I cannot be present at 
their meetings, at least I will be in my room near my 
Brothers, so that they can come and consult with me." In 
his own mind he had worked out every detail, and was 
counting the days when he should visit the "child of his 
old age." 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 229 

CHAPTER XVIII 

Last Hours 

T IKE the Saints of God before him, Cardinal Gibbons 
-■"-' had his hours of depression before the end. Great 
loneHness and desolation of spirit were the interior trials 
which God sent him to purify his soul. More than once 
he remarked to those about him that, provided one was 
prepared and ready to meet his Divine Judge, a sudden 
death was a blessing of God. 

''Only God knows what I suffer," he said one day; 
"most gladly would I exchange my position with that 
of the simplest child of the city." How profound the 
humility of heart that dictated those words to the dying 
Primate ! They told us of hidden fears of his responsi- 
bility before God for his high stewardship, fears that 
had power to agonize a conscience so true, so delicate as 
his. 

When the priests of the household expressed to His 
Eminence their sympathy and their desire to keep him 
with them for many years to come, he replied, ''But, my 
sons, you would not want to see your Father suffer." 

In what this depression consisted none will ever know. 
The members of his household could only conjecture 
vaguely; for no word that the Cardinal uttered would 
permit them to judge the nature or cause of his. mental 
affliction. His breath came slowly, and his poor heart 
struggled with labored beat ; and all the while kis souJ 
was in a sea of distress. 



230 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Was the Heart of Jesus longing for immediate union 
with the soul of His well-beloved disciple at its going 
forth from the bonds of the body? The pains of Purga- 
tory — were these to be intermitted and Hke shadows sent 
before for merit while yet the power of atonement was 
his. The priests could only grieve and silently pray as 
they witnessed his physical suffering and still greater spir- 
itual distress; but throughout those sad hours the Car- 
dinal's faith in the goodness and mercy of God never 
failed, never wavered. 

"They are thinking of installing an elevator in the 
house," he remarked one day to a visitor; so that I may 
be enabled to go down stairs. The only elevator I am 
looking for is Jacob's ladder whereby I may go to my 
true home." Again and again as the priests of his house- 
hold were about his bedside he asserted that Faith in 
God was the only thing worth while in this life. Faith 
in God was the message he had preached in season and 
out of season, and Faith in God was the last message 
he would leave to his priests and his children. 

The days of March wore on, the illustrious and be- 
loved patient growing in resignation as the end ap- 
proached. On the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, he 
made his last visit to the Home of the Little Sisters of 
the Poor. Accompanied by his secretary and the three 
assistants of St. John's Church, in which parish the In- 
stitution is located, the Rev. Edward L. Devine, Rev. 
Leonard J. Ripple, and Rev. Edward P. McAdams, the 
Cardinal passed through the kneeling groups of men and 
women and devoted Sisters, and appeared supremely 
happy that he was able to bestow his blessing upon so 
worthy a work. 




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CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 231 

On Sunday, March 20, the Rev. Edwin L. Leonard of 
the Cathedral accompanied the Cardinal on his usual auto 
trip. Nothing seemed to indicate that this day was to 
differ from those that had immediately preceded it. But 
the closing twilight brought with it a portent. It was 
about seven o'clock when Sister Ludovic of the Bon 
Secours, the Cardinal's chief nurse, entered the room of 
the Cardinal's secretary in haste to say that a sudden 
change had taken place. As the priests of the house- 
hold gathered anxiously about the bedside, the change 
was apparent to all. 

"I want to go home," said the Cardinal in a weak, 
perplexed tone. ''Come, it is time for us to go. When 
shall we start?" 

His Eminence was perfectly conscious, for he recog- 
nized in turn all around his bedside; but there was that 
marked change of feature which told us all too plainly 
that God's messenger. Death, was near at hand, only 
awaiting the divine ''Fiat." 

Father Connelly, the Chancellor, lifted His Eminence 

from his bed, placed him in his wheel chair and wheeled 

him up and down the corridor several times, pointing 

out to him familiar bits of furniture. He then returned 

'to the Cardinal's room. 

"Now, Your Eminence, you are at home. Do you 
not recognize your room?" asked the nurse. 

''Yes," he answered, his face brightening; "I know I 
am home now. There is Father McManus, and there is 
Father Gately," pointing to the two pictures of his old 
friends. His lapse of memory had been only momentary. 

The next day, the Apostolic Delegate, the Most Rev. 
John Bonzano, came to Baltimore from Washington to 



232 JAMES CARDIXAL GIBBOXS 

see the Cardinal. His Eminence feeling that death was 
near had expressed a desire to see His Excellency. As 
the Apostiloc Delegate entered the room, the Cardinal 
smiled and tried to embrace him, but the effort was too 
great. The Cardinal looking up at Archbishop Bonzano, 
said as if apologetically for his failure to go through with 
the embrace : 

'T am very glad you have come, but this is your last 
visit. I am a very sick man and the end is near." 

"We are hoping and praying, Your Eminence," said 
the Delegate, ''that God will prolong your life. The Holy 
Father likewise is praying for you." 

"How good of him to think of me," replied the Car- 
dinal. "But it is better for me to go than for him, as his 
death would be a calamity to the Church in these 
troublous times." 

Here the conversation was stopped by a heart attack 
suffered by His Eminence. When the attack was over, 
the Apostolic Delegate with his eyes speaking the sorrow 
that was his gave the Cardinal the Papal blessing, which 
His Eminence received with fervor and in a most touch- 
ing manner. He tried to make the sign of the Cross. 
Then, weak as he was, the Cardinal gave his blessing to 
the Delegate. After that he murmured a few words, al- 
most indistinct, asking Monsignor Bonzano to convey his 
message of allegiance to the Pope. He then became silent 
and the Delegate left the room. 

All day Monday as the priests of the household watched 
him, they noticed the Cardinal's strength fading away un- 
der the attack of the disease. But with mind perfectly 
clear and self-possessed, he was conscious that God was 
with him, and his aspirations were ever toward the hea- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 233 

venly country. On Tuesday morning he received the Holy 
Communion for the last time. He had already been 
anointed on two different occasions, once while at Union 
Mills, and again in a moment of danger after his return to 
Baltimore ; and he had made the Profession of Faith, the 
last solemn declaration of Catholic Faith as prescribed by 
the Holy See for every Bishop in the supreme closing 
hour of life ; and from these he had drawn the strength 
and consolation that others have found in the Divine and 
Ecclesiastical means of grace. As the day wore on, he 
repeatedly expressed the hope that he had uttered so fre- 
quently during his illness, that Our Lord would come and 
take him to his heavenly home. 

After dinner on Tuesday the priests of the house- 
hold gathered about His Eminence, as he sat in a chair in 
his bedroom. He was calm and serene, and chatted 
with them in his old accustomed way. After one of 
the little pauses that came now and then, he said sud- 
denly : 

"Gentlemen, you do not know how I suffer. The 
imagination is a powerful thing. My reason tells me 
the images which rise before me have no foundation in 
fact. Faith must ever be the consolation of all men. 
Without Faith we can accomplish little. Faith bears us 
up in our trials. I find that this is true more and more 
every day." 

"My reason tells me that these things have no founda- 
tion in fact." He tenderly repeats the word of his life- 
long love — "Faith, Faith, Faith." The priests felt that 
mysterious things were going on between him and God, 
that his Divine Master, whom he so ardently loved, had 
hidden His Face for a little moment, that its eternal 



^34 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

brightness might strike him all the more with its splendors 
of love. 

The Cathedral priests were all powerfully impressed by 
the words of their saintly Father; for those words re- 
vealed the last sore trial which so many saints and friends 
of God have been subjected to — the last futile efforts of 
the evil one to pull down the strong edifice of Faith that 
years of fidelity have built up in the virginal soul. 

Father Stickney then said to the Cardinal : ''Your 
Eminence, won't you give us your blessing?" 

The Cardinal smiled and the five priests of. the house- 
hold knelt to receive the last blessing he ever was to give 
on earth. They knew that the end was near. As he fin- 
ished the blessing, the Cardinal said : "What a loyal, de- 
voted band of priests !" 

Bishop Corrigan, after a consultation with Doctor 
O'Donovan felt that it was time to prepare the Cardinal's 
spiritual children for the shock that was to come. For 
weeks, the Cardinal had been doing splendidly and the 
people of his archdiocese had rejoiced at the cheerful 
news concerning his improvement. Leading men of the 
nation and Ambassadors of foreign nations had sent tele- 
grams of congratulation. Members of the American 
hierarchy expressed their delight that he was fighting such 
a good fight against illness. The sudden change. Bishop 
Corrigan knew, would be stunning. He requested the 
newspapers to make it public that the Cardinal's illness 
had taken a sudden and decided change for the worse 
and that his physicians refused to hold out any hope for 
recovery. The news sent out by the press associations 
and read in the morning papers of March 23 shocked the 
country. In all parts of the United States, in churches, 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 235 

schools, convents, monasteries, prayers were offered up 
for his recovery or a happy death. None felt that there 
would be a recovery. That great heart of his could strug- 
gle feebly for only a few more hours. 

When His Eminence had concluded, the Rev. Louis 
Stickney, Rector of the Cathedral, deeply moved, placed 
his hand affectionately upon his shoulder and said many 
comforting words which seemed to fortify him. A great 
calm came over the dying man. 

The Cardinal became unconscious Tuesday night and 
lay unconscious throughout the night, recovering con- 
sciousness for only a few minutes Wednesday morning. 
His Secretary noticing that he was conscious, asked him 
how he felt. The Cardinal could only whisper: "I have 
had a good day." A few minutes later he became un- 
conscious and remained so until the end. 

On Thursday morning, all prepared for the close of 
that noble life. About 10 o'clock, Father Stickney said 
the prayers for the dying. Gathered at the bedside were 
the priests of the household, the Cardinal's confessor, the 
Rev. Arsenius Boyer, S. S. ; the faithful Sisters of Bon 
Secours and the Sisters of Providence, who for many 
years had been in charge of the Cardinal's household. 
Bishop Corrigan had entered the Cathedral to bless the 
oils, for it was Holy Thursday morning. The edifice was 
filled with worshippers. They were praying there, hoping 
against hope, that the eternal summons would not come 
to their spiritual father. But it did come at 11.33 o'clock 
on that morning of March 24, 1921, the feast of the 
Eucharistic Saviour. 

From the great deep to the great deep he had gone. He 



236 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

had left his people to their sorrow. His voice was stilled, 
his words of consolation, never would be heard more, but 
the truth of the sermons he preached and the glory of 
the deeds he had performed would go marching on, for 
James Cardinal Gibbons, born as he was in Baltimore, 
belonged to all the world. He was a great churchman 
and a great citizen. 

Statues will be erected to James Cardinal Gibbons, but 
statues can crumble and be no more. The influence of 
his life, of his love and of his purity of soul will last for- 
ever, for such things are of the very warp and woof of 
immortality. 



THE 
CONSTITUTION AND GEORGE WASHINGTON 

BY 

HIS EMINENCE JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

TIHS WAS THE LAST ARTICLE WRITTEN BY THE CARDINAL 

AND WAS PUBLISHED IN HIS DIOCESAN PAPER. 

THE BALTIMORE CATHOLIC REVIEW. 

FEBRUARY I9th. 192L 



THE CONSTITUTION AND GEORGE WASHINGTON 

BY 

His Eminence James Cardinal Gibbons. 

This was the last article written by the Cardinal, and zvas 

published in his Diocesan Paper, the Baltimore 

Catholic Review, February ip, ip2i. 

\ S the years go by I am more than ever convinced 
-^ ^ that the Constitution of the United States is the 
greatest instrument of government that ever issued from 
the hand of man. Drawn up in the infancy of our Re- 
public, and amid the fears and suspicions and opposi- 
tions of many patriotic men' it has weathered the storm 
periods of American pubHc Hfe, and has proved elastic 
enough to withstand every strain put upon it by party 
spirit, Western development, world-wide immigration, 
wars little and great, far-reaching social and economic 
changes, inventions and discoveries, the growth of in- 
dividual wealth and the vagaries of endless reformers. 

That within the short space of lOO years we have 
grown to be a great nation, so much so that today the 
United States is rightly regarded as the first among the 
nations of the earth, is due to the Constitution, the 
palladium of our liberties and the landmark in our 
march of progress. 

When George Washington secured its final adoption, 
largely out of respect for his judgment and as a tribute 
of confidence in him, he made all mankind his debtor 
forever, for the Constitution has proved the bulwark 



240 JAMES CARDIXAL GIBBONS 

of every right and every fair promise that the American 
Revolution stood for. With the Constitution came the 
soHdarity and the union which has marked our progress 
up to now ; without it we would have remained thirteen 
independent colonies, with the passions and prejudices 
peculiar to each. For all time to come may it remain 
the instrument safeguarding our national life and insur- 
ing us the liberties and freedom which it guarantees. 

For the first time in the history of mankind religious 
liberty was here secured to all men as a right under fed- 
eral protection. 

That was indeed a big thing, a mighty thing for a man 
to do, to write into the fundamentals of a government 
enactments that would stem the tide of popular and 
traditional prejudices. But that the Constitution of the 
United States did, so that not only was religious intol- 
erance branded as something un-American, but future 
American citizens came to our shores, full hearted and 
well disposed, and the whole world was made a debtor 
to the wise founders of this charter of human rights 
and human interests- 
Had this wise provision been left out of the Consti^ 
tution who could have foreseen the evils confronting us? 
No one knows better than myself what a line of 
demarcation and separation religion can cut in this coun- 
try from ocean to ocean, and no one has been more 
eager and earnest in his effort to keep down and repress 
religious distinctions. 

I fear no enemy from without. The enemy I fear 
is he who, forgetting human nature and the history of 
Europe, would raise the question of another's religious 
belief, and introduce strife and discord into the life 
of our country. So deep and strong are religious feel- 



. CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 2^1 

ings that any fostering of religious differences can have 
but one effect, to destroy what a hundred years of trial 
and test has proved to be the greatest blessing enjoyed 
by man here below. 

Fortunately our common law protects every Ameri- 
can in his religious belief, as it protects him in his 
civil rights so that whatever offenses may be occasionally 
committed here in this respect, are local and temporary, 
and are universally regarded as un-American and are 
for this reason short lived. The great wrongs which 
men have suffered elsewhere in this respect of religion 
are here unthinkable. 

Moreover, because the question of religion had ever 
been the burning question with the masses who looked 
eagerly towards America, and were in time destined 
to come to our shores, the Constitution held out to 
them the hope that here on this blessed soil opportunity 
would be given them of worshipping God after the dic- 
tates of their own conscience. While the founders of the 
American Republic could not have foreseen the coming 
flood of European immigration, they exhibited never- 
theless in respect to religion the greatest prudence and 
closed with practical sagacity the only source of mutual 
discord and injustice that the Republic had then to fear. 

I was quoted in the newspapers a few weeks ago as 
saying of certain foreign elements in this country that 
if they did not like our laws they could return to their 
own country; and if they did hot return they should be 
made to do so. 

Directed as these words are against those who would 
abuse the liberty of worship and other liberties here 
offered and who would strive to overthrow the very 
instrument of their freedom, I offer no apology for 



242 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

them. In this all-important matter of religious 
liberty, time has proved the wisdom of our founders, 
and we would be recreant to the trust committed to us 
if we failed to teach and uphold the principles upon 
which our government rests. 

The very essence of our government is suffrage, and 
the method by which the people register their choice 
the ballot-box. Hence our rulers are called the servants 
of the people, and the people themselves are called a 
sovereign people. Ours is a Democratic government, 
that is, a government "of the people, by the people, for 
the people." It is from the exercise of this American 
birthright of voting arise all our governing bodies, 
the Federal Government with its three branches, execu- 
tive, judicial, legislative; also our State government, each 
enjoying full autonomy in its own sphere and independ- 
ent of the Federal Government in the management of 
its internal affairs. The highest ideal of paternity is 
the begetting of a son like unto the father. In the civil 
order it is the Constitution which has bred a number 
of States — now 48 — like unto the parent' but with lib- 
erty of self-government as a separate community and 
independent State. There is no absorption by the gen- 
eral government of the State government- Were it 
otherwise, were the governors and legislators and coun- 
cilmen of our different States mere creatures of the 
President, all civil liberties would be at an end, and 
the safety and permanence of the Republic, which de- 
pends upon the full autonomy of the separate States, 
would be threatened and endangered. 

These two wise provisions of the Constitution, the 
autonomy of the several States and the sacred privilege 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 243 

of the ballot, I have seen tested, and the results of the 
tests but strengthen in me the conviction that a nation 
which could survive the strain thus put upon it must 
be possessed of extraordinary vitality and resource. 

What could have tried more the vitality and strength 
of the American Republic than the Civil War, in which 
I was a chaplain at Fort McHenry, Baltimore? Only 
those who lived through those trying years can fully 
realize how disturbed were the condition of things, and 
how our Government was shaken to its very founda- 
tions. 

No war is like civil war, where father is arrayed 
against son, brother against brother^ Whatever appeals 
may have weight at other times become useless and 
lacking power and force in such a struggle. 

There comes to my mind now a certain naval cap- 
tain in whose house I was a welcome guest. One day 
while visiting him we were seated in the library, and 
naturajly our talk turned to the war, then almost at 
an end. Pointing to the American flag that was hang- 
ing over the mantelpiece, "How" said he, "can I do 
anything against that flag under which I have sailed 
so long?" 

Yet this same gentleman's wife was the daughter of 
a Southern sympathizer. Betv/een the two families there 
was reared a wall of prejudice and passion, which no 
reasoning could break down, and which remained for 
years after the struggle vv^as over. 

Multiply this instance, not by ten or a hundred, but 
by thousands, for the same condition prevailed in every 
hamlet, village and city, and some idea may be gained 
of the turbulent, disordered state of affairs during the 
years of 1861 to 1865. 



244 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

But the Civil War ended. In my opinion it was a 
blessing in disguise. The true position of the States 
was made more clear and defined. At the same time 
they were more firmly united than ever before. 

No less momentous was the conflict between ^Ir. 
Tilden and Mr. Hayes for the Presidency in 1876. 

As already said, the very essence of our Govern- 
ment is suffrage, and any attempt to defraud a voter, 
either by tampering with his already cast ballot or by 
bribery, is a direct blow at the Constitution, the instru- 
ment of representative government and the conferee of 
the American birthright of voting- 

When, therefore- in the Presidential election of 1876, 
Air. Hayes was declared elected, although the prevail- 
ing opinion was that Mr. Tilden had won, a blow was 
struck at the very foundation of our national life. 

Happily this crisis, which filled me with more fear 
for the safety of the Republic than did the four years 
of civil war, passed without the privilege of voting 
losing any of its sacred and solemn character. 

Our economic life and condition are, of course, the 
most wonderful chapter in the history of the world's 
material development. Every year for more than a cen- 
tury vast territories have been opened up by the hardy 
pioneer, limitless prairies, inexhaustible mines, inland 
seas, raw materials of universal value and limitless sup- 
ply, the precious metals and the means of transportation. 

I can easily recall the time when a great part of our 
country was undeveloped. It is not many years back 
when Oklahoma was but a vast prairie, a vast stretch 
of arid waste. Overnight it has become an endless 
source of wealth and production, in size equal to about 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 245 

one-third of France and with a thriving population of 
almost 2,000000 inhabitants. 

As for transportation, in 1855 I set out from New 
Orleans to Baltimore. Arriving by boat at Cincinnati, 
I there took the Baltimore and Ohio to a point west of 
the Alleghany Mountains. Here I detrained and con- 
tinued the journey over the mountain by stage. I was 
exactly 16 days en route from New Orleans to Balti- 
more. Today the same trip may be made in twice as 
many hours and in cars that lack for nothing in com- 
fort and elegance. 

Yet all this development of our different States, mode 
of transportation, in one word, riches and comforts that 
beggar description and perhaps surpass all that man- 
kind has hitherto drawn from earth and sea has been 
accomplished under the aegis of American law and or- 
der, with eventual security for every right and fair play 
for every opportunity. 

It is the Constitution that has mothered all the States 
and protects the economic life of our country. Injus- 
tice has not obtained for long in the United States, nor 
has it been able to establish itself in caste or in institu- 
tions or in common acceptance. It is our Constitution 
which calls the people to vigilant supervision of their 
liberties and turns over to them forever all offenders 
against their liberties- 

Indeed, I am greatly heartened as I look back over 
fifty or sixty years of public life and note how from de- 
cade to decade States have sprung into life and being 
and development ; how these same States have become 
unified under the protection of our Federal courts ; how 
summary and exemplary justice has been established 
between contending interests and how far-reaching ju- 



246 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

dicial decrees have been accepted by the whole nation as 
easily as the result of a close presidential election. 

Incidentally, it is to the Supreme Court that our coun- 
try is indebted for its surveillance of and services to its 
interpretation of the Constitution, and bringing into prac- 
tical and peaceful application this momentous docu- 
ment when interests conflict between State and State 
and State and individual. We have only to imagine 
the lack of such a co-ordinating medium in our national 
life during the last century to appreciate how much the 
unity and harmony and smooth workings of the Con- 
stitution is owing to the Supreme Court. The Supreme 
Court is universally looked upon as the palladium of 
our liberties, for it provides that practical infallibility 
which every Constitution must possess if it would be more 
than a mere scrap of paper. 

This is the place to remark that perhaps I am the 
only American who has known all the Chief Justices 
from the time of Mr. Marshall. 

I knew Chief Justice Taney, the successor of Mr. 
Marshall, and admired him for his true Christian piety 
no less than for his legal acumen. He was a frequent 
attendant here at the high mass in the Cathedral. To 
the remark made to him by one of the clergy, at that 
time a very young priest, how difficult it was to preach 
in his presence, he replied that he came, not to criticize, 
but to be instructed; that he had never heard a bad 
sermon in his whole life. 

The other Chief Justices I knew also — Mr. Chase, 
Mr. Waite, Mr. Fuller, and the present distinguished in- 
cumbent, Mr. White, whom I met many years ago in 
New Orleans when as a young lawyer he was winning 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 247 

for himself golden opinion of his legal ability and pre- 
cision. 

As already remarked, this Constitution under whose 
protection we have grown great and become an empire 
of natural wealth and opportunity beyond the dream 
of fancy in other lands and ages is the work of George 
Washington. 

True, others there were to whom must be given a 
share in its creation and framing. It remained, however, 
for George Washington to have the Constitution adopted 
and accepted. Without Washington the conflicting in- 
terests of the different States of the Union would most 
surely have led to disagreement and dismemberment. 
Had a small man been President, or one little known, 
undoubtedly the result of the yet untried document would 
have been a failure. In Washington the whole country 
beheld virtues and qualities well calculated to inspire 
confidence and security. During the seven years of the 
Revolutionary War, with a half-starved army in the 
field and at home a vacillating Congress, he not only 
rose superior to every obstacle, but opportunity was 
given him of the widest acquaintance with men in all 
parts of the thirteen colonies. He knew every patriot, 
and every patriot knew him — and trusted him. 

Moreover, as the first President, it fell to him dur- 
ing eight years to try out the new document. In the 
face of much opposition and gigantic difficulties Wash- 
ington made the Constitution a fitting instrument to 
bring about peace and order. During his administra- 
tion Washington gave force and direction to the writ- 
ten principles of the Constitution, and proved, even in 
the early days of its existence, how practical a docu- 



248 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

ment it was in its bearings upon the affairs of govern- 
ment and men. 

It is my earnest hope that all my fellow-citizens will 
find in the liberty and freedom guaranteed by the Con- 
stitution peace and security, and in the character of 
George Washington, virtues and qualities worthy of 
the highest imitation. 



ARCHBISHOP JOHN J. GLENNON'S SERMON 

AT THE FUNERAL OF CARDINAL GIBBONS 

MARCH 31, 1921 



ARCHBISHOP GLENNON'S SERMON 



"Let us now praise men of renown and our fathers in their 
generation. 

Such as have borne rule in their dominions, men of great 
power, and endued with their wisdom, shewing forth in the 
prophets the dignity of prophets. 

And ruling over the present people and by the strength of 
wisdom instructing the people in most holy words. 

Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto 
generation and generation." — {Ecclesiasticus 44: i, 3, 4, 14.) 



T KNOW not what thoughts to express, or words to 
^ clothe them in on this solemn occasion, as we group 
around this mound of sorrow, to bid a last sad farewell 
to our father and our friend- 
Words of protest, some may say, since it is nature's 
way to protest against death, to treat it as an enemy of 
our race and us, yet we who are believers in a merciful 
Providence, that wisely, jtistly disposeth all things, the 
Master of life and death, holding the living and the dead 
equally in His keeping, we who would also be His chil- 
dren, can only bow in lowliest reverence to His supreme 
decree. 

"Thou madest man, he knows not why 
He thinks he was not made to die 
And Thou hast made him — Thou art just." 

But if we may not protest, may we not at least voice 
our regrets? Ought we not to sorrow, and speak that 
sorrow so deep and widespread today for the prophet 



252 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

who is silent — for the prince who has fallen — for the 
man who is gone? 

Beyond our own hearts' promptings we have as ex- 
amplars for it the noblest names in history. '']2LCoh 
mourned for his son many days ; the congregation 
mourned for Aaron/' and Samuel for Saul while Da- 
vid's plaints and tears were his daily offering to the mem- 
ory of his son Absalom. And of the Blessed Master, 
too, when they brought Him news that Lazarus, His 
friend, was dead, St. John records the love and the tears 
of Christ — "And Jesus wept." 

With these examples before us, of friend sorrowing 
for friend, and if again sorrow is to be measured by the 
merits of the dead, and the extent of loss, then how diffi- 
cult must it be for us to suppress our emotions as we pon- 
der over the life, the love, the service, the sacrifice of 
James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore. High 
sounding titles you will say, meaning much of dignity 
and power; but now our thoughts do rather turn to the 
kindly gentle old man, whose coming was a joy — whose 
presence was a benediction. 

Let those tell us what manner of man he was who 
daily broke bread with them. Let them tell us of that 
uniform kindness, courtesy, thoughtfulness that marked 
all his dealings with them. Let them attest his patience 
in adversity, his sympathy in sorrow, his anxiety for his 
friends, his charity towards all. For his life was an open 
book and on its every golden page are inscribed the 
friendships, the kindly deeds and far-reaching charities 
of a noble heart. Not to Baltimore alone are these things 
known ; for as he with hurrying feet travelled from city 
to city in this broad land, everywhere the bearer of 
blessed tidings, so everywhere today the fond memories 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 253 

remain of the kindly man whose visitation was to them 
a lasting benediction. No wonder- then, that when the 
sad announcement of death was made, a wave of sorrow 
should sweep the land — the voiceless sorrow of a nation 
in mourning. Voiceless ! did I say ? No ! For here on 
his casket are laid the multiplied tributes of respect and 
regret from the people, representatives. Senators and 
judges; and crowning these, the glowing tribute from the 
illustrious President of our Nation. Add to this, or 
preceding it, as you will, this concourse of people — the 
numberless priests of the Church — the mitred heads of 
many dioceses, all bowed in deep sorrow. And cause 
have we of the Episcopate, most of all, to regret his de- 
parture. He was our leader, guide and father. We 
cannot forget his unfailing kindness — his prudent coun- 
sel. We fear and feel we shall not look on his like again. 
The Holy Father himself must have sensed our loss, as 
well as his own, since from the throne of the Fisherman 
he voices at once the sorrow of his own troubled heart 
and the sympathy of the Catholic world. 

Sorrow so universal deserves recording; and yet I 
feel that more pressing even than tears is our duty today 
to express our gratitude to the Almighty — to thank God 
for Cardinal Gibbons. And first, for his length of years. 
Great and small, rich and poor, whatever else they do, 
are certainly fated to die. Some are called in infancy; 
others in adult years ; others in ripe old age. The Blessed 
Master favored this, His servant, with many, many 
years to work in His vineyard. Born in this city eighty- 
six years ago, he was consecrated Bishop in this vener- 
able edifice in the year 1868. Of all the bishops then 
consecrated not one is left. In 1884 the then Archbishop 
Gibbons convoked and presided over the Third Plenary 



254 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Council. There were present seventy-five prelates. 
Their presiding officer saw them fall one by one until 
of that great assemblage he alone remained. In 1886 he 
was elevated to the Sacred College as Cardinal Priest. 
Sixty members or more were then wearers of the sacred 
purple. All have preceded Cardinal Gibbons to the 
grave. 

Surely if length of years is a blessing, Cardinal Gib- 
bons was specially blessed ; and for that blessing we are 
grateful. Especially should we praise the Giver, that 
not only were the years of the Cardinal many, but so 
abundantly fruitful — so rich in achievement as to mark 
him for his age, his Church, and his country, as verily 
a providential man. 

It appears to be true that for every great crisis in his- 
tory Providence, as Balmes says, holds in reserve a 
remarkable man. Now fifty years ago there was such 
a crisis. The crosses were taken from courthouse and 
schoolroom and the living Church was everywhere com- 
batted, made to feel that its days were numbered. For 
now the world was told by the scientists that it was 
complete without God; that there was no God, unless- 
indeed, such divinity as man could of himself attain. 
It was an age of invention — of discovery — of material 
progress. So science in its triumph thought it could 
despise and reject the Deity. It would take His place 
in ruling the world. It would train the child how to be 
scientific; but at the same time Godless. It would hold 
out to the laboring man the promase of power by the 
lure of gold, but at the loss of his soul. It would substi- 
tute philanthropy for charity; and consecrate the title 
to wealth on the sole plea of its possession. It was the 
philosophy of omnipotent evolution and hopeless fatal- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 255 

ism. It was a philosophy that cuhninated in the last 
sad war, where millions of our best and bravest were 
driven to death, their dying efforts spent in tearing from 
the bodies of their brothers the image and likeness of 
God ; while science then triumphant crowned their brows 
with dust, consigning them and their hopes to endless 
sleep. 

The war is over, and perhaps that philosophy too, 
since above their graves another and better philoso- 
phy has set the cross of Christ. 

But I digress. Fifty years ago this philosophy ap- 
pealed to the multitude as a new revelation. It was en- 
throned in the universities. It was encouraged by the 
Statesmen; for well these latter knew that the more the 
people sink in materialism, scientific or otherwise, the 
more autocratic may the civil power become. When the 
deadly miasma was spreading o'er the land, attracting 
the multitude by the phosphorescence of its own decay, 
there appeared on the horizon three men, who, though 
separated by the waters of the sea, were one in pur- 
pose, one in faith, one in consecration. And the first of 
these, and the greatest, was that great Pontiff, who then 
guided and guarded the destinies of Christendom. The 
immortal Leo the XIII flung down the challenge to the 
schools and the scoffers — to the university and the states- 
man. He takes his stand for the blessed Christ, whose 
Vicar he is. He proclaims the great truth that human 
science counts for little unless it seeks its complement 
in the science that is of God divine. He preaches the 
true philosophy of which St. Thomas was the great 
proponent, that philosophy which proclaims that man 
has an immortal spiritual soul, that it is thereby he at- 
tains his true dignity. He organizes the Christian uni- 



256 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

versities ; and gives to them the mandate and the in- 
spiration. He brings back the light of faith to the soul 
of the child ; and in the face of opposition from the civil 
governments proclaims the inalienable right of imparting 
Catholic truth to the children of the faith. 

Lastly in his great encyclical on labor he asserts and 
defines to a world still, in spite of all its science, half 
feudalistic, the dignity, rights and duties of labor. His 
teaching is that the workman has the right to combine, 
but not to conspire — that he has duty to work honestly 
(as we all have) and the right to such remuneration as 
will make it possible for him to live a man among his 
fellows, with a home wherein his children may grow as 
befits the children of God. So taught Leo fifty years 
ago. He did not stand alone. First, Manning of Eng- 
land, with the intensity and a consecration that soon 
marked him as a leader; while here in America, down 
in the southland the Blessed Master found the third great 
champion of his cause, Leo XHI, Manning of West- 
minster and Gibbons of Baltimore. These three and 
these the causes they served : first, to win the world back 
from the false philosophy of the scientists to the true 
philosophy of the cross — hence the encyclicals of Leo — 
second, to establish universities and schools where that 
true philosophy would find a home and an exposition; — 
hence the Catholic University of which Cardinal Gib- 
bons was founder, patron, and chancellor; — third, to 
establish the rights of labor on the sound principles of 
the moral law, taking into account the value of labor, 
but more than that the character and the dignity of the 
worker; — hence the encyclical on labor — hence the ac- 
tion of Cardinal Gibbons in behalf of the Knights of 
Labor. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 2^7 

History, no doubt, will give place, proportion and 
setting to the life work of the Cardinal. And while it 
may pay but scant courtesy to our emotions or tears, 
it can the more convincingly inscribe the wondrous story 
of his life — how that in his vicariate of the South, while 
attending to a scattered flock, he had time to bring the 
fullness of the ancient faith into the emptiness of modern 
thought and write "The Faith of Our Fathers" — our 
best ''apologia" in the English language — the best when 
written fifty years ago — the best now, and we have reason 
to believe if even latest history will not record a better. 

Impartial history will tell us that the most important 
and in its results the most far-reaching oi all the 
national Councils held since the Council of Trent- was 
the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore — how by it were 
formed and fashioned the laws and the government of 
the American Church — how it became the exemplar for 
all the national Councils since its promulgation ; and 
history will not deny that its quality, efficiency, the op- 
portuneness of its mandates are largely due to its Emi- 
nent Chairman, and President, our venerated Cardinal, 
who, not only presided over its every session, but has 
since w4th unfailing diligence watched over its accept- 
ance and observance. 

Turn we to his other great work, the Catholic Uni- 
versity. While under papal charter, the Cardinal was in 
effect its head, its heart and its inspiration. He gave 
to it his best thought, his warmest affection and his un- 
failing support. He looked to it to carry out his life 
work — to bring the mind of the Church to all the ques- 
tions of the age, and stand as a light perennial to the 
nation and the world. 

Paralleling the dying request of a national hero of 



258 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

other days, the Cardinal, were he to speak, would, I be- 
lieve, leave as a heritage, his body to Baltimore, his 
heart to the University and his soul to God. Most cer- 
tainly he now bequeaths its care to us as a sacred trust; 
and I am convinced that I rightly interpret the will and 
wish of both clergy and laity of the American Church, 
in declaring now beside his mortal remains that we will 
not break faith with him — that for his sake and for the 
sake of our ancient Faith and for the sake of eternal 
truth, this great school shall endure and prosper, sup- 
ported by a united and a generous people. 

Here then are the salient traits of the illustrious dead. 
He was a great leader and soldier, whose sword was 
ever ready to defend the Christ and His kingdom. He 
was the great legislator, wise in counsel, prudent in ac- 
tion, just in his decisions. He was the far-visioned edu- 
cator, who would have the world know Christ was the 
truth and the life. Lastly he was the great patriot. He 
cared not for the ways, or weaknesses of party; but 
they whom the people chose as President and as legis- 
lators' were his president and his Government. And 
how bravely he spoke his admiration for, his love of his 
country and its institutions. Always eloquent! he was 
never more so than when with the vision before his 
mind of the great dome at Washington and what it 
meant, he spoke of this land as the home of justice and 
liberty. How often he would recount its glories. ''A 
land," he would exclaim, "where we have authority 
without despotism — liberty without license-" 

My brothers of the Heirarchy will easily recall that 
scene, when at our last September meeting at Washing- 
ton, a plea was presented from some European nationals 
in regard to the composition of the American Hierarchy. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 259 

After some discussion one of the prelates requested the 
opinion of the Cardinal, who was presiding. The bent 
figure was suddenly erect; and in a voice vibrant with 
emotion, he addressed us : — ''We are bound in the unity 
of faith and obedience to the Vicar of Christ; but our 
Church knows nothing of European politicians; and we 
must never allow them to lay hands on its fair struc- 
ture." 

He was ever the priest true to his Church — the pa- 
triot proud of his country. It was to many a mystery, 
how Cardinal Gibbons could accomplish so much and ex- 
ert so great and beneficent an influence. For his was 
not the physique we associate with the great tribunes 
of men, nor with the towering intellect that overawes 
and conquers. Yet the mystery may be solved by re- 
membering that his was the Celtic temperament, rest- 
less, creative, spiritual — that it was a temperament sub- 
dued and chastened by his varied experiences and great 
responsibilities. He studied deeply. He prayed without 
ceasing. Often must he have repeated that Christmas 
anthem, *'Oh wisdom divine that proceedeth from the 
mouth of the Most High, wisely, sweetly, disposing all 
things, teach us the ways of prudence." There before 
the altar of God he learned that lesson of the divine 
heart, to be meek and humble ; and looking at that cross 
he came to realize the sacrifice supreme that cross sym- 
bolized and the love which prompted it. 

The source of his power is traceable to the inner life 
of the man, which was a blending of strength and sweet- 
ness of simplicity and prudence. Thus when we con- 
sider what manner of man he was and how he worked 
for peace through the truth and that the way of his 
working was charity, we now can understand how like 



26o JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

the rainbow of God he stood before this generation a 
symbol of peace and promise; but unHke that fitful 
image which the sun paints on the storm clouds, his 
endured through the years, and even now as we look 
towards the flaming west of his setting, there comes 
through the purple twilight his spirit's parting benedic- 
tion. 

As we stand in the shadows, listening to that voice 
that speaks to our souls, ours is the solemn duty to take 
up the work he has left us to do — to promote peace, to 
teach the truth, to serve God, to build up anew the 
falling walls of Christendom. 

Soon we will find, how much we need him who is 
gone. Soon will the wish unbidden arise, if it were only 
the blessed will of God that he should remain with us 
yet a little longer — ''Mane nohiscuiii quojiiani advesper- 
ascit f for we are still a far w<ay from the reign of 
peace and justice that humanity yearns for. Nature, 
it is true has long since blotted out the blood which 
crimsoned her breast during these last years- The green- 
ing springtime starlit with primrose and daftodil now 
mantles the fields of Flanders and Picardy, and wave- 
lets of the sea ripple the golden sands of Gallipoli; 
but up about us and within us still surge the old hatreds, 
while all around us the horizon is flecked with blood. 
Anarchy stalks abroad among the ruins — the starving 
children of Europe lift their pleading hands asking for 
bread. ''You promised us." "You bade us hope." 
"What have we done that we must die?" 

Across the seas their wail comes to us and back of it 
the threats of revolt and the wild cries of despair. The 
world is sick and broken. Statecraft has failed to help 
it; and they who would be its masters, appalled at its 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 261 

misery, largely of their own creation, have lapsed to 
silence or secret intrigue. Our only hope is that good 
men and true shall rise with a new consecration to help 
their sorrowing brothers wherever these may be. Of 
such, there are not a few. The dead Cardinal because 
of them, and in the hope he cherished of what they 
would accomplish, began to see the light breaking. His 
last message was spoken preparatory to the great Feast 
of Peace and Good Will — the Advent of the Christ King ; 
and these were his words : — 

''Let us rejoice that the Great War's terrible aftermath 
of private sorrow and public calamity shows signs of be- 
ing lessened, and that the light of hope may be discerned 
through the darkness of the age. Particularly in our 
own dear land do we perceive this light ; and if we are 
true to its inspiration, we may extend its blessings to 
other nations, less favored by Almighty God. I face our 
future not only without apprehension, but with unshaken 
faith in our American institutions, because these are 
based upon the message of Christianity." 

It may be that his words were prophetic; and pro- 
phetic, too, not alone of his country here, but of his 
home in eternity. — "I face the future" (was it his etern- 
ity?) he said, "with unshaken faith" — "Paratus sum 
et non sum turhatus.'' 

Let us hope, now that he has gone to his judgment 
and to his rewards, that the angels' song of which he 
spoke at the Christmas time will greet him also on his 
way — that he will hear their voices calling him to give 
glory to his Master, and to the attainment of the king- 
dom of peace. While this is our hope, it must also be 
our prayer. 

Our departed friend, whatever his titles, achieve- 



262 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

ments, fidelities, was after all but human and wherever 
humanity is, there is frailty, error and sin. Let us unite 
our suffrages with the Saints in beseeching the Almighty, 
so long his Father, and now his Judge, that He will look 
with mercy and kindness upon the one before Him. Let 
us pray that his will be a short delay until he shall enter 
into the joy of the Lord. For eighty years and more, in 
much striving and great fidelity has he walked in the 
way of His Lord and Master. So faithful was he to 
the Cross, which with and for the Blessed Christ he 
carried, that we fain would believe the Master permitted 
that his servant's last agony would synchronize with 
His own. So also let us hope that in the white light of 
that Resurrection we are still commem.orating, the Sa- 
viour triumphant, meeting His servant in the garden 
there, may greet him with the words of eternal Hfe: 
"I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth 
in me, though he be dead, shall live," and crown him 
v;ith blissful immortality. 



SERMON DELIVERED BY 
BISHOP THOMAS J. SHAHAN 

AT MONTH'S MIND MASS FOR CARDINAL GIBBONS. IN THE 
BALTIMORE CATHEDRAL. APRIL 27. 1921 



BISHOP SHAHAN'S SERMON 



Many shall praise his wisdom, and it shall never be forgotten. 
The memory of him shall not depart away, and his name shall 
be in request from generation to generation. Nations shall de- 
clare his wisdom, and the Church shall show forth his praise. — 
Ecclesiasticus 39: 12-14. , 

SINCE that far-off day when the Holy Spirit thus 
commended the ideal sage of Israel, it is probable 
that to few men have these words been more accurately 
fitted than to him who so lately walked among us, the 
embodiment of the highest religious ideals and of the 
purest civic virtue. The civilized world's sorrow over 
his departure, so universal, so heart-felt, so variously 
eloquent, is itself a rare tribute to which the pages of his- 
tory, secular or religious, offer few if any parallels. It 
seemed to well up from some great depths of our com- 
mon humanity, and rightly filled us with hope that in 
his noble spirit, caught by the American people in par- 
ticular with so much truth and sincerity, we have at 
once a pledge and a vision of that unity of charity and 
faith, of hearts and larger purpose, of universal Chris- 
tian service, of the eternal realities of the Gospel, for 
which he ever yearned, and toward which he ever bent, in 
all its fullness, his peculiarly affectionate and hopeful 
nature. Its advent alone will lift mankind heavenward 



266 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

from those lower levels of despondency and pessimism 
to which somehow it tends to sink in proportion as the 
sense of religious unity decays, and men fall back into the 
nebulous and depressive atmosphere of mere self-reli- 
ance in the domain of religion and the soul. 

But if the American people, and the world in general, 
deplore yet the loss of one who will ever be a foremost 
man in the annals of humanity, the Catholic people of 
this city and state, and their fellow Catholics of the 
United States, recover slowly from the spell of the great 
sorrow which dwells in their hearts. "And Jonathan 
and Simon took Judas, their brother, and buried him in 
the sepulchre of their fathers, in the city of Modin, and 
all the people of Israel bewailed him with great lamen- 
tation, and they mourned for him many days, and said : 
How is the mighty man fallen that saved the people of 
Israel!" (/ Macch. ix, 19-21). From all sides we looked 
up to him as a pillar of spiritual strength, as a rock of 
faith and wisdom, as a model of character and a treasury 
of experience, a living example and an inspiration in all 
things that are seemly and of good repute. For him, 
age and infirmity seemed not to be; the placid evening 
of his patriarchal life seemed yet a noonday of action 
and hope- But the mighty current of life halts for no 
man, and bears along on its tide the good, the great, and 
the saintly, as well as those who are neither good nor 
great nor saintly. 

Who is the champion ? Who is the strong ? 

Pontiff and priest, and sceptered throng? 

On these shall fall 

As heavily the hand of Death 

■ As when it stays the shepherd's breath 

Beside his stall. 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 267 

Yet he hath not truly died. For the followers of 
Jesus there is no death: what seems so is transition. 
Sin, the sting of death, was swallowed up in the victory 
of Christ's Resurrection, the pledge of immortality for 
all who strive to imitate our Blessed Lord, and who put 
on during life His justice and holiness. Our beloved 
shepherd passed away in the embrace of the Good Shep- 
herd whom he had so long imitated in faith and hope 
and love, surrounded, by all the consolations of religion, 
amid the prayers of millions of faithful, while a voice 
from Heaven resounded in his ear, saying: ''Write. 
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From hence- 
forth now saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their 
labours, for their works follow them" (Apoc. xiv, 13). 
And again, ''I am the Resurrection and the Life: He 
that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live ; And 
everyone that liveth and believeth in me shall not die 
forever" (John xi, 25-26). Truly he shall not die for- 
ever, not alone in that blessed immortality on which he 
has entered, but also in the memory of mankind, so long 
as there is reverence for religion, gratitude for service, 
love for benefits, esteem for virtue; so long as men 
honor love of country and devotion to the common wel- 
fare ; so long as the heroism of duty is applauded, and 
those men are accounted great who truly love their fel- 
low men, and spend themselves in works of charity and 
comfort, beholding in all men the glorious features of 
the Redeemer of mankind. 

Cardinal Gibbons was indeed a gentleman of the old 
school, but he was in a higher and supernatural way a 
Catholic priest, and to his intense consciousness of this 
divine calling are owing the most distinctive merits of 
his long life. It was precisely the priestly quality of his 



268 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

daily life which most attracted the men and women 
who came into frequent contact with him, and were 
spiritually comforted and encouraged by the religious 
and other worldly temper of his mind. From his sense 
of priestly duty came that deep and happy grasp of the 
Scriptures which, coupled with a clear, simple and di- 
rect speech, made him an admirable preacher of the Word 
of God. To his priestly charity he owed the kindly, 
attractive, and tactful manner of presenting Catholic 
truth which made him the most successful of the modern 
apostles of our holy religion. Again, it was this priestly 
concern for the sad religious ignorance of many non- 
Catholics which made him the most persuasive writer of 
his time, and opened to many thousands of converts a 
happy way of return to the religious unity and peace 
they were vainly seeking. He had only priestly inter- 
ests, and his life was spent within the shadows of his 
cathedral and his seminary. He never had any higher 
ambition than to show forth in his own person the truth 
he taught in the Cathedral, and the priestly discipline 
of life which he administered in the seminary Not in 
vain did he ordain thousands of priests to the service 
of the Catholic people, for something of his own sacer- 
dotal genius, so to speak, must have entered the hearts 
of these young Levites. To him, indeed, the American 
Catholic people are largely indebted for their native 
priesthood, as well as for a long line of active and suc- 
cessful bishops, to whom in Baltimore Cathedral the 
Holy Spirit communicated in its fullness the apostolic 
ardor which inflamed the heart of their consecrator. 

It was, as a minister of Jesus Christ, as an humble, 
unselfish and zealous priest, concerned chiefly about the 
divine and eternal interests of his people and his coun- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 269 

try, that he went about his beloved city and state, teach- 
ing in the name of his Divine Master, charity and toler- 
ance, mutual respect and mutual service, and emphasiz- 
ing at all times the ties which bind us in unity rather 
than the lines which denote our separate or particular 
interests. From the inner citadel of his Catholic faith 
he looked out upon our common American life with the 
eyes of the Good Samaritan, and was ever more con- 
cerned with the duty of healing its ills and its woes than 
with a sternly righteous denunciation of their causes and 
conditions. To the end he was faithful to the high 
priestly task of healing and consoling, of comforting 
and guiding a society whose defects and errors he well 
knew were rooted in spiritual ignorance rather than in 
malice. For this principally he was beloved by the 
American people during his long and beneficent life, 
and for this will he be remembered and praised in com- 
ing generations. 

He lived to behold, and was himself an active element 
in one of the most remarkable phenomena in the history 
of religion: the vast and rapid growth of American 
Catholicism in the last half century. Less than six mil- 
lions in 1877, its adherents had reached the figure of 
eighteen millions at his death; their churches had grown 
from eight thousand to sixteen thousand, their priest- 
hood from five thousand to twenty-one thousand, their 
schools from fifteen hundred to six thousand. The 
faith and energy, devotion and generosity of this multi- 
tude kept pace with their numbers, also, roughly speak- 
ing, their sense of organization and their will to serve 
both Church and country to the utmost limit, were it 
their very lives. This price they were eventually called 
on to pay. The Cardinal was an accepted leader of the 



270 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Catholic people, a veritable Moses for courage, wisdom 
and tenacity. Ecclesiastical legislation, Catholic educa- 
tion, urgent social problems, demanded and received his 
attention, and soon he grouped about himself the best 
Catholic elements of the country, proud to have a spokes- 
man of such high office and such distinction. From the 
beginning he grasped the necessity of transforming po- 
litically the new immigration, no longer homogeneous 
in language, political temper, social habits, or racial spirit. 
When occasion offered he used all his great influence 
with the Holy See to prevent any lessening of the tra- 
ditional episcopal control and responsibility that might 
be detrimental to the highest ideal of American citizen- 
ship, and the immigrant's obligation and opportunity 
to rise to that level. 

In this Cathedral, and elsewhere, he preached continu- 
ously on American patriotism, on the security of the 
American republic, on the American concept of Church 
and State, on religious liberty, on the share of Ameri- 
can Catholics in the making of the Republic, and on 
kindred subjects. He was heard frequently in the public 
press on the same subjects, and often accepted invita- 
tions to remote parts of the country, mainly to empha- 
size in a personal way the great political truths and prin- 
ciples which he considered fundamental in our form of 
government. Year after year this frail, slender man, 
living ever on the very edge of his strength, contended 
in all directions, and v>'ith great success, in favor of 
the American State and its earned right to acceptance 
and respect, even to veneration and gratitude, on the 
part of Europe, whether of its governments or their sub- 
ject peoples. 

It was one day the privilege of this son of Irish immi- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 271 

grants, but born in the purple of American democracy, 
to be its sponsor and its eulogist before the Holy See 
itself, which has witnessed the rise and fall and manifold 
changes of every form of government that Caesar could 
enforce or Demos could excogitate. There is hence- 
forth a militant, and even a prophetic note in his de- 
fense of American democracy as though he heard, with 
all the certainty of an Adams or a Jefferson, the re- 
sponse of decay that absolute monarchy offered every- 
where, and foresaw that wreckage of its institutions 
and its very spirit which today encumbers the sites 
of its former power and authority. His memorable 
words at Rome on the occasion of the conferring of the 
cardinal's hat in the Church of Santa Maria in Traste- 
vere deserve a place in any eulogy of his patriotism: 

"For myself, as a citizen of the United 
States, and without closing my eyes to our 
shortcomings as a nation, I say, with a deep 
sense of pride and gratitude, that I belong to a 
coimtry where the civil government holds over 
us the aegis of its protection without interfering 
with us in the legitimate exercise of our sub- 
lime mission as the ministers of Gospel of Christ. 
Our country has liberty without license, au- 
thority without despotism; she rears no wall to 
exclude the stranger from among us. She has 
few frowning fortifications to repel the in- 
vader, for she is at peace with all the world. 
She rests secure in the consciousness of her 
strength and her good-will toward all. Her 
harbors are open to welcome the honest im- 
migant who comes to advance his temporal 



272 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

interests and find a peaceful home. But while 
we are acknowledged to have a free govern- 
ment, perhaps we do not receive the credit that 
belongs to us for having also a strong govern- 
ment. Yes, our nation is strong and her 
strength lies, under the overruling guidance of 
Providence, in the majesty and supremacy of 
the law, in the loyalty of her citizens and in the 
affection of her people for her free institutions." 

Descending, for the moment, from his priestly office 
and his ecclesiastical rank, and seeing in him the plain 
American citizen, Cardinal Gibbons was pre-eminently 
a teacher of men. During a half century he gradually 
advanced among us to the responsible office of mentor 
and counsellor in the fundamentals of religion, morality, 
and patriotism, as they appealed to the average man or 
touched the common conscience. Mankind, after all, is 
essentially docile, whether for good or evil, and by in- 
stinct craves a teacher. All life is a school, and whether 
in the street or the workshop, the office or the home, 
the minds and the hearts of men turn ever to some one 
who can dispel ignorance and doubt, assert essential 
truth, and indicate the right way of ct)nduct. To multi- 
tudes of his own faith he taught indeed only what they 
recognized as the very elements of Christian belief and 
morality. But to many millions of souls beyond the 
pale of Catholicism, untrained in Christian faith and 
life, except as vague instinct or tradition moved them, 
beaten about by contending winds of a philosophy with- 
out foundation, his strong, cheering and hopeful words 
brought spiritual relief and comfort. They were always 
quick with the spirit of the Gospel, emphatic of per- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 273 

sonal duty, and guaranteed by the sincerity and convic- 
tion which radiated from every utterance. He ap- 
peared to this American vv^orld, rehgiously unattached, 
Hke a Greatheart of the new times. His venerable age, 
his acknowledged public merits, his correct and original 
American spirit, his insistence on all civic duties and 
his own regular performance of them, his freedom from 
partisan temper and interests, above all his sane, prac- 
tical wisdom of life, set forth always with moderation 
and in clear, simple and direct language, won eventually 
the confidence of his fellow citizens. He seemed to 
voice their latent faith in God and their ancestral mor- 
ality, submerged as they were by a flood of agnosticism 
and pantheism, but still alive and responsive to the call 
to the sheep which had strayed from the flock, and 
shared unconsciously the mental attitude of St. Peter, 
at once pathetic and prophetic: "Lord, to whom shall 
wx go? Thou hast the v/ords of eternal life'' {John 
vi, 69). To multitudes of those who followed him for 
years in the daily press he might have said with St. Paul 
before the Areopagus: "What therefore you worship 
without knowing it, that I preach to you" {Acts xvii, 23). 
Multitudes of others no doubt recognized the voice of the 
Good Shepherd calling in the vast social wilderness. 

For this office he was peculiarly gifted by nature, ex- 
perience, and opportunity. It suited his pacific temper, 
his taste for simple and direct speech, his profound 
sympathy, born of intimate relations, for those who 
wander about spiritually homeless and friendless, and 
his accurate sense of the deeply religious temper of the 
American mind, however shy and suspicious of the or- 
ganized teaching of the Gospel, and the divine fact of 
the Church. Gradually and almost unconsciously this 



274 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

moral leadership came to him, nor was it ever asserted 
or sought, but rather gladly offered by the countless 
individual souls which recognized at once and were 
grateful for the spiritual charity of his secure guidance 
amid so much that was obscure or uncertain or unre- 
liable. 

When in his forty-fifth year he succeeded Archbishop 
Bayley, the ninth Archbishop of Baltimore, he had in his 
favor, besides his age, only the confidence of the Holy 
See, the esteem and affection of his superior- and a 
hardly-earned experience of episcopal duties gained amid 
severe labor, unreHeved by success or any promise of the 
same. Before he died he had made the name of his 
See and his native city known the world over, and had 
earned for both a high niche in the temple of fame. 
Amid the delicate political circumstances of the time, he 
took up the trying inheritance of greatness bequeathed 
to him by a Kenrick and a Spalding, prelates of ripe 
and extensive scholarship, shining lights of ecclesiasti- 
cal learning, known and admired in the entire Catholic 
world, for many years protagonists of all Catholic in- 
terests, and leaders of the American Hierarchy, not 
alone by right of ofhce, but also by character and achieve- 
ment and by every kind of religious merit and service. 
Within seven years he had brought together the Third 
Plenary Council of Baltimore, presided over it as Apos- 
tolic Delegate, and so happily directed its legislation that 
it was widely praised and often imitated by the Catholic 
churches of Europe. He encouraged and inspired the 
religious growth of his ancient See, multiplied its par- 
ishes and schools, developed its institutions, and sus- 
tained its reputation among the Catholic people as the 
original center of good studies, both secular and re- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 275 

ligious. The once large territory of the archdiocese 
had been greatly diminished by the creation of new dio- 
ceses, nevertheless he maintained with diginity and suc- 
cess its distinctive place and status in our CathoHc life, 
owing largely to the zeal and devotion of his clergy, the 
active faith and generosity of his people, the unity and 
self-sacrifice of both, but in very great measure to his 
own continuous labors. For nearly fifty years he was 
the public servant of religion in this city and in the 
State of Maryland. His faith and zeal, his love and 
his sacrifices, are written in the annals of every parish, 
city and rural. What a Golden Book of works of re- 
ligion — cornestones, dedications, blessings of bells, con- 
secrations, jubilees, renovations of churches, and again 
first communions, confirmations, devotional exercises, 
and whatever public occasion offered itself to the Chief 
Shepherd to meet his flock and to bless, instruct and 
comfort them! Ceaselessly also he went the round of 
all diocesan institutions, colleges and convents, orphan 
asylums and industrial schools, hospitals and homes of 
the poor and the aged, a monotonous tale of affectionate 
pastoral service performed without flinching, and with- 
out concern for his frail physique and his always deli- 
cate health. Societies, sodalities and pious associations 
of every kind often claimed his presence; never spar- 
ing of himself, he was ever at the disposition of all men 
and women of good-will for the welfare of religion. 

For his native city he cherished a pure and intense 
love, nor in this was he surpassed by any citizen of 
Athens or Florence, not that he separated it in his heart 
from Maryland or the nation, but that for him both 
were intimately correlated with the great city, its prestige 
and progress inseparable from theirs, at once cause and 



276 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

effect of all broader growth. All the city's interests were 
dear to him, and its development, economic and social, 
his constant pre-occupation. Detached by his office and 
condition from all personal considerations, and raised 
to a level whence he could survey the general welfare, 
himself a man of liberal culture, he brought to his coun- 
sel and co-operation the moderation, sincerity and good 
sense of an unselfish American citizen, fortunately quite 
parallel to similar qualities in that old school of demo- 
cratic churchmen whence issued so much of the great 
architecture of Europe, so much of its best municipal 
spirit, so much of that local resistance to tyranny which 
kept alive in Europe the democratic spirit and conscious- 
ness against a better day. 

Nowhere has Cardinal Gibbons left a more profound 
impression, or accumulated richer memories than in his 
own Cathedral, dear to him beyond expression as the 
scene of all the great personal events of his life. ''Every 
stone of this building,'' said he nearly twenty years ago, 
"is sacred to me. It was in this church that I was re- 
generated in the waters of Baptism at the hands of the 
venerated Doctor White. Under its shadow I was 
raised to the priesthood. In this temple I was conse- 
crated Bishop by Archbishop Spalding. It was here 
that the insignia of Cardinalatial rank were conferred on 
me by a representative of Leo XIII. Here I have la- 
bored as a priest and a prelate for thirty-two years. I 
intend to offer the Holy Sacrifice and to preach within 
these walls as long as God gives me life and strength. 
And when my earthly career is ended, which in the course 
of nature and the order of Divine Providence, is not far 
distant, I expect that my body will repose in this crypt 
beside the ashes of my predecessors, and I hope that it 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 277 

may there remain undisturbed, if God so wills it, till the 
glorious dawn of the Resurrection." 

In peculiarly eloquent words he poured forth his affec- 
tion for this venerable edifice on the occasion of its con- 
secration (1875) • 

*'How many holy Bishops have received their 
episcopal commissions within these sacred walls ! 
How many zealous priests have here been em- 
powered to go forth in the, power of Christ to 
gather together a great flock to the praise of 
His Holy Name ! How many illustrious pre- 
lates and priests have preached in this sacred 
edifice within the last fifty years! How often 
have the voices of an England, a Hughes and 
a Ryder resounded beneath this dome ! That 
chair has been successively filled by a Marechal, 
a Whitfield, an Eccleston, a Kenrick and a 
Spalding, and when I mention them I mention 
the brighest constellation of names that has ever 
illustrated the American Hierarchy. 

''. . . Here all the first Councils were held 
in the days when the National Church formed 
only one diocese, then only one province; and 
later, when it had become a collection of dioceses 
and provinces, whatever National Councils have 
been held in America have been held, within her 
sacred walls, so that not only have grace and 
life gone forth from this great building, but 
from this Cathedral, as from the center of the 
life of the Ameican Church, has gone forth 
whatever there is of purely American ecclesias- 
tical law." 



278 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

Thirty years later, on the eve of the centenary (1906) 
of the laying of the cornerstone of the Cathedral, he 
returned to the same beloved theme : 

"You will find other sanctuaries in our coun- 
try more spacious than this, but you will find 
none that have held at one time so many illustri- 
ous prelates. You will find other caskets more 
rich and ornate than this, but none in which 
have been set so many precious jewels of the 
faith. There are other cathedrals more ample 
than yours — many daughters there are who 
have outstripped the mother in majesty of size, 
in the number of their progeny and in the accu- 
mulation of wealth. But you will find none 
equal to the mother in the splendor of ecclesias- 
tical traditions. You can truly say of this 
mother in the words of Holy Writ: 'Many 
daughters have gathered wealth, thou, O mother, 
hast surpassed them all in the sweet and rich 
memories that hang around thy sacred brow.' 
And there are none more willing to pay this 
affectionate homage to the mother than the 
daughters themselves. The Bishops, their faith- 
ful spouses, will come from the North, from 
the South, from the East and West, to join 
with you in rendering to her their filial rever- 
ence and love. What Mecca is to the Moham- 
medan, what the Temple of Jerusalem is to the 
Israelite, what St. Peter's Basilica is to the 
faithful of the Church Universal, this Cathe- 
dral is to the American Catholic." 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 279 

When the shadows thickened about him, and his phys- 
ical strength was ebbing fast, he loved to be brought 
within its venerable sanctuary, there to pour out his 
saintly spirit in prayer for his people and his country, 
to commune in faith with the great dead of his line, 
and to beseech the loving mercies of God that if he 
had failed in aught it might be imputed to ignorance or 
human weakness, and not to lack of love for the Su- 
preme Bishop and Shepherd of our souls into whose 
hands he was giving back his life on the very site where 
he had entered the service of Jesus Christ, and where 
for so many years he had served Him with humble loy- 
alty and unsurpassed zeal. 

His exalted rank never affected unfavorably in him 
the man or the citizen, on the contrary it emphasized 
the attractive qualities that the world soon recognized 
and never tired of praising. Honored and commended 
as perhaps no priest has ever been, he bore himself at 
all times with a natural and graceful modesty, though 
never lacking in that gentle dignity and that quiet self- 
respect which became a Prince of the Church, conscious 
that his high office neither needed nor suffered any self- 
assertion. Men have praised his humility and his sim- 
plicity, but how could a priest of Jesus Christ have 
any other than an humble heart, and how could an 
always honest heart put on affectation? Unselfish to a 
fault, and kindly in manner and speech, no one was more 
considerate of others, and the lowlier the person con- 
cerned the more thoughtful was he in respect of him, 
so native and original in Cardinal Gibbons were those 
traits of the gentleman which Cardinal Newman has 
so subtly described. Amid the gentle pieties of an Irish 
Catholic household and early training, his naturally good 



28o JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

disposition of mind and heart were tenderly shielded 
from corruption, and blossomed soon into the many 
social virtues which honored him in his long public life 
and which men honor themselves by praising. Cardinal 
Gibbons is an apt example of the uses of a good educa- 
tion applied to the average youth, under the auspices 
of positive religion, and accepted by him and cultivated 
amid the gently-falling dews of divine grace. For he 
never had any other asset in life, neither what men 
call birth, nor wealth, nor opportunity, nor friends, nor 
influence of any kind. He was, very strictly speaking, 
a child of the Catholic Church, which trained him, pro- 
tected him, advanced him, and one day placed him 
among the great ones of the world, just as this old dem- 
ocratic mother of men had done in a thousand years 
for countless other children of the poor and lowly, putting 
down in their favor the mighty from their seats and exalt- 
ing the humble {Luke i, 52), encouraging merit and in- 
dustry and unselfish service, setting aside pride and arro- 
gance, choosing indiscriminately her great officers from 
every rank and condition, and acting, within her own 
limits, as a perpetual solvent of all pretensions of hered- 
ity. 

The Holy See found ever in the Cardinal of Baltimore 
a wise counsellor, quick to recognize its interests, to as- 
sert its rights, and to indicate its perils. As the youngest 
bishop in the Vatican Council he was deeply impressed 
with the wisdom and influence of the Holy See, and 
its supreme authority based upon the immemorial and 
affectionate acceptance of the Catholic World. And 
though he lived to be the last survivor of the 767 pre- 
lates of the Council, the memory of its religious ma- 
jesty never forsook him, nor could he ever forget those 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 281 

divine words of power inscribed within the wondrous 
dome, and ever visible to the Fathers of the Council, 
'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my 
Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
it." {Matt, xvi, 18). He enjoyed the fullest con- 
fidence of three popes, and his Roman visits only made 
him dearer to them and more trusted. He assisted at two 
papal concalves, and was instrumental in overcoming 
the unwillingness of Pius X to accept the papal office. 
His writings abound in defense and praise of the papacy, 
while his various jubilees and anniversaries were always 
honored by special congratulations of the Holy See, and 
even by a special delegate to the golden jubilee of his 
episcopal consecration. For nearly a generation the 
only American Cardinal, he commended the great office 
to the people of the United States by his quiet, unassum- 
ing manner, his cordial relations with his fellow-citi- 
zens, without distincton of class or sex or color, his demo 
cratic temper, and his readiness at all times to throw 
his great personal influence on the side ot the public 
welfare. There had been in the past a rare Cardinal 
of English or American speech, but in James Gibbons, for 
the first time, the secular world beheld a plain American 
citizen able and willing to carry in his heart, without 
other distinction than that inherent to spiritual and tem- 
poral, the just interests of both, and as ready to assert 
and defend the government and the institutions of his 
beloved country as to bear his share of the world-wide 
burden of the Papacy. To American democracy at 
least he was a welcome apostle of the papacy, bearing 
tidings of good- will and alliance, of mutual aid and con- 
sideration, of genuine respect and sincere esteem, at the 
end of a troubled epoch a welcome harbinger of those 



282 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

new conditions now clearly outlining themselves, when 
ancient jealousy, hostility and suspicion shall fade away 
on one side and the other, and give place to that sacred 
union of all American hearts to the end of universal 
peace and such unimpeded progress as human nature 
can sustain. 

His love for Our Blessed Mother was very tender and 
constant. Daily he recited her rosary, and he was always 
proud of her patronage of his native state, and of her 
blessed name imposed upon bay and river and town of 
the first settlement of the Land of Mary. He rejoiced 
when Leo XHI conferred upon him the cardinalatial 
title of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the first church ever 
dedicated to Mary, and he hastened somewhat the cor- 
nerstone-laying of the National Shrine of the Immacu- 
late Conception at the Catholic University that his name 
might be connected with the great work. He devoted 
to her honor one of the most pleasing and helpful chap- 
ters in ''The Faith of Our Fathers." 

To many it will seem that the hfe of Cardinal Gib- 
bons, however laborious, was a long peroid of ever- 
widening prosperity. Yet he tasted the bitter waters of 
adversity, and was familiar with sorrows, both expected 
and unexpected. No leader of mankind could live so 
long and not meet with deceptions, reverses, disillusion, 
and that various disappointment which for many men 
is the very stufif and tissue of life. Yet he bore his 
trials with patience, in no cold, stoic spirit, but with 
the fortitude of a believing heart for which all life is 
governed by a Divine will, whose purpose is always 
holy, however, shrouded or incomprehensible it may be 
to mortals. With St. Paul he believed that "the sorrow 
which is according to God worketh penance steadfast 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 283 

unto salvation : and the sorrow of the world worketh 
death" (// Cor vii, 9-10). He grieved sorely for the 
loss of his friends, many of them distinguished leaders 
of men, and as they passed across into the shadows the 
beautiful tribute to Michael Jenkins that only "the 
vital and consoling influence of religion" could recon- 
cile him to his bereavements. Very human, indeed, was 
this aged Cardinal, and to the end like unto us all, con- 
scious himself of our common infirmities' and there- 
fore ever deeply pitiful of all who suffered, an admir- 
able consoler in the power of religion and the Word of 
God, and a peer of the greatest in that world-wide and 
time-old democracy of sorrow to which all mankind 
owes equal allegiance, blessed if it be according to the 
Man of Sorrows. 

Cardinal Gibbons ever cherished the lowly and the 
humble, was ever ready to succour the needy and the 
destitute, to console the afflicted and encourage the sad 
and unhappy. Never in the annals of the toiling masses, 
will men forget his happy intervention in favor of the 
Knights of Labor, with its inevitable new orientation 
of the Holy See in favor of democracy, and its benedic- 
tion in the encyclicals of Leo XHL His heart went out 
ever to the unfortunates of life, and none ever sought 
in vain from him consolation or comfort. Surely it is 
not before this audience, or in this city, that these traits 
of his character need emphasis. He was the common 
father of all, and no great sorrow, public or private, went 
uncomforted by him. Every work of mercy, corporal 
and spiritual, institutional or personal, was dear to him, 
and found in him sympathy and counsel. He was a 
kind and patient listener and in this way alone eased 
many who sought his counsel. How often has a troub- 



284 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

led heart come to him and returned hghtened and re- 
freshed. How many a distracted conscience has sought 
hght and guidance from his lips and found hoth ! How 
often have men and women crossed his threshold seeking 
spiritual peace amid doubts and anxieties and forever 
after have blessed the impulse that drove them to his 
door ! He remained ever faithful to the friends of earher 
days, unmoved by changes of fortune or condition, and 
his influence was ever at the disposal of all worthy per- 
sons to whom it often proved a stepping-stone to suc- 
cess. Truly, he was a friend of mankind, unselfish and 
kindly and helpful, more concerned always about the 
present need of suffering than about their causes and 
circumstances, happy if he could reduce in some measure 
life's ills and woes. Little children loved him greatly, 
and in his daily walks never failed to greet him and to 
receive his blessing ; their innocent and confiding hearts 
were akin to his own, however broad the dividing gulf 
of time and trials. 

He was not by inclination or office a writer, nor did 
he ever aspire to the position of a Kenrick or a Spald- 
ing, modestly deeming himself too far beneath them in 
all the qualities of an ecclesiastical writer. He considered 
himself an authorized instructor of his people in all the 
ways of truth and justice, of Christian faith and disci- 
pline of life, a doer of deeds, a sower of good seed, a 
torch-bearer amid the fogs of life, a beacon among the 
shoals and reefs that obstruct its ports of entry and exit. 
Nevertheless, his naturally economic habits urged him to 
save what he might of his severe exertions as ''captain of 
the Word." It was certainly in the spirit of Christ, 
{John vi, 12) "Gather up the fragments that remain lest 
they be lost-" that he gave to the world several volumes, 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 285 

very fortunately, indeed, for they preserve some faint 
image of this foremost apostle of Catholicism in our days. 

In one of them he paints the portrait of the good priest, 
the minister of Jesus Christ to his own day and genera- 
tion. In aonther he deals with fundamental doctrines of 
the Christian religion, common to the Catholic Church 
and to American Protestantism. Sermons, discourses, 
lectures, speeches, articles, reminiscenses, fill other vol- 
umes, and exhibit the wide range of his zeal, good-will 
and self-sacrifice in the service of every good cause that 
appealed to him. Almost innumerable are the interviews, 
statements, book prefaces, and other products of his pen. 
His style is always clear, vigorous and concise, neither 
affected nor studied, but well adapted to the truths and 
principles he was forever inculcating, and rising at times 
to eloquence when the subject moved him by its grandeur 
or its importance. 

The first work of his pen, 'The Faith of Our Fathers," 
was not only his most remarkable work, but proved 
almost at once the most successful of all the formal state- 
ments of Catholic truth since the days of Canisius and 
the Council of Trent. It was less a book than a wonder- 
ful religious event, and its literary career, the story of 
its countless conversions, has never halted in the forty- 
five years that it has held the public confidence. Neither 
before nor since had the Catholic religion been placed 
before the American people with so much truth and sim- 
plicity. Almost artless in style, stripped of every un- 
necessary consideration, it could never have been written 
by any other than James Gibbons, then a poor Catholic 
missionary bishop, lost, almost submerged, in a non- 
Catholic society, whose hostility he knew by long experi- 
ence to be the result mainly of ignorance, but whose good 



286 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

qualities of mind and heart he recognized and loved. 
Again, it could have been composed by no other hand 
than that which was capable of writing the introductory 
pages. They are charged with deepest spiritual emo- 
tion, and are a pathetic document of religious psychology 
in which faith and truth, charity and sincerity, seem to 
call aloud in the wilderness and to listen with aching 
heart for a response that never comes. It is such a per- 
sonal book that in it he has drawn, unwittingly of course, 
his own moral portrait ; it already offers in embryo every 
feature of kis character that was later to attract the non- 
Catholic world and to hold to the end its confidence and 
esteem. After the Bible, perhaps no religious book has 
had or has so wide a circulation, in the original and in 
many translations. 

An eloquent voice has rightly said that the heart of 
Cardinal Gibbons was in the Catholic University of 
America. Its history fills a large chapter of his life, 
and it ever stood foremost in his mind as representative 
of the highest intellectual interests of the Catholic 
Church, particularly in the formation of the younger 
clergy and laity. The Holy See had decreed that its 
administration should be always under the direction of 
the Archbishop of Baltimore, and for that reason com- 
mitted to Cardinal Gibbons the high ofifiee of Chancellor, 
to be handed down forever to his successors. The world 
knows how seriously he looked on this exalted charge, 
and how faithfully he performed its duties. He watched 
over the infant foundation with the care of a father, pro- 
tected and even saved it in a period of great trial, en- 
couraged always and directed its administration and pro- 
fessors- rejoiced at its growth in numbers and the in- 
crease of its equipment, encouraged the religious com- 



CHURCHMAN AND CITIZEN 287 

ttiunities of the United States to open there houses of 
study, and he himself most generously contributed to its 
material growth and induced others to do likewise. He 
was wont to say that it caused him more anxiety than 
his entire diocese, but that nothing in his long life gave 
him more satisfaction than to behold the progress of its 
later years- 
May the spirit of this good, great, and saintly man 
ever abide with us. He was a lover of truth and justice, 
and a model of charity and sincerity. May these great 
virtues abound in our lives, and bring us daily nearer 
to their fountainhead, Christ Jesus, on whom alone all 
durable virtue, public and private, is patterned ! He loved 
his country with ardor, and gave himself unsparingly to 
its service, in season and out of season. May each up- 
coming generation learn from him the spirit and the 
measure of patriotism, and be ever ready to serve our 
country in time of need, and to live for it becomingly at 
all times. He was a democratic American citizen, 
fashioned on the original models of American democracy. 
May his type abound, with its reverence for self-imposed 
law, its respect for order, its confidence in the sanity and 
security of our institutions ! 

He was an illustrious son of the Catholic Church, and 
in the sixty-odd years of his priesthood, did it honor 
daily, and by his blameless life and his consuming charity 
commended this great office to the respect of the Ameri- 
can people. May we ever look up to him as our example 
and our inspiration in all works of Catholic faith and in 
tlie conduct of our lives, in our relations with our fellow 
citizens, and in the furtherance of our common welfare. 
He shall not then have lived in vain, and through the 
ages shall appear to us as a providential man sent by God 



288 JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS 

at the junction of two centuries, at the border of the old 
and the new, faithful to the traditions of Church and 
country, but above all, confident that to the end of time 
God would not withdraw His loving guidance and pro- 
tection from the great Republic which first secured to 
all men on a right basis the blessings of liberty without 
license and authority without despotism. Eternal rest 
grant to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon 
him ! 



INDEX 



A 

Address, Memorial, by Rt. Rev. T. Shahan 265-288 

Affre, Archbishop '^-^^ 

Albert, King, of the Belgians 163, 164 

Americanism 155 

Asheville, N. C 68 

Astor, Minister to8 

Asylum, St. Mary's, F. 49, 227 

Aumen, William S 214 

B 

Ballinrobe, Ire 26 

Balmes, 254 

Baltimore, Md 9 

Baltimore, See of 95 

Baltimore Catholic Review 212 

Barker, Dr 218 

Barnes, Very Rev. Mgr., Chap, to the Cath. Students at 

Oxford 1 74 

Bandillart, Rt. Rev., Vicar-Gen. of Paris and Rector of C. U. 

of Paris 172 

Bayley, Rt. Rev. James 52, 76, 89, 95, 225, 274 

Becker, Bishop 49, 52, 9 [, 93, 94 

Begin, Louis Cardinal 16 

Belgium 163 

Benedict XV 175, 222, 232, 253 

Benziger, 117 

Birmingham, Very Rev. D 55 

Bonaparte, Charles J 156 

Bon Secours, Sisters of 221, 22(i, 231, 235 

Bonzano, Most Rev. J., Apos. Del 17, 19, 192, 223. 231, 232 

Boyer, Rev. Arsenius, S. S 15, 36, 223, 235 

Broening, Mayor Wm 17 



290 INDEX 

Brownson, Dr. Orestes 30 

Bruneau, Rev. Father, S. S 223 

Bryce, Ambassador 181 

Burke, Bishop 39 

Butler, B. F 42 

Butt, Isaac 27 

C 

Cahenslyism .^. 185-189 

Caldwell, Mary 131 

Camp Meade, Md 190, 198 

Canon, Senior 150 

Canton, Md 43, 45 

Carr, Archbishop 150 

Carroll, Charles 25 

Carroll, Most Rev. John 10, 13, 2)7, 42, 87, 95, 98, loi, 160 

Castle, Lulworth, Eng loi 

Celery, Capt 27 

Charity, Sisters of 88, 89 

Charlotte, X. C 64 

Chase, Chief Justice 246 

Christmas of 1920 220, 2^2 

Chrysostom, Saint 209 

Cincinnati 245 

Clarke, Speaker Champ 180 

Cleveland, President 113. 132, 137, 145, 162, 163 

Churches : 

Anglican 72 

St. Aloysius', Washington 215 

St. Alphonsus', Baltimore 9 

St. Brigid's 42, 44- 45, 46. 48, 49, 53, 58, 86 

C9, 10, II, 86, 87, 

Cathedral of the As^umption, Baltimore < ^ „o 

^ /122, 276, 277, 278 

Cathedral, St. Patrick's, N. Y 156 

Cathedral, Savannah 85 

Cathedral, St. Peter's, Richmond 85, 89 

St. Elizabeth's 22 

St. John's 56 



INDEX 291 

St. Joseph's Monastery 53 

St. Lawrence's (Lady of Good Counsel) 44, 45, 46 

St. Martin's 43 

St. Patrick's, Baltimore 41, 42, 43, 86 

St. Patrick's, Havre de Grace 214 

St. Patrick's, Washington 129, 199, 215 

Colleges : 

American, Rome 107, 108 

Calvert Hall 16, 49 

St. Charles'. .31, 32, 2>Z, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 121, 123, 192, 206, 227 

Georgetown 53, 54, 87 

St. Joseph's, Emmitsburg, Md 215 

St. Mary's 38, 87 

Sacred 10, 254 

Woodstock 53 

Columbus, Knights of 152, 190 

Commission, French High 175 

Conaty, Rt. Rev. Thomas 133 

Conclave, Papal loi 

Connelly, Rev. Eugene J 12, 231 

Conroy, Rt. Rev. George 91 

Constitution, The 159, 160, 161, 163, 212, 213 

Constitution and George Washington 239-248 

Convent, Mt. de Sales 227 

Convention, Democratic, National 165 

Convention, Republican, National 165 

n • T.. ID A o Ar r- 1 S^^' ^^4, 174, 175, 

Corngan, Rt. Rev. A. B., Vicar-General.... j^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ 

Corrigan, Archbishop 91, 102, 108, 143, 144 

Councils : 

10, IDS, 108, 109, III, 



Baltimore, Third Plenary ^ ,3,^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ 

Ecumenical 70 

National 257, 277 

Second Plenary 50, 129 

of Trent 71, 257, 285 

Vatican 66, 71, 72, 107, 280 



292 INDEX 

Court, Supreme 246 

Crothers, Gov 179, 181 

Crypt 13 

Curtis, Bishop 49, 90, 157 

Cyril and Methodius, Sts., Picture of 208 

Czvitkovicz, Alexander 29 

D 

Darboy, Alonseigneur 73 

Declaration of Independence ^^y 

Delavigne, Rev. Father, S. S 92 

Devine, Mgr. 227 

Devine, Rev. Edward 230 

Devine, 63 

Dinecn, Rev. Father 193, 223 

Discourse, Funeral, by Most Rev. J, J, Glennon 251-262 

Dissez, Rev. Father 38 

Divorce 213 

Dolan, Rev. James 42 

Donahue, Mgr 1 58 

Donohue, Rt. Rev. P. J 19, 49 

Douglas, Robert M 62 

Dougherty, Cardinal 215 

Dougherty, Rev. George 128, 223, 224 

Dyer, Very Rev. E. R.. S. S 215, 223 

E 

Eccleston, Most Rev. Samuel 13, 95, 277 

Elizabeth, Queen, of the Belgians 163-164 

Embert. John 46 

Emmitsburg, Md 89 

Encyclical 151 

England, Bishop of 78 

F 

Farley, Cardinal 116 

Fathers : Benedictine 64 

Jesuits 96 

Josephite, of England 61 

Passionist 96 



INDEX 293 

Paulist 43, 96 

Redemptorist 96 

Sulpician -. 36, 174, 193 

Fayetteville, N. C 57 

Feehan, Archbishop 121 

Fenelon, Rev. Father, S. S 223 

Fisher, Colonel 68 

Fitzgerald, Bishop 91 

Fitzgerald, Rev. J. P 214 

Foley, Rev. Thomas 52, 74, 123 

Foley, Rt. Rev., J. S 35, 49, 91, 93. 94, 120 

Fort Marshall 44 

Fort McHenry 24, 44-5-6, 243 

Frederick Hill 42 

Frederick, Md 53 

Fuller, Chief Justice 246 

G 

Gaitley, Rev. John 122 

Gasparri, Cardinal 222 

Gately, Rev. Father 231 

George Henry 143-4-c 

Gibbons, James Cardinal — Birth, 21; parentage, 22-3; family 
goes to Ireland, 21; life in Ireland, 23-27; death of 
father, 27; return to America, 27-8; settlement in New 
Orleans, 28; call to the priesthood, 29, 31; journey to 
St. Charles' College, 31-2; student days at St. Charles', 
32-34; enters St. Mary's Seminary, 35; seminarian, 37-39; 
ordination, 40; assigned to St. Patrick's, Baltimore, 42; 
transferred to St. Brigid's as pastor, 43-47; secretary to 
Archbishop Spalding, 48-51 ; Vicar Apostolic of North 
Carolina, 52-69; installed as Bishop of Richmond, y6'; 
appointed coadjutor Bishop of Baltimore, 88-9; receives 
Pallium, 91-96; presides over Third Plenary Council 
105-108; elevated to Cardinalatial dignity, 119; formal 
investure, 120-126; receiving of Red Hat in Rome, 149; 
installation in Titular Church in Rome, 149-150; me- 
morable sermon there, 150-153, 184, 185, 271-2; reception 
upon returning home, 155-159; Silver Jubilee of his 



294 INDEX 

episcopacy, 165-167; Golden Jubilee of his priesthood and 
Silver Jubilee of Cardinalate, 171-173, 178-182; Golden 
Jubilee of his episcopacy, 174-176; characteristics, 192-212; 
works : "Faith of Our Fathers," 81-2, 172, 207, 257, 282, 
285; "Our Christian Heritage," 98; "The Ambassador 
of Christ," 99; "A Retrospect of Fifty Years," 100, 
138-9; "Discourses and Sermons for Sundays and Festi- 
vals," 193; last illness, 214, 218-234; death, 235-6; funeral, 

16-19; interment 11-13 

Gibbons, Thomas, Father of Cardinal, 22>; Bridget, Mother, 
104; John, Brother, 24, 30; Thomas, Brother, 24; Cathe- 
rine, Sister, 24; Bridget, Sister, 24; Mary, Sister 23 

Glennon, Most Rev. J. J 17, 171, 173, 189, 251 

Goldsboro, N. C 58 

Government, Centralized 84 

Grant, President 83, no 

Greenville, N. C 79 

Gregory, XV 107 

Gross, Rt, Rev 56, 91, 161 

Gross, Father Mark 56-7, 68, 81 

Guiillemant, Mgr 175 

Guilday, Rev. Dr 153 

H 

Haid, Rt. Rev. Leo 19, 64 

Hafey, Rev. William J 12 

Halifax, N. C 79 

Hall, St. Alphonsus' 121 

Harding, President 17, 51, 113, 165 

Harrison, Benjamin 132 

Hayes, Most Rev. Patrick 215 

Hayes, President 244 

Hays, William 17 

Hecker, Rev. I. Thomas 29 

Hecker, Rt. Rev 7^ 

Hewitt, Augustine 29 

Hibernians, Ancient Order of 134 

Hodges, Mayor 156 

Home, Shriver 216-220, 226 



INDEX 295 

Hospital, St. Agnes' 226 

Hospital, Bon Secours' 227 

Hot Springs, N. C 68 

I 

Ireland 25, 202-3 ; 221 

Ireland, Archbishop 109, 140, 149, 161, 165 ; 167-171 

J 

Jackson, Andrew 25 

Jacobini, Cardinal 1 17, 1 18 

Janssens, Archbishop 196 

Jefferson, Thomas 76, 212, 271 

Jenkins, 33 

Jenkins, Michael 128, 283 

Jennings, Mr 26 

Johnson, 28 

Johnson, President 51 

Jordan, Rev. Father 122 

Julien, Rt. Rev., Bishop of Arras, France 174 

K 

Kain, Bishop 91 

Katzer, Bishop 186 

Keane, Rt. Rev. J 109, 133, 140, 142, 149 

Keating, Rt. Rev. F., Archbishop of Liverpool 174 

Keefer, Francis 221 

Keller, Marie de Ford 219 

13, 40-4; 95, 108, III, 121, 



Kenrick, Most Rev. F. P ,,^^_ ^^^_ ^^^_ ^^^^ ^g^ 

Kerchner, Col. F. W 57 

Ketcham, Rt. Rev. William 215 

Kirby, Archbishop 150 

Kuhn, Maj .-Gen. J 190 



Labor, Knights of 136-143 ; 146-7-8 ; 155, 166, 256, 283 

Lancaster, Court House, Va yj 

Lawson, Eliz 216 



296 INDEX 

Lee, yigr. Thomas 90, 91, 119, 158 

Lee, Robert 76 

Leo XIII 17, y2, jt,, ioi, 103, 105. 106, 108, 115. 117, 121, 124, 

131, 136, 142, 143, 147, 149, 151, 162. 163, 166, 186, 255, 256, 

27$, 282, 283 

Leonard, Rev. Edward L 12, 231 

Leslie, Shane 142, 144, 146 

Lexington, X. C 80 

L'Homme, Rev. Francis 35, 39 

Lincoln, Abraham 47, 212 

Logue, Cardinal 175, 203 

Loughlin, Bishop 91 

LA-nch, Bishop 91, 93, 94 

M 

Magnien, Very Rev. Alphonse, S. S 122, 157. 193 

Manning, Card.. .17, 72, jt,, 139. 140. 142, 144. 146, 147, 166, 224, 256 

Manzetti, Rev. P 12 

Marechal. Most Rev. Ambrose 13« 95» '^77 

^Marshall, Chief Justice 246 

^Marshall, Vice-President 180 

]\IcAdams, Rev. Edward 230 

McCloskey, Archbishop 66, 89. 91. 100. 102, 103, 108, 115 

^McColgan. Mgr 121, 157, 158 

McCormick, 27 

^IcGill. Rt. Rev. John 5-?, 75, 89 

:\IcGlynn. Rev. Dr 143 

McGuigen, Rev. Thomas 223, 226 

McKenna, Dr 223 

McKinley, President 113 

iMcKinsey. Folger. Benztown Bard 204 

McMahon. 'Slgr. James 133 

]\IcManus, Rev. Father 55- 231 

?»Ic^Ianus, Mgr 56, 57, gi, 122, 157 

McMaster. 88 

McXamara, Capt 60 

Menu, 32, 33 

Mcrcier. Cardinal 164. 175 

]Monaghan. Rt. Rev. John 19 



INDEX 297 

Monk, Dr. J. C 66 

Moore, Bishop 91, 157 

Morton, Vice-President 132 

Motherhood 213 

Movement, Oxford 72 

Muccioli, Count 119, 120 

Mundelein, Archbishop 165 

N 

Napoleon, III., Emperor 73 

Nassau 26-28 

Neale, Most Rev 95 

Newman, Cardinal loi, 200, 279 

Newton Grove, N. C 66-68 

New Berne, N. C 58 

New Orleans 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 162, 192, 197, 221, 245 

New York 155, 156 

Nina, Cardinal loi 

Northrop, Rev. Father 55, 56, 58, 62 

North Carolina 5^5, 46, 52, 53, 55, 59, 64, 74, 7^, 77, 78. 

|8o, 81, 82, 88, 99, no, 161, 172, 178 

O 

r^^r u T^. v> T^ • (19,55,56,107,109,117, 

O Connell, Rt. Rev. Denis | ^^^^ ^^g^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^g 

O'Connell, Rev. Lawrence, Jr 56 

O'Connell, William Card 16 

O'Donovan, Dr 218, 226, 234 

O'Keefe, Rev. Matthew 90 

Oklahoma 244 



P 

Pace, Mgr 223 

Party, Know Nothing 45 

Paul, Saint 210 

Pecci, Cardinal 71, 100 

Pericoli, Mgr 150 



298 INDEX 

Pius IX 74-76; 91, 107 

Pius X loi, 281 

Plymouth, N. C 60, 63 

Poets — Latin, British, Irish 206 

Point, Fell's 42 

Point, Locust .' 44, 45 

Poor, Little Sisters of 88, 97, 227, 230 

Powderly, 137, 138 

Preston, Mayor 181 

Prohibition -. 82-3 ; 160, 213 

Propaganda 107, 108 

Providence, Sisters of 235 

Q 

Question. School 83, 84 

R 

Raleigh, N. C 62 

Rampolla 171 

Randon 33 

Raymond, Wm, C 29, 30 

Reilly, Rev. Dr. Wendell 37 

Reily, Maj 57 

Rempe, Mgr 223 

Richards, Com. and Mrs 215 

Richmond, Va 75. 76, 78, 79, 80, 82, 89 

Richmond, See 88 

Riordan, Rev. Father 158 

Ripple, Rev. Leonard J 238 

Ritchie, Gov. Albert 17, 19 

Rome 155, 156, 184 

Rooney, John J 26 

Roosevelt, President 113,114; 179-181 

Root, Elihu, Senator 181 

Rupert, Theresa 221 

Russell, Bishop 49, 223 

Ryan, Archbishop 108, 109, 121, 122 



INDEX 299 

S 

Sales, Francis de 50, 194 

Salisbury, N. C 68 

Sarto, Card loi 

Satolli, Archbishop 132, 143 

School, Clifton, Wash .' 200 

Schools, Parochial 64, no, 171 

School, St. Mary's Industrial 97 

Scripture, Sacred 206, 207 

See, Primatial 9 

10, 12, 35, 36, z7, 39, 40, 



Seminary, St. Mary's ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ 

Seton, Mother 89 

Shahan, Bishop 104, I33, 223, 224, 265 

Shanahan, Bishop 91 

Shepherd, Good, Houses of 97 

Shepherd, Good, Picture of 208 

Sherman, Vice-President 181 

Shore, Eastern 46 

Shrine, National, to Mary Immaculate 134, 282 

Shriver, Frank 216 

Shriver, Miss Mary 215, 219 

Shriver, Robert T 218, 225 

Shriver, T. Herbert 216 

Shriver, William 216 

Sibiour, Archbishop 73 

Siggens, Rev. Francis 214 

Simeoni, Card loi, 102, 138, 140 

Smith, Rev. Albert E 12, 221 

Smyth, Mrs. Bridget 43 

\iZ, 46, 48, 52, 55, 57, 72, 
Spalding, Most Rev. J. M ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^g^ 

Spalding, Bishop, of Peoria 91, 109, 125, 131, 132 

Staniero, Mgr 119, 120, 123, 124 

Starr, Rev. William 90, 91 

Stickney, Rev. Louis R 12. 205, 233, 234, 235 

St. Louis, Mo 197, 198 

Suffrage 242, 243, 244 



300 INDEX 

T 

Taft, President 113, 179, 181 

Taney, Chief Justice 246 

Tarboro, N. C 62 

Taschereau, Cardinal 132-6-7, 140 

Temperence 82, 83 

Thiele, Mr. and Mrs. Achilla 221 

Tierney, Mgr 223 

Tilden, Mr 244 

Tomb, Cardinal's 13 

Tulips 203, 204 

U 

United States 9, 10, 239-245-266-281 

Union Mills, Md 204-215, 216, 218, 223, 224 

University, Catholic no, 127, 135, 228, 256-7-8, 286, 287 

V 

Virginia 35, 46, 76, 77, no 

Visitation, Sisters of 88 

Viviana, M. Rene 17 

W 

Waggaman. Thomas 127 

Waite, Chief Justice 246 

Walsh, Bridget 2^, 

Walter, Rev. Jacob 122 

Walworth, Clarence 29 

Walworth, Ellen H 29 

War, Civil 41, 45, 59, 60, 172, 243, 244 

War, Revolutionary 247 

War, World 188, 189, 190, 255, 261 

Washington, George 76, 212, 239, 247, 248 

Watterson, Bishop 149 

Westport, Ireland 22, 

Wetzel, Dr. G. Louis 218, 226 

Wheeler, Rev. Thomas 226 

Whelan, i\Igr 158 

Whitfield, Most Rev. James 13, 95, 277 



INDEX 301 

White, Chief Justice 162, 246 

White House 113 

White, Rev. Dr 276 

Will, Allen S 46, 113 

Williams, Archbishop 91, 116, 122, 144 

Wilmington, Del 52 

Wilmington, N. C 57, 61, 64, 70 

Wilson, Woodrow 165 

Wood, Archbishop 104 

X 

Xerxes III 

Y 

Yellow Fever 200 



c^' 



Sf.^ 5 1935