He loved the Faith, loved life, knew 17 languages, traveled the world with his heart in Italy where he (although American) was born and died. He wrote 15 volumes of prose and mastered just about every art he dabbled in.
His sister Mary said of him: “He was one of the few latter-day Catholics who take their creed as the Crusaders took it—whole, unquestioningly, and joyfully.” He investigated and concluded that all the world’s philosophies and the “occasionally reliable results of modern science” led to mental and spiritual chaos, and he told his publisher that “in order to have peace of mind, one must abide by the Church.”
He died on Good Friday 1909 at the age of fifty-nine. Only after his demise did it become known with what largess he gave to charity.
Read here a great tribute to him by Stephen Schmalhofer in the New Criterion: