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  #1  
Old Feb 8, '08, 4:28 pm
mark a mark a is offline
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Default George Washington died a Catholic

Just learned this here on the forums.


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Our first President, George Washington, died a Catholic. While he lay on his deathbed he sent his slaves across the Potomac to bring back his close friend, Father Leonard Neal, S.J. Neal spent some time alone in the President's sick room. When he returned to the Jesuit house, his fellow religious asked him the outcome of his visit and he simply answered, "Everything has been taken care of." The entire story is related in the Jesuit annals. The Negro slaves, who had been imbued with Baptist anti-Catholic bigotry, passed on the story that "Master George had been seduced by the scarlet woman of Rome". Our first President had always kept a beautiful picture of Our Lady in His living room; he adopted the Catholic practice of blessing himself before meals; he was largest contributor, giving more than even Bishop Carroll, to the building of St. Augustine's church in Philadelphia; he very often attended Mass; and he often told his troops that if they did not refrain from abusing the Holy Name of Jesus they would surely lose the war.
  #2  
Old Feb 8, '08, 4:40 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

source for the story?
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  #3  
Old Feb 8, '08, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

It my understanding, and I have a resource to back it up, that General Washington had an apparition of Our Lady while he was still a non-Catholic, during the war.
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  #4  
Old Feb 8, '08, 4:47 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

that sounds interesting, any link?

did a search on George Washington on this forum, and only found one thread about his supposed conversion, from 2004, which did not have a link or source, either.
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  #5  
Old Feb 8, '08, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

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Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
that sounds interesting, any link?

did a search on George Washington on this forum, and only found one thread about his supposed conversion, from 2004, which did not have a link or source, either.
If you are referring to me, I'll have to find the booklet. Be patient.
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  #6  
Old Feb 8, '08, 6:50 pm
roanoker roanoker is offline
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

Fascinating! I hope its true...Roanoker
  #7  
Old Feb 8, '08, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

http://www.catholicism.org/washington-conversion.html

http://www.topix.net/forum/religion/...9D7LBHFG9JAAN8

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_...n_and_religion

http://www.cmri.org/rm108.html

Quote:
A picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary and one of St. John were among the effects found in an inventory of the articles at Mount Vernon at the death of George Washington, first president of the U.S.A. The Rev. W.C. Repetti, S.J., archivist at Georgetown University, reports he has discovered this information in an appendix to a biography of Washington. The book is a Life of George Washington by Edward Everett, published by Sheldon & Co. in New York in 1860. "The fact that he had a picture of the Blessed Virgin is rather unexpected, and, to the best of my knowledge, has not been brought out, " says Fr. Repetti. The long report among slaves of Mount Vernon as to Washington's deathbed conversion would be odd unless based on truth. These were not Catholic Negroes; it is part of the tradition that weeping and wailing occurred in the quarters that Massa Washington had been snared by the Scarlet Woman of Rome, whom they had been taught to fear and hate. Supposedly, Father Neale was rowed across the Piscatawney by Negro oarsmen; and men often talked freely when slaves were nearby, confidently ignoring their presence.
- Denver Register, May 11, 1952


Quote:
It was a long tradition among both the Maryland Province Jesuit Fathers and the Negro slaves of the Washington plantation and those of the surrounding area that the first President died a Catholic. These and other facts about George Washington are reported in the Paulist Information magazine by Doran Hurley. The story is that Father Leonard Neale, S.J., was called to Mount Vernon from St. Mary's Mission across the Piscatawney River four hours before Washington's death. Washington's body servant, Juba, is authority for the fact that the General made the Sign of the Cross at meals. He may have learned this from his Catholic lieutenants, Stephen Moylan or John Fitzgerald. At Valley Forge, Washington forbade the burning in effigy of the Pontiff on "Pope's Day." Several times as President he is reported to have slipped into a Catholic church to hear Sunday Mass.
- Denver Register, February 24, 1957
Quote:
Gentlemen:

While I now receive with much satisfaction your congratulations on my being called, by an unanimous vote, to the first station in my country; I cannot but duly notice your politeness in offering an apology for the unavoidable delay. As that delay has given you an opportunity of realizing, instead of anticipating, the benefits of the general government, you will do me the justice to believe, that your testimony of the increase of the public prosperity, enhances the pleasure which I should otherwise have experienced from your affectionate address.

I feel that my conduct, in war and in peace, has met with more general approbation than could reasonably have been expected and I find myself disposed to consider that fortunate circumstance, in a great degree, resulting from the able support and extraordinary candor of my fellow-citizens of all denominations.

The prospect of national prosperity now before us is truly animating, and ought to excite the exertions of all good men to establish and secure the happiness of their country, in the permanent duration of its freedom and independence. America, under the smiles of a Divine Providence, the protection of a good government, and the cultivation of manners, morals, and piety, cannot fail of attaining an uncommon degree of eminence, in literature, commerce, agriculture, improvements at home and respectability abroad.

As mankind become more liberal they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality. And I presume that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution, and the establishment of their government; or the important assistance which they received from a nation in which the Roman Catholic faith is professed.

I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind concern for me. While my life and my health shall continue, in whatever situation I may be, it shall be my constant endeavor to justify the favorable sentiments which you are pleased to express of my conduct. And may the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and still conducting themselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.
- Washington's "Letter to the Roman Catholics": March 15, 1790
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  #8  
Old Feb 9, '08, 7:47 am
Donna Mc Donna Mc is offline
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

I have never heard this before, very interesting! Thanks!
  #9  
Old Feb 9, '08, 8:49 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

very interesting, thanks for sharing, and for the links, which will keep me busy for a while, but I am still curious how OP found it on these forums because I usually check out history and bio threads.
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  #10  
Old Feb 9, '08, 9:26 pm
Dale_M Dale_M is offline
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by RWMorris View Post
http://www.catholicism.org/washington-conversion.html
A Feeneyite site

http://www.topix.net/forum/religion/...9D7LBHFG9JAAN8
No sources, just some guy writing in an online forum. Any of us could do just as much.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_...n_and_religion
Again, any of us could write anything we want in a Wikipedia article. Just because it appears online doesn't make it true.

http://www.cmri.org/rm108.html
A sedevacantist site
None of those sources are credible. The claim that George Washington died a Catholic is interesting, but so far it seems to be just wishful thinking.
  #11  
Old Feb 10, '08, 6:52 am
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

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Originally Posted by Dale_M View Post
None of those sources are credible. The claim that George Washington died a Catholic is interesting, but so far it seems to be just wishful thinking.
You are correct Dale. We will not know the truth until we meet God, face to face.
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  #12  
Old Feb 11, '08, 2:07 pm
robert ambrose robert ambrose is offline
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

I cannot tell a lie, i had no idea about that story, but i pray that it is.
  #13  
Old Feb 11, '08, 6:03 pm
stanmaxkolbe stanmaxkolbe is offline
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

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Originally Posted by RWMorris View Post
You are correct Dale. We will not know the truth until we meet God, face to face.
Ditto's
  #14  
Old Feb 11, '08, 6:28 pm
Genesis315 Genesis315 is offline
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

I don't know how much truth there is to this, but one interesting note is that he is praised as the "great Washington" by Pope Leo XIII who also notes his special relationship with the Church:
Quote:
Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church. And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion. She, by her very nature, guards and defends all the principles on which duties are founded, and setting before us the motives most powerful to influence us, commands us to live virtuously and forbids us to transgress.
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/le...ginqua_en.html

Pope Pius XII also notes the same:
Quote:
When Pope Pius VI gave you your first Bishop in the person of the American John Carroll and set him over the See of Baltimore, small and of slight importance was the Catholic population of your land. At that time, too, the condition of the United States was so perilous that its structure and its very political unity were threatened by grave crisis. Because of the long and exhausting war the public treasury was burdened with debt, industry languished and the citizenry wearied by misfortunes was split into contending parties. This ruinous and critical state of affairs was put aright by the celebrated George Washington, famed for his courage and keen intelligence. He was a close friend of the Bishop of Baltimore. Thus the Father of His Country and the pioneer pastor of the Church in that land so dear to Us, bound together by the ties of friendship and clasping, so to speak, each the other's hand, form a picture for their descendants, a lesson to all future generations, and a proof that reverence for the Faith of Christ is a holy and established principle of the American people, seeing that it is the foundation of morality and decency, consequently the source of prosperity and progress.
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12SERTU.HTM
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  #15  
Old Feb 11, '08, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: George Washington died a Catholic

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Originally Posted by Genesis315 View Post
I don't know how much truth there is to this, but one interesting note is that he is praised as the "great Washington" by Pope Leo XIII who also notes his special relationship with the Church...
Wow, it sounds to me that there might be glimmers of truth to the legend. But whether or not it is true, the Church obviously had a fondness for the first President.
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