Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Born near Enniscorthy, Ireland, 7 June, 1791; died at Utica, New York, 29 Dec., 1855, was the youngest brother of John C. Devereux. Nicholas reached New York in 1806; on the first Sunday following his arrival he attended Mass in St. Peter's, Barclay Street, and put on the plate one of his last three gold coins. God blessed his generosity; when he died fifty years later he had amassed as a merchant half a million dollars. He purchased from the Holland Land Company four hundred thousand acres of land in Allegheny and Cattaraugus counties, New York, and started there an Irish settlement. He gave largely towards the foundation of churches, colleges, and charitable institutions. He visited Rome in 1854 accompanied by his wife, his daughter Mary, and Rev. Michael Clarke. He brought to America six Franciscan Fathers and gave them $10,000 towards building a monastery at Allegheny, N.Y., which has now become the Franciscan college and seminary of St. Bonaventure. On his return from Italy he wrote a letter to the New York "Freeman's Journal" offering to be one of one hundred persons who would each give $1,000 towards founding a seminary at Rome, for the education of American priests. He had, moreover, several conversations with Cardinal Wiseman who promised to use his influence with Pius IX to carry out the project. After his death his widow carried out his wishes and thus was begun the foundation of the American College, Rome.

Nicholas Devereux was a lover of the Holy Scripture and read the entire Bible through seventeen times. To circulate the New Testament he had an edition of it printed at Utica at his own expense. The plates of this edition were afterwards purchased by Messrs. Sadlier, of New York, and about 40,000 copies printed. He taught Sunday-school in St. John's Church, Utica, and gave a copy of the New Testament to any boy or girl who memorized the Gospel of St. John. In 1817 he married Mary D. Butler. His daughter Hannah married United States Senator Francis Kernan ; his daughter Mary became a Sister of Mercy and laboured for thirty years in the convents in Houston and 81st streets, New York. Nicholas Devereux was very charitable and hospitable -- a cultured, pious, progressive Irish-American. He was proud of his nationality and of his faith, and this pride was expressed in action whenever and wherever the opportunity arose. He was always glad to help the Church, deeming it a privilege to give and thus to be the instrument used by xxyyyk.htm">Providence in establishing and building up our Catholic institutions. A noted instance of his spontaneous generosity refers back to the early days of the Church in Connecticut. Happening to be at Hartford one Sunday he learned that owing to the bigotry and Knownothing sentiment in the town, it was impossible for the parishioners to obtain a certain piece of property for their church, as they were too few and too poor to provide the ready cash demanded. Devereux, though a stranger, did not need to be appealed to, he immediately advanced the required sum of $10,000, without asking or receiving any assurance that the money would ever be returned to him, though the grateful pioneer Catholics did in fact repay him later.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains my hands for war and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go away,' they said. 'Leave ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 27th, 2016 Image

St. Frumentius
October 27: Called "Abuna" or "the fa¬≠ther' of Ethiopia, ... Read More