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IN HONOREM: GEDEON GAL Fr. Gedeon Gal, General editor of the Franciscan Institute edition of William of Ockham's philosophical and theological works, was born in Toszeg, Hungary, January 9, 1915, the youngest of the seven children of John Gal and Francesca Kacsor.1 Like many of the authors he studies, Fr. Gal left home early, at the age of 11. The nearest gymnasium (or high school) was ten miles away at Szolnok. At that time, gymnasium lasted eight years. The gymnasium at Szolnok was a realgymnasium, science oriented, with eight years ofmathematics, eight years Latin, seven years German and four years French. But it was too far to walk, and Fr. Gal could not afford to room in Szolnok, so the opportunity offered him as a promising student to attend public school while living in the friary was attractive. Fr. Gal agreed to become a Franciscan and went to live in the friary at Szolnok. In the years that followed Fr. Gal served mass every day from 6 am. to 8 am.; school began at 8 am.; and in the afternoon Fr. Gal served at funerals and ran errands. School work he fit in as time permitted. Six years later on Aug. 29, 1932, Fr. Gal entered the novitiate, at Szécsény. A year later, after temporary profession, on 30 Aug. 1933, Fr. Gal was sent to Jászberény to complete the last two years of gymnasium . In his final year of gymnasium Fr. Gal studied logic, psychology and the history ofphilosophy. The first ofhis five years at seminary he remained at Jászberény studying philosophy. The next year he went to Gyöngyös to study theology. Gyöngyös is a famous old Franciscan 1 Fr. Gal was baptized Laszlo; he later adopted the Italian form Ladislao for legal purposes. VIIIREGA WOOD seminary which traces its origins to a Franciscan house was established in the village ofGyöngyös (Geongios) in 1400. Later Gyöngyös served as headquarters of the Franciscan Observant Province of St. Savior. Of the seventy-two houses in St. Savior Province which existed at the beginning of the Sixteenth Century only seven survived the Turkish conquest of 1526.2 Though it ceased to serve as provincial headquarters in 1900, its library is one of the oldest in Hungary to survive the two World Wars substantially intact. After his first year oftheology Fr. Gal professed his solemn vows, on 8 Sept. 1937; he was ordained after his third year of theology, on 10 Sept. 1939. The four years of theology at Gyöngyös were important for Fr. Gál's training in scholasticism. He wrote several articles for the seminary's monthly's periodical, articles on Bonaventure, Raymond Lull and others. Fr. Gál's first assignment after his years in the seminary was as a religion teacher in Jászberény. He taught large classes of children from the age of six to fourteen at two state schools. Only about half of his seven hundred and fifty students could afford books, and at least ten or fifteen had no shoes and could not attend in bad weather. Fr. Gal left Jászberény the following year to attend University in Budapest. But a few months after he had registered at the University, the Provincial decided to send Fr. Gal to Rome instead, to study scholastic philosophy, "our philosophy." World War II was already under way when Fr. Gal left Hungary for Rome, to study for his Ph.D., at the Pontificio Ateneo Antoniano. Notwithstanding his provincial's plans, the times were not propitious to study scholastic philosophy at the Antonianum. The English and French professors who had offered most of the courses in scholastic philosophy were gone. German and Italian Professors remained. The German professors taught modern philosophy, especially Descartes, Kant, Heidegger, Husserl, Nietzsche and Max Scheler. Repeated requests were necessary before a course in Aristotle's ethics was offered. The Italian professors also eschewed scholastic philosophy. One Italian professor taught the history of scholastic philosophy. But his course, 2 Lemmens, Leonard, "Conspectus Missionum Ordinis an. 1627 et 1628," Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 22 (1929), 379-82. Lajos P...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. vii-xii
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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