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Title: The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Volume 1, November 1864
Author: - To be updated
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Volume 1, November 1864" ***

                     The Irish Ecclesiastical Record

                                Volume 1.

                              November, 1864


The Holy See And The Liberty Of The Irish Church At The Beginning Of The
Present Century.
   I. From Mgr. Brancadoro to Father Concanen, O.P., Agent at Rome for the
   Irish Bishops. Dalla Propaganda. 7 Agosto, 1801.
   II. From the same to the same. Dalla Propaganda, 25 Settembre, 1805.
A Recent Protestant View Of The Church Of The Middle Ages.
The Mss. Remains Of Professor O’Curry In The Catholic University. No. II.
The Destiny Of The Irish Race.
Liturgical Questions. (_From M. Bouix’s __“__Revue des Sciences
   I. Condemnation Of Dr. Froschammer’s Works.
   II. Decree Of The Congregation Of Rites.
Notices Of Books.


All students of Irish Catholic affairs must feel, at every moment, that we
are at a great loss for a collection of ecclesiastical documents connected
with our Church. The past misfortunes of Ireland explain the origin of
this want. During the persecutions of Elizabeth, of James the First, and
Cromwell, our ancient manuscripts, and the archives of our convents and
monasteries, were ruthlessly destroyed. At a later period, whilst the
penal laws were in full operation, it was dangerous to preserve official
ecclesiastical papers, lest they should be construed by the bigotry and
ignorance of our enemies into proofs of sedition or treason. Since liberty
began to dawn on our country, things have undergone a beneficial change,
and recently great efforts have been made to rescue and preserve from
destruction every remaining fragment of our ancient history, and every
document calculated to throw light on the annals of our Church. We are
anxious to coöperate in this good work, and we shall feel deeply grateful
to our friends if they forward to us any official ecclesiastical papers,
either ancient or modern, that it may be desirable to preserve. Receiving
such papers casually, we cannot insert them in the RECORD in chronological
order, but by aid of an Index, to be published at the end of each volume,
the future historian will be able to avail himself of them for his

To-day we insert in our columns two letters never published before, as far
as we can learn, in their original language. They were addressed, in the
beginning of this century, by the learned Archbishop of Myra, Monsignore
Brancadoro, Secretary of the Propaganda, to a distinguished Dominican,
Father Concanen, then agent of the Irish bishops, who was afterwards
promoted to the See of New York, and who died at Naples, in the year 1808,
before he could take possession of his diocese.

The first letter, dated the 7th August, 1801, refers to certain
resolutions adopted by ten Irish prelates, in January, 1799, at a sad
period of our history, when Ireland was in a state of utter prostration,
and abandoned to the fury of an Orange faction. In such circumstances, we
are not to be surprised that the Catholics of Cork, Waterford, Wexford,
and many other parts of Ireland, in the hope of preserving their lives and
property, should have petitioned to be united to England; or that Catholic
prelates, anxious to gain protection for their flocks, should have
endeavoured to propitiate those who had the power of the government in
their hands, by taking into consideration the proposals then made—that the
state should provide for the maintenance of the clergy, and that a right
should be given to the state to inquire into the loyalty of such
ecclesiastics as might be proposed for the various sees of Ireland.

The celebrated Dr. Milner, treating of the resolutions just referred to,
observes in his _Supplementary Memoirs_, p. 115, that they had nothing in
common with the veto which was afterwards proposed by government in 1805,
and several times in succeeding years, and adds, that the prelates
“stipulated for their own just influence, and also for the consent of the
Pope in this important business.”

According to the wise determination of the prelates, the matters they had
agreed to were referred to the judgment of the Supreme Head of the Church.
A speedy answer, however, could not be obtained. At that time the great
Pontiff, Pius the Sixth, was a captive in the hands of the French
Republicans, and soon after died a martyr at Valence in France. The Holy
See was then vacant for several months, until, by the visible
interposition of Providence, Italy was freed from her invaders, and the
cardinals were enabled to assemble in conclave to elect a new Pope. Soon
after his promotion, Pius the Seventh occupied himself with the affairs of
our Church, and the secretary of the Propaganda received instructions to
communicate through Father Concanen to the Irish Prelates the wishes of
his Holiness.

The substance of the official note of Monsignore Brancadoro is, 1. That
his Holiness is thankful to the British government for the relaxation of
the penal laws to which Catholics had been so long subjected, and for any
other acts of liberality or kindness conferred on them. 2. That the Irish
prelates, whilst manifesting their gratitude for the favours they had
received, should prove, by their conduct, that it was not through a
feeling of self-interest, or through hopes of temporal advantages, that
they inculcated on their flocks the necessity of obedience to the laws and
the conscientious fulfilment of the duties of good citizens; but that they
did so through a spirit of religion, and in conformity with the dictates
of the gospel. 3. That to prove how sincerely they were animated with
those feelings, the Irish prelates should refuse the proffered pension,
and continue to act and support themselves as they have done for the past,
thus giving an example of Christian perfection which would not fail to
give general edification.

The second letter is also from the secretary of Propaganda to Father
Concanen, and is dated 25th of Sept., 1805, in which year Dr. Milner had
just brought under the notice of the Holy See some new projects of
government interference with the Catholic clergy, which had lately been
introduced into Parliament by Sir John Hippisley, at that time a supporter
of Emancipation, but who afterwards gave proofs of a great desire to
enslave the Catholic Church.

In the second letter Monsignore Brancadoro states the apprehension felt by
the S. Congregation, lest the moment of the Catholic triumph should prove
the one most dangerous to the purity and stability of the Catholic
religion since the Reformation; that it would be no injustice to suspect
the British Government of being influenced by designs to that very effect;
that the Bishops should, therefore, as a general principle, renounce all
idea of advancing their own proper interests, or of securing any temporal
advantages, lest through human frailty they should inadvertently be
surprised into any concessions which in course of time might prove
injurious to the interests of religion. The Secretary then goes on to say
that the S. Congregation found serious difficulties, more or less, in all
the plans which, as Dr. Milner had reported, had been proposed by the
statesmen of the day in England. These plans were:—1. The pensioning of
the clergy. 2. State interference in the nomination of Bishops. 3. The
restoration of the Hierarchy in England. 4. The concession to the ministry
of the right to examine the communications which might pass between the
English and Irish Catholics and the Holy See.

As to the plan of pensioning the clergy, Monsignore Brancadoro points out
the dangers to which its adoption would expose them. If they accept a
pension from government, the offerings of the faithful will be undoubtedly
withdrawn, and the priesthood will be left quite dependent on the caprice
of those in power. He recalls to Father Concanen’s memory, that in his
previous letter of the 7th of August, 1801, he had announced to him the
Pope’s wish that the Irish clergy should decline all pensions from the
government, and mentions that the Irish Bishops, in reply, had stated that
they willingly renounced all temporal advantages in order to preserve
religion uninjured.

The secretary of the Propaganda next reminds his correspondent that Pius
VI., in a brief of 20th March, 1791, had condemned a decree of the
National Assembly of France, by which the clergy of that country were made
pensioners of the state; and he adds that the Holy See had resisted a
similar attempt of the English government in regard to the clergy of
Corsica, when that island had fallen into their hands.

Examining the various vetoistical plans mentioned by Dr. Milner,
Monsignore Brancadoro quotes the authority of the great and learned
Pontiff, Benedict XIV., to show how decidedly opposed the Holy See has
always been to every project directed to vest Catholic ecclesiastical
appointments in the hands of a Protestant sovereign. This question is
discussed in a brief of that Pope addressed to the Bishop of Breslau on
the 15th of May, 1748, and his words are as follows: “There is not
recorded in the whole history of the Church a single example in which the
appointment of a bishop or abbot was conceded to a sovereign of a
different religion”. He adds “that he would not, and could not, introduce
a practice calculated to scandalize the Catholic world, and which, besides
bringing on him a dreadful judgment in another world, would render his
name odious and accursed during life, and much more so after death”.

2. The learned writer then proceeds to examine the various plans of
granting to government certain powers in regard to the nomination of
bishops, and explodes them all as replete with danger to religion, and
well calculated to enslave the Church.

The plans proposed to lessen the Pope’s unwillingness to grant to the
sovereign the right of nomination were the following:—Some thought that
the nomination should be limited to a certain class of persons who should
have been approved of by the episcopal body after an examination and
trial. Such a body might be the vicars-general, of whom two should be
appointed for each diocese. The government was to be bound to choose the
bishops out of this body. This plan was rejected, first, because it would
really amount to vesting the nomination of bishops in a non-Catholic
sovereign; and secondly, on account of difficulties created by the
circumstances of the time and place.

Others proposed to give the government the right of excluding from the
episcopal charge those obnoxious to itself. Monsignore Brancadoro says of
this plan, that unless this right of exclusion were restricted by limits,
it would be equivalent to a real power of nomination. But even so, even
after due limitation, it was an absolute novelty in the Church, and no one
could tell what its consequences might be. Besides, it was uncalled for,
since the experience of so many centuries ought to have convinced the
government that the ecclesiastics appointed to govern dioceses were always
excellent citizens. Besides, it was the custom of the Holy See not to
appoint to a vacant diocese until it had received the recommendation of
the metropolitans and the diocesan clergy. This was a safeguard against
improper appointments.

3. With respect to the restoration of the Hierarchy in England, Monsignore
Brancadoro blames the motive which induced the English nobles to petition
for such a change of church government, namely, the desire they felt to
have bishops less bound to the Holy See. He declares that, although
differing _quoad jus_, bishops and vicars-apostolic did not differ in
reality, and that the Holy See was equally well satisfied with the bishops
of Ireland, and the vicars-apostolic of England and Scotland.

4. The Secretary condemns, as worst of all, the plan of giving to the
ministers the right to examine the communications that pass between the
Holy See and the British and Irish Catholics. Such a right has never been
allowed, even to a Catholic power, much less should it be allowed to a
Protestant government. The case of France was not to the point, for there
the right was limited to provisions of benefices alone. The government has
no reason to be afraid: the Holy See has expressly declared to bishops and
vicars-apostolic, that it does not desire any political information from

The two official notes we insert will be read in their original language
with great interest. They are noble monuments of the zeal of the holy
Pontiff, Pius VII., and of the vigilance with which the Holy See has
always endeavoured to uphold the rights and independence of our ancient
Church. Undoubtedly the wise instructions given in those letters had no
small share in arousing that spirit with which a few years later our
clergy and people resisted and defeated all the efforts of British
statesmen to deprive our Church of her liberties, and to reduce her to the
degraded condition of the Protestant establishment. The notes of the
secretary of Propaganda are a fine specimen of ecclesiastical writing,
illustrating the maxim _fortiter in re, suaviter in modo_.

I. From Mgr. Brancadoro to Father Concanen, O.P., Agent at Rome for the
Irish Bishops. Dalla Propaganda. 7 Agosto, 1801.

Informata la Santità di Nostro Signore del nuovo piano ideato de Governo
Brittannico in supposto vantaggio della ecclesiastica Gerarchia dei
cattolici d’Irlanda, non ha punto esitato a manifestare la più viva
reconoscenza verso la spontanea e generosa liberalità del prelodato
Governo, cui professerà sempre la massima gratitudine, per l’assistenze, e
favori, che accorda ai mentovati cattolici de’ suoi dominj. Tenendo poi la
Santità Sua per indubitato, che la sperimentata fedeltà di quel Clero
Cattolico Romano al legittimo suo Sovrano derivi interamente dalle massime
di nostra S. Religione, le quali non possono mai esser soggette a verun
cambiamento, desidera il suddetto Governo resti assicurato, che i
Metropolitani, i Vescovi e il Clero tutto della Irlanda conoscerà sempre
un tal suo stretto dovere, e lo adempirà esattamente in qualunque
incontro. Brama però ad un tempo vivissimamente il S. Padre, che
l’anzidetto Clero seguitando il plausibile sistema da lui osservato finora
si astenga scrupolosamente dall’ avere in mira qualunque suo proprio
temporale vantaggio, e che dimostrando sempre con parole, e con fatti la
sincera invariabilità del suo attacamento, riconoscenza, e sommissione al
Governo Brittanico, gli faccia vieppiù conoscere la realtà di sua
gratitudine alle offerte nuove beneficenze, dispensandosi dal profittarne,
e dando con ciò una luminosa prova di quel costantè disinteresse stimato
tanto conforme all’ Apostolico zelo dei ministri del Santuario, e tanto
giovevole, e decoroso alla stessa cattolico Religione, come quello che
concilia in singular modo la stima, e il respetto verso dei sagri
ministeri, e che li rende più venerabili, e più cari ai fedeli commessi
alla loro spirituale direzione.

Tali sono i precisi sentimenti che la Santità di Nostro Signore ha
ordinate al Segretario di Propaganda di communicare alla Paternità Vostra
affinchè per di Lei mezzo giungano senza ritardo a notizie degli ottimi
Metropolitani, e Vescovi del regno d’Irlanda, nel quale spera fermamente
Sua Santità, che come ad onta dei più gravi pericoli si è già mantenuta in
passato, cosi manterassi pur anco in avvenire affatto illesa da ogni
benchè menoma macchia la nostra cattolica Religione.

Lo scrivente pertanto nell’ eseguire i Pontificj comandi si rassegna nel
suo particolare colla più distinta stima ec.

II. From the same to the same. Dalla Propaganda, 25 Settembre, 1805.


La lettera del degnissimo Monsig. Milner, Vicario Apostolico del distretto
medio d’Inghilterra, diretta a V. P., la cui traduzione ella, per ordine
del Prefetto stesso, ha communicata all Arcivescovo di Mira, Segretario di
Propaganda, ha fatto entrare la Sacra Congregazione nello stesso timore,
che manifesta l’ ottimo Prelato, che il momento della fortuna dei
cattolici nel Parlamento sia il più pericoloso alla purità, e stabilità
della nostra santa Religione, che sia mai avvenuto dopo la pretesa riforma
di quel regno, e non si farebbe ingiuria al Governo acattolico, se si
sospettassero appunto queste mire: E perciò dovranno i Vicarj Apostolici,
ed i Vescovi di quel dominio abbandonare ogni mira di proprio vantaggio,
ed interesse temporale, da cui, indebolito il loro cuore potrebbe
facilmente, senza avvedersene, essere sorpreso a condiscendere in qualche
cosa, che recherà, col tempo, del pregiudizio alla Religione.

Questo spirito di disinteresse si scorge già luminosamente in Monsig.
Milner dal tenore della sua lettera: e perciò chiede egli saviamento della
S. C. delle istruzioni, colle quali regolarsi nella trattativa, in cui si
trova impegnato. Ma la S. C. trova delle difficoltà gravi, più o meno, in
tutti i progetti, ch’ egli narra, fatti da quei politici.

Ed in primo luogo, riguardo al progetto di assegnarsi stabili pensioni sul
pubblico erario ai Vescovi, ed al Clero di quel dominio, la Santità di N.
S. espresse già i suoi sentimenti, per mezzo di un biglietto dell’
Arcivescovo, che scrive, diretto a V. P, in data dei 7 Agosto 1801, il
quale essendo stato da lei comunicato ai metropolitani, e vescovi
d’Irlanda, essi risposero, che rinunziavano volentieri a qualunque
vantaggio temporale, per conservare illibata la cattolica Religione. Sarà
dunque opportuno di spedire a Mons. Milner la copia di quel Biglietto, che
si dà qui annessa.

E per verità, accettandosi dal clero le pensioni, cesseranno immantinente
molti fondi di sussistenza, che ora ritrae dalla pietà de fedeli;
resteranno le pensioni per quasi unico mezzo di sostentamento. Ora chi non
vede a quali gravissime tentazioni non si esporrebbero gli ecclesiastici,
di condiscendere, in qualche cosa pregiudiziale alla s. Religione, alla
volontà di un Governo di religione diversa, che può in un punto ridurlo
allu mendicità col ritenere le pensioni? Per questa, ed altre ragioni,
essendosi adottata la massima di dare le pensioni al clero dell’ Assemblea
Nazionale di Francia nella Costituzione civile del clero, la Sa. Me. di
Pio VI. la riprovò nel suo breve dei 20 marzo 1791. pag. 61, e seg. Ed
avendo la stessa corte di Londra, quando entrò in possesso della Corsica,
fatto il medesimo progetto, vi si oppose la S. Sede, e quella Real corte
desistè dall’ impegno.

Riguardo all’ influenza, che si vorrebbe, del potere civile nella nomina
de’ vescovi, cosi varj progetti, che si sono fatti, per regolare una tale
influenza, è in primo luogo da avvertirsi, che la nomina assolutamente non
potrà accordarsi al Sovrano, come acattolico. Al qual proposito basterà
riportare i sentimenti di Benedetto XIV. Questo gran Pontefice in una sua
lettera scritta al vescovo di Breslavia li 15 maggio 1748, si espresse ne’
seguenti termini.—"Non ritrovasi in tutta la storia Ecclesiastica verun
indulto conceduto da Romani Pontefici ai Sovrani di altra comunione, il
nominare a Vescovadi, ed Abbadie—soggiungendo, che non voleva, ne poteva
introdurre un esempio, che scandalizzarebbe tutto il mondo cattolico, e
che, oltre la gravissima pena, la quale Iddio gli farebbe scontare nell’
altro mondo, renderebbe il suo nome esoso, e maledetto in tutto il tempo
di sua vita, e molto più in quello che avrebbe a decorrere dopo la di lui
morte. La stessa difficoltà sussisterebbe ugualmente, ancorchè il diritto
di nomina fosse limitato tra una classe di persone, esaminata prima, e
previamente sperimentata, ed approvata dal corpo dei Vescovi, come quello
de’ Gran-Vicarj, da stabilirsene due in ogni Diocesi, e Distretto. Ma
oltre a questo, il progetto de’ Gran-Vicarj involve gravissime difficoltà
per le circostanze locali. Perciocchè, lasciando anche stare il pericolo
dell’ ambizione degli ecclesiastici presso de’ Vescovi, e Vicarj
Apostolici per essere dichiarati Gran-Vicarj, quando che ora, scegliendosi
i soggetti da promuoversi dal ceto degli operaj, s’ impegnano anche gli
ambiziosi a faticare a prò delle anime: é chiaro ancoro, che in tanta
penuria di ecclesiastici, ch’ è in tutto cotesto dominio, se si tolgono
due Gran-Vicarj per ogni Vicario Apostolico, o Vescovo, mancheranno
affatto gli ecclesiastici per la cura delle anime.

Il semplice diritto di esclusiva involverebbe minori inconvenienti
intrinseci, purchè fosse limitato; giacchè altrimenti, a forza di
escludere si otterrebbe per indiretto una vera nomina. Ma questo diritto è
affatto nuovo; e l’ introdurlo per la prima volta, non si sa a quali
conseguenze potrebbe condurre. Ma siccome tutti questi progetti si fanno
per assicurare il Governo, che non sia promossa persona, che non gli sia
invisa, dovrebbe bastare l’ esperienza di tanti secoli, ad assicurare il
Governo, stesso della somma premura, che ha sempre avuta la S. Sede, che i
soggetti da lei promossi, non solo non siano invisi, ma siano anche
graditi del Governo stesso. Eo V. P. puó di fatto proprio attestare della
somma industria, attività, e segretezza usatasi, qualche tempo fa, della
S. Sede, per escludere persona, che sospettava potere riuscire men gradita
al Governo, benchè ape poggiata da forti raccomandazioni, ed includesse
altra persona, cha sicuramente fosse di sua soddisfazione. Oltre di che
essendo solitquesta S. C. di attendere per gli promovendi gli attestati, e
le postulazioni, o le informazioni de’ Metropolitani, o degli altri Vicarj
Apostolici, ed anche del clero della rispettiva Diocesi, prima di proporre
al S. P. i soggetti, da questi certamente sapra quali siano quelle
persone, che possano essere poco accette al Governo, per escluderle

Quanto al desiderio de’ Magnati, di avere vescovi, in vece di Vicarj
Apostolici, in se stesso considerato è santissimo, ed analogo alla
costituzione della Chiessa Cattolica; e se n’ è trattato altre volte in
Inghilterra. Dispiace solamente il fine, per cui si fa un tal progetto,
cioè per avere Prelati meno aderenti alla S. Sede. Ma la S. Sede nulla
avrebba a temere da siffata innovazione, sull’ esempio de’ vescovi d’
Irlanda de quali è ugualmente contenta che de’ Vicarj Apostolici d’
Inghilterra, e di Scozia. Senza che, la constante esperienza dimostra, che
quantunque in diritto sia diversa la condizione de’ Vicarj Apostolici de
quella de’ Vescovi; pure in fatti non porta effetti diversi. Solo devrebbe
rifflettersi alle circostanze de’ tempi, ed agl’ incovenienti che
potrebbero esercitare il cosi detto Club Cisalpino, per evitarsi al
possibile ogni innovazione.

Più di tutti sarebbe fatale quel progretto, che per altro Monsig. Milner
dice essere di alcuni pochi, che ogni communicazione de’ cattolici colla
S. Sede debba soggiacere all’ esame de’ ministri di S. M. Questo diritto
non si è mai riconosciuto dalla S. Sede in alcun principe cattolico: e l’
esempio che si cita, della Francia, era dai concordati limitato alle sole
ecclesiastiche proviste. Ma quanto sarebbe più pericoloso in un Governo
acattolico, con cui non è possibile di convenire nelle massime religiose.
Si spera per altro, che quei pochi, che propongono, un tal progretto, non
troveranno seguito: e che quel Governo, che si vanta di lasciare una piena
libertà ai suoi sudditi, non vorra imporre loro una catena negli effari
più delicati, che riguardano la coscienza, per gli quali soltanto i
cattolici, communicano colla S. Sede: giacchè la S. C. nel questionario
stampato, che manda a quei Vescovi, e Vicarj Apostolici per norma della
relazione delle loro chiese, nel primo articolo si protesta espressamente
che non vuole di loro alcuna nuova politica.

Molto consolante è poi, riuscito alla S. Congr. la nuova, che sia
riuscito, allo stesso Monsig. Milner di ottenere un’ assai piú grande
libertà per gli soldati cattolici nell’ esercizio della S. Religione; e
che abbia ben dispositi gli animi, per fare riconoscere validi nella legge
civile i matrimonj contratti avanti un sacerdote cattolico. V. Paternità
gliene faccia i più vivi ringraziamenti, per parte di questa S. C.

In fine l’ Arcivescovo, che scrive, con piena stima se le rassegna.


The history of the Church in the middle ages has ever forced upon
Protestant minds a difficulty which they have met by many various methods
of solution. The middle age exhibits so much of precious side by side with
so much of base, so much of the beauty of holiness in the midst of
ungodliness, so much of what all Christians admit as truth with what
Protestants call fatal error, that the character of the whole cannot
readily be taken in at first sight from the Protestant point of view. Some
there are who dwell so long on the shadows that they close their eyes to
the light, and these declare the medieval Church to have been a scene of
unmitigated evil. To their minds the whole theology of the period is
useless, or worse than useless, harmful. They connect the middle ages with
wickedness as thoroughly as the Manicheans connected matter with the evil

Others there are who honestly admit that these ages, especially their
earlier part, are not Protestant, but at the same time contend that
neither are they favourable to Roman doctrine. These believe that facts
abundantly prove that in the bosom of the Church which was then, the two
Churches were to be found, which afterwards disengaged themselves from one
another at the Reformation. This is the philosophy of medieval history
which, as we learn from the preface to his collection of _Sacred Latin
Poetry_,(1) has recommended itself to Dr. Trench, the present Protestant
Archbishop of Dublin. “In Romanism we have the residuum of the middle-age
Church and theology, the lees, after all, or well nigh all the wine was
drained away. But in the medieval Church we have the wine and lees
together—the truth and the error, the false observance and yet at the same
time the divine truth which should one day be fatal to it—side by side.”
For such thinkers the sum of all the history of that period amounts to
this: a long struggle between two Churches—one a Church of truth, the
other a Church of error—a struggle which, however, ended happily in the
triumph of the Church of truth by the Reformation, in which the truth was
purified from its contact with error.

It is not without its advantages to know what views the occupant of an
Irish see so distinguished, is led to take, of the Church to which
seventy-seven out of every hundred Irishmen belong, with all the
convictions of their intellects, and all the love of their hearts. It
seems to us that his theory is not likely to satisfy any party; it goes
too far to please some, and stops short too soon to be agreeable to
others. But what strikes us most of all in it is the fatal inconsistency
of its parts. Of this the very book to which it serves as preface is proof
enough. Dr. Trench’s position is this. He tells his Protestant readers
that whereas in the medieval Church there was a good church, and an evil,
all the good has found its resting place in Protestantism, all the evil in
tyrannical Rome. Whatever of good, of holy, of pure, has ever been said or
done within the Church, Protestants are the rightful inheritors of it all.
From the treasury of the Church before the Reformation he proposes to
draw, and to collect in this work what his readers may live on and love,
and what he is confident will prove wholesome nourishment for their souls.
He would set before them the feelings of the Church during these thousand
years of her existence, and would summon from afar, from remote ages,
“voices in which they may utter and embody the deepest things of their
hearts”. Such, he assures them, are the voices of the writers whose poems
have found a place in his book. Now, if we are to understand that the two
ante-Reformation Churches stood out quite distinctly, one from the other,
in open antagonism, like Jerusalem and Babylon, each having its own
position more or less clearly defined, we should naturally expect to find
in Dr. Trench’s book the thoughts and words only of the Reformers before
the Reformation, of the men, that is, who never bent the knee to Baal, but
ever cherished in their hearts the true doctrine of salvation. If his own
theory be worth anything, he must have recourse for his present purposes,
to that one of the two Churches which alone has been perpetuated,
victorious after conflict, in Protestantism. Where else shall he find
sympathies that answer to those of Protestants? But he does not do so. For
in the beginning of his preface he tells us that he has not admitted each
and all of the works of the authors whose productions he inserts. He tells
us that he has carefully excluded from his collection “all hymns which in
any way imply the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation”, or, “which
involve any creature-worship, or speak of the Mother of our Lord in any
other language than that which Scripture has sanctioned, and our Church
adopted”, or which “ask of the suffrages of the Saints”? These certainly
are not the doctrines which have been perpetuated in Protestantism.

His own practice, therefore, is inconsistent with his theory, if that
theory means to assert the existence of two Churches in the middle age,
distinctly antagonistic, one to the other.

The only escape from this tangle is to reply, that Dr. Trench, although he
may find two Churches in the bosom of the middle-age Church, does not,
however, place between them a separation so sharp as to suppose the Church
of good absolutely without evil, nor the Church of evil altogether
destitute of good. In each there is good and some mixture of evil: error
relieved by a vein of truth. His favourite authors, by whose labours he
wishes to make his readers profit, are, in this last hypothesis, men who
are subject to the influence of both Churches; men who belong partly to
each in turn, whose doctrines are a pitiable admixture of truth with
falsehood—who, in one word, are visited both by “airs from Heaven and
blasts from Hell”. At times they say what all, even Protestants, may
treasure up in their hearts, to live on and love; at times, again, they
are made to utter what all should reject and condemn, as so many snares
for unwary feet. We shall say nothing of the difficulty the mind feels in
accepting such a description of the position of these writers, nor of the
task we have to persuade ourselves that those who teach belief in deadly
heresies to be essential to salvation, can be, at the same time, the
chosen tabernacles wherein the pure spirit of real piety can ever take up
its abode. Such was not the feeling of the ancient Church. We ask,
instead, who are the men upon whose writings Dr. Trench would sit in
judgment, “to sunder between the holy and profane”, to distinguish between
the errors and the truth, to decide what we are “to take warning from and
to shun, what to live upon and love”. With the exception of the two, Alard
and Buttmann, all are men highly honoured by the whole Catholic world, and
all, without exception, are praised for their excelling virtues by Dr.
Trench himself. Among the twenty-three names we read with reverence those
of Saint Ambrose, Saint Bonaventure, Venerable Bede, Saint Bernard, Saint
Peter Damian, Thomas a-Kempis, Peter the Venerable, Jacopone, and others
of great reputation for sanctity and learning. These are the men whose
writings Dr. Trench is to parcel out into two portions; this to be
venerated as sacred, that to be condemned as profane. It needs great faith
in the censor, to accept readily his decision in such a case. What test
does he undertake to apply? what criterion is to influence his choice? Why
does he cast away the poems which celebrate St. Peter as Prince of the
Apostles, and approve of those that extol St. Paul? Why should he style
Adam of St. Victor’s hymn on the Blessed Virgin an exaggeration, and quote
as edifying his _Laus S. Scripturae_? Why are St. Bonaventure’s pieces in
honour of Mary visited with censure, and his lines _In Passione Domini_
made the theme of praise? Dr. Trench gives us his reasons very plainly.
“If our position mean anything”, says he (page x.), “we are bound to
believe that to us, having the Word and the Spirit, the power has been
given to distinguish things which differ.... It is our duty to believe
that to us, that to each generation which humbly and earnestly seeks, will
be given that enlightening spirit, by whose aid it shall be enabled to
read aright the past realizations of God’s divine idea in the wise and
historic Church of successive ages, and to distinguish the human
imperfections, blemishes, and errors, from the divine truth which they
obscured and overlaid, but which they could not destroy, being, one day,
rather to be destroyed by it”. That is to say, we, as Protestants, in
virtue of our position as such, are able by the light of the Holy Spirit
to discern true from false doctrine, the fruits of the good Church from
the fruits of the evil Church. This enlightening Spirit will be given to
each generation which humbly and earnestly seeks it. But, we ask, what are
we to believe concerning the working of the same enlightening Spirit in
the hearts of the holy men whose exquisitely devotional writings Dr.
Trench sets before us? Were they men of humility and earnestness? If they
were not, Dr. Trench’s book appears under false colours, and is not a book
of edification. And if they were, as they certainly were, who is Dr.
Trench that he should take it on himself to condemn those who enjoyed the
very same light which he claims for himself? And why should we not then
rather believe that as these holy men had, on his own showing, the spirit
of God, Dr. Trench, in condemning their doctrine does in truth condemn
what is the doctrine of the Church of the Holy Spirit.

The theory is therefore as inconsistent as on historical grounds it is
false. Such as it is, however, the conclusions we may draw from it are of
great importance.

1. Dr. Trench declares that, both by omitting and by thinning, he has
carefully removed from his selection, all doctrine implying
transubstantiation, the cultus of the Blessed Virgin, the invocation of
saints, and the veneration of the cross. Now, as the great bulk of the
poems he publishes belong to the middle ages, strictly so called, it
follows, on Dr. Trench’s authority, that these doctrines of the Roman
Catholic Church were held long before the Reformation, and that the Church
was already in possession when Luther came.

2. Since he tells us (page vi) that he has counted inadmissible poems
which breathe a spirit foreign to that tone of piety which the English
Church desires to cherish in her children, it follows that the spirit of
piety in the Church of old is not the same as that in the present Church
of England. Now in such cases the presumption is against novelty.

3. Dr. Trench (page vii) reminds his readers that it is unfair to try the
theological language of the middle ages by the greater strictness and
accuracy rendered necessary by the struggle, of the Reformation. A man who
holds a doctrine _implicitly_ and in a confused manner, is likely to use
words which he would correct if the doctrine were put before him in
accurate form. This is a sound principle, and one constantly employed by
Catholic theologians, when they have to deal with an objection urged by
Protestants from some obscure or equivocal passage of a Father. It is
satisfactory to be able for the future to claim for its use the high
authority of Dr. Trench.

4. A special assistance of the Holy Spirit is claimed for all those who
humbly and earnestly invoke him. This assistance is to enable those
blessed with it to distinguish between error and divine truth. Is this
happy privilege to be exercised either independently, without the
direction of the ministers of the Church, or is it one of the graces
peculiar to the pastoral office? In the former case, every fanatical
sectary may judge in matters of religion as securely as if he had the
whole world on his side. In the latter case, it would be interesting to
know how much does this privilege differ from the infallibility claimed by
the Catholic Church.

5. Finally, the contradictions inherent to the whole theory are most
clearly to be seen in the following passage about the noble lines which
Hildebert, Archbishop of Tours, in the beginning of the twelfth century,
places on the lip of the city of Rome:

    “I have not inserted these lines”, says Dr. Trench, “in the body
    of this collection, lest I might seem to claim for them that
    entire sympathy which I am very far from doing. Yet, believing as
    we may, and, to give any meaning to a large period of Church
    history, we must, that Papal Rome of the middle ages had a work of
    God to accomplish for the taming of a violent and brutal world, in
    the midst of which she often lifted up the only voice which was
    anywhere heard in behalf of righteousness and truth—all of which
    we may believe, with the fullest sense that her dominion was an
    unrighteous usurpation, however overruled for good to Christendom,
    which could then take no higher blessing—believing this, we may
    freely admire these lines, so nobly telling of that true strength
    of spiritual power, which may be perfected in the utmost weakness
    of all other power. It is the city of Rome which speaks:

    Dum simulacra mihi, dum numina vana placerent,
      Militiâ, populo, moenibus alts fui:
    At simul effigies, arasque superstitiosas
      Dejiciens, uni sum famulata Deo;
    Cesserunt arces, cecidere palatia divum,
      Servivit populis, degeneravit eques.
    Vix scio quae fuerim: vix Romae Roma recordor;
      Vix sinit occasus vel meminisse mei.
    Gratior haec jactura mihi successibus illis,
      Major sum pauper divite, stante jacens.
    Plus aquilis vexilla crucis, plus Caesare Petrus,
      Plus cinctis ducibus vulgus inerme dedit.
    Stans domui terras; infernum diruta pulso;
      Corpora stans, animas fracta jacensque rego.
    Tunc miserae plebi, nunc principibus tenebrarum
      Impero; tunc urbes, nunc mea regna polus.
    Quod ne Caesaribus videar debere vel armis,
      Et species rerum meque meosque trahat,
    Armorum vis illa perit, ruit alta Senatûs
      Gloria, procumbunt templa, theatra jacent.
    Rostra vacant, edicta silent, sua praemia desunt
      Emeritis, populo jura, colonus agris.
    Ista jacent, ne forte meus spem ponat in illis
      Civis, et evacuet spemque bonumque crucis.


_Prayer of St. Aireran the Wise, ob._. 664.

    [In the first number of the RECORD we published from the
    manuscripts of the late Professor O’Curry the Prayer of St. Colga
    of Clonmacnoise. We now publish another beautiful devotional piece
    from the same collection.

    Speaking of ancient Irish religious works now remaining, O’Curry
    says (at page 378 of his great work): “The fifth class of these
    religious remains consists of the prayers, invocations, and
    litanies, which have came down to us”. The Prayer of St. Colga,
    published in our last number, is placed by O’Curry in the second
    place among these documents, which he sets down in chronological

    “The first piece of this class (adopting the chronological order)
    is the prayer of St. _Aireran_ the Wise (often called _Aileran_,
    _Eleran_, and _Airenan_), who was a classical professor in the
    great school of Clonard, and died of the plague in the year 664.
    St. Aireran’s prayer or litany is addressed, respectively, to God
    the Father, to God the Son, and to God the Holy Spirit, invoking
    them for mercy by various titles indicative of their power, glory,
    and attributes. The prayer consists of five invocations to the
    Father, eighteen invocations to the Son, and five to the Holy
    Spirit; and commences in Latin thus: ‘O Deus Pater, Omnipotens
    Deus, exerci misericordiam nobis’. This is followed by the same
    Invocation in the Gaedhlic; and the petitions to the end are
    continued in the same language. The invocation of the Son begins
    thus: ‘Have mercy on us, O Almighty God! O Jesus Christ! O Son Of
    the living God! O Son, born twice! O only born of God the Father’.
    The petition to the Holy Spirit begins: ‘Have mercy on us, O
    Almighty God! O Holy Spirit! O Spirit the noblest of all spirits!’
    (See original in APPENDIX, No. CXX.)

    “When I first discovered this prayer in the _Leabhar Buidhe
    Lecain_ (or Yellow Book of _Lecain_), in the library of Trinity
    College, many years ago, I had no means of ascertaining or fixing
    its date; but in my subsequent readings in the same library, for
    my collection of ancient glossaries, I met the word _Oirchis_ set
    down with explanation and illustration, as follows:

    “ ‘_Oirchis_, id est, Mercy; as it is said in the prayers of
    Arinan the Wise’:—Have mercy on us, O God the Father Almighty!”
    See original in APPENDIX, No. CXXI.

    “I think it is unnecessary to say more on the identity of the
    author of this prayer with the distinguished _Aireran_ of Clonard.
    Nor is this the only specimen of his devout works that has come
    down to us. Fleming, in his Collecta Sacra, has published a
    fragment of a Latin tract discovered in the ancient monastery of
    St. Gall in Switzerland, which is entitled ‘The Mystical
    Interpretation of the Ancestry of our Lord Jesus Christ’. A
    perfect copy of this curious tract, and one of high antiquity,
    has, I believe, been lately discovered on the continent.

    “There was another _Airenan_, also called ‘the wise’, who was
    abbot of _Tamhlacht_ [Tallaght] in the latter part of the ninth
    century; but he has not been distinguished as an author, as far as
    we know”.

    It seems to us that there are three things specially worthy of our
    consideration in this beautiful prayer.

    In the first place, we find in it an explicit and most clear
    declaration of the Catholic Faith regarding the Blessed Trinity,
    especially the distinction of three persons, and the Divinity of
    each of these Divine Persons. “O God the Father Almighty, O God of
    Hosts, help us! Help us, O Almighty God! O Jesus Christ! Help us,
    O Almighty God, O Holy Spirit!”

    We are in the next place struck by the extraordinary familiarity
    with the Holy Scripture which the writer evinces. There is
    scarcely one of the epithets which is not found in the sacred
    pages, almost in the precise words used by him, beginning with the
    first words, addressed to the Eternal Father, “O God of Hosts”,
    the _Deus Sabaoth_ of the Prophets, and going on to the last
    invocation of the Holy Ghost, “Spirit of love”, which comprises in
    itself the two inspired phrases: “_Spiritus est Deus_”, and “_Deus
    Charitas est_”. We may also remark the coincidence between Saint
    Aireran and the liturgical prayers of the Church, especially in
    the invocations of the Holy Ghost found in the office of
    Whitsuntide and in the administration of the Sacrament of
    Confirmation, “_Tu septiformis munere: Digitus Paternae
    dexterae_”. “O Finger of God! O Spirit of Seven Forms”.

    In fine, we find our Irish saint applying to the Son of God the
    vision of the Prophet Ezechiel regarding the four mysterious
    animals: “O true Man! O Lion! O young Ox! O Eagle!” The prophecy
    is commonly interpreted of the Four Evangelists. Saint Augustine
    and Saint Jerome are quoted as authorities for this
    interpretation. But it is worthy of remark, that Saint Gregory the
    Great, whilst giving the same interpretation, applies the
    mysterious vision also to God the Son.(2) And Saint Aireran, by
    adopting this opinion, seems to afford us another proof of the
    great familiarity of our Irish scholars with the writings of the
    great Pontiff and Father of the Church. And this familiarity is
    rendered still more remarkable, and serves to give another proof
    of the constant communication between Rome and Ireland, from the
    close proximity of the times of our Saint and of Saint Gregory.]

O Deus Pater omnipotens Deus exerce tuam misericordiam nobis!

O God the Father Almighty! O God of Hosts, help us.

O illustrious God! O Lord of the world! O Creator of all creatures, help

O indescribable God! O Creator of all creatures, help us.

O invisible God! O incorporeal God! O unseen God! O unimaginable God! O
patient God! O uncorrupted God! O unchangeable God! O eternal God! O
perfect God! O merciful God! O admirable God! O Golden Goodness! O
Heavenly Father, who art in Heaven, help us.

Help us, O Almighty God! O Jesus Christ! O Son of the living God! O Son
twice born! O only begotten of the Father! O first-born of Mary the
Virgin! O Son of David! O Son of Abraham, beginning of all things! O End
of the World! O Word of God! O Jewel of the Heavenly Kingdom! O Life of
all (things)! O Eternal Truth! O Image, O Likeness, O Form of God the
Father! O Arm of God! O Hand of God! O Strength of God! O right (hand) of
God! O true Wisdom! O true Light, which enlightens all men! O Light-giver!
O Sun of Righteousness! O Star of the Morning! O Lustre of the Divinity! O
Sheen of the Eternal Light! O Fountain of immortal Life! O Pacificator
between God and Man! O Foretold of the Church! O Faithful Shepherd of the
flock! O Hope of the Faithful! O Angel of the Great Council! O True
Prophet! O True Apostle! O True Preacher! O Master! O Friend of Souls
(Spiritual Director)! O Thou of the shining hair! O Immortal Food! O Tree
of Life! O Righteous of Heaven! O Wand from the Stem of Moses! O King of
Israel! O Saviour! O Door of Life! O Splendid Flower of the Plain! O
Corner-stone! O Heavenly Zion! O Foundation of the Faith! O Spotless Lamb!
O Diadem! O Gentle Sheep! O Redeemer of mankind! O true God! O True Man! O
Lion! O young Ox! O Eagle! O Crucified Christ! O Judge of the Judgment
Day! help us.

Help us, O Almighty God! O Holy Spirit! O Spirit more noble than all
Spirits! O Finger of God! O Guardian of the Christians! O Protector of the
Distressed! O Co-partner of the True Wisdom! O Author of the Holy
Scripture! O Spirit of Righteousness! O Spirit of Seven Forms! O Spirit of
the Intellect! O Spirit of the Counsel! O Spirit of Fortitude! O Spirit of
Knowledge! O Spirit of Love! help us.


That God knows and governs all things—that whatever happens is either done
or permitted by him, and that he proposes to himself wise and beneficent
ends in all he does or permits—are truths which lie at the foundation of
all religion. The wicked may refuse to obey his commands, but they cannot
withdraw themselves from the reach of his power. While their wickedness is
entirely their own, _God_ makes them, however unwilling or unconscious,
instruments to work out his ends.

It is thus that individuals and nations have each a peculiar destiny. Not
that there is a blind fate, such as Pagans imagined; but that an
all-seeing and all-governing God proposes to himself certain objects,
which he is determined to attain, despite the perversity of man.

To learn the purposes of God in the development of human events, to trace
his hand in the complicated movements of society, to see him overruling
and directing all to his own great ends, is one of the most sublime
objects to which the study of history can be applied. Frequently, indeed,
we may be unable fully to comprehend the designs of his providence in the
moral, as in the physical world. Fancy, or pride, may easily have a great
part in suggesting our theories. But, if we confine ourselves to certain
facts and undoubted principles, we can often trace the design in both
orders, and admire in it the wisdom, the power, the goodness—all the
attributes of God. Nay, all these shine more brightly in the moral than in
the physical order.

The history of his chosen people is an example of this. We find empires
rising and falling, at one time to punish, at another time to try, at
another to deliver his people. The good and the wicked, the weak and the
strong, become in turn his instruments. The whole history of that people
is but a record of the acts of his overruling providence, directing all
things to the accomplishment of the designs which he had announced.

This is, indeed, so evident in this case that it may not be considered a
fair instance to prove my general position. For it is admitted that God’s
providence over the Jewish race was quite extraordinary. Still, it proves
that God does so intervene in human affairs, and it illustrates many of
the principles that must be kept in view in these investigations. It
shows, for example, that many, unconscious of the fact—nay, with quite
another object in view, acting perhaps from avarice, hatred, or ambition,
are yet instruments in the hand of God for the accomplishment of his wise
purposes. It shows how things, and persons, considered as of little or of
no value, according to human views, may, in reality, be the pivots on
which the destinies of vast empires turn, connected, as they may be, with
the accomplishment of purposes which weigh more in the scales of Heaven
than the mere temporal condition of all the empires of the Earth.

It is in this view that many Christian writers assert that the Roman
empire obtained universal sway, that civilized nations being thus brought
closely together, an easier way might be prepared for the spread of the
Gospel. The generals and statesmen of Rome had no doubt a very low idea of
the poor fishermen of Galilee, and of the tentmaker of Tharsus. It may be
safely presumed that they did not even allow their names to divert their
thoughts, for a moment, from the grand projects of conquest and government
by which they were engrossed. Yet, in the designs of God, it was, most
probably, to prepare a way for the work of those fishermen, and of that
tentmaker, and their associates, that wisdom had been vouchsafed to their
counsels and victory to their arms.

The endless invasions of the Roman empire by northern tribes is another
instance of whole races being used by God for his own purposes, without
their having any idea of the work in which they were employed. They came
to punish those who had revelled in the blood of the saints, and to supply
fresh material for the great work of the Church of God.

Towards the close of the fifteenth century, an Italian sailor, led by some
astronomical observations and some half understood, or rather
misunderstood, tales of ancient travellers, to believe that there must be
another continent far away beyond the western waters, wandered from court
to court, in Europe, in search of means to fit up an expedition to
discover it, and he finally succeeded in making known a new world. It
requires little faith in divine Providence to believe that it was God who
was impelling him thus to open a new outlet for the energies of the
ancient world, which were then about being developed on a gigantic scale,
and, still more, to prepare a field for a more extensive spread of the
Gospel, in which the Church might repair the losses she was about to
sustain in the religious convulsions impending in Europe.

Numberless similar instances might be quoted. These designs of God are
sometimes manifest, sometimes hidden; sometimes they are far-reaching,
sometimes limited. Ignorance and pride may mistake or pervert them. But
they always prevail; they are always worthy of their Author; and let me
add, that the salvation of men being the object most highly prized by God,
it is not only rightfully considered the most noble, but it is that to
which his other works may be justly accounted subordinate.

It is under the light of these principles that I undertake an
investigation of the purposes of God regarding the Irish race. These
purposes seem to me no longer matter of speculation; they may be
pronounced manifest; for they are written in unmistakable characters in
the development of events.

The history of Ireland is, in many respects, peculiar. Few nations
received the faith so readily, and no other preserved it amidst similar
struggles. St. Patrick first announced the Gospel to the assembled states
of the realm at Tara. He received permission to preach it, unmolested,
throughout the length and breadth of the land. By his indomitable zeal and
heroic virtue, he succeeded in winning over the natives so effectually,
that at his death few pagans remained in Ireland. Not a drop of blood was
shed when Christianity was first announced. Heroism was displayed only by
the exalted virtues of the Apostle and of the neophytes. Nowhere else did
the Gospel take root so quickly and so firmly, and produce fruits so
immediate and so abundant. Catholic Ireland soon became the home of the
saints and sages of the Christian world. To many of the nations of the
continent her apostles went forth, charged with the embassy of eternal
truth. In every realm of Europe her children established sanctuaries of
piety and learning; and to her own hospitable shores the natives of other
lands flocked to receive education, and even support, from her gratuitous
bounty. Homes of virtue dotted her hills and valleys; and thus were laid
deep the roots of that strong attachment to the faith, which, later, was
to be exposed to trials the most severe.

We thus find God preparing Ireland for a future, then hidden to all but
Himself. For the day of trial came at last. She was reposing in peace,
under the shadow of the Gospel, when the barbaric invasion, that swept
before it every vestige of learning and religion in many parts of Europe,
reached her shores. Ireland was the only country that rolled back its
wave. But she did this at the cost of her life’s blood. For two centuries
the Dane trampled her sons under foot. His cruelties yet re-echo in the
national traditions. But the Irish race at last arose in its might, and
drove the barbarian from its shores. The churches of the country had been
pillaged, its monasteries plundered, its institutions of learning
destroyed—everything that the sword could smite, or fire consume, had
perished; but the Irish race came out of the ordeal preserving its own
integrity, and the jewel which it prized above all else—its glorious

Not long after this deliverance, and before Ireland had succeeded in
obliterating the traces of Danish cruelty, another invader set his foot on
her shores. Availing himself of the discords naturally arising from the
disorganized state of society, he succeeded in gaining a foothold. By
fanning these discords, he kept possession and gained strength. The rule
of the Saxon became thus almost as severe a calamity as had been the
oppression of the Dane. To the hatred, which is generally greater in the
oppressor than in the oppressed, were added, in time, religious fanaticism
and the desire of plunder, which became its associate and assumed its
garb. The _mere_ Irishman, who was hated under any circumstances on
account of his race, was now hunted in his own country as if he were a
wild beast. The property of the Catholic people was confiscated, and most
stringent laws were enacted to prevent its renewed acquisitions. Priests,
wherever found, were put to death, and the severest penalties were
inflicted on those who would harbour any that escaped detection.
Extermination by fire and sword was ordered in so many words, and was
attempted. When this failed, a system of penal laws was established, which
were in full force until lately, and which a Protestant writer of
deservedly high repute (Burke) calls a “machine of wise and elaborate
contrivance, and as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment, and
degradation of a people, and the debasement in them of human nature
itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man”. Upon the
partial abandonment of this form of oppression, a system of proselytism
was adopted, and is yet in full vigour (for it has become an institution,
and the best supported institution in Ireland), which, by bribes to the
high and the low, appeals to every base instinct to draw men away from the

Yet neither confiscation of property, nor famine, nor disgrace, nor death
in its most hideous forms, could make Ireland waver in that faith which
our forefathers received from St. Patrick. There were, of course, from
time to time, and there are, a few exceptions. Did not these occur, the
Irish must have been more than men. But, as a general rule, the places
that could not be procured or retained, except by apostacy, were resigned.
The rich allowed their property to be torn from them, and they willingly
became poor; the poor bore hunger and all other consequences of wretched
poverty; and though every Earthly good was arrayed temptingly before them,
they scorned to purchase comfort at the price of apostacy. During the four
years from 1846 to 1850, nearly two millions either perished from hunger
or its attendant pestilence, or were forced to leave their native land to
escape both. In the midst of the dead and the dying, proselytisers showed
themselves everywhere, well provided with food and money, and Bibles, and
every one of the sufferers felt, and was made to feel, that all his
sufferings might have been spared had he been willing to barter his faith
for bread. Yet the masses could bear hunger and face pestilence, or fly
from their native land; but they would not eat the bread of apostacy. They
died, or they fled; but they clung to their faith.

In vain, I think, will history be searched for another example of such
vast numbers, generation after generation, calmly, silently facing an
unhonoured death, without any support on earth but the approving voice of

This fidelity can be predicated with truth of the whole Irish race,
notwithstanding the numbers of those in Ireland who are not Catholics. For
these, besides being a minority of the inhabitants, are but an exotic,
planted in Ireland by the sword. They were imported, being already, and
because they were, of another faith, for the purpose of supplanting that
of the inhabitants. Many of them adopted the faith of the old race, so
that the names that indicate their origin are not a certain test of their
religion. But so steadily has the old stock adhered to its faith, that an
Irish “O”, or “Mac”, or any other old Celtic name, is almost sure to
designate a Catholic. Indeed, such names are usually called “Catholic
names”. Whenever an exception is found, it is so rare an occurrence that
the party is considered a renegade from his race as well as from his

It would, however, be not only unfounded to flatter ourselves that this
stability in the faith is the result of anything peculiar in the Irish
nature, but it would be, I may say, a blasphemy to assert it. God alone
can preserve any one in the paths of truth and virtue; how much more must
we attribute to Him the fidelity of a whole race, under the trying
circumstances here enumerated?

Such grace may have been given, as many believe, in reward of the
readiness and the fulness with which our ancestors first received the
faith of the Gospel, and it is hoped that God will to the end grant the
same grace of fidelity to their descendants. Our great Apostle is said to
have asked this favour from God for the nation which so readily responded
to his call. Let us unite our prayers with his, and, like Solomon, ask for
our race not riches, nor power, but true wisdom, which is, above all and
before all, allegiance to the true faith. This was the prayer, no doubt,
which the millions of our martyred ancestors poured out. They themselves
sacrificed property and liberty; they gave up everything that man could
take away, that they might preserve this precious jewel. They believed
that in doing this they were following the dictates of true wisdom, and,
in their fondest love for their remotest posterity, they wished and prayed
that similar wisdom might be displayed by them. May their prayer be heard
to the end.

This prayer has been heard, or at least this grace has been granted, up to
the present. When the sons of Ireland on this day return in thought to the
homes of their fathers, they may indeed look back upon a land inferior to
many in the elements of material greatness. They may behold her castles
and rich domains in the possession of the stranger. They may view the
masses of their race with scarcely a foothold in the land of their
fathers, liable to be ejected from the farm, and driven out on the public
highways, and from the highways into the crowded town, and from the hovels
of the crowded town into the poorhouse, and even at the poorhouse denied
the right of admission. But amidst all the miseries of those who yet dwell
in the old land—in spite of the wiles of unscrupulous governments, and
heartless and tyrannical landlords, and hypocritical proselytizers—in
spite of open violence and covert bribes, their undying attachment to the
faith remains unaltered, unshaken—a monument of national virtue more
honourable than any which wealth or power could erect, or flattery devise.

But all this is a grace, a great grace of God. It reveals a purpose of
Heaven more bountiful in regard to this people than if he had raised them
to the highest place in material power amongst the nations of the Earth.

Temporal prosperity, in its various forms, though a favour from God, is
not his most precious blessing. He himself selected the way of the Cross.
In abjection and suffering he came into the world; he lived in it despised
and persecuted, he died amidst excruciating torments. To those whom he
loved in a special manner, he says, “Can you drink the chalice which I am
to drink, and be baptized with the baptism with which I shall be
baptized?” and when they reply, they can, the promise that this shall be
fulfilled, his leading them to follow him in the way of the Cross, his
calling them to suffer for righteousness, is the best pledge of his
greatest love.

This grace he has given to Ireland. Her children have received and
accepted the call; they have reaped the reward. Indeed, I have found the
opinion entertained by many clergymen of extensive experience, that there
is not probably a people on this Earth of whom more, in proportion to
their number, leave this world with well grounded hopes of a happy
eternity. They do not, it is true, display a boastful assurance that they
are about to ascend at once into Heaven. But vast masses serve God with
humble fidelity in life, and, at death, acknowledging and sorry for their
sins, doing all they can to comply with his requirements, they throw
themselves, with resignation to his will, into the arms of his mercy.

Were nothing else apparent in the purposes of God, we might stop here. We
would find a great and worthy object for all that Ireland has suffered,
and cause to thank the Almighty Ruler for having given her the grace to
suffer in union with and for the sake of his Son.

But God’s graces are often given for ulterior purposes; and it may be
asked whether the extraordinary preservation of this nation’s faith has
not another object in his wise and merciful counsels.

It appears to me that this is now clear in the case of Ireland. But, to
understand it properly, we must reflect more closely on her connection
with England, and on the condition of this latter country.

In the sixteenth century England abandoned the faith to which she had
adhered for a thousand years. Her apostacy, though consummated by degrees,
may be said to have become at last complete. The blood of her best sons
flowed at Tyburn. The priests that were not of the number were banished,
or forced to seek safety in hiding places. The same price was put on the
head of a priest as on that of a wolf. The property of Catholics was
confiscated, their children were taken from them, and educated in the
religion of the establishment. These and analogous measures produced their
effect at last. Were it not for these things, a great part of that nation,
if not a majority, would be Catholic to-day. Though they desired no share
in the plunder of the Church, and had no fancy for the new theories of the
Reformers, they were weak enough to yield to a pressure, under which
compromise first, and then apostacy, afforded the only means of escaping
confiscation and the loss of every social advantage, frequently the only
means of escaping death. The old faith stamped, indeed, its mark on the
institutions of the kingdom in a manner that could not be blotted out. It
left its memorials everywhere throughout the land. The noble universities,
the gorgeous cathedrals, and the splendid ruins scattered over the surface
of the country, are witnesses of its departed power; but it is itself
effectually blotted out from the hearts of the people. Though the most
noble kings and princes of the land had delighted in honouring
Catholicity, though England had sent her apostles and her saints into many
a clime, though her hills and valleys had re-echoed for centuries with the
sweet songs of Catholic devotion, her people now know nothing more hateful
than the faith under the auspices of which their fathers were civilized.
They nickname it “Popery”, and the name expresses that which is to them
most hateful.

Yet this England, this Catholic-hating England, has become one of the
greatest nations of the Earth in the material order. Her fleets are
mirrored in every sea; her banner floats on every continent. It has been
truly said that the sound of her drums, calling her soldiers from slumber,
goes before and greets the rising sun in its circuit around the globe.

But what is most remarkable, and certainly not without some great purpose
in the order of divine Providence, England has become in our day the great
hive from which colonies go out to people islands and continents in
distant parts of the world; lands which were before vast wastes, tenanted
only by the wild beast, or by the savage scarcely less ferocious. Indeed,
she is the only nation in our day that seems to have received such a

And is it then to an apostate nation exclusively that God has given the
mission to fill up these wastes? Is it a corrupted faith only which is to
be borne to these savage nations, and to be planted in those vast regions,
which God has made known to civilized man in these latter days? Were this
the case, we might tremble, though we should adore it as one of the
inscrutable judgments of God, dealing with nations in his _great_ wrath.

But is such the fact? It would indeed be the fact were it not for faithful
Ireland. But, united as England is with Ireland, the result is quite
otherwise. The very ambition and desire for gain which impel England to
extend her power and plant her colonies in the most distant countries of
the globe, become the instruments for carrying also the undying faith of
Ireland to the regions which England has conquered.

Saul went to seek Samuel, thinking only of finding his father’s asses. God
was sending him to be anointed king over his people. England sends her
ships all over the world, thinking only of markets for the produce of her
forges and her looms. God is sending her that she may spread everywhere
the faith of the Irish people.

Under the “Union Jack”, on which the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew
are blended, but so blended as to prevent any Christian symbol being
recognized (a fit emblem of the effect of the union of jarring sects, each
professing to proclaim Christianity, but between them only obscuring and
obstructing it)—the Irishman, too, is borne to the distant colony. He
goes, probably, before the mast or in the forecastle, but he bears with
him the true faith; and when he lands he hastens to raise its symbol. This
may be at first over a rude chapel. But it is a signal to other
way-farers, and they gather under its shade to offer up the sacred
mysteries. As soon as his means permit, even before he can build a good
dwelling for himself, he takes care that the house of God be, in every
possible degree, worthy of its sacred character. And so the Church creeps
on and grows, and regions that sat in darkness are now blessed by the
offering of the Adorable Sacrifice and the announcement of the true faith.

The Irishman, generally speaking, did not leave home through ambition, or
for conquest. He departed with sorrow from the shade of that hawthorn
around which the dearest memories of childhood clustered. He would have
remained content with the humble lot of his father had he been allowed to
dwell there in peace. But the bailiff came, and, to make wider pastures
for sheep and bullocks, his humble cottage was levelled, and he himself
sent to wander through the world in search of a home. But in his
wanderings he carries his faith with him, and he becomes the means of
spreading everywhere the true Church of God.

It is thus that the tempest, which seems but to destroy the flower,
catches up its seeds and scatters them far and near, and these seeds
produce other flowers as beautiful as that from which they were torn, so
that some fair spot of the prairie, when despoiled of its loveliness, but
affords the means of covering the vast expanse with new and variegated

It is thus that the famine, and the pestilence, and the inhuman evictions
of Irish landlords, have spread the faith of Christ far and near, and
planted it in new colonies, which, when they shall have grown out of their
tutelage, will look back to the departed power of England and the undying
faith of Ireland as, in the hands of Providence, the combined causes of
their greatness and their orthodoxy. Macaulay’s traveller from New
Zealand, who will, on some future day, “from a broken arch of London
Bridge, take a sketch of the ruins of St. Paul’s”, may be some Irish “O’”
or “Mac” on a pilgrimage to the Eternal City, who passes that way—having
first landed on the shores from which his ancestors were driven by the
“crowbar brigade”, and visited with reverence the hallowed graves under
whose humble sod lie the bones of his martyred forefathers.

It is thus that the Catholic faith is being planted in the British
colonies of North America; it is thus it is carried to India, and to
Australia, and to the islands of the South Sea. Thus are laid the
foundations of flourishing churches, which promise, at no distant day, to
renew, and even to surpass, the work done by Ireland in the palmiest days
of faith, when her sons planted the Cross, and caused Christ to be adored,
as he wished to be adored, in the most distant regions of the earth.

The magnitude of this work is not to be measured even by the importance of
these transplanted churches at the present moment. The countries to which
I have alluded are but in their infancy. We can see on this continent the
rapid strides of such infant colonies. Within three quarters of a century
this country has advanced in population from three to over thirty
millions, and in most other elements of greatness in still grander
proportions. If it continue to increase, as it has done regularly from the
beginning, at the end of this century, or soon after, it will have a
population of over one hundred millions—that is, as great as is now the
population of France, and Spain, and Italy, and Great Britain combined. If
this be expected in this country in forty years, what will the case be in
one or two hundred, in this and so many others similarly situated?

Australia starts with all the advantages of this country, and some
peculiar to itself, and is following it with giant strides. It may
overtake it before long, if not outstrip it. But the position of
Catholicity there is very different from what it was at the commencement,
or even at an advanced period, in the United States. The Catholics in
Australia occupy a position of practical social equality with others. They
will grow with the growth and strengthen with the strength of their
adopted country, and have their fair share in its importance.

England herself, from which the Catholic name was thought to have been
almost blotted out, has been deeply affected by this exodus of Irish
Catholics. In her cities, and towns, and hamlets, the Cross has been
raised from the dust. At the side of the ancient monuments which remind
England of her apostacy, humble spires rise in every part of the land, and
tell that nation that the faith which they thought destroyed still lives,
and is ready to admit them again to its wonted blessings. They stand
there, and betoken the unity and stability of that faith of which they are
the symbols—of that faith which reclaimed the fathers of that people from
barbarism, and continued to be the faith of the land for a thousand years,
and is yet a faith, and the only faith, in which men of every tongue and
every clime are united. The English people see its unity and stability,
while they are forced to witness the ever shifting and clashing forms of
the religion that was substituted for it. For, in the name of the one
Christ and the one Bible, altar is everywhere erected against altar,
pulpit thunders against pulpit, the teaching of to-day is contradicted in
the same pulpit on the morrow; yet each one proclaims his own device as
the plain teaching of Scripture.

This confronting of unity with confusion, of steady adherence to truth
with the ever varying shifts of error, of the mild but bright glory of an
everlasting Church with the frivolities of the proudest inventions of men,
is a grace, and a great grace, which God grants. It is a grace for the use
of which that people will give strict account. And oh! may that use be,
that they will make it fructify to their salvation. For while we
appreciate the blessings granted to ourselves, we have no other feeling in
their regard than a wish that they, too, may share in these blessings, and
be like unto us in everything “except these chains”.

But whether well used or abused, whether unto “the ruin” or “salvation” of
many in that country, this grace is given chiefly through the Irish

I am not unaware of, nor do I undervalue, the importance of the faithful
remnant that has in England steadfastly continued in the faith once
delivered to the saints, nor of the accession made to their numbers by the
conversion of so many noble souls, to whom God gave light and strength to
overcome the many difficulties that would have fain prevented their
following that light. But of both we might not inaptly ask, “What are
these amongst so many?” They are like those few tints that gild the skies
here and there, when the sun’s light has all but departed; or like those
stars that pierce at night the cumbered heavens—bright, indeed, and
beautiful—but only showing forth more clearly the dark outlines of the
heavy and murky clouds that shroud the horizon. They make us feel only
more sensibly, and keep fresh in our memory, the loss of the sun that has

It is the Irish emigration that has chiefly supplied the multitudes who
flock around English altars, that has made churches and schools spring up,
that has finally called for the restoration of a numerous hierarchy; and,
as if to mark this fact, and point out the great part that Ireland had in
restoring Catholic life to England, God has so arranged it that the first
head and brightest ornament of that new hierarchy should be the son of
Irish emigrants; for such is the great and illustrious Cardinal Wiseman.

And even in these United States, let people say what they please, has not
the Irish race held the first place in planting the cross throughout the
length and breadth of the land?

In this, and wherever else I speak of the Irish race, I do not, of course,
confine myself to those born in Ireland. The work which a race is called
to do is to be done by those who now live, and by their children and their
children’s children, wherever they happen to be born. Indeed, it would be
a contradiction in terms to consider the father and son, wherever born, as
belonging to different races. Be it for weal or for woe, be it unto honour
or unto shame, the fathers cannot disown the children nor the children the
fathers. If it depended on feeling or wishes, I, for one, would be very
glad to dissolve connection with any one who insists that he owes nothing
to the race that gave him a father or a mother. I would readily leave such
a one to his proud claim of owning no paternity but the land on which he
vegetates, and I only regret that he will scarcely bring to it much credit
or advantage. He who is unwilling to acknowledge the father that begot
him, or the mother that gave him suck, is not a prize worth contending
for. But whatever we or he may wish, whatever be the results to us or to
him, he is flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. What God has united,
neither he nor we can put asunder.

It is not that we should form separate classes or castes, or that we claim
other rights or privileges, or have other duties than those of other
races; but the one to which each man belongs has been fixed by the
Almighty Provider in the very act of giving him being, and he who would
fain conceal, or disown, or be ashamed of his race—that is, of the order
of Providence to which he owes his existence—could succeed in nothing else
but in proving himself unworthy the esteem of men of any race.

I know and gratefully acknowledge the important services rendered to
Catholicity in the United States by persons of other races. There was,
first of all, the Maryland colony, with whose noble history that of few,
if any, of the other colonies can compare. By their justice and humanity
in treating with the native tribes, by similar justice and fair dealing
with other colonists, of every religion and every race, by their domestic
virtues and patriotic course, the men of that colony deserved and received
a high place in the esteem of their countrymen and of the world.

But their number is small, too small—indeed. Would that they were more.
Were they all put together they would not form one average diocese of the
forty-six now existing in this country.

God has sent us many illustrious men from France, and Belgium, and Italy,
who have occupied the foremost ranks in the ministry, whose heroic virtues
and zealous works are even now as beacon lights to all who labour for
God’s glory. But as to the people from these countries, they are not many
more than those from the Maryland stock. Germany has sent many of her
hardy sons to labour with the steadfastness of their countrymen in
building up the walls of the sanctuary. These are, indeed, a most
important element, and are destined to become more and more important
every day. They may yet exercise a greater influence on the destiny of the
Church in this country than the Irish race. But so far, I think, no one
will claim that they can be compared with it in numbers, or as to the
results hitherto obtained. Of the converts in this country we may say the
same thing as of those in England.

Giving all, therefore, what belongs to them—for there is not, nor should
there be here, any room for jealousy—I think it will be admitted that it
is above all others to the sons of Ireland and to their children that the
spread of Catholicity is due in this land. No matter who ministered at the
altar (though there, too, the sons of Ireland have had their share), in
the body of the church you will find that, in the majority of places, they
constitute the bulk, and in many the whole of the congregation. Their hard
earned dollars were foremost in supplying means to buy the lot and raise
the building from which the Catholic faith is announced. The priest, no
matter what his own nationality, was nowhere more confident of finding
help and support than among the Irish emigrants or their children.
Wherever a railway, or a canal, or a hive of industry invited their sturdy
labour, the cross soon sprang up to bear witness to their generosity and
their faith.

Even the old Maryland colony, though consisting chiefly of English
Catholics, seeking here a freedom of conscience denied them at home, had
its Irish element, and that not the least noble in deeds nor the least
conspicuous in virtue.

When at the period of the Revolution the noblest men of this land stood
together, shoulder to shoulder, and issued that Declaration of
Independence to which they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their
sacred honours, it was a Catholic of the Irish race who affixed his
signature for Maryland. In doing this he pledged an honour as pure, and a
life as precious as any of the rest, but he staked a fortune equal to, if
not greater than, that of all the others put together. When he signed his
name, one standing by said, “There go some millions”. Another remarked,
“There are many Carrolls; he will not be known”. He overheard the remark,
and to avoid all misconception, wrote down in full, “_Charles Carroll, of

Yet this noble scion of the Irish race, for so many years the pride and
the ornament of his native state, while fulfilling all the duties of an
illustrious citizen, was not ashamed of the race from which he sprang.
Instead of selecting amongst French _villes_ or English _parks_ or _towns_
a name for his princely estate, he stamped on it a title with the good old
Celtic ring. He called it after a property of one of his Irish ancestors,
_Doughoregan Manor_, thereby telling his posterity and his countrymen that
if they feel any pride in his name, they must associate him with a race
which so many affect to despise.

Let all the sons, and the sons of the sons, of Ireland be, like him,
faithful to their duties as citizens, ready to sacrifice their all for
their country, whether that all be little, or as great as was his vast
wealth; just and respectful and charitable to men of all races and creeds,
not anxious either to conceal or obtrude their own, but rather to live
worthy of both; determined, in a word, faithfully to discharge all their
civil and Christian duties, let them be earnest in elevating the one by
greater fidelity to the other. Acting thus, they will imitate Charles
Carroll, of Carrollton, and fulfil all I would wish them to do out of
fidelity to their country, their religion, and their race.

It was also one of the Maryland stock, but of this same Irish race—another
Carroll—who was chosen the first bishop, and the founder of the hierarchy,
of the young American Church; as if Providence here too wished to indicate
from which race the chief strength of Catholicity was to be derived in
this land.

Would it be overstraining matters to say, that a hint of this was also
given by Providence in the Irish name of the future metropolitan see of
the United States—the first in time, and always to be the first in
dignity? The word _Baltimore_ is an Irish word, and, through the founder
of the colony, was derived from an Irish hamlet, which from the extreme
south-west coast of Ireland, is looking, as it were, over the waters of
the Atlantic to this continent for the full realization of its name. The
word, in the Irish language, means “the town of the great house”, and it
was beyond the Atlantic that Baltimore, in becoming the chief see of a
great church, has truly become “the town of the great house”, for the
church, or house at the head of which it stands, extends probably over a
wider surface than any other church or churches amongst which any one
bishop holds pre-eminence, excepting only the church governed by the Vicar
of Jesus Christ, to whom is committed the care of _all_ the sheep and
lambs of God’s fold, that is, the whole of Christ’s Church. In names,
which God has given, or permitted to be given, he has frequently
foreshadowed the destinies of individuals and races. Would it be
superstitious to suppose that in the Irish name of this American
ecclesiastical metropolis—the only important city in this country that has
an Irish name—Providence pointed, on the one hand, to its future position
in the Christian hierarchy, and on the other to the character of the chief
portion of the family of that house or church?

But, be this as it may, it was a scion of the Irish race who was the
founder of the new American hierarchy. For some time he held the crozier
alone. The whole country was his diocese. But he did not depart until he
saw suffragans around him forming a regular hierarchy, that was destined
to multiply and, mainly on Irish shoulders, carry, everywhere, the ark
that would spread blessings throughout the land.

The work that has thus been commenced is no doubt destined to prosper. It
is not without a motive that in this country the lines are drawn, and the
foundations laid by Providence for a noble church. Its beginnings (for we
may say it is yet in its infancy) bear many of the marks of the process by
which the work was effected, It is destined to grow, and may it grow,
particularly in the mild beauty of Christian virtue, and win, by love, the
homage of all the children of the land, that all may receive through it
the graces of Heaven, and even their Earthly prosperity be consolidated
and become the means of their acquiring higher blessings.

But whatever be said of the United States, the Irish race is certainly
almost alone in the work of diffusing Catholicity in the various other
countries in which the English language is spoken.

The sufferings of Ireland were, therefore, the means, and evidently
intended by God as the means to preserve her in the faith, to give her its
rewards in a high degree; and this preservation of her faith was as
evidently intended to make her and her sons instruments in spreading that
faith throughout the English-speaking world. This is, therefore, what I
claim to be, in the counsels of God, the DESTINY OF THE IRISH RACE.

Did we endeavour to draw this conclusion by far-fetched arguments, we
might fear the delusions of fancy, but I think it is plainly written in
the facts to which I have alluded, when looked at with faith in an
overruling Providence. The diffusion of the true faith enters too closely,
and is too primary a thing in the designs of God, to suppose it for a
moment to be the work of accident. It is his work first of all. Where it
exists it exists because he so willed it. The instruments that effected it
must be those which he has chosen and placed to the work with this very
view. When, therefore, the results obtained, and those we see in the
certain future, and the means by which they are obtained, are a matter of
intuition, rather than of reasoning, the conclusion drawn seems to me to
have all the force of demonstration, and in no way liable to be considered
the product of fancy or of national pride.

This interpretation of the facts of history will, by some, be considered a
complicated theory, and therefore unworthy of God. But the simplicity of
God’s operations by no means excludes multiplicity and combination of
agents in themselves most inadequate or discordant. Our inclination to
exclude these, though we imagine the very contrary, is the result of the
consciousness of our own weakness, which we would fain attribute to God.
_We_ may, indeed, be overwhelmed, or at least embarrassed, by many
instruments; and therefore we think it wise to avoid their use. But, it is
as easy for God to use and direct many as few, or to produce results by
his own immediate action. Nay, though sometimes he performs wonderful
works in a moment, he is more often pleased to act through numerous and
far-reaching instruments, which, at times, seem even to work in opposition
to his designs, and by overruling and directing them, to prove that he is
Ruler and Master over all things in action, as well as the Author of their

By one word he made the Earth produce “every green herb” and “every
fruit-tree yielding fruit according to its kind”; but he is now pleased to
make the fertility of the earth, and the various ingredients of the air,
and the heat and light of the sun, labour through a whole season to
produce the flower, that for a few days wastes its fragrance on the
meadow. At one time he sends his angel to strike down in one night myriads
of the enemies of his people; at another he is pleased “to hiss for the
fly, that is in the uttermost parts of the rivers of Egypt, and for the
bee that is in the land of Assyria” (_Is._, vii. 18), that they may come
and be the instruments of his vengeance. At one time he rains down bread
from Heaven to feed a whole multitude; at another, he sends his angel to
take the prophet by the hair of his head from Judea, even unto Babylon,
that he may supply food to his servant.

It is not for us to prescribe ways to Providence, but to study His design
in the events which we witness, and to bow down and adore his Power, his
Wisdom, and his Goodness.

To give power to an apostate and persecuting nation, and the grace of
fidelity to another; to use and even to create the material resources of
the first as the instrument of his design over the latter, may appear a
circuitous course, but it is only another instance of that unity of
purpose and multiplicity, variety and apparent incongruity of means, which
we witness in almost all his works.

When the people of God were carried away into captivity, “the priests took
the fire from the altar, and hid it in a valley where there was a pit
without water”. There “they kept it safe”, while the Gentile hosts reigned
triumphant in the land. But “when many years had passed”, and the people
returned, they sought the fire, but found only “thick water”. This they
sprinkled on the new sacrifices that were prepared, and “when the sun
shone out, which before was in a cloud, there was a great fire kindled so
that all wondered”. (II. _Mach._, i. 19, 22).

An analogous phenomenon, methinks, has been presented in Ireland. That
combination of frenzy and irreligion, which men have called “The
Reformation”, swept before it almost every vestige of faith from many of
the northern countries of Europe, and seemed in a special manner to have
enveloped in darkness the islands of the West. Men were like “raging waves
of the sea, foaming out their own confusion”, boasting of liberty and
light, but treating the faithful with savage cruelty, and showing their
own inability to hold fast any positive principles which they proclaimed
as truth. The ancient faith of these islands, overwhelmed in the waters of
tribulation, seemed hidden in the hearts of the Irish people, saddened by
persecution and sufferings of every kind.

But the day has come for pouring forth this water on nations. By their
sufferings, the Irish race, driven into many lands, mingles with the
progeny of its oppressors. The sun of God’s grace, which seems under a
cloud, is now shining forth, and a great fire is enkindled and is
spreading its light and its heat far and near. The Church of God is
everywhere showing itself again in its pristine beauty. English-speaking
nations that were the ramparts of heresy, are beginning again to fall into
the ranks of Catholic unity, and, as happened once before, the light of
faith that took refuge in the most distant island of the West, is, from
that sacred spot, sending forth its beams and gladdening the Church by
giving her whole people as her children.

So far we are led, I may say, by the mere logic of facts. Were we to
indulge in speculation, but in a speculation quite in conformity with the
beneficent designs of God, we might expect still more from these effects
of the steadfastness of Ireland.

Notwithstanding all the faults of England, the Catholic heart throughout
the world has never lost its interest in that land, once so faithful.
Other nations, once as Catholic, have been lost, and they are almost
forgotten. The land where the Saviour Himself lived is, indeed, remembered
on account of the sacred spots which he trod; but no hopes are entertained
for the conversion of its people. The Churches planted by the Apostles
have been destroyed. We cherish the memory of the holy confessors and
martyrs who adorned them; but despair of their return to the truth is the
only feeling in their regard that we can discover in the Catholic world.

But in one way or another the Catholic heart seems never to have despaired
of the return of England. Opinions and expectations which are, probably,
nothing more than an expression of the intensity of this feeling, are
everywhere to be met. They exist among the learned and the high, as well
as amongst the humble children of the Church, and are found to be
cherished in different lands. England, with her long catalogue of saints,
seems to be considered, not as an outcast, on whom the sentence of
spiritual death has been executed, but rather as the prodigal, who in a
moment of thoughtlessness demanded, what he called his own share, and
wandered from his father’s house. The father is looking out, expecting
every day to see the wayward one return, and is ever ready to kill the
fatted calf, and to call on his friends and neighbours to rejoice and be
merry, for “he that was dead is come to life again, and he that was lost
is found”.

But, alas! there is much reason to fear that such joy is not to be
expected. We know of no instance of a whole nation once fully and
deliberately apostatising from the faith ever again returning. The grace
of faith, if lost by individuals by formal apostacy, is seldom recovered.
It has never yet been recovered by any nation that once enjoyed its full
light, and deliberately abandoned it. It is not for us, to be sure, to
place bounds to the mercies of God. Who knows but that in these latter
ages God may do a work which he never did before? and, now that the Church
has encircled the globe, and announced the Gospel to every nation under
the sun, God may send her back on another mission more glorious than the
first, showing forth his power in giving new life to fallen nations as he
did before in converting those who knew not his name. His first work might
be compared to that which he performed when he took the clay and breathed
into it the breath of life; this, to his raising up the dead already
mouldering in the tomb. But he has done both in the physical, and he may
do both in the moral order.

Without having recourse, however, to this extraordinary dispensation, the
hope of which would be unwarranted by anything we have yet seen, may not
the hopes to which I have alluded, and which could scarcely have existed
without some influence of the divine Spouse of the Church, be realized in
the conversion of the children, rather than in that of the mother? May not
the expectations of the Catholic world be realized by a return of
English-speaking brethren in the various colonies which the mother country
has planted? May _they_ not receive the graces which the latter has cast
away, and thus more than compensate the Church for the loss of that one

Such results would be no anomaly in the experience of the Church. Several
nations first learned Christianity under a heterodox form, and some of the
most Catholic to-day are their descendants. Their errors were not their
own faults, _as nations_, and God had pity upon them.

We may say the same thing of this, and of several other countries, where
great and independent peoples will be found one day as they now are here.
This nation has never apostatised from Catholic truth, simply because it
never possessed it _as a nation_. At its birth it was already entangled in
the meshes of heterodoxy, and it found the Catholic Church in its midst,
with few adherents. Yet, at its very birth, it struck off the shackles by
which she was bound. Several circumstances, it is true, aided this course
of justice. But, who will say that these existed otherwise than by God’s
Providence, and for the nation’s benefit, as well as for ours? This course
of justice, moreover, was adopted cordially and fully by the founders of
the country’s independence, and that at a time when the Church was so
treated by few even of those nations on whom she had the best claims.
Bigots, it is true, were not wanting, then, or since. But it is a great
fact, that this nation, _as a nation_ and as a Government, has always,
since its birth, treated God’s Church with justice.

A cup of cold water, given in the name of Christ, shall not be without its
reward. Do we exaggerate in hoping that this mode of proceeding towards
his Church shall have its reward from her Heavenly Spouse—that it will
plead for this nation with the Divine Mercy, as the alms of Cornelius
obtained for him the knowledge of Gospel truth and a share in its
blessings? The grace of faith, with these blessings, is the greatest which
God gives to man, nor is it the less valuable because it is not now
appreciated or is even spurned. It is God’s grace that gives a hunger for
divine things, as it is by Him that the hungry are filled.

Yes, I do not only desire, and send up the prayer, but I candidly avow the
hope, that the light of faith is yet destined to shine brightly here, even
amongst those who now look on it with contempt or hostility. In this I am
strengthened by the desire for a knowledge of truth, which,
notwithstanding the bigotry of many, is so widely spread. I am
strengthened by the growth of the Church itself, which bears the marks of
a higher purpose on the part of God than the mere preservation of those
who came Catholics to our shores. I am strengthened by the very losses
which the Church sustains in the falling away of many of her children. For
surely God did not permit them to be driven hither by persecution that
they might perish. He sent them forth to battle, in doing which, though
many may be lost, he will grant victory to his own cause. I am
strengthened by the very dangers by which we are surrounded; nor would my
hope be shaken even if storms should impend. For it is according to the
ways of God to reach his ends amidst contradictions.

Let it not be said that the humble condition or the faults of many of the
children of the Church, forbid such a hope as this. God’s ways are not as
our ways. It is not by the great or by the mighty that his truth is
propagated. Flesh might otherwise glory in His sight, and men might say
that, by their wisdom and their efforts was His kingdom established. So
far from this being an objection, when other things inspire hope, the hope
is strengthened by the humble form in which the Church presents itself.
Our hope of its diffusion is better founded when we see it borne to our
shores by humble labourers, than if it had come recommended exclusively by
proud philosophers, cunning statesmen, or by men loaded with wealth.

What we hope for this nation, we may hope with greater reason for the
other nations yet reposing in their infancy, or growing in giant
proportions under British rule. I say, with greater reason, because in
most of these the foundations of Catholicity are laid even more deeply
than they are here. While it would be a great thing for God’s honour and
glory, there is nothing to forbid the hope that these may one day be
united in the true fold of the everlasting Church. The blood of Ireland
and of England will mingle in their veins; and, while they will look back
with shame on the apostacy of the sixteenth century, as a disgraceful
chapter in the history of their forefathers, they will glory in the
recollections of the saints and the heroes of religion who, for a thousand
years, adorned both their mother countries. With feelings analogous to
those with which we look back to the tyrants of the first centuries and
their victims, they will set off the martyr heroes of one portion of their
ancestors to the apostacy of the other, and the apostasy itself will be,
in their history, but an episode proving how far human nature may stray,
while their own conversion will be a standing monument of the power of the

If these hopes be realized, the Irish race and its sufferings will have
been the instruments in the hands of God by which the grand result will be
accomplished; but whether they be realized or not, the main point which I
have endeavoured to dwell upon seems to me to be established beyond
doubt—that is, that this race has been preserved by God in the true faith
in an extraordinary manner, for the purpose of spreading that faith
throughout the English-speaking nations which now exist, or which are
coming into being.

As Ireland owes the preservation of her faith to her being destined as the
leaven of that mass, it is but assigning to God a purpose worthy of His
goodness to say, that England owes her power to her mission to spread that
leaven throughout so many vast regions. It will not, I presume, be
considered rash to say that God, permitting her to acquire power, proposed
to himself some higher object than that other nations should have cheap
cotton or woollen fabrics, or that they should learn how to travel forty
instead of four or ten miles an hour. In his goodness he designed that
power for some purpose worthy of Heaven; and this purpose may be
accomplished whether England herself will it or not, or even though she
desire the very contrary. I have said before, that most learned and grave
writers consider the Roman power to have been intended, in the counsels of
God, to prepare a way for the diffusion of the Gospel. The rulers of Rome
despised the Gospel and its heralds. Still Rome most probably owed to them
her greatness, and but for this mission, she might have remained what she
was in the beginning—an obscure village, a place of refuge for the thieves
of the surrounding country. England may despise the Irish Catholic. Like
Rome, she may look upon the professors of Catholicity as the great
plague-spot of her system. Yet, in the designs of God, she most probably
is indebted for her power to the part she is made to act in the diffusion
of their faith. It is certain, at least, that the highest use of that
power she has yet been allowed to make, is the carrying of frieze-coated
Papists to distant shores, and the clearing of the forests where they are
propagating, and are yet to propagate more extensively, the true faith. If
a higher design in her behalf exist in the arrangements of Providence, it
is yet to be made known. But for this she might have remained, as the poet
described her, “a naked fisher” on her rock, and when she shall have ended
her usefulness as an instrument for accomplishing this object, she may
return “to her hook”, still musing, perhaps, her senseless “No Popery”,
while the churches which she has unwillingly assisted to plant, will be
growing up in beauty and praising God in one harmonious voice with the
other children of his family throughout the world.

The value and importance of this great mission cannot be overrated. It is
awful to think what would have been the condition of the English-speaking
races, in a religious point of view, if Ireland had shared in the English
apostacy. Scarcely a Catholic voice would be heard amongst those seventy
or eighty millions now using that language, who occupy so large a portion
of the Earth, and in another century, according to the ratio of their
growth, may become two or four hundred millions, or even more. The very
remnant that has continued faithful in England might have followed in the
wake of their predecessors, had not the influence of Ireland caused the
sword of persecution to be sheathed, and civil intolerance to cease at
last, and thus the temptation to be removed which had proved fatal to so
many. In that vast empire, or the empires that may rise out of its
fragments—for, in more than one place are foundations of empires laid
which would grow with giant growth, even though the power of the mother
country were paralysed to-morrow—the holy sacrifice would not be offered
up, and thus the prophecy not fulfilled, which foretold that a clean
oblation would be offered from the rising of the sun to the going down
thereof. That union of the Christian family for which the Saviour prayed
before he suffered, and which he left as a mark by which men would know
his followers, would not be exhibited to the world. Christianity would be
confounded with the products of these latter ages of so-called “light”,
and be thought, like the appliances of steam and the contrivances of
machinery, to owe its power to the genius of the Anglo-Saxon race, instead
of deriving it from Him who died on Calvary. For their Christianity, by
its very name, would proclaim that the work of Christ had failed, until
the press and the “march of light” had come to its aid. Religion, in a
word, instead of being a divine institution, would appear and be amongst
them but a brilliant work or invention of man, and, therefore, in the
supernatural order, but a brilliant delusion, not an institution which the
mercy of God transplanted from Heaven, and made to stand, and to grow, and
to bless, and produce fruit, in every age and in every form of society.

But, in preserving the faith of the Irish race, God has provided a leaven
of truth for these masses. By the side of systems of religion which men
have devised, stands the everlasting Church—that Church which, as Macaulay
remarked, is the only connecting link between the civilization of the
ancient and modern worlds—the Church which taught the name of Christ to
every nation that knows him, even to those who afterwards fell from the
fullness of truth—the Church which Augustine brought to England, and
Patrick to Ireland—the Church that raised the dignity of the poor, and
humbled the pride of the high, placing all on the level of the Gospel—the
Church that claims no new inventions, but is itself an invention of God,
infinitely surpassing all inventions of man, holding out nothing to the
nineteenth, which it did not present to the first, to the tenth, and to
every other century, but presenting to all the faith and institutions of
God, able to save all, to elevate all, to bring all into one fold, that
all may be united in one happiness in Heaven.

Is not this great result worth all the sufferings which Ireland has
endured? The ways of God appear often circuitous. But in their circuitous
course they are everywhere fraught with blessings. The children of Ireland
suffered; yet, even in their sufferings they were blessed. He himself
pronounced “blessed those who suffer persecution for justice’s sake”; for
in their trials they redeemed their own souls. But they were doubly
blessed, because they were preserving the ark of God, and carrying it
through the waters of tribulation to bless more amply unborn and numerous
generations. The ways of God are circuitous, and though, like the course
of the planets, they sometimes seem to us to retrograde, they are always
onward. The sufferings of Ireland at a time seemed without a purpose, or
even the very contrary to what we might have expected for so faithful a
people. But, who knows what might have been the result, if justice and
humanity had marked the course of the English nation towards Ireland? Who
knows but the temptation to the latter to be drawn into apostacy would
have been too powerful? Had Apostate England dealt generously or justly
with Catholic Ireland, who knows if, in the alliances that would have been
formed, she would have been equally steadfast in her faith? And though for
a long time confiscations, and plunder, and persecution, and slaughter,
and even now, harsh treatment condemning her sons to famine and
banishment, have been the effects of the English connection; if these have
been the means of creating a barrier that prevented the spread of heresy
amongst her sons, has too great a price been paid for the “pearl” that has
been bought? When, particularly, the cross borne by the children of
Ireland shall have been erected in the Western and Southern Hemispheres,
and flourishing Churches in Catholic unity established under its shade,
where, but for the fidelity of our fathers, heterodoxy alone would have
had sway, shall we not say that little indeed were their sufferings
compared to the value of such an Apostolate of Empires?

What is any Earthly mission compared to this? What is even the spreading
of civilization with its highest privileges, compared to the spreading of
the saving institutions of the Gospel? Even in this world virtue is a
thing infinitely superior to mere physical power. The man who does God’s
will, whose soul is adorned with grace, is an object of complacency with
his Maker, and enjoys his esteem infinitely more, than he who can control
the hidden powers of nature, and make them subservient to his will, but
does not make his own will conform to the great law that should govern
it—subjection to the will of God. When Earth, and all that is of Earth,
shall have passed away, the proudest human achievements will be seen to
have been as nothing, while those who shall have caused God’s name to be
glorified, shall shine as bright stars “unto perpetual eternities”.

This mission, however, has its duties as well as its dignity. What will it
avail us to be the sons of martyred sires who sacrificed all for God, if
we barter the faith for which they died, for some paltry bauble, or fail
to transmit it to those under our charge? Will not the constancy and
sufferings of our fathers be a reproach to us before God and man? Will
they not pronounce judgment upon us if, while we honour their heroic
deeds, we ourselves display nothing but pusillanimity? And even though we
preserve our faith, will not this be rather to our shame, if we do not
endeavour to practise the virtues which it teaches? When the salt has lost
its savour, it is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be
trodden on by men. The higher the vocation of God, the lower will be the
degradation of those who fail to correspond. They will be despised, and
justly despised, by God and by men.

We can see in the fate of other nations the consequences of infidelity to
a noble mission. Spain and Portugal were once great powers. They achieved
great things at home and abroad. The sails of their commerce whitened
every sea. The most distant lands acknowledged their might. They, too,
were missionary nations. They carried the faith to the East and to the
West, and in both hemispheres planted the cross on continents and islands
where Christ was before unknown. God may be said to have given them power
for this purpose. It was mainly through their agency that the missionary
work, which repaired the losses of the Church in Europe, was carried on
for two hundred years.

But the rulers of these countries listened to wicked counsels. On _one and
the same_ dark day did Spain, on another did Portugal, command the most
strenuous heralds of the cross to be seized and bound in chains. The
galleons that were wont to bear over the deep the treasures of Asia and
America, and pour them into the laps of the mother countries, or to carry
their commands and the means of enforcing them to the most distant lands,
were now spreading their sails over every ocean and sea, in the inglorious
work of conveying to home prisons, or into exile, the truest missionaries
of the cross. On that day these nations renounced their noble mission, and
the power that was given to enable them to carry it out soon departed.

The immediate agencies producing their downfall, as well as those that
gave rise to their power, may, indeed, be seen in operation before the
existence of the causes to which I have attributed them, but not before
these were known to God. Now, he frequently prepares, by a long process,
the instruments both of his rewards and his punishments, and holds them
ready to be conferred on the virtuous, or poured forth on the head of the
criminal, long before the fidelity of the one be tested, or the guilt of
the other be consummated. Spain and Portugal thus fell, if you will, by
immediate agencies long in operation, but by agencies over which God
ruled, and which He directed according to his own wise counsels. They
fell, and in their humbled condition, mocked by the remains of ancient
greatness, they teach all the important lesson, that the greater the high
calling given by God, the greater the punishment of those who prove

Were we also to prove faithless to the mission which God has assigned us,
we know not what punishment may await us, even in this world. The trials
through which our race has passed, and is passing, may seem severe; but,
they are trials permitted by a loving father. May we never deserve that he
should scourge us in his _great_ anger. We might then find, like the
Jewish people, that to suffer for righteousness’ sake from the hands of
men, is sweet, compared to the gall and wormwood mixed in the cup of those
who fall into the hands of an avenging God.

On this day, when the Church calls on us to commemorate the heroic virtues
and the glorious deeds of our great Apostle, I would fain say to every son
of Ireland—to every one in whose veins Irish blood flows, no matter where
he himself was born: Let us live worthy of our ancestry, of an ancestry
which is the same for all, and is a noble one, noble in that which is the
noblest thing man can rejoice in—virtue and fidelity to God. We ourselves
are called in a special manner to do honour to our faith by spreading it
amongst nations that are destined to occupy the highest position in the
social scale. Let us be faithful to our calling. Let us show ourselves
worthy sons of the martyred dead. Let us make sure, like them, whatever
else we fail in, not to fail in transmitting the faith to those entrusted
to our charge, never exposing it to danger for any advantage, much less
for the trifling things that may be gained here by want of fidelity.
Transmit, carefully, the faith, first of all, but with faith spare no
effort that you yourselves, and those committed to your care, grow also in
every other virtue. Nay, endeavour so to live that _all men_ may learn to
love the faith which is the spring of your actions, and thus glorify and
love that God who is the “Author and Finisher” of that Faith.


1. Is it lawful or obligatory to insert, at the letter N, in the collect
_A cunctis_, the name of the patron of the locality (if there be one) when
the titular of the church is the Blessed Virgin or a mystery of our

2. Is it right to place on the corner of the altar the finger-towel, which
in some churches is fastened to the altar-cloth, from which it hangs

3. Is there any obligation to ring the bell at the Sanctus and at the
Elevation, even when there is no one at Mass?

4. Is it lawful for a priest to use a cincture of the kind generally used
by bishops?

1. The name of the titular of the church in which the Mass is said is that
which ought to be inserted at the letter N in the collect _A cunctis_. In
the application of this general rule various cases may occur; the title
may be a mystery of our Lord or of our Blessed Lady; or it may be a saint
already named in the collect—for example, Saint Peter or Saint Paul; or
Mass may be said in an oratory which has no titular saint. The following
are the rules to be observed in such cases:

1o. That it is the name of the titular saint which is to be inserted at
the letter N is clear from the following decrees:

    1 DECREE. _Question._ “In missali romano praecipitur, ut post
    nomina Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, in oratione _A cunctis_, etc.,
    dicatur nomen patroni praecipui illius ecclesiae, seu diocesis. In
    Hispania est praecipuus illius regni patronus B. Jacobus apostolus
    et ex concessione Apostolica in ecclesia dioecesi Guadicensi est
    patronus specialis S. Torquatus, B. Jacobi apostoli discipulus, et
    ejusdem ecclesiae et civitatis primus episcopus. Quaeritur: An in
    praedicta oratione _A cunctis_ debeat dici nomen B. Jacobi
    apostoli, an B. Torquati?” _Answer._ “In oratione _A cunctis_ post
    nomina sanctorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli, nomen Torquati
    tanquam Ecclesiae cathedralis Guadicensis Patroni dumtaxat
    ponendum esse”. (Decree of 22 January, 1678, No. 2856, q. 8.)

    2 DECREE. _Questions._ “... 15. S. Jacobus est patronus
    universalis regnorum Hispaniae, sancti vero martyres Stemeterius
    et Caledonius fratres sunt patroni particulares ecclesiae
    cathedralis, et totius dioecesis Santanderiensis rite electi, et
    novissime approbati a S. R. C. Quaeritur igitur: Quis ex his
    patronis debeat nominari ... in oratione _A cunctis_, quando in
    missis haec oratio dicitur in ecclesia matrice et in caeteris
    dioecesis? 16. In casu, quo ob dignitatis praestantiam nominari
    debeat S. Jacobus, quaeritur an ... exprimi etiam possint nomina
    SS. Stemeterii et Caledonii in praedicta oratione ..., praecipue
    in ecclesia matrice ubi sacra eorum capita ... venerantur? Et si
    negative, supplicatur pro gratia ad promovendum cultum qui ipsos
    decet in ecclesia cathedrali ac tota dioecesi ratione sui
    specialissimi patronatus”. _Answer._ “Ad 15. In qualibet ecclesia
    nominandum esse patronum seu titularem proprium ejusdem ecclesiae.
    Ad 16. Provisum in praecedenti”. (Decree of 23 January, 1793, No.
    4448, q. 15 and 16.)

    3 DECREE. _Question._ “An patronus nominandus in oratione _A
    cunctis_ intelligi debeat patronus principalis loci?” _Answer._
    “Nominandus titularis Ecclesiae”. (Decree of 12 November, 1831,
    No. 4669, q. 31.)

2o. If the titular of the church has been already named in the collect _A
cunctis_, no name is to be inserted at the letter N. The same holds if the
Mass happens to be that of the same saint. This rule depends on the
following decision:

    “Quis nominandus sit ad litteram N. si patronus vel titularis jam
    nominatus sit in illa oratione, aut de eo celebrata sit missa?”
    _Answer._ “Si jam fuerit nominatus omittenda nova nominatio”.

3_o_. If the oratory in which the Mass is said have no titular saint, the
name of the patron of the locality is to be inserted. This rule is proved
from a decree of 12th December, 1840, No. 4897, No. 2:

    “Sacerdos celebrans in oratorio publico vel privato quod non habet
    sanctum patronum vel titularem, an debeat in oratione _A cunctis_
    ad litteram N. nominare sanctum patronum vel titularem ecclesiae
    parochialis intra cujus limites sita sunt oratoria, vel sanctum
    patronum ecclesiae cui adscriptus est, vel potius omnem ulteriorem
    nominationem omittere?” _Answer._ “Patronum civitatis, vel loci
    nominandum esse”.

4o. If the titular of the church be a mystery of the life of our Lord, or
of our Lady, authors differ in opinion whether the name of the patron of
the locality is to be inserted at the letter N, or whether no addition
should be made. M. de Conny is for the latter opinion, and his authority
is a safe guide for us. The second rule we have laid down is sufficient to
show that no name is to be inserted in cases where the title of the church
is a mystery of the Blessed Virgin, seeing that the august Mother of God
is always named in the body of the prayer. The words of the conclusion are
enough perhaps to excuse from the obligation of naming the patron of the
locality in cases where the church is dedicated to a mystery of the life
of our Lord.

2. The usage here alluded to is not only not becoming, but it is also
contrary to the Rubric of the Missal. (part i., tit. xx.):

    “Ab eadem parte epistolae ... ampullae vitreae vini et aquae, cum
    pelvicula et manutergio mundo in fenestella, seu in parva mensa ad
    haec praeparata. Super altare nihil omnino ponatur, quod ad Missae
    sacrificium vel ipsius altaris ornatum non pertineat”.

3. The sole reason for ringing a bell at Mass is to give a signal to the
faithful. “Ad excitandos circumstantes”, says Gavantus (t. i. part i.,
tit. XX., l. c.), “ad laetitiam exprimendam et ad cultum sanctissimi
Sacramenti adhibetur campanula”. Other writers coincide with this opinion.
It seems but natural, therefore, not to ring the bell when there are no
assistants present, and when there is no need of any signal. Besides, it
is clearly the teaching of authors, and even of the Sacred Congregation of
Rites, that whenever a signal is not required, the bell is not to be rung.
Thus, the following decision forbids the bell to be rung during the
celebration of the divine office in the choir, at least in certain

    “Exposito in S. R. C. ecclesiam collegiatam civitatis Senarum
    habere chorum adeo subjectum oculis populi, et tali loco positum,
    ut canonici dicto choro pro divinis celebrandis, et praecipue
    Missae cantatae assistentibus, omnino altaria ejusdem coliegiatae
    pernecesse inspiciantur, et exposito quoque tempore, quo canonici
    choro ut supra assistunt, consuevisse in dictis altaribus
    celebrari Missas privatas et sine scandalo prohiberi non posse:
    ideo supplicatum fuit pro declaratione: an ipsi canonici in
    elevationibus quae fiunt in Missis privatis, genuflectere
    teneantur?” _Answer._ “Non esse genuflectendum, ne sacra, quibus
    assistunt, per actum privatum interrumpantur, sed ad evitandum
    scandalum, quod in populo et adstantibus causari possit ob non
    genuflectionem esse omittendam pulsationem campanulae in
    elevatione Sanctissimi, in dictis Missis privatis.” (Decret of 5
    March 1667, No. 2397.)

Nor, as a general rule, is the bell rung when the Blessed Sacrament is
exposed, for then it is unnecessary to summon the faithful to adore the
Eucharist. “During the private Masses”, says the _Instructio Clementina_,
“that are celebrated during the exposition, the bell is not to be rung”.
Cavalieri, commenting on this passage, says: “Ex rubricarum praescripto
... interdicuntur”. He is of opinion that this rule of the _Instructio_
regards only low Masses, but Gardellini holds that it refers also to High

    “Non erat, cur instructio etiam Missas solemnes commemoraret, pro
    quibus Rubrica, non jubet, ut in privatis, eadem pulsari ad finem
    prefationis, et ad elevationem Sacramenti. Romae saltem in
    majoribus ecclesiis obtinet mos etiam non pulsandi, praeterquam in
    Missis solemnibus pro defunctis: gravis organorum sonitus supplet
    vices tintinnabuli, et populi adstantis excitat attentionem”.

From all this it is clear that the bell is not to be rung whenever there
is no signal to be given. This is certainly the case when there is no one
to assist at Mass.

4. The cincture for the use of a priest does not differ from that for the
use of a bishop. It may be made either of linen thread or silk, but it is
better that it should be of linen. It may be either white or of the colour
of the vestments. These rules are drawn from two decrees of the Sacred

    1 DECREE. _Question._ “An sacerdotes in sacrificio Missae uti
    possint cingulo serico?” _Answer._ “Congruentius uti cingulo
    lineo”. (22 Jan. 1701, No. 3575, q. 7.)

    2 DECREE. _Question._ “An cingulum, tertium indumentum
    sacerdotale, possit esse colons paramentorum; an necessario debeat
    esse album?” _Answer._ “Posse uti cingulo colore paramentorum”—(8
    Jun. 1709, No. 3809, q. 4.)


I. Condemnation Of Dr. Froschammer’s Works.

Venerabili Fratri Gregorio Archiepiscopo

Monacensi Et Frisingensi

Pius PP. IX.

Venerabilis Frater, Salutem et Apostolicam Benedictionem. Gravissimas
inter acerbitates, quibus undique premimur, in hac tanta temporum
perturbatione et iniquitate vehementer dolemus, cum noscamus, in variis
Germaniae regionibus reperiri nonnullos catholicos etiam viros, qui sacram
theologiam ac philosophiam tradentes minime dubitant quamdam inauditam
adhuc in Ecclesia docendi scribendique libertatem inducere, novasque et
omnino improbandas opiniones palam publiceque profiteri, et in vulgus
disseminare. Hinc non levi moerore affecti fuimus, Venerabilis Frater ubi
tristissimus ad Nos venit nuntius, presbyterum Jacobum Frohschammer in
ista Monacensi Academia philosophiae doctorem hujusmodi docendi
scribendique licentiam proe ceteris adhibere, eumque suis operibus in
lucem editis perniciosissimos tueri errores. Nulla igitur interposita
mora, Nostrae Congregationi libris notandis praepositae mandavimus, ut
praecipua volumina, quae ejusdem presbyteri Frohschammer nomine
circumferuntur, cum maxima diligentia sedalo perpenderet, et omnia ad Nos
referret. Quae volumina germanice scripta titulum habent—_Introductio in
Philosophiam—De Libertate scientiae—Athenaeum_—quorum primum anno 1858,
alterum anno 1861, tertium vero vertente hoc anno 1862 istis Monacensibus
typis in lucem est editum. Itaque eadem Congregatio Nostris mandatis
diligenter obsequens summo studio accuratissimum examen instituit,
omnibusque sem el iterumque serio ac mature ex more discussis et perpensis
judicavit, auctorem in pluribus non recte sentire, ejusque doctrinam a
veritate catholica aberrare. Atque id ex duplici praesertim parte, et
primo quidem propterea quad auctor tales humanae rationi tribuat vires,
quae rationi ipsi minime competunt, secundo vero, quod eam omnia opinandi,
et quidquid semper audendi libertatem eidem rationi concedat, ut ipsius
Ecclesiae jura, officium, et auctoritas de media omnino tollantur. Namque
auctor imprimis edocet, philosophiam, si recta ejus habeatur notio, posse
non solum percipere et intelligere ea christina dogmata, quae naturalis
ratio cum fide habet communia (tamquam commune scilicet perceptionis
objectum) verum etiam ea, quae christianam religionem fidemque maxime et
proprie efficiunt, ipsumque scilicet supernaturalem hominis finem, et ea
omnia, quae ad ipsum spectant, atque sacratissimum Dominicae Incarnationis
mysterium ad humanae rationis et philosophiae provinciam pertinere,
rationemque, dato hoc objecto suis propriis principiis scienter ad ea
posse pervenire. Etsi vero aliquam inter haec et illa dogmata
distinctionem auctor inducat, et haec ultima minori jure rationi
attribuat, tamen clare aperteque docet, etiam haec contineri inter illa,
quae veram propriamque scientiae seu philosophiae materiam constituunt.
Quocirca ex ejusdem auctoris sententia concludi omnino possit ac debeat,
rationem in abditissimis etiam divinae Sapientiae ac Bonitatis, immo etiam
et liberae ejus voluntatis mysteriis, licet posito revelationis objecto
posse ex seipsa, non jam ex divinae auctoritatis principio sed ex
naturalibus suis principiis et viribus ad scientiam seu certitudinem
pervenire. Quae auctoris doctrina quam falsa sit et erronea nemo est, qui
christianae doctrinae rudimentis vel leviter imbutus non illico videat,
planeque sentiat. Namque si isti philosophiae cultores vera ac sola
rationis et philosophiae disciplinae tuerentur principia et jura, debitis
certe laudibus essent prosequendi. Siquidem vera ac sana philosophia
nobilissimum suum locum habet, cum ejusdem philosophiae sit, veritatem
diligenter inquirere, humanamque rationem licet primi hominis culpa
obtenebratam, nullo tamen modo extinctam recte ac sedulo excolere,
illustrare, ejusque cognitionis objectum, ac permultas veritates
percipere, bene intellegere, promovere, earumque plurimas, uti Dei
existentiam, naturam, attributa, quae etiam fides credenda proponit, per
argumenta ex suis principiis petita demonstrare, vindicare, defendere,
atque hoc modo viam munire ad haec dogmata fide rectius tenenda, et ad
illa etiam reconditiora dogmata, quae sola fide percipi primum possunt, ut
illa aliquo modo a ratione intelligantur. Haec quidem agere, atque in his
versari debet severa et pulcherrima verae philosophiae scientia. Ad quae
praestanda si viri docti in Germaniae Academiis enitantur pro singulari
inclytae illius nationis ad severiores gravioresque disciplinas excolendas
propensione, eorum studium a Nobis comprobatur et commendatur, cum in
sacrarum rerum utilitatem profectumque convertant, quae illi ad suos usus
invenerint. At vero in hoc gravissimo sane negotio tolerare numquam
possumus, ut omnia emere permisceantur, utque ratio illas etiam res, quae
ad fidem pertinent, occupet atque perturbet, cum certissimi, omnibusque
notissimi sint fines, ultra quos ratio numquam suo jure est progressa, vel
progredi potest. Atque ad hujusmodi dogmata ea omnia maxime et apertissime
spectant, quae supernaturalem hominis elevationem, ac supernaturale ejus
cum Deo commercium respiciunt atque ad hunc finem revelata noscuntur. Et
sane cum haec dogmata sint supra naturam, idcirco naturali ratione, ac
naturalibus principiis attingi non possunt. Numquam siquidem ratio suis
naturalibus principiis ad hujusmodi dogmata scienter tractanda effici
potest idonea. Quod si haec isti temere asseverare audeant sciant, se
certe non a quorumlibet doctorum opinione, sed a communi, et numquam
immutata Ecclesiae doctrina recedere. Ex divinis enim Litteris, et
sanctorum Patrum traditione constat. Dei quidem existentiam, multasque
alias veritates, ab iis etiam qui fidem nondum susceperunt, naturali
rationis lumine cognosci, sed illa reconditiora dogmata Deum solum
manifestasse dum notum facere voluit, _mysterium, quod absconditum fuit a
saeculis et generationibus_(_4_)_ et ita quidem, ut postquam multifariam
multisque modis olim locutus esset patribus in prophetis novissime Nobis
locutus est in Filio, per quem fecit et saecula_(_5_)_ ... Deum enim nemo
vidit umquam. Unigenitus Filius, qui est in sinu Paris ipse
ennarravit._(6) Quapropter Apostolus, qui gentes Deum per ea, quae facta
sunt cognovisse testatur, disserens de _gratia et veritate_(_7_)_ quae per
Jesum Christum facta est, loquimur, iniquit, Dei sapientiam in mysterio,
quae abscondita est ... quam nemo principum hujus saeculi cognovit ...
Nobis autem revelavit Deus per Spiritum Suum ... Spiritus enim omnia
scrutatur, etiam profunda Dei. Quis enim hominum scit quae sunt hominis,
nisi Spiritus hominis, qui in ipso est? Ita et quae Dei sunt nemo
cognovit, nisi Spiritus Dei._(8) Hisce aliisque fere innumeris divinis
eloquiis inhaerentes SS. Patres in Ecclesiae doctrina tradenda continenter
distinguere curarunt rerum divinarum notionem, quae naturalis
intelligentiae vi omnibus est communis ab illarum rerum notitia, quae per
Spiritum Sanctum fide suscipitur, et constanter docuerunt, per hanc ea
nobis in Christo revelari mysteria, quae non solam humanam philosophiam,
verum etiam Angelicam naturalem intelligentiam transcendunt, quaeque
etiamsi divina revelatione innotuerint, et ipsa fide fuerint suscepta,
tamen sacro ad hue ipsius fidei velo tecta et obscura caligine obvoluta
permanent, quamdiu in hac mortali vita peregrinamur a Domino.(9) Ex his
omnibus patet alienam omnino esse a catholicae Ecclesiae doctrina
sententiam, qua idem Frohschammer asserere non dubitat, omnia
indiscriminatim christianae religionis dogmata esse objectum naturalis
scientiae, seu philosophiae, et humanam rationem historice tantum
excultam, modo haec dogmata ipsi rationi tanquam objectum proposita
fuerint, posse ex suis naturalibus viribus et principio ad veram de
omnibus etiam reconditioribus dogmatibus scientiam pervenire. Nunc vero in
memoratis ejusdem auctoris scriptis alia domanitur sententia, quae
catholicae Ecciesiae doctrinae, ac sensui plane adversatur. Etenim eam
philosophiae tribuit libertatem, quae non scientiae libertas, sed omnio
reprobanda et intoleranda philosophiae licentia sit appellanda. Quadam
enim distinctione inter philosophum et philosophiam facta, tribuit
philosopho jus et officium se submittendi auctoritati, quam veram ipse
probaverit, sed utrumque philosophiae ita denegat, ut nulla doctrinae
revelatae ratione habita asserat, ipsam nunquam debere ac posse
Auctoritati se submittere. Quod esset toet crandum et forte admittendum,
si haec dicerentur de jure tantum, quod habit philosophia suis principiis,
seu methodo, ac suis conclusionibus, uti, sicut et aliae scientiae, ac si
ejus libertas consisteret in hoc suo jure utendo, ita ut nihil in sea
dmitteret, quod non fuerit ab ipsa suis conditionibus acquisitum, aut
fuerit ipsi alienum. Sed haec justa philosophiae libertas suos limites
noscere et experiri debet. Nunquam enim non solum philosopho, verum etiam
philosophiae licebit, aut aliquid contrarium dicere iis, quae divina
revelatio, et Ecclesia docet, aut aliquid ex eisdem in dubium vocare
propterea quod non intelligit, aut judicium non suscipere, quod Ecclesiae
auctoritas de aliqua philosophiae conclusione, quae hujusque libera erat,
proferre constituit. Accedit etiam, ut idem auctor philosophiae
libertatem, seu potius effrenatam licentiam tam acriter, tam temere
propugnet, ut minime vereatur asserere, Ecclesiam non solum non debere in
philosophiam unquam animadvertere, verum etiam debere ipsius philosophiae
tolerare erores, eique relinquere, ut ipsa se corrigat, ex quo evenit, ut
philosophi hanc philosophiae libertatem necessario participent, atque ita
etiam ipsi ab omni lege solvantur. Ecquis non videt quam vehementer sit
rejicienda, reprobanda, et omnini damnanda hujusmodi Frohschammer
sententia atque doctrina? Etenim Ecclesia ex divina sua institutione et
divinae fidei depositum integrum inviolatumque diligentissime custodire,
et animarum saluti summo studio debet continenter advigilare, ac summa
cura ea omnia amovere et eliminare, quae vel fidei adversari, vel animarum
salutem quovis modo in discrimen adducere possunt. Quocirca Ecclesia ex
potestate sibi a divino suo Auctore commissa non solum jus, sed officium
praesertim habet non tolerandi, sed pro scribendi ac damnandi omnes
erores, si ita fedei integritas, et animarum salus postulaverint, et omni
philosopho, qui Ecclesiae filius esse velit, ac etiam philosophiae
officium incumbit nihil unquam dicere contra ea, quae Ecclesia docet, et
ea retractare, de quibus eos Ecclesia monuerit. Sententiam autem, quae
contrarium edocet omnino erroneam, et ipsi fidei. Ecclesiae ejusque
auctoritati vel maxime injuriosam esse edicimus et declaramus. Quibus
omnibus accurate perpensis, de eorumdrm VV. FF. NN. S. R. E. Cardinalium
Congregationis libris notandis praepositae consilio, ac motu proprio, et
certa scientia matura deliberatione Nostra, deque Apostolicae Nostrae
potestatis plenitudine praedictos librus presbyteri Frohschammer tamquam
continentes propositiones et doctrinas respective falsas, erroneas,
Ecclesiae, ejusque actoritati ac juribus injuriosas reprobamus, damnamus,
ac pro reprobatis et damnatis ab omnibus haberi volumus, atque eidem
Congregationi mandamus, ut eosdem libros in indicem prohibitorum librorum
referat. Dum vero haec Tibi significamus, Venerabilis Frater, non possumus
non exprimere magnum animi Nostri Dolorem cum videamus hunc filium
eorumdem librorum auctorem, qui ceteroquin de Ecclesia benemereri
potuisset, infelici quodam cordis impete misere abreptum in vias abire,
quae ad salutem non ducunt, ac magis magisque a recto tramite aberrare.
Cum enim alius ejus liber de animarum origine prius fuisset damnatus non
solum se minime submisit, verum etiam non extimuit, eumdem errorem in his
etiam libridenuo docere, et Nostram Indicis Congregationem contumeliis
cumen lare, ac multa alia contra Ecclesiae agendi rationem temere
mendaciterque pronuntiare. Quae omnia talia sunt, ut iis merito atque
optimo jure indignare potuissemus. Sed nolumus adhuc paternae Nostrae
charitatis viscera erga illum deponere, et idcirco Te Venerabilis Frater,
excitamus, ut velis eidem manifestare cor Nostrum paternum, et
acerbiseimum dolorem, cujus ipse est causa, ac simul ipsum saluberrimis
monitis hortari et monere, ut Nostram, quae communis est omnium Patris
vocem audiat, ac resipiscat, quemadmodum catholicae Ecclesiae filium
decet, et ita nos omnes laetitia afficiat, ac tandem ipse felixiter
experiatur quam jucundum sit, non vana quadam et perniciosa libertate
gaudere, sed Domini, adhaerere, cugus jugum suave est, et onus leve, cujus
eloquo casta, igne examinata, cujus judicia vera, justificata in
semetipsa, et cujus universae viae misericordia et veritas. Denique hac
etiam occasione libentissime utimur, ut iterum testemur et confirmemus
praecipuam Nostram in Te benevolentiam. Cujus quoque pignus esse volumus
Apostolicam Benedictionem, quam intimo cordis affectu Tibi ipsi,
Venerabilis Frater, et gregi Tuae curae commisso paremanter impertimus.
Datum Romaae apud S. Petrum die 11 Decembris anno 1862, Pontificatus
Nostri anno decimo septimo.

Pius PP. IX.

II. Decree Of The Congregation Of Rites.

The Roman ritual, speaking of the Blessed Eucharist, prescribes as
follows: “Lampades coram eo plures vel saltem una diu notucque colluceat”.
These lamps are to be fed with olive oil, which the Church has adopted for
mystic reasons in so many of her sacred rites. But in many countries the
difficulty of procuring olive oil is considerable, and the expense greater
than small churches can bear. Several prelates of France, moved by these
reasons, asked permission to burn in the lamps before the Blessed
Sacrament oils other than from olives. The following is the answer:

_Decretum: Plurium Dioeceseum._

Nonnulli Reverendissimi Galliarum Antistites serio perpendentes in multis
suarum Dioeceseum Ecclesiis difficile admodum et nonnisi magnis sumptibus
comparari posse oleum olivarum ad nutriendam diu noctuque saltem unam
lampadam ante Sanctissimum Eucharistiae Sacramentum, ab Apostolica Sede
declarari petierunt utrum in casu, attentis difficultatibus et Ecclesiarum
paupertate, oleo, olivarum substitue possint alea olea quae ex vegetalibus
habentur, ipso non excluso petroleo. Sacra porro Rituum Congregatio, etsi
semper sollicita ut etiam in hac parte quod usque ab Ecclesiae primordiis
circa usum olei ex olivis inductum est, ob mysticas significationes
retineatur; attamen silentio praeterire minime censuit rationes ab iisdem
Episcopis prolatas; ac proinde exquisito prius Voto alterius ex
Apostolicarum Coeremoniarum Magistris, subscriptus Cardinalis Praefectus
ejusdem Sacrae Congregationis rem omnem proposuit in Ordinariis Commitiis
ad Vaticanum hodierna die habitis. Eminentissimi autem et Reverendissimi
Patres Sacris tuendis Ritibus praepositi, omnibus accurate perpensis ac
diligentissime examinatis, rescribendum censuerunt: Generatim utendum esse
oleo olevarum: _ubi vero haberi nequeatt remittendum prudentiae
Episcoporum ut lampades nutriantur ex aliis oleis quantum fieri possit
vegetabilibus_ die 9 Julii 1864.

Facta postmodum de praemissis Sanctissimo Domino Nostro Pio Papae IX. per
infrascriptum Secretarium fideli relatione, Sanctitas Sua sententiam
Sacrae Congregationis ratam habuit et confirmavit. Die 14 iisdem mense et

Signi _D. Bartolini S. R. C. Secretarius_.



_Martyrologium Dungallense, seu Calendarium Sanctorum Hiberniae._
_Collegit et digessit_ Fr. Michael O’Clery, Ord. Fr. Min. Strictioris
Observantiae. Permissu et facultate Superiorum. 1630.

_The Martyrology of Donegal: a Calendar of the Saints of Ireland_,
translated from the original Irish by the late John O’Donovan, LL.D.,
M.R.I.A., Professor of Celtic Literature in the Queen’s College, Belfast.
Edited, with the Irish text, by James Henthorn Todd, D.D., M.R.I.A.,
F.S.A., Senior Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin; and by William Reeves,
D.D., M.R.I.A., Vicar of Lusk, etc. Dublin: printed for the Archaeological
Society. Thom, 1864, lv.-566 pp.

_The Martyrology of Donegal_ was completed on the 19th of April, 1630, in
the Franciscan convent of Donegal. The compilers were Brother Michael
O’Clery, a lay brother of that convent, with three associates who with him
are so well known by the name of “The Four Masters”. Colgan (_Acta
Sanctorum Hiberniae_, tom. 1, p. 5 a.) thus speaks of it: “Martyrologium
quod Dungallense vocamus, nostris diebus ex diversis tum Martyrologiis,
tum annalibus patriis collectum est, partim operâ Authorum qui Annales
communes, de quibus infra, compilarunt in Conventu Dungallensi; partim
opera Patrum ejusdem Conventus qui sanctos, qui extra patriam vixerunt et
de quibus hystorici exteri scripserunt, addiderant”. The Donegal copy of
1630 was a more complete transcript of a first copy, made by Michael
O’Clery in the preceding year at Douay. Both copies are now extant in the
Burgundian Library at Brussels, but circumstances have not permitted Dr.
Todd to get the first copy also transcribed. Both copies are autographs of
Michael O’Clery.

The first to discover the mine of Irish MSS. in Brussels was Mr. L.
Waldron, M.P., who, in 1844, at the request of Professor O’Curry, examined
the library there. By the influence of Lord Clarendon, then
lord-lieutenant of Ireland, with the government, Dr. Todd procured from
the Belgian government, in 1848, the loan of several MSS. of the greatest
importance, with the permission to have them transcribed. One of these was
the autograph MS. of the _Martyrology of Donegal_, prepared for the press
by the author, with the approbations of his ecclesiastical superiors. A
copy of it was executed by the late Professor O’Curry with the skill and
beauty of his unequalled penmanship; and this copy was collated with the
original, whilst it was still in Dr. Todd’s possession. From O’Curry’s
copy Dr. Reeves made another for his own use, and from this he made a
third transcript for the printers, and the translator, Dr. O’Donovan. This
translation was the last labour of Dr. O’Donovan’s life.

The contents of the volume are distributed as follows: An introduction
(ix.-xxiv.) by Dr. Todd is followed by an appendix (xxiv.-xlix.)
containing “a number of memoranda, references to authorities, and
miscellaneous notes, which have been written by the author, and others,
through whose hands the MS. has passed, on the fly-leaves at the beginning
and end of each volume”. Many of them are of great interest. Then come the
_Testimonia et Approbationes_ (xlix.-lv.) of Flann Mac Egan, Conner
McBrody, Dr. Malachy O’Cadhla, Archbishop of Tuam; Dr. Boetius Mac Egan,
Bishop of Elphin; Dr. Thomas Fleming, Archbishop of Dublin; and Dr. Roth
Mac Geoghegan, Bishop of Kildare. The _Martyrology_ proper follows (1-351)
with the Irish text on one page and Dr. O’Donovan’s translation on the
other. The notes appended are but few, and serve merely to explain
obscurities in the text, to settle the reading, or to correct some obvious
mistake. For almost all the notes we are indebted to Dr. Todd himself. A
table of the _Martyrology_, compiled by the author, and translated by Dr.
Todd, occupies from page 354 to page 479, and is followed by three
indexes, compiled by Dr. Reeves, one of persons (485-528), another of
places (529-553), and a third of matters (544-566). These indexes, says
Dr. Todd, “possess a topographical and historical interest quite
independent of their connection with the present work, and are in
themselves a most important practical help to the study of Irish history”.

What is the value of this work? What position does it occupy among Irish
Ecclesiastical documents? It cannot be regarded as an _original_
authority. “It is confessedly a compilation, and of comparatively recent
date, having been completed, as we have seen, in the early part of the
seventeenth century. But it is a compilation made by a scholar peculiarly
well fitted for the task, who had access to all the original documents
then extant in the Irish language, the matter of which he has transferred
either in whole or in part into the present work, quoting in almost every
instance the sources from which he drew his information” (Introd., p.
xiii.). The bare enumeration of these sources will serve to show the value
of the book. I. _The Metrical Calendar, or Festilogium of Aengus Ceile
De_, commonly called the _Felire of Aengus_. Its author was a monk of
Tallaght, near Dublin, in the days when Saint Maolruain was abbot, about
the beginning of the ninth century. Dr. Kelly of Maynooth has published a
translation of a portion of this _Metrical Calendar_ in his _Calendar of
Irish Saints_. II. The _Martyrology of Tallaght_. This is a transcript of
a very ancient martyrology containing the names of the saints and martyrs
of the entire Church, with the Irish saints added under each day. It was
composed at the close of the ninth or very early in the tenth century. The
Brussels MS. is an abstract of the ancient copy at Saint Isidore’s at
Rome, but it contains the Irish saints alone, omitting altogether the
general martyrology. It was from a transcript of the Belgian MS. that Dr.
Kelly published in 1857 the calendar alluded to above. III. The _Calendar
of Cashel_, which is not now known to exist. According to Colgan, its
author flourished about the year 1030. IV. The _Martyrology of Maolmuire_
(or _Marianus_) _O’Gorman_, written in Irish verse, in the times of
Gelasius, Archbishop of Armagh, about 1167. Its author was abbot of Knock,
near Louth, and the work is taken from the _Felire of Tallaght_, and is
not confined to Irish saints. V. _The Book of Hymns_, a portion of which
has already been published by the Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society,
and of which a second portion is in the press, under the care of Dr. Todd.
VI. Poems, such as the _Poem of St. Cuimin of Condeire (Connor)_, of the
middle of the seventh century, published by Dr. Kelly, with a translation
by Professor O’Curry; the _Naoimhseanchus_, attributed by Colgan to
Selbach of the tenth century; the _Poem of St. Moling of Ferns_ (A.D.
675-695), and several minor poems. VII. Several of the great collections
or _Bibliothecae_, of which he names expressly the _Book of Lecan_, the
_Leabhar na Huidre_, and the _Book of Lismore_. VIII. The lives of saints
in Irish and Latin. Of these he quotes no less than thirty-one. From this
list it will be seen that almost all the literature of the early Irish
Church has helped to enrich the pages of the _Martyrology of Donegal_. And
since _norma orandi legem statuit credendi_, we could scarcely find a
nobler monument of the faith and practice of our forefathers. The Church
that places on her list of saints, bishops, and priests, and abbots, and
consecrated virgins, and hermits, possesses in that very calendar a mark
deep and broad enough to distinguish her from all the sects that belong to
modern Protestantism.


_Lectures on Modern History, delivered at the Catholic University of
Ireland._ By Professor J. B. ROBERTSON; cr. 8vo, p.p. xvi., 528. Dublin:
W. B. Kelly, 1864.

The lectures included in this volume were delivered in the Catholic
University of Ireland, on various occasions, in the years 1860 to 1864,
and their purport has been well expressed in the author’s own words.
Speaking in reference to all his literary labours, “I devoted”, says
Professor Robertson, “my feeble powers to the defence of God and His holy
Church against unbelief and misbelief; and of social order and liberty,
against the principles of revolution, which are but impiety in a political
form”. In these words we have the key-note of the entire work. The
“History of Spain in the Eighteenth Century” forms the subject of two
lectures. To these is added a supplement of more than fifty pages, in
which the late Mr. Buckle’s “Essay on Spain”, contained in his “History of
Civilization”, is severely but most deservedly criticised, and, we may
add, is refuted by solid and convincing arguments.

In four lectures our author discusses the “life, writings, and times of M.
de Chateaubriand”, involving, much of the internal history of France,
especially as regards literature and religion under the first Napoleon and
the succeeding governments down to the Revolution in 1848. These lectures
are full of interest. But what must be considered as by far the most
important portion of this volume is that in which Professor Robertson
treats of the “Secret Societies of Modern Times”. In two lectures he
traces the origin and progress of the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the
Jacobins, the Carbonari, and the Socialists; and in an appendix adds a
“brief exposition of the principal heads of Papal legislation on Secret

Such are the contents of the work. The style is agreeable and clear, the
diction felicitous, and above all, the sentiments just, equally
characterised by extensive information, political sagacity, and a profound
reverence for divine faith. The professor has happily avoided both the
tedious exhaustiveness of the German, and the brilliant flippancy which so
often charms us in the French. Nor has he been unmindful of the more
laborious students who would not shrink from the toil of research after
further information. For these he has provided such an array of
authorities, on each of his subjects, as must greatly facilitate the
progress of those who would engage in diligent historical investigation.
We know not where else there could be had so intelligible an account of
the secret societies which have been so active in all the political
convulsions of Europe, from 1789 to the present time. We need not advert
to the part which secret societies have had in producing the present
deplorable state of Italy. To the readers of the _Civiltà Cattolica_ such
reference would be unnecessary. To those who have not the advantage of
regularly reading that most instructive periodical we would recommend
Professor Robertson’s lectures, as containing, in a moderate sized volume,
a most perspicuous summary of what is requisite to be known concerning
those dark conspiracies and their objects. If it were only for this, the
volume would be a most welcome addition to our historical library.

The book has been brought out with the utmost elegance of paper, type, and


_La Roma Sotterrana Cristiana descritta ed illustrata_ dal Cav. G. B. de
Rossi. Publicata per ordine della Santità di N. S. Papa Pio IX.
Chromolithografia Ponteficia Roma, 1864. vol. 1.

_Christian Subterranean Rome, described and illustrated_ by Cav. G. B. de
Rossi. Published by order of His Holiness Pope Pius IX., vol. 1.

In 1861 Cavalier de Rossi published the first volume of his _Inscriptiones
Christianae Urbis Romae seculo VII. antiquiores_. On to-day we announce
the appearance of the first volume of his long expected work on
Subterranean Rome. In the introduction the author passes in review all
that has been done to explore the Catacombs, from the fourteenth century
to our day. Pomponius Laetus, Pauvinius, Ciacconius, and especially Bosio
and Bottari, claim his attention in turn. After a sketch of the results of
the labours undertaken in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Cav. de
Rossi shows what yet remains to be done, and what part of this he himself
proposes to accomplish.

The second part of the volume is entitled “Remarks on ancient Christian
Cemeteries in general, and on those of Rome in particular”: the whole is
divided into three parts. Part I. on the Christian Cemeteries in general,
treats of their antiquity, their divisions into subterranean and
non-subterranean, and the respective marks of each class. The author here
proves that even in the third century, when Christianity was persecuted to
the death, the Christian Cemeteries had a legal existence recognized by
the Emperors. Part II. is devoted to the documents which illustrate the
history and topography of the Catacombs, and embraces contemporary
documents, historical and liturgical treatises later than the fourth
century, lives of Pontiffs, etc. Part III. contains a general history of
the Roman Cemeteries, arranged in four periods: beginning respectively,
with the apostolic times; the third century; the peace of Constantine
(312); and the fifth century, A.D. 410. In the second century the
catacombs were of slow growth; in the third, their extent became most
remarkable; after Constantine, they began to be abandoned as places of
sepulture; with the fifth century set in their decay, leading to the
removal of the relics of the saints to the churches within the walls,
whither the sacrilegious hands of Goths and Lombards, who periodically
pillaged the Campagna, could not reach; finally, after the ninth century,
they were almost forgotten. Part IV. contains the analytical description
of the Christian Cemeteries. The Cemetery of Callixtus, the most ancient
and most celebrated of all, is described at length.


_Vetera Monumenta Hibernorum et Scotorum Historiam Illustrantia; quae ex
Vaticani, Neapolis, ac Florentiae Tabularis depromsit, et Ordine
chronologico disposuit_ Augustinus Theiner, Presbyter Cong. Oratorii,
Tabulariorum Vaticanorum Praefectus, etc. Folio, Romae, Typis Vaticanis,
1864. One Volume folio, pages 624.

The notice of the See of Ardagh in the sixteenth century, printed in our
opening number, has probably prepared our readers to estimate the value of
the important series of documents upon which it is founded. We purposed to
urge strongly upon the clergy of Ireland the duty of supporting generously
the distinguished scholar, who in his love of Ireland has undertaken the
costly and laborious work of publishing all the manuscript materials of
Irish history which are preserved in the archives of the Vatican, and has
already given in the opening volume an earnest of their extent, as well as
of their historical value. We are happy, however, to find that what we had
desired and intended, has already been put in a practical form, and that
an effort has been made to forward among the friends of Irish history the
sale of this most interesting collection. We cannot, therefore, we
believe, advance more effectually the object which we have at heart, than
by transferring to our pages the following notice, which has been printed
for private circulation:—

“Monsignor Theiner’s Collection from the Secret Archives of the Vatican,
of Naples, and of Florence, is unquestionably the most important
contribution to the history of the Church in these countries since the
great historical movement of the seventeenth century. It comprises upwards
of a thousand original documents, Pontifical Bulls, Briefs, and Letters,
Consistorial Acts, Inquisitions, Reports, etc., ranging from the
pontificate of Honorius III., 1216, to that of Paul III., 1547.

“These papers, in the main, relate to the history of Ireland and of
Scotland, especially of the former country. There is hardly a diocese in
Ireland of which they do not contain some notice, and in many cases, as,
for instance, that of Ardagh, already noticed by the learned editor of the
Essays of the lamented Dr. Matthew Kelly, but traced in detail in the
_Irish Ecclesiastical Record_, No. I., pp. 13-17, they serve to fill up
important breaks in the existing records, and to correct grave and vital
errors in the received histories.

“But, in addition to the Irish and Scotch documents, the volume contains
many of wider and more general interest; among which it will be enough to
specify a single series—nearly a hundred unpublished letters of Henry
VIII., relating chiefly to the negociations regarding the divorce, which
they present in a light almost completely new.

“This volume is printed entirely at the expense of the distinguished
editor. It is meant as an experiment; and, should the sale, for which he
must mainly rely upon the countries chiefly interested, suffice to cover
the bare cost of publication, it is his intention to continue the series
from the archives of the Vatican, down through the still more interesting,
and, for Irish history, more obscure, as well as more important, period of
Edward VI., Mary, Elizabeth, and James I.

“Mgr. Theiner has requested his friend, Rev. Dr. Russell, President of St.
Patrick’s College, Maynooth, to receive and transmit to Rome any orders
far the volume with which he may be favoured.”


_    1 Sacred Latin Poetry_, selected and arranged by R. C. Trench, D.D.,
      Archbishop of Dublin, etc. Macmillan and Co., London and Cambridge.

    2 “Nihil obstat si etiam in his omnibus et Ipse (Redemptor noster)
      signetur. Ipse enim Unigenitus Dei Filius _veraciter_ factus est
      _homo_: ipse in sacrificio nostrae redemptionis dignatus est mori ut
      _vitulus_: ipse per virtutem suae fortitudinis surrexit ut _leo_....
      Ipse etiam post resurrectionem suam ascendnes ad coelos, in
      superioribus est elevatus ut _aquila_. Totum ergo simul nobis est,
      qui et nascendo _homo_, et moriendo _vitulus_, et resurgendo _leo_,
      et ad coelos ascendendo _aquila_ factus est”—_S. Greg. Magn., Hom._
      iv. _in Ezech._

_    3 The Destiny of the Irish Race_: a lecture delivered at Philadelphia
      on the 17th of March, 1864, by Rev. M. O’Connor, S. J. In order to
      give to our readers the beautiful lecture of the ex-Bishop of
      Pittsburgh, we have increased the number of pages in this month’s
      RECORD.—ED. I. E. R.

    4 Col. 1. v. 26. 1.

    5 Hebr. 1, v. 1, 2.

    6 Joan. 1, v. 18.

    7 Joan 1, v. 17.

    8 1 Corint. v. 2, 7, 8, 10, 11.

    9 S. Joan. Chrys. hom. 7. in 1. Corinth. S. Ambros. de fide ad Grat.
      S. Leo de Nativ. Dom. Serm. 9. S. Cyril. Alex. contr. Nestor. lib.
      3. in Joan, 1, 9. S. Joan, Dam. de fide orat. II, 1, 2, in 1, 2, in
      1 Cor. c. 2, S. Hier. in Galat. III, 2.

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