James Gibbons

James Gibbons

Infobox Cardinal
honorific-prefix = His Eminence
name =
James Cardinal Gibbons
honorific-suffix =
title = Archbishop of Baltimore

caption =
province =
diocese =
see = Archdiocese of Baltimore
enthroned = October 3, 1877
ended = March 24, 1921
predecessor = James Roosevelt Bayley
successor = Michael Joseph Curley
ordination =
consecration =
cardinal = June 7, 1886
rank =
other_post = Diocese of Richmond
birth_name =
birth_date = July 23, 1834
birthplace = Baltimore, Maryland
death_date = March 24, 1921
deathplace = Baltimore, Maryland
buried =
nationality =
religion =
residence =
parents =
spouse =
children =
ocupation =
profession =
alma_mater =

James Cardinal Gibbons (23 July, 1834 - 24 March, 1921) was an American prelate, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore from 1877 until his death. In 1886 he became the second man from the United States to be made a cardinal. He served as Cardinal-Priest for Santa Maria in Trastevere basilica in Rome.

Early life and ministry

Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised partly in his parents' native Ireland, partly in New Orleans, he was ordained a priest in Baltimore in 1861.


He was consecrated titular bishop of Adramyttium at the age of 33 when in 1868 Pope Pius IX nominated him Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina, which did not yet have a Catholic diocese within its borders.

Gibbons was the youngest bishop at the First Vatican Council, and he gave the "Imprimatur" for the Challoner edition of the Douay-Rheims Bible.

In 1872 he became the Bishop of Richmond, Virginia and served there until May 1877, when he was named Coadjutor Archbishop of Baltimore. He succeeded as Archbishop that October on the death of Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley.

In 1876 Gibbons published " [http://books.google.com/books?vid=0pM77M1OrkrTDGast4&id=uIVNCtk5bSwC&pg=PA3 The Faith of Our Fathers: A Plain Exposition and Vindication of the Church Founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ] " which became a best-selling conversion manual in the United States and as of 1980 is in its 111th printing. In his 1917 preface to the 83rd edition the Cardinal noted that "since the first edition appeared, in 1876 up to the present time, fourteen hundred thousand copies have been published and the circulation of the book is constantly increasing. The work has been translated into nearly all the languages of Europe." Noted agnostic, literary critic and fellow Baltimorean H.L. Mencken wrote, in "Treatise on the Gods", "the best exposition of Catholic doctrine is probably "The Faith of our Fathers", by the late Cardinal Gibbons."

Gibbons advocated the creation, was among the founders, and served as the first Chancellor of The Catholic University of America. President William Taft honored Gibbons for his contributions at his 1911 golden jubilee celebration. In 1917, President Theodore Roosevelt hailed Gibbons as the most venerated, respected, and useful citizen in America.

In his later years he was seen as the public face of Roman Catholicism in the United States, and on his death was widely mourned. Now, he is famous for his support of the labor movement in the United States, and for the numerous schools named after him. Mencken, who reserved his harshest criticism for Christian ministers, wrote, in 1921 after the Gibbons' death, "More presidents than one sought the counsel of Cardinal Gibbons: he was a man of the highest sagacity, a politician in the best sense, and there is no record that he ever led the Church into a bog or up a blind alley. He had Rome against him often, but he always won in the end, for he was always right."

External links


*cite book
title=The faith of our fathers
author=James Gibbons
publisher=John Murphy Company
via Google Books. Baltimore: Murphy, 1876
*cite book
title=Our Christian Heritage
author=James Gibbons
publisher=J. Murphy and company
via Google Books. Baltimore: Murphy 1889
*"The Ambassador of Christ". Baltimore: Murphy, 1896
*"Discourses and Sermons". Baltimore: Murphy, 1908
*"A Retrospect of 50 Years". Baltimore: Murphy, 1916 - Volume I, ( [http://books.google.com/books?id=1DQ3AAAAMAAJ Volume II] ) via Google Books
*cite book
title=The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll
author=Robert Green Ingersoll
publisher=The Dresden pub. co., C. P. Farrell
via Google Books
* [http://www.osjspm.org/majordoc_us_bishop_statement_pastoral_letter_1919.aspx Pastoral Letter of 1919]


* [http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/GEO_GNU/GIBBONS_JAMES_1834_.html 1911 Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica]
* [http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jul23.html#cardinalgibbons Library of Congress Biography]
*cite book
title=Life of James, Cardinal Gibbons
author=Allen Sinclair Will
publisher=J. Murphy company; [etc., etc.
by Allen S. Will, Murphy 1911
* [http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bgibbonsj.html His vocational timeline at Catholic Hierarchy]
* [http://www.cin.org/kc87-3.html Catholic Home Study Service Biography]

Movie footage

* [http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/trmp/4154.mpg Conversation with Theodore Roosevelt at Liberty Loan Drive (MPEG 8 mb.)]
* [http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/trmp/4147.mov Another angle on the same event at Sagamore Hill (Quicktime 3mb)]


* [http://libraries.cua.edu/achrcua/Knights/pic_gibbons.htm James Cardinal Gibbons (Catholic University Archives)]
* [http://mdhsimage.mdhs.org/Library/Images/Mellon%20Images/Z24access/z24-00855.jpgCardinal Gibbons (Maryland Historical Society)]
* [http://mdhsimage.mdhs.org/Library/Images/Mellon%20Images/Z24access/z24-00302.jpgCardinal Gibbons Day October 16, 1911 (MHS)]
* [http://mdhsimage.mdhs.org/Library/Images/Mellon%20Images/Z24access/z24-00854.jpgCardinal Gibbons & Theodore Roosevelt (MHS)]
* [http://mdhsimage.mdhs.org/Library/Images/Mellon%20Images/Z24access/z24-01616.jpgGolden Jubilee Celebration at Basilica of the Assumption (MHS)]
* [http://mdhsimage.mdhs.org/Library/Images/Mellon%20Images/Z24access/z24-01617.jpgService in progress at Basilica (MHS)]
* [http://mdhsimage.mdhs.org/Library/Images/Mellon%20Images/Z24access/z24-00772.jpgCardinal Gibbons' Cortege passes Washington Monument (MHS)]

chools named after him

*Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh, North Carolina
*Cardinal Gibbons School, Baltimore, MD
*Cardinal Gibbons High School, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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