The Catholic Defender: Did President George Washington Die A Catholic?
Today, President’s Day, was actually and originally celebrated as George Washington’s birthday, and in recent times the celebration grew to celebrate the office of the President, not just the “Father of our Country”.
I want to re-post this article because I think it is important that America should turn to God as the way to Go.
During the time of President George Washington, it was not popular for a strong Protestant to become a Catholic.
That was frowned upon especially by the upper class elites at the time.
How could anyone fall prey to the Church of Rome? The Catholic Faith was seen as the “Whore of Babylon” by most Protestants during the time of President Washington.
Granted, most of the Protestants at the time were Calvinist, influenced by the Puritans, so the anti-Catholic rhetoric was central.
There are very small groups today that continue that tradition, but by and large, most of the rhetoric has died down.
Whenever someone did convert to the Catholic Faith, there would be weeping and wailing happening in the quarters of those who had died in the clutches of the Scarlet Woman of Rome, this was what the Negroes did because that was what they were taught.
The Negro slaves, who had been influenced with Baptist anti-Catholic bigotry, passed on the story that “Master George had been seduced by the scarlet woman of Rome”.
George Washington was secretly one of the largest contributors, giving more than even Bishop Carroll, to the building of St. Augustine’s church in Philadelphia; he very often attended Mass; and he often told his troops that if they did not refrain from abusing the Holy Name of Jesus they would surely lose the war.
I have heard in the past that President George Washington had become a Catholic on his death bed, but that is a hard pill for Protestants to handle.
Surely, the Father of our Country would not have turned himself over to the clutches of Romanism before he died.
Even today, Protestants tend to shriek at the notion of Protestants becoming Catholic. Christian Music writer and singer, Rich Mullins still have former associates who refuse to recognize Rich Mullins conversion to the Catholic Faith. That is a hard pill to swallow for them.
Talk with anyone of the many Protestant Ministers who have become Catholic, they can tell you some of the difficulties with converting to the Catholic Faith.
So, it is not a surprise that Protestants today ignore the truths of great American Patriots like George Washington being a Catholic. After all, he lead this Nation from it’s infancy as a Protestant Nation. That was the intent of the Protestants at the time, to make this a Protestant Nation.
July 29, 1775 Congress authorizes a chaplain for each regiment and that was important because at the time, the chaplains were of a Christian source. It was definitely not what it is today when even Satanists have chaplains. It was Christian based for the vast majority of our history.
President Washington is remembered for being a “deist” which means, “it is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a Creator, accompanied with the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge.”
Most Christians would agree with half of that definition, Romans 1:19-20 states, “For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.”
With that being said, both Catholics and Protestants teach that the bible gives us divine revelation. Catholics believe in the Authority of the Church and Protestants believe in sola-scriptura, or bible alone. What separates Catholics and Protestants primarily is the issue of authority.
It is also clear that President Washington was also a member of the Masons, something forbidden by Catholics. This might be the strongest source rejecting the idea of President Washington converting to the Catholic Faith.
President George Washington said: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports… And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion… reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
It becomes clear that the main witness of President Washington’s deathbed conversion come from slaves, from Negro slaves. That would be an easy reason for polite white elitists to discount any information leading to such a conversion especially to the Catholic Faith.
Something that should be added here is that few if any of the slaves tending President Washington were Catholic, they had no personal reason to make this up.
Can we use that same standard today and continue to discount these slaves as credible witnesses? According to local tradition going back to George Washington, there developed a connection between the Maryland Province Jesuit Fathers and the Negro slaves. The fact the Jesuits might be involved here probably is another strong reason some discredit Washington’s conversion. Anti-Catholics have a deep hatred towards the Jesuits.
When President Washington was laying down on his deathbed, he called for Father Leonard Neale, S.J. who traveled from St. Mary’s Mission to Mount Vernon crossing the Piscatawney river. After about four hours at the Washington plantation, Father Neale sent a sealed packet to Rome.
The Negro Slave, Juba, was known to be President Washington’s personal aid, he states that Washington began making the sign of the cross before his prayers. This was noted by all the slaves before meals. That is a Catholic Tradition certainly Calvinists would not tolerate, not even today.
Lieutenants Stephen Moylan and John Fitsgerald also notes that President Washington was making the sign of the cross before his prayers.
In England, November 5 was an anti-Catholic holiday known as “Guy Fawkes” Day. In America, it was called “Pope’s Day” in which the Protestants would burn an effigy of the Pope much like how Muslims in the Middle East burns the American flag today. It was definitely not a loving prayer for the Pope, but a total rejection of it. President Washington ended that celebration and forbade any burning of the Pope’s likeness beginning at Valley Forge.
Washington once said, “We pray that our National Government be a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws.” It is important that we get back to that soon as possible.
President Washington also told his troops, “You do well to wish to learn… above all the religion of Jesus Christ in our schools”. The religion of Jesus Christ is the Catholic Faith. It is interesting how his language became more open about religion in his latter years.
President Washington was known to be going to Catholic Mass often which is very important for anyone considering converting to the Catholic Faith. Something else I will add for consideration, among his personal effects that was inventoried at Mount Vernon, among his articles was a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary prominently displayed in his living room and picture of St. John the Apostle.
Did President Washington swim the Tiber River like so many have today? According to tradition, the answer is yes but don’t expect to have anti-Catholics today admit that! They still do not like tradition.