Cause for the Canonization of 

Servant of God 

Demetrius Gallitzin

"Apostle of the Alleghenies"




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A Prince In the Service of The Great King

The Catholic Register - September 15, 2008

    In a new series of articles, Betty Seymour, serving with her husband, Frank, as postular of the Cause for the Canonization of the Servant of God Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, explains the evidence for the "heroic virtues" of the Prince-Priest.

In 1859, nine years after Gallitzin’s death, Lemcke translated Gallitzin’s Defence (sic) of Catholic Principles to German.  In his foreword Lemcke wrote this:  “…fifty years ago this faithful servant of Jesus Christ and His true Church raised the Cross, under whose shadow you are now able to live in peace and to enjoy the fruits of his labors, his privations, and his manifold tribulations.  Some of you have known the man personally and have heard his spoken word.  Here in the printed word you will recognize him again. For he is ever and everywhere the same:  on the one hand, a gentle, loving shepherd of souls, who willingly and gladly sacrificed all he had for the salvation of souls and who would have been ready to shed his blood with the great First Shepherd; on the other hand, an earnest, zealous warrior for the faith and the purity of doctrine; a man who was ever prepared to draw his spiritual sword and use it vigorously, who did not mince words when it was a matter of guarding his timid flock against error and unbelief and of standing up against the prejudices of his time; in short, following the direction of  St. Paul, he preached the word, being instant in season, out of season, he reproved, entreated, and rebuked in all patience and doctrine.  May this his printed word now contribute towards a new germination and a thriving growth of the good seed scattered by this man in all humility and often – in distress and suffering.”

Further testimony to the herocity of Father Gallitzin's virtues is given by Father Charles Constantine Prise D.D. 

A Priest, poet, and writer of prose, was born at Annapolis , MD , 1801; he died in Brooklyn , NY , 1866.  After graduation at Georgetown College , D.C. , he entered the College of The Propaganda , Rome , but had to return home due to his father’s death.  He completed his theological course in Mt. St. Mary ’s Seminary, Emmittsburg, while teaching classes in rhetoric and poetry.  He was ordained there in 1825. 

After doing missionary work in Maryland , his health failed and he went to Italy where he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity and was made a knight of the Holy Roman Empire .  He had already become recognized as the pioneer of Roman Catholic literature in the United States

On his return, while at St. Patrick’s Church in Washington , he was appointed Chaplin of the United States Senate- the only Roman Catholic that ever held that office.  In 1849 he assumed pastorate of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brooklyn , attaining the reputation as a lecturer and preacher.  He wrote several works in prose and verse and contributed to the magazine literature of the day.

It was in 1841 that Father Pise wrote the magazine article, “Rev. Demetrius A. Gallitzin, ‘The Pastor of The Alleghanies.’”, published in The Biographical Annual, 1841.  It provides us with testimony from a priest and literary expert of the Catholic Church in homage to Father Gallitzin in the months after his death.  In tribute to Father Gallitzin, Father Pise outlined many of his sacrifices, accomplishments and virtues, beginning his account by noting:

"During forty-one years, he devoted his fortune, his fine mind, his literary and theological attainments, to the service of the poor, amid the wilds of Pennsylvania....he preferred the retired and rugged fastness of the Alleghany mountains, for the exercise of his zeal, and other eminent virtues…and he cherished this voluntary obscurity beyond the glare of the court, and the purple of the church."