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Souvenir of Loretto Centenary


Though fragile in appearance, and evidently nearing his end Father Gallitzin was never absent from his post on Sundays. His voice was still strong, clear, and beautifully modulated, his glance keen, his interest in affairs of Church and State as lively and decided as in his earlier days of warfare. It was not until the bitterly cold winter of 1839-40, that it became evident to those who anxiously watched their beloved pastor that he would be with them but a short time longer, though almost to the last moment his daily round of duties was faithfully performed, at what cost to himself none but himself could know.

    On Easter morning his last words to his congregation were said, a short exhortation on the Resurrection, ending with the words spoken on the cross. When it became known that Father Gallitzin was seriously ill his people from all parts of the county gathered together at Loretto, and the dying Prince bade a serene and hopeful farewell, insisting that no one, not even the most humble, should be excluded from his presence. He lingered until the sixth of May, and not until the early evening hours did he find rest at last, and complete the sacrifice begun forty-five years before, when he joyfully renounced power, riches, and the promised gifts of smiling fortune for poverty, obscurity and a life of sanctified toil. As the angels of God said of Jacob, we may say of Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin: “As a Prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors