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Demetrius Gallitzin

"Apostle of the Alleghenies"




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A Prince In the Service of The Great King

The Catholic Register - February 2, 2009

    We now continue Betty Seymour's series of articles on witnesses to the heroic virtues of Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin.

The people of Loretto chose to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of their community by Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin on October 10, 1899.  One of the most distinguished and respected speakers that day was the Most Reverend John Ireland D.D., Archbishop of Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

His official capacity was to formally acknowledge the gifts to the parish and community by Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Schwab.  The Archbishop's talk came following the unveiling of the stately bronze sculpture monument of Father Gallitzin, and the surprise revelation of a new and grand church to be built, both projects funded by Schwab.

Important to our current research is Archbishop Ireland's evaluation of the many virtues and sacrifices of Father Gallitzin, as well as the significance of his colonization for Catholics and for the new nation.

Following are excerpts from Archbishop Ireland's speech:

"There are men whom friends of humanity and of God would like to see live forever - - men whose life was an inspiring example to their fellows, whose passage over earth was a visit of beings from a higher world.  Let us strive at least, as best we may, to send down over the stream of time their memories and the influence of their power -  - erecting to them enduring monuments, writing their acts and words on the scroll of story, reproducing in our lives something of their lives.

"Of such men Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin was a noble exemplar.  Truly great was he; his name will not be forgotten by Loretto, by

"Men are great who are able to conceive a magnificent ideal through which they may confer precious benefits upon humanity, and are able during the years allotted to them to live worthy of that ideal.  And thus Gallitzin was great.

"His noble mind had - - and allowed him to see - - that he could do more for God and for humanity by devoting himself to the ministry of Christ, then by following in the wake of kings and emperors.  Gallitzin, in the light of faith, understood, that grandeur of the priesthood; it was to him no too arduous sacrifice to turn away from a brilliant worldly career; no sacrifice to bid farewell to rich estates.  Great is the soul capable of sacrifice, capable of grasping a high ideal -  - and such the soul of Gallitzin.

"In America a hundred years ago to be a priest was to vow one's self to poverty, to constant sacrifice, to a life of ceaseless labor; naught but the beauty itself of the priesthood could there have won to it the youthful courtier and prince.  Truly was thy consecration of thyself to the Catholics of America disinterested and entire!  Catholics of America today thank thee, and invoke they intercession with the eternal God that they spirit of sacrifice burn brightly in the bosoms of thousands of men and women today in America."

MONUMENT: Crowds surrounded the veiled monument of Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin in Loretto on October 10, 1899, waiting for the statue to be revealed, and to hear an address by Archbishop John Ireland of Saint Paul, Minnesota.