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Msgr. August Bessonies

On this day, February 23, 1901, Msgr. August Bessonies died…

Here is an article that appeared in the New York Times on that day:

Mgr. August Bessonies
INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 22. The Right Rev. Mgr. August Bessonies died to-day at the residence of Bishop Chatard of the Catholic diocese of Indiana, where he had made his home for years. He was probably the best-known Catholic clergyman In the West. Born in France, June 17, 1815, he went to Vincennes, Ind, in 1839, at the instance of the first Bishop of Vincennes, who died the same year.
Mgr. Bessonies labored among the Indians In this State for ten years, was appointed Postmaster of Leopold, Perry County, under President Polk, and came to Indianapolis in 1857. He was Vicar General of the Diocese and in 1884 Pope Leo XIII named him Roman prelate. His diamond jubilee, or the sixtieth anniversary of his elevation to the priesthood, was celebrated here one year ago to-day by prominent clergymen from all parts of the country.
Father Bessonies was the best-loved and most widely revered man in Indiana. Ex-President Harrison said of him to-day:
“I had Known Father Bessonies for many years. He was the very earliest representative of the Catholic clergy in the meetings and work of the Benevolent Society, where I used very often to meet him. He was a man of a very sympathetic nature and of liberal ideas. The result of all this was that he had warm friends in all the churches and outside the churches among our good people.”

Published: February 23, 1901
Copyright © The New York Times

You can find more about Msgr. Bessonies in Chapter-30 of Alerding’s “History of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Vincennes“. You can also read this at the always excellent Local Catholic Church and Family History published by Ann Mensch. She has the complete text.


Categories: Postings.