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Monday 02 August |
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Blessed Thaddeus McCarthy

His appointment as bishop led to disputes and even ex-communication


Laurom / CC BY-NC 2.0

Bishop – (ca. 1455-1492)

His life

+ Thaddeus was the son of the Lord of Muskerry and was born in County Cork, Ireland.

+ After being educated by the Franciscans and, later studying in Paris and in Rome, he was ordained a priest.

+ In 1482, Thaddeus was named bishop of Ross. Sadly, and this marks a turning point in the life and mission of Blessed Thaddeus, he was never able to fulfill his appointment. Because of political intrigues, it had been falsely reported to Rome that the bishop of Ross had died… despite the fact he was quite alive. The appointment of Thaddeus as bishop led to years of disputes.

+ Because of the conflict, Thaddeus was excommunicated on changes of fraud, although he was later cleared of all civil and canonical charges.

+ In 1490, he was named bishop of Cork and Cloyne but local people had chosen someone else to serve as bishop and Thaddeus was never able to fill the position.

+ Thaddeus traveled as a pilgrim and died on October 25, 1492, in a pilgrim’s hostel in Ivrea, Italy.

+ Pope Leo XIII recognized the ancient devotion to Blessed Thaddeus and had his name included in the Roman Martyrology in 1896. The church celebrates his memory on October 25.

Spiritual bonus

The Diocese of Cloyne, of which Blessed Thaddeus was appointed bishop, dates back to sixth century when Saint Colman of Cloyne was appointed as the first bishop of the region. In addition to his work as a missionary and builder of churches, Saint Colman of Cloyne is also remembered as one of the earliest Irish poets to write in the common language of his people. Saint Colman died on November 24, around the year 600.


“It was not you who chose me, says the Lord, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.”—Communion Antiphon from Common of Pastors—For a Bishop (based on John 15:16)


O God, who wonderfully numbered among your holy shepherds blessed Thaddeus, a man aflame with divine charity and outstanding for that faith that overcomes the world, grant, we pray, that through his intercession we, too, persevering in faith and charity, may merit to be sharers of his glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For a Bishop)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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