Friday, August 20, 2010

Thomas Weld, "An Exceptionally Generous Jesuit Benefactor"

The private notebook of Thomas Weld has been discovered at a convent in Waldron, Sussex, 225 years after it was written. The convent belongs to the Order of the Visitation, and it was Weld’s daughter, Mary Teresa, who was the first Englishwoman to join. The notebook reveals Weld’s intense piety through his daily routine of prayers, daily Mass, and twice-daily visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Thomas Weld was born in 1750 into a wealthy recusant family. The second-largest landowner and one of the richest men of his day, Weld was a friend of George III and knew Pitt the Younger, the Prime Minister, and was among the first English Catholics to entertain the King. But Weld is now known chiefly for his work in aid of Catholic religious orders, fleeing the French Revolution. It was Weld who gave his estate at Stonyhurst to the Jesuits. A spokesman for the Society of Jesus said that Weld was an “exceptionally generous benefactor” who had a reputation for piety and hospitality, “not only to the Jesuits … but also to other religious orders of the 18th century”. He added that “any document written by him will undoubtedly provide a window into his motivation and his faith”.
Link (here) to the full article at The Catholic Herald.

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