« PredošláPokračovať »
first four days, and all holy week including Palm Sunday.”
Mount St. Mary's College.-A meeting of the professors and students of Mount St. Mary's College, was held on the 20th January, 1843, to take into consideration the propriety and means of erecting a suitable monument to the memory of the Right Rev. John Dubois, the founder of Mount St. Mary's College.
On motion, George H. Miles, of Baltimore, was called to the chair, and explained the object of the meeting: a secretary was elected, and it was then
Resolved, That a monument be erected at Mount St. Mary's to the Rt. Rev. John Dubois, founder of Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary, and father of the institution of the Sisters of Charity in this country.
Resolved, That we, the professors and students of Mount St. Mary's College, will contribute the sum of four hundred dollars.
Resolved, That a committee of nine students of the college be appointed to determine on the plan of the monument, and the means of erect. ing it, and that the president and vice-president of the college be invited to give their advice and co-operation to this committee.
Messrs. George H. Miles and Joseph J. O'Donnell, of Baltimore, Louis S. Se. Bourgeois, of Louisiana, Thomas E. Irby, of Alabama, John F. Ennis, of Washington, D. C., William F. Tehan, of Frederick, M. D , Francis X. Byerly, of Brooklyn, N. Y., Daniel Beltzhoover, of Pittsburg, Pa. and William George Read, Jun. of Baltimore, were named as the committee, with the approbation of the meeting.
Resolved, That a circular letter be addressed by the committee to the former pupils of Mr. Dubois, at the mountain and valley, and in general to all the friends and admirers of this good
and venerated man, inviting them to co-operate in erecting an appropriate and durable monument to his memory, as a testimony of gratitude for his great services to the cause of education and of charity, and an expression of respect for the noble virtues which adorned his character.
The Rev. John McCloskey, Vice-President and Treasurer of Mount St. Mary's College, was appointed Treasurer of the Monument committee, and accepted the appointment. It was further
Resolved, That the editors of the various Catholic papers throughout the country be requested to publish these proceedings.-U. S. Catholic Miscellany.
DIOCESS OF NEW YORK.-Ordinations at St. John's College.-On Sunday, the 29th January, the feast of St. Francis of Sales, Messrs. Lau. rence Carroll, Richard Kein, William Hogan, James Keaveny, Anthony Farley, and Francis Donahue were raised to the sublime dignity of the priesthood, in the chapel of the Blessed Virgin attached to the college.-N. Y. Freeman's Journal.
CATECHETICAL. - The Banner of the Cross cannot reconcile the Catholic practice of praying to God alone for mercy, with the petitions which we address to the blessed Virgin, and in which she is styled the mother of mercy. Answer : In all prayers to God, we recognize him as the only source of every good gift; in all prayers to the blessed Virgin and the saints, we address them merely as our helpers, that by their prayers they may obtain for us the graces we desire. Would it be too strong language to call the editor of the Banner a merciful man? If not, he certainly should understand the propriety of styling the blessed Virgin, the mother of mercy. See page 189.
In consequence of the unusual length of several articles in this number of the Magazine, our readers will find but a small space devoted to intelligence. For the same reason we have reluctantly onnitted our customary notices of books. We acknowledge the receipt of “ St. Bernard and bis beloved Jerusalem,” from a learned corres
pondent; number one of the “ Catholic Poets of England” from the same author, numbers three and four of “Catholic Melodies” from the pleas. ing and instructive writer over the signature of Moïna, and several other contributions which claim our thanks, and will be published as soon as our space will permit.
READ BEFORE THE CARROLL INSTITUTE OF PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER 29, 1842.
BY WILLIAM GEORGE READ, LL.D.
TISTORY instructs and charms us by a high-matched Matilda forgets the sovereign
in the mother, “withdraws her brows from the general movement of society from bar- } a crown's enchanting circle," and leaves barism to civilization, or from refinement the well-fought field of British politics to to decay; sometimes exhibiting individual her puissant son. There Barbarossa, madcharacter, for admiration or contempt, love dened by the blazing diadem of empire, or detestation, imitation or avoidance. rushes from his German throne to crush
As the cloudy curtain rolls away, which the undying spirit of Crema and Milan bediscloses on her magic glass the long and neath their battered ruins, and subvert, togorgeous pageant of the mighty Plantagenet gether with Italian liberty, the rock-based succession, majestic phantoms crowd upon chair of Peter. There an Alexander, calmly our ardent gaze. There the high-born and confiding in his Master's promise, defends
VOL. II.-No. 4.
with unwavering firmness, his unsolicited strength pressed hard against the falling tiara against a frantic schism. There the throne of Godfrey. Gilbert became the probrave, the generous, the too confiding Louis perty of an emir, whom his probity and intelwages unequal contest with his encroaching ligence conciliated to especial kindness, and vassal, whom policy and valor seem leagued who took such delight in his conversation with wayward fortune to exalt to the sum that he frequently commanded his presence mit of earthly greatness; while he “ of the at his table. It may be supposed that the lion heart," and the fiery Philip Augustus, discourse of a stranger from a distant clime, struggle forward to the stirring scene. whose pilgrimage must have abounded in
wild adventure, and opportunities for much “ Above the rest,
curious observation, would have charms In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
for the ear of beauty, and, accordingly, a Stands like a tower"
daughter of the unsuspecting chieftain would one whom the Church has on this day oft, like the gentle Venetian maiden, “serihonored with her noblest martyrs for six ously incline to hear.” Admiring his wishundred and sixty-nine years.
dom and his virtues, and, it may be, touched In the moral and intellectual, as in the by a more tender sentiment, she sought at material creation, we meet at distant inter last a private interview, and questioned long vals productions of extraordinary excellence; the interesting captive. He gratified her whether it be that rare combinations of cir curiosity concerning his birth place and cumstances evolve peculiar energies, or, as travels, and expounded the leading tenets I rather think, that the Almighty endows of the Christian faith. As he warmed on with especial gifts those whom he appoints the sacred theme, a sympathetic ardor fired to important spheres of action. Such was the maiden's breast! She avowed a desire the sainted Thomas of Canterbury.
to become a Christian, and asked, as she His very birth announced that he was knew no one of that religion but himself, “not in the roll of common men.' Histo if he would marry her, provided they could rians agree that his father, Gilbert Becket, escape together from the power of her counwhose personal worth and respectable so trymen. Gilbert, whose affections were cial standing are abundantly proved by his fixed on heavenly joys, and who possibly having filled the office of sheriff, or viscount suspected the fair infidel's sincerity, conof London, had left his native land, in the tented himself with expatiating, in general fervor of a now forgotten piety, to bow his terms, on the happiness of a Christian, and forehead in the that had been wet with his wish that God would vouchsafe her the the tears and bloody sweat of his Saviour. grace to become one. That his pilgrimage eventuated in his mar Not long after, he escaped with the comriage with a Saracenic lady is also certain. panions of his captivity, and returned to The circumstances which led to it, as re England. But his words had lighted up corded by the earlier and Catholic writers, undying hopes in the heart of the slighted though sneered at by modern scepticism, lady, where, if aught of human passion and the prejudice that sees no cause for ex mingled, it was like the hallowed flame the ultation in the conversion of an infidel to Church is wont to kindle at the paschal the ancient faith of Christendom, were nei time. She left her kindred and her father's ther inconsistent with probability, nor the house,-she gained the Christian territory, high-wrought enthusiasm of that romantic and learning there that her apostle had deera, when whole continents, banded under parted for his native land, she embarked cross or crescent, rushed to battle on the
with a company of merchants and pilgrims, sacred soil of Palestine.
and followed him to London. As she wanWe are told that while praying at some dered through the streets, her foreign garb spot consecrated in the history of our re and speech attracting universal attention, demption, his party were surprised by an she was recognised in the crowd, as she ambush of the Saracens, whose gathering passed his master's house (where a hospi
tal was subsequently founded in honor of St. Thomas), by Gilbert's servant Richard, who had shared his imprisonment and escape. Gilbert could at first scarce credit the intelligence that the friendless girl could have accomplished so arduous an adventure; but assured at last, he adored the providence of God in her behalf, and being counselled to espouse her by the bishop of London and other prelates there present, who regarded her as a chosen vessel to pro mote the glory of the Church, he married her on the day of her baptism by the name of Matilda. These were the parents of the venerated subject of my essay.
Special revelations to his mother are believed to have foreshown his future eminence and sanctity. How far an active imagination, stimulated by earnest desire, may have impressed her with such convictions, it were unavailing to enquire, as it would be impossible to ascertain. One conclusion is unquestionable. The pious dispositions and practices of the earthly authors of his being might well procure for him the high vocation they hoped for, and which is, perhaps, attainable by every Christian parent, who would wisely exchange for his offspring a few fleeting years of feverish and often painful worldly excitement, for“ an eternal weight of glory.” It is certain, too, that the docility, modesty, and piety, of the youthful Thomas, soon gave promise of more abundant spiritual unction, on one whom rare personal beauty, uncommon quickness of perception, and unrivalled tenacity of memory combined with unerring precision of judgment, seemed to designate for a glorious temple of the Holy Ghost.
His father having, with his wife's consent, returned to the holy land, to take part in its defence, shortly after their nuptials, the care of their son, in his infancy and early childhood, devolved exclusively on his mother; and so carefully did she train him in that “ fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom," that, while his inDocent hilarity tempered with discretion rendered him the delight of his associates, he was accustomed, with premature austerity, to employ the discipline and the hair
cloth, 10 restrain the exuberant vivacity of his youth. On Gilbert's return from the crusade he devoted himself with unremitted assiduity to the religious education of his son; and having placed him at school in a convent, for security to his morals, was so edified by his rapid proficiency in learning and virtue, that, already recognising in him a mighty minister of the Most High, he is said on a certain occasion to have fallen prostrate in reverence before him, to the no small scandal of the superior of the house.
His mother died when he was about twenty-one years old ; and his father's fortune having been impaired by casualties, Thomas was compelled to quit Oxford, and seek employment in London, as a clerk or scrivener. At the expiration of a year, however, he resumed his studies at Paris, devoting himself to the law, and such accomplishments as might qualify him for a civil career. Returned to London he engaged in business, with brilliant success; while his faculties became sharpened, and his judgment matured, for the future exigencies of his eventful life.
But humility is the only foundation of enduring greatness; and the future champion of the Church was to learn his own insufficiency, and the overpowering grace of God in his behalf. Flattered by the attention of a young nobleman of fortune, who courted his society, he neglected his affairs, and, yielding himself to the fascinating dissipation of his patron, engaged with characteristic ardor and exclusiveness in sylvan sports. One day his falcon having plunged into a river after a duck, Thomas leaped into the stream, regardless of every thing but the preservation of his bird. The current was rapid and swept him towards a mill! When now his destruction seemed inevitable, the wheel suddenly stopped, arrested in its rapid revolution by some unknown power, while his attendants drew him with difficulty to the shore. This providential preservation recalled him to reflection on his useless, and therefore criminal life. He abandoned it, and returned to the city, and the practice of his profession.
But the hope of earthly fame and fortune could not satisfy the cravings of so great a
heart. The injustice, venality, and chicane, of which he was hourly a witness, the outrages against religion and the rights of the Church, which he saw and resisted, without being able to prevent them, that despairing sense of loneliness with which he stemmed the tide of universal corruption, disgusted and afflicted him; and determining to engage in a better regulated calling, he sought the service of Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, who received him with joy, and soon, appreciating his abilities and virtue, admitted him to the closest confidence. Thus associated in the councils of the archdiocess, he soon gave evidence of his decided character. Henry, bishop of Winchester, and brother to the reigning monarch, had been appointed legate for England, and elated thereby, and his near relation to the king, lorded it over the clergy with the most oppressive arrogance. Becket stimulated the archbishop to resistance; and being prompt to execute, as sagacious to advise, undertook a special embassy to the Pope on the subject; which he conducted so ably, that the legantine powers were withdrawn from the bishop, and confirmed on Theobald.
The same energies were called into requisition, by a political transaction of the most vital importance. Stephen, anxious to confirm his dubious title to his son, determined to procure his coronation. The archbishop, prompted by Becket, who represented the fatal consequences to the kingdom of such a proceeding, refused to comply; and his example animated the other prelates to similar resistance. The enraged monarch resorted to the usual appliances of tyranny to compel obedience; and some bishops were weak enough to relax their opposition. But Theobald remained inflexible, and was compelled to fly the realm ; while his goods were subjected to confiscation. He was soon, however, recalled, and the project of the coronation abandoned. In this affair, it is conceded that the master spirit was St. Thomas; who thus became, in some sort, the founder of a dynasty, the first reign of which was signalised by a relentless and bloody persecution of himself.
These and similar services, which in a more precipitate, or (as the phrase is) practical age, would at once have commended him to the highest preferments, only increased the anxiety of men, (who, in religion and morals, as in their sacred architecture, built for eternity), that he should receive more thorough academical preparation for the mighty career that was evidently before him. The canonists and civilians of Bologna and Auxerre were, at that time, reputed the ablest in Europe; and, at the suggestion of Theobald, he passed some time under their instruction. Subsequently graced by his patron with several ecclesiastical benefices, and finally promoted to the archdeaconry of Canterbury, he continued to labor in the most important affairs, to the increasing satisfaction of the primate and the public; but, as poor human nature is the same in every station, not without attracting the envy and hatred of Roger his predecessor in the last named office, who had been raised to the see of York.
A more brilliant sphere was opened to his talents and ambition, by the accession of the second Henry. This prince, who belongs to that class of splendid monuments, by which Almighty God sees fit to illustrate, from age to age, the impotence and folly of those who war against his Church, was a compound of the most admirable and the basest qualities. Brave, sagacious, temperate, active, and indefatigable, with a resolution that knew not how to swerve from its purpose, animated too by a sincere desire for the welfare and improvement of his people, his insatiate lust of aggrandisement limited his usefulness, and his unbounded success stimulated his self-will to frenzy. That he had warm affections, and a keen appreciation of merit, none can deny; and his religious sentiments, though often stifled by the ebullitions of passion, were certainly profound. It is impossible to reflect on his frequent forgiveness to his rebellious sons, without a feeling more tender than pity; and, if his closing vealed the horrid revulsion of which a father's heart is capable, when stung to madness by "a thankless child,” it discloses, too, the depth of his unrequited af