The Life of James Cardinal Gibbons: Archbishop of Baltimore, 1834-1921 - Vol. 1

The Life of James Cardinal Gibbons: Archbishop of Baltimore, 1834-1921 - Vol. 1

The Life of James Cardinal Gibbons: Archbishop of Baltimore, 1834-1921 - Vol. 1

The Life of James Cardinal Gibbons: Archbishop of Baltimore, 1834-1921 - Vol. 1

Excerpt

There were many times during the more than six years in which the life of Cardinal Gibbons was in preparation, that the writer felt the truth of an observation made some weeks after the cardinal died, when it was said, "He will have no biographer probably to do him justice." His career was so long and eventful, the problems with which he dealt so varied and delicate, and the impression he left on the American mind so extraordinary and enduring that it seemed an impossible task, a generation after his death, to recapture the spirit of the man and to recount and weigh with the significance and balance which they deserved the great events in which he had played so leading a role. And yet if a full knowledge of the splendid accomplishments and the unique contribution of the Cardinal of Baltimore to both Church and State were not to be lost to future generations, if the striking lessons and the wonderful heritage which he bequeathed to those who came after him were not to be forever dimmed in the memory of Americans of every class and creed, it was necessary that the work should be undertaken, and that before all those who had known the cardinal in life had passed away.

From the time that the writer first acquired a close knowledge of the history of American Catholicism, he had no doubts concerning the prime position which James Gibbons had occupied in that history, but it was quite another matter to tell his story in a manner that would pay fitting tribute to his greatness, In a desire that the career of Gibbons should be set forth with all the amplitude which its significance seemed to merit, the work assumed proportions which went quite beyond the original intention, but it is to be hoped that the importance of his life for the history of both Church and State in the United States will have justified its length.

It was from one of the writer's dearest friends that there . . .

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