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Robinson, Paschal

ROBINSON, PASCHAL

Author and apostolic nuncio to Ireland; baptized Charles; b. Dublin, Ireland, April 26, 1870; d. Dublin, Aug. 26, 1948. While Charles was still a boy, his family left Ireland for the U.S., where he entered the novitiate of the Order of Friars Minor in New York on Aug. 2,1896. He received the name Paschal, pronounced his solemn vows in Rome, Oct. 4, 1900, and on December 21 of the following year was ordained. The next ten years were devoted to study, research, writing, and teaching. Paul Sabatier's book on St. Francis was the occasion for his own work, The Real St. Francis (1903). Other books followed in rapid succession: Some Pages of Franciscan History (1905), The Writings of St. Francis (1906), and The Life of St. Clare (1910). During this same period he was a contributor to many reviews and wrote a number of articles for the old Catholic Encyclopedia. In 1908, Paschal was appointed associate editor of the international Franciscan Review, the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum.

From 1913 to 1919, he taught medieval history at the Catholic University of America. In 1914 he was named a fellow of the Royal Historical Society of England. At the end of World War I, he was nominated by the U.S. government to assist its educational and economic commission at the Versailles Conference. There he presented a paper outlining the position and work of the Catholic Church and of the Franciscan Order in Palestine, which the British had received in the form of a mandate upon the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Subsequently he was employed by the Holy See in various missions to the Near East. He served as apostolic visitor to the Custody of the Holy Land in 1920; and five years later, to the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem and the Eastern Catholic Churches in Palestine, Transjordan, and Cyprus. In the meantime he had been appointed consultor to a number of Roman Congregations, including the Congregation of Propaganda (1925). In recognition of his work in behalf of the Holy See, he was created titular archbishop of Tyana, May 24, 1927.

After acting as mediator between the sacred and civil authorities on the island of Malta, where he once again earned the respect and gratitude of both the Holy See and the British government, Robinson was appointed papal nuncio to Ireland, Nov. 27, 1929, and served there until his death.

Bibliography: Archives of the New York Province, Order of Friars Minor.

[d. mcelrath]

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