Purcell, John Baptist, Dd
Purcell, John Baptist, D.D.
an eminent Roman Catholic prelate, was born of humble parents at Mallow, County Cork, Ireland, February 26, 1800. In his eighteenth year lie left his home for the United States, and in June 1820, entered Mount St. Mary's College, Emmittsburg, Maryland. After three years he received minor orders, and the following year was sent to France to complete his theological course at the seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris. On May 21, 1826, he was ordained priest by archbishop Queen in the Notre Dame cathedral. Immediately on his return to America he was appointed professor of philosophy at Mount St. Mary's College, and in 1828 he became president of it. On October 13, 1833, he was consecrated bishop of Cincinnati. By his unflagging zeal he saw his large diocese flourishing with its churches and charitable and religious foundations. In 1836 he had his great public debate, which lasted a week, with Alexander Campbell. In 1850 Cincinnati was made an archiepiscopal see, and Purcell and Hughes received the pallium together in the pope's private chapel. Bishop Purcell died at St. Martin's, Ohio, July 4, 1883. He was a man of great vigor, devotion, and labor, naturally generous and charitable. His latter years were made unhappy by the memorable financial disaster which overtook him, and which caused him to retire some time before his death to a monastery. He left debts to the amount of one million of dollars. He published several volumes, chiefly sermons and biographies. See Cath. Annual, page 34; Gilmour, Funeral Oration (N.Y. 1883).