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 Francis Augustus MacNutt

Francis Augustus MacNutt

Birth
USA
Death 30 Dec 1927 (aged 64)
Bressanone, Provincia di Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Burial Bressanone, Provincia di Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Memorial ID 76832810 · View Source
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Francis Augustus MacNutt(1863-1927) a Knight of St Gregory and Papal Chamberlain to Popes Leo XIII and Pius X, the only American so appointed at the time. He was also for sometime an American diplomat. He was a prolific writer of plays and histories.
MacNutt married Margaret Ogden, grand-daughter of Clement Moore who wrote the famous Christmas poem "T'was the Night Before Christmas" and they established themselves in Rome at the Palazzo Pamphilj in Piazza Navona. Their home was the center of social life for the Roman nobility and senior church officials. Today, it is the Embassy of Brazil.
MacNutt was thus highly influential in Vatican circles and was a close friend to three popes, Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV and to Cardinals Merry del Val and Mario Rampolla, both of whom were Vatican Secretaries of State. His influence was also known in the Austrian Imperial Court where he established close ties with the Royal Family including Empress Zita(died 1989). He was offered Austrian nobility as a baron but quietly refused the distinction but did receive Austrian decorations. At the Vatican he worked to find solutions to the "Roman Question" which kept the papacy and the Italian Kingdom apart following Italy's seizure of the Papal States in 1870.
In 1903 MacNutt acquired a small castle for himself and his wife, "Schloss Ratzotz", as a summer home at Bressanone/Brixen in what is today northern Italy, then southern Austria. He died there of cancer in 1927 two years before the Vatican and the Italian Kingdom established diplomatic relations which saw the establishment of the Vatican as an independent sovereign state based on much of his ideas and work.
In 1926, the year before his death, he wrote his autobiography, a two volume privately printed text, which was later edited by Father John Donovan and published in 1936 as "A Papal Chamberlain: The Personal Chronicle of Francis Augustus MacNutt." The preface was written by G K Chesterton and the foreward by John Cardinal Hayes of New York. It was published by Longmans, Green and Co.
He is buried next to the bell tower in the cemetery of the parish church of Santa Maria am Sand outside of Brixen/Bressanone at Millan. His headstone makes no mention of his papal titles or accomplishments. He was buried in the habit of a Third Order Lay Franciscan.


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  • Created by: Michael Checkley
  • Added: 20 Sep 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 76832810
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Augustus MacNutt (15 Feb 1863–30 Dec 1927), Find A Grave Memorial no. 76832810, citing Santa Maria am Sand Cemetery, Bressanone, Provincia di Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy ; Maintained by Michael Checkley (contributor 47201301) .