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Archbishop Daniel Mannix

Archbishop Daniel Mannix

Birth
Charleville, County Cork, Ireland
Death 2 Nov 1963 (aged 99)
Melbourne, Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia
Burial Melbourne, Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia
Plot Archbishopric Crypt.
Memorial ID 67273892 · View Source
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Roman Catholic Archbishop. A fervent Irish nationalist who rose to become the most influential and controversial churchman in Australia of his day and also a staunch defender of Catholic rights in politics and education, Daniel Mannix remains one of the most authoritative public figures in twentieth century Australia. Born on a farm in Deerpark, Charleville, County Cork, he entered Maynooth College and was ordained priest on June 9, 1890. Elected vice-president and successively president of Maynooth in 1903, he acted as senator of the Royal University of Ireland, overseeing Maynooth's recognition as a college of the then newly established National University of Ireland with entrants now meeting degree requirements. Awarded an honorary doctorate of laws, the magisterial, tall, gaunt and handsome president entertained Kings Edward VII and George V during their visits to Maynooth in 1903 and 1911 respectively. Appointed coadjutor archbishop of Melbourne with right of succession, then one of the great centers of Irish emigration, he received his episcopal consecration with the titular see of Pharsalus on October 6, 1912 from Cardinal Michal Logue. Arriving in Adelaide on Easter Saturday of the following year, he was received with an enthusiastic reception the next day at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne. Succeeding to the archbishopric on May 6, 1917 upon the death of Msgr. Thomas Joseph Carr, during his episcopate, the number of faithful increased from 150,000 to 600,000; churches from 160 to 300; students in Catholic primary schools from 21,792 to 73,695; secondary pupils from 3126 to 28,395; priests increased by 237, brothers by 181, nuns by 736; ten new male and fourteen female orders were introduced while ten seminaries and seven new hospitals, three orphanages, homes for delinquents, the blind and deaf and hostels for girls were inaugurated. Corpus Christi College, Australia's oldest surviving seminary, was founded by Mannix on Christmas Day of 1922. An increasingly dignified man who would spend up to five hours a day in prayer, each Saturday he humbly heard confessions at St. Francis' church and was always accessible to all at Raheen Palace. His forthright demands for state aid for the education of Roman Catholics in return for their taxes and his opposition to drafting soldiers for the Great War made him the subject of controversy. A zealous supporter of Irish independence, he made an official journey to Rome in 1920 through the United States where his lengthy speeches attracted enthusiastic crowds. His campaign on behalf of the Irish however, caused the British government to prevent him from landing in Ireland, being detained on the orders of Prime Minister David Lloyd George who dispatched a warship of the British navy to prevent him from setting foot on his native country. The Australian Catholic Action originated in Mannix's Melbourne in 1937 and developed into one of the most efficient and highly organized systems of the lay movement in the world. A champion of Australia's poor and a progressive social critic, Mannix was a political bishop who became the people's champion, somewhat of a political leader without a party. Idolized by Catholics but detested by others, he was meticulous about his appearance. His top hat was carefully poised using a mirror before he would exit his residence, carrying his frock coat and stick and dispensing shillings to the needy on his way. He cut his own hair and at ninety-seven bought an electric razor for he could not bear to be touched. He always wore a biretta, never the zucchetto and never owned but always hired a chauffeur-driven car while he very rarely spoke on the telephone and rarely officiated at marriages, baptisms, extreme unction or at personal, rather than mass, confirmations. Mannix ceased his daily walks on his ninetieth birthday but in 1961 was still able to give a memorable television interview. On Melbourne Cup Day he collapsed at racetime and following alternate periods of coma and semi-consciousness died peacefully in his own bed on the following afternoon. The cathedral bell tolled ninety-nine at minute-intervals, one for each of his years. Ordinary to the Australian Armed Forces from 1917 until his death, the Last Post was played at his funeral. Upon his death, his sole property consisted of two gold hunter type watches, valued at £150, and a £5 clock. As his body lay in state at St. Patrick's cathedral, more than 200,000 people filed past his bier. A vast congregation of bishops, priests and people filled the cathedral for the final obsequies. His remains were buried in the cathedral crypt and lie beneath the transept pavement. No other figure in Australian history has inspired as many biographies as Daniel Mannix, with the sole exception of another Irish-Australian: Ned Kelly. Numerous are the edifices across Melbourne that carry his name.

Bio by: Eman Bonnici


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 22 Mar 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 67273892
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Archbishop Daniel Mannix (4 Mar 1864–2 Nov 1963), Find A Grave Memorial no. 67273892, citing Saint Patrick's Metropolitan Cathedral, Melbourne, Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .