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BOOK REVIEWS135 assert — they have besides their symbolical and legendary value an historical one worthy of consideration. For those who are anxious to know and have a serious interpretation of Franciscanism a very useful note containing the main works on St. Francis and Franciscan life appears in pages xxiii and xxiv of the Introduction. The authors have also made the book more useful by the insertion of an "Index of Names and Subject Matter." Numerous illustrations reproducing paintings of the more famous Franciscan artists and a map of Franciscan Italy add greatly to the usefulness and value of the volume. We wish to express our sincere congratulations to the Biblioteca for their fine edition of the writings of our Seraphic Father. Frs. Legísima and Gómez Cañedo deserve the compliments of all lovers of St. Francis. This book adds prestige to their glorious and brilliant careers. Roderick A. Mouna, O.F.M. Academy of American Franciscan History, Washington, D.C. Father Theobald Mathew: Apostle of Temperance. By the Rev. Patrick Rogers, M.A., D. Litt. (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1945. Pp. 166. $2.50.) Here truly is a definitive biography of the Apostle of Temperance. Dr. Rogers with all the diligence and training of the skilled historian has limned the figure of Fr. Mathev so artistically that one sees the great Capuchin live again in the pages of the book. The few illustrations (photographs of a painting of Fr. Mathew, the Friary in Cork, Holy Trinity Church in Cork, etc.) all serve to fix the picture of the man and his surroundings upon the eye and so upon the mind. Dr. Rogers begins with the early years of Theobald Mathew in the immense mansion of Thomastown. He sketches in the ancestors of the friar to show how many of the good qualities and even the apparent weaknesses of character were part of a family strain. The story of the boy's vocation to the priesthood is told, his schooling, his leaving of Maynooth, his joining the Capuchins. The trials of his early priestly years are set against the background of the Penal Laws and the subsequent dissatisfaction of Irish Bishops and secular clergy with the continuance of the plenary faculties given the friars in Penal days. A misunderstanding arising from the restrictions put on the friars in the see of Ossory sent Fr. Mathew from Kilkenny to Cork. Here for twenty-four years he threw himself into work among the poor. He attained a great reputation as a confessor and a popular preacher. In his work among the people he saw the evils of drink. Many times he had been approached to join the crusade for temperance. In 1838 with the words "Here goes in the name of God," he began the apostolate that was to take him all over Ireland, Scotland, England, to twenty-five states in America, an apostolate that was to close only with his death. The lights and shadows of that apostolic life are portrayed with photographic sharpness by Dr. Rogers. We see Fr. Mathew giving lectures, administering the pledge, hurrying, ever hurrying to new fields to sow the 136BOOK REVIEWS good seed. Crowds, crowds, 6,000, 10,000, 30,000, listening to the words of Fr. Mathew, waiting to take the pledge from him. A tangible proof of the success of the crusade lies in the decrease of revenue from Irish spirit duties — £1,434,573 in 1839; £852,418, in 1844. One might go on, as Dr. Rogers does, listing the eulogies bestowed on Fr. Mathew by his contemporaries, as further proof of his success. But the figures above speak in a language all conclusive. The biography continues with Fr. Mathew's work in the years of the Great Famine in Ireland. Chapter IX deals with his visit to the United States, a real contribution to the history of the Church in America. The closing days of his life are poignantly drawn in a chapter headed "Nunc Dimittis." One puts the book down with the feeling that here was a man wholly human, wholly Franciscan, wholly Christlike. His greatness and his weakness (witness his financial difficulties, his surprise at poverty...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 135-136
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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