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Arthur Ferdinand Barlathay
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Birth: Feb. 24, 1857
Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Death: Jan. 15, 1879
Bavaria (Bayern), Germany

The Catholic Review
February 1879
The Late Arthur Ferdinand Barlathay, CSP

The holy life and death of this young student merit this brief tribute of remembrance, which may encourage those generous youths who are the future hope of the priesthood and of religious societies to emulate his example.

He was born of a good family at Murnau, in Bavaria, Feb. 24, 1857. His youth was changeful and eventful, but through it all he preserved from childhood a strong faith, a conscientious strictness in piety and morality, and a sedulous devotion to study. A considerable part of his school-life was passed at the celebrated monastery of Andechs near Munich. At about the age of seventeen he came to America, and for a considerable time he wore the habit of the Society of the Holy Cross. His constitution received a severe and ultimately fatal injury from the cold climate of Canada where he had been sent by his superiors to pursue his studies and assist in teaching in one of the houses of the society. Having left the Society of the Holy Cross, after a short period spent in relaxation, he was a resident for a few weeks of the House of Novices of the Jesuits at Manresa.

Finding himself again unable to continue in the strict routine of the novitiate, he sought once more to restore his enfeebled health by rest and recreation, and then make a third effort to carry out his cherished purpose. He came highly recommended by the former superiors to the Paulist Fathers during the summer of 1877, and was admitted as a guest into the community for the purpose of testing his ability to resume his studies and religious exercises and trying his chance for recovering his impaired health. It was soon evident that the probability of his ever proceeding to ordination was but slight. Nevertheless, his winning character and unusual piety, together with the sympathy which his suffering and friendless condition excited, made it morally impossible to dismiss him, and he was permitted to remain among the novices and attend their classes in philosophy. He was a youth of the most amiable and attractive manner, well educated and unusually gifted, and was, moreover, naturally and by cultivation endowed with considerable artistic taste and skill. In his conduct he was a model of regularity and religious virtue, and in fact had made great advances in perfection, besides continually improving in a manner which could not escape the observation of anyone, notwithstanding his continual and increasing bodily weakness.

During the winter of 1877-1878, he became so dangerously ill that the last sacraments were given to him, and at a time when he was thought to be dying, the habit of the Institute of St. Paul was conferred upon him. The danger passed, however, and his delight was great to find himself invested with the habit and admitted to all the rights and privileges of a novice in the congregation, for which he had scarcely hoped. After his partial recovery, he resumed, as far as he was able and as far as obedience permitted, the same regular life as before, which indeed he had not abandoned during his severe illness. His devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin, his care and assiduity in receiving the sacraments and fulfilling other pious exercises of spiritual reading and mental prayer were most edifying and also most unostentatious. His patience and amiability, the evenness and gaiety of his temper, and the charm of his conversation lightened very much the severe and trying duties devolving on his fellow-novices who were obliged to relieve each other during many days and nights in watching by his bedside.

During the ensuing summer, after his companions had taken their last farewell of him and gone to the country-house for vacation, although very lonely, unable to study or read, and continually sinking, he found solace in an increased piety and quiet communion with God. Every morning, he served Mass and received communion in the church at half past five. He prayed fervently that he might die on the Feast of the Assumption, and hoped that his prayer would be granted. When the day and the octave had passed, he was disappointed but resigned to the will of God.

His relatives in Germany, having heard of his illness, wrote to him kindly, inviting him to return to them. He had never known the affection and care of either father or mother, but his heart longed for the scenes of his childhood, and permission was readily given for him to go to pass the short remainder of his life among his friends in his native Bavaria. The voyage and change of scene revived him so much for a few weeks that he wrote hopefully of a project to make a journey to Egypt to complete his studies in Europe, and then to return to labor as a Paulist missionary in America, dutifully asking for the permission of his superior to carry out this design.

He had received his call to heaven, to study the science of the saints in the sanctity of the angels by the light of glory, in the mirror of the Trinity, and to aid his companions in their future apostolic labors by his intercession. Just before Christmas he dictated from a religious house in Schönbrunn where he had gone to die, his farewell letter, adding a few words in his own hand. On the 10th of February a letter from one of the pious Sisters who had nursed him during his last illness gave information of his departure on the 15th of January, six weeks before he would have completed his 22nd year.

"Our good Arthur is no more," writes Sister Alfonso, "and edifying as he was in his suffering, he was truly admirable in his death. I cannot describe the ardent heartfelt longing with which he sighed for dissolution. ‘Oh let me go home, let me go home, let me go with Thee now, do not leave me here alone,' these were his constant petitions after receiving the Viaticum. He had still to wait during one whole day and until the following midnight. At 12 a.m. of Jan. 15, he repeated frequently the Ave Maria, especially the last words, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. When he began the prayer, ‘Jesus for Thee I live, Jesus for Thee I die,' which he could not entirely pronounce, and after a few gasps, he raised his head and let it fall, and his soul had fled from this earthly region."

Mr. Barlathay requested this good Sister to send his last farewell salutations to all his friends in America, with the earnest desire that they would all pray for the repose of his soul.
Created by: Paulist Archives
Record added: Sep 19, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97427707
Arthur Ferdinand Barlathay
Added by: Paulist Archives
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Rest In Peace, Dear Arthur!
- Eman Bonnici
 Added: Nov. 1, 2012

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