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 - April 27, 2009

    Betty Seymour recounts how devotion to Father Gallitzin among the people of Loretto may have lead to a child's cure through the intercession of the Prince Priest.

Devotion to the memory of Father Gallitzin was expressed by a Loretto woman in a letter written May 5, 1904 to a priest at the University of Notre Dame who had connections to Loretto. The letter concerned the healing of her daughter, Eleanor, after prayers of intercession to Father Gallitzin.  The woman referred to the healing as "powerful and so instant that to us he is and ever will be held the Saint."  She went on to write that the event, which happened "some years ago (was) only one of many that shows to us, the children of his children, that he cares for us still."

The young child, Eleanor, was then attending the day school of the Sisters of Mercy in Loretto when she developed an infection that spread from her ear to the back of her head.  The mother mentioned that her own sister had suffered greatly from this same condition over the years and the doctors were no more help for her than they had been for little Eleanor.  In near despair, the mother instructed her daughter to "kneel at the statue of Father Gallitzin (installed in front of Saint Michael Church in 1899) and ask him to pray for you for three days."  This is the prayer she taught her to say "Dear Father, I am the child of one who loved you well, pray for me that I may be made well."  

The days passed with the usual cleaning and changing of the dressings and "on the last day of her novena I examined her head and found not a trace of the frightful sore.  The hair clean and dry and the scalp perfectly natural and cured.  She has never had the least return of the affliction."

In the second part of this letter we read of the devotion and respect this woman inherited for Father Gallitzin from her parents.  We also hear of an article that she found to be historically untrue.  She writes:

    "Dear Reverend Father our hearts have been made sore by a recent writing that has lightly touched his blessed name.  No child of any even the most indifferent of his people could have so approached his blessed character and so lightly have 'ambition' in connection with his name.  Our nursery tales were the dear memories of Father Gallitzin as our parents loved to recount them.  We drank into our hearts as children our parents' love and reverence for him.  Surely the Reverend gentleman could never had been a descendant of one of his flock.  I very much doubt it.  No published life of Father Gallitzin ever adequately describes the day of his burial as I have heard my father tell it.  How the people moaned and cried begging like little children that he might not be buried for yet a little while.  How often I hear my father describe that scene just outside the old church door.  And then began that strange procession for people carrying his coffin up and back through his little town until worn out they submitted to his being laid away.  O my God, where was any indication in all this of his having been 'arbitrary'?  The people have been touched in their dearest feelings and yet the article will go into history and Loretto did not protest but it (the article) is resented and deplored but his lessons of charity and forbearance live yet among them."