Short Biographies

Father Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp.

Part I
Tipperary Priest Was Vatican Authority on Activities of Secret Societies

(Excerpts from the “Tipperary Star” of May 8th 1954)

Father Fahey’s name will forever be associated with the Cause of the Kingship of Christ.  The writings of the great Cardinal Pie (1815-1880), Bishop of Poitiers, had a profound influence on his life and work.  These writings so warmly commended by Blessed Pius X, had helped him see “the history of the world in its true perspective, that is, in relation to Our Lord”. Following in the footsteps of the great French Cardinal, Father Fahey appealed to Catholics to arouse themselves from apathy and indifference and not to acquiesce in the dethronement of Christ the King.

He insisted that, “The world must conform to Our Lord, not He to it”.

Divine Plan for Order

In his characteristic forthright manner he set down in clear and unmistakable terms the Divine Plan for Order in the world, as outlined in the Papal Encyclicals.  This is the Six Point Programme - The Catholic Plan for Social Order - which is printed in each issue of Fiat. It is the Plan advocated by Maria Duce, an organisation of Catholics which was founded through the inspiration of Father Fahey, and of which he was a member.  “To that Divine Plan for Order”, wrote Father Fahey, “there neither is nor can be any man-made alternative.  Man has not even got the right to propose an alternative.

His duty is simply to try to grasp what God has instituted and bow down his head in humble acceptance.

Thus alone can he fully acknowledge God’s Rights”.  On this Divine Plan for Order, Father Fahey never compromised.  It was God’s Plan; he would not whittle it down.  “It is the duty”, he urged, “of those who believe in and love Our Lord not to whittle down His programme but to preach the integral truth and to urge the world to the one course befitting creatures- humble submission to order.

In laying bare the sound doctrine of the Kingship of Christ, he had of necessity, like Saint Thomas Aquinas, to contradict many of the erroneous but accepted ideas of his age. The awful consequences of disorder in political, social and economic life could only be remedied he stressed, by the return to the full doctrine and practice of Membership of Christ, that is, by the implementation of the Six Point Programme of Order to which reference has already been made.

Like a double-edge sword his keen intellect, with clean cuts severed truth from error.

In all his work he strove to follow the example of his Divine Master.  To guide him in his castigation of error, he recalled the words of Blessed Pius X that, “though Jesus was kind to those who had gone astray and to sinners, He did not respect their erroneous convictions, however sincere they appeared to be”.  His defence for truth and his unmasking of errors was forever consistent with the injunction of Pope Pius XI: “The first and obvious duty the priest owes to the world about him, is service to the truth, the unmasking of and refutation of error in whatever from of disguise it conceals itself”.  Because he was faithful to his priestly office, he unmasked the enemies of Christ the King and emphasised the teaching of Cardinal Pie that the Will of God is not done on earth, as it is in Heaven, if organised societies here below do not acknowledge their duties to God through Our Lord Jesus Christ. 


“Naturalism”, Father Fahey pointed out, “is in practice the same thing as opposition to the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church instituted by Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ as the visible expression as well as the divinely-accredited exponent of the Divine Plan for Order in the world.  Naturalism must therefore, be opposed by every Catholic worthy of the name”.

He was acknowledged as a world-wide authority on the activities of secret societies.

His brilliance as a linguist facilitated him in his study of the original sources of documentation which he presented to his readers.

“The modern connotation of the term “anti-Semitism” did not deter Father Fahey from exposing the awful activities of the Jewish Nation in its calculated campaign to impose its will on God.  The initiation and use by the international Jewish Money Power of the modern scourge of Atheistic Communism was lucidly explained by him.  He strove to do all in his power “to set forth the opposition of every form of Naturalism, including Jewish Naturalism, to the supernatural reign of Christ the King.”  In addition, as he wrote in The Kingship of Christ and the Conversion of the Jewish Nation, for over forty years I have been offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every year on the Feasts of the Resurrection, Corpus Christi, Saints Peter and Paul, and the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother for the acceptance by the Jewish Nation of the Divine Plan for Order”.


The bitter opposition of the Jewish Nation to God’s Plan for Order deeply grieved Father Fahey.  He prayed that they would cease to wound the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His Blessed Mother.  “A day will come”, he wrote, “when the Jewish Nation will cease to oppose order and will turn in sorrow and repentance to Him whom they rejected before Pilate.

That will be a glorious triumph for the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Mother.

Until that day dawns, however, their naturalistic opposition to the one true Supernatural Order of the world must be exposed and combatted”.

He was a great priest and a true patriot.

His roots were deep in the traditional allegiance to Faith and Fatherland.  He saw that the true resurgence of Ireland could never be accomplished on the false principals of Nationalism that stemmed from the French Revolution.  The true national spirit must be revived, the spirit that spurred on to victory the great Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill, when with “Sancta Maria” on their lips, his soldiers “charged for the old land”.

Through his books Father Fahey will continue to exhort and guide every Irishman and every soldier of Christ the King, wherever he be, to strive ever harder for the Universal Rights of Christ the King.  For our own part, we pledge ourselves to be ever faithful to the heritage he has bequeathed to us.  We will always remember his words: “It would be easier for Our Divine Lord and His Blessed Mother to do all They want without us, but as They have decided otherwise, we must just keep on and be grateful for being made to work and suffer”.

Part II
Appreciation by Rev. F. Comerford, C.S.Sp.

(from the ‘Tipperary Star’ of May 29th 1954)

In the Golden Vale

To really say one knew Father Fahey, one should have met him in his home setting.  Into the green, fertile land around the Golden Vale in the heart of Tipperary he fitted as into a natural background.  He invited me to visit him there one sunny July evening some ten years ago.  He had been saving hay that morning and had just finished his breviary when I arrived.

He greeted me with a warmth of affection that I shall never forget.

I felt not without a touch of pride that I was more then a student now.  I was a friend. He showed me around the modest farm, pointed out the spit in the local river where he took his early morning dip, made me partake finally of a delightful tea under the thatched roof where he was born.  And all the while he regaled me with a host of historical anecdotes, sad and humorous alike, evoked perhaps by a passer-by, an old times whom he knew in the “bad days”, or by the now broken walls that surrounded the once-spacious demesne of a little-loved hand-lord.

Ten years is not a short span, yet time has not dimmed the memory of those golden moments spent in Kilmore with Father Fahey.  He was a man stepped in his country’s history, full of its lore and with a knowledge and love of the Irish language that few command.

Rarely indeed has Ireland had a more sincere and genuine patriot of only the truth were told.

The locals spoke of “Father Denis” with an affection and respect not untinged with legitimate pride.  His sermons on the Sundays of his brief annual sojourn in his native parish were eagerly looked forward to.  He knew his audience - none better.  That is why perhaps one of his listeners could pay him a tribute and make an important distinction at the same time.  “He’s a Tipperary man, is Father Denis, and hurling is in his blood.  He never delays us on the Sunday of the Munster Final and thinks nothing of cycling the 25 odd miles to be present himself”.  He laughed heartily when I recounted this comment.

Few knew Father Fahey, knew him as a friend knows a friend with that understanding and insight that is quick to appreciate greatness even amid the more sombre setting of what is merely human.

Teacher of Philosophy

It was a a teacher of Philosophy that most of us first encountered Father Fahey.  His fame had of course preceded him and he was something of a fable before ever we met him.  He was not a teacher in the Quintilian sense that he succeeded in making his matter, logic and metaphysics, palatable to the untrained mind.  He did not possess, as the “born teacher” does, the art of putting his ideas across with clarity, at least in English.  English is not the language of philosophy and Father Fahey was often cumbersome in his efforts to cloth in the English idiom those philosophical concepts that are so happily couched in Latin as in their native setting.

Hence his books make dry and difficult reading for the average reader.  It is a tribute to him nonetheless that his books have been so widely read and appreciated in spite of this initial handicap.

He was however a teacher in the higher sense that his mere presence exercised over all who were unbiassed a strange charm and fascination.  He radiated a very real quality, difficult to describe and impossible to define, and which many would call holiness.  We felt we were in the presence of one who was great because he was good, good with the goodness of God.  He had a rare sense of humour which found expression often at his own expense but never at the expense of others.

He was wont to get quite a large mail from England and  America, a large proportion of it from non-Catholics, writers in various social fields, who sought his advice and criticism.

One day holding up a sheaf of such correspondence he remarked in his high-pitch voice: “They said Father Fahey had a bee in his bonnet, but now they are all coming looking for the honey!!”  In Church History class he was most interesting.  He gave the minimum time to early and long-dead heresies and was much more concerned with the history of the Church in the making, of “the Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World”.  He was labelled “anti-semite” by those who never tried to understand his careful distinction, who could lay claim neither to his erudition and competency in the subject in question nor to his spontaneous abhorrence of anything that offended against Truth or Charity.

Because he did not approve of Article 44 of the Constitution of Eire (1937) he was termed “unpatriotic” by many to whom the traditional Catholic teaching on the relations which should exist between Church and State was a closed book.  Pointing out that such a disapproval flows from the principles of Catholic Social teaching as inevitably as water from a fountain, he said, one day with a humorous twinkle in his eye: “The Popes posit the major premise: Article 44 provides the minor premise - and they all jump on me because I draw the conclusion!  “The humour in the situation was the humour of the logician.  As an Irish priest, however, he felt very keenly the infidelity to Christ contained in Article 44.  It haunted his waking hours and disturbed his brief moments of repose.

The thought that his beloved Ireland, which had so loyally withstood through tortured centuries every effort to destroy her Faith in Christ, should fail in her official document publicly to acknowledge His Kingship, - that thought, that fact blighted in his eyes all the beauties of nature, robbed the bird’s song of their sweetness and the countryside at large of it colour.

Few, perhaps, took such a serious view of the situation.  But then, they were few indeed who were qualified as he to assess the problem at its true worth.  For him it was a tragedy.  Only on the day of judgement will we know how tragic it was for Ireland.

For Father Fahey was at home on the heights.  He saw “the vision splendid” and sought to interpret that vision to others.  Small wonder then that those whom he helped as Confessor and Director regarded him with something akin to veneration.  His principles as a rule were beyond the pale of contest.  Few would dare quarrel with them.

As a student he was too thorough and painstaking to tolerate the superficial in thought, or expression.  Indeed he weight his works with an almost excessive care.  Hence it is not surprising that in the social field, where many challenged his conclusions, nobody to my knowledge has disproved a thesis of his.  The walls of his syllogisms never cracked under the clamour that rose around them.  What the Popes taught Father Fahey certainly preached.  He took such pains, however, to search out the “ultimate causes” and rear his edifice on foolproof foundations that too few journeymen who accompanied him, so to speak, in the initial stages of this building process had the intellectual patience to see the job through. His teaching was too deep for small minds, who not infrequently hastened to condemn what they failed to understand like the fox in the fable.  It was Tertulian who said long ago:  “This boon alone Truth sometimes craves - that it be not condemned unheard”.  How rarely that boon is conceded to Truth Father Fahey knew from bitter experience.  He trod the lonely road all those must travel who would serve the Truth without compromise.  Whole chapters could be written and will, please God, be written some day about Father Fahey and his teaching.  Here, however, I can afford but the most cursory commentary.


Though it is a pity that so many knew Father Fahey only through his writings, it is also true that apart from his writings he cannot be understood.

What came to be called his ‘doctrine’ was part of his very being.

He had a message for society - profound, coherent and significant, more so perhaps than that of any writer of his age.  A life-long student of St. Thomas, he had made a profound study of Papal Teaching and in several noted instances anticipated Papal pronouncements on current problems.  Thus those only, whose minds were steeped like his in Papal Teaching and formed in the school of St. Thomas Aquinas, were competent to judge his works, and invariably the judgement was favourable. “It is probable” writes a well-known Dominican Thomist “that only in another generation will the full import of all Dr. Fahey has been doing for a quarter of a century now be rightly appreciated”.  That one who was by common consent a generation ahead of his time should be misunderstood, misrepresented and even maligned was inevitable.

Promise to St. Peter

On one occasion, when a well-meaning but very regrettable ‘personal attack’ was made on him he wrote his  Apologia pro vita mea - a closely reasoned vindication of the stand he had taken as writer and teacher, showing that his defense of the fundamental decencies of life, his teaching, on Masonry, International Jewry and the more prosaic  matters such as Money and Artificial  Manures was but a re-echo of Papal Teaching and had its roots deep in the philosophy of St. Thomas. In the course of that Apologia  he gives us an interesting and revealing “flash-back” on his student-days at Rome during the Pontificate of the saintly Pius X.

“When in Rome I began to realise more fully the real significance of the history of the world, as the account of the acceptance and rejection of Our Lord’s Programme for Order.  I used to ask permission to remain at the Confession of St. Peter, while the other scholastics went round the basilica.

I spent the time there going over the history of the world, and I repeatedly promised St. Peter that if I ever got the chance, I would teach the truth about his Master in the way he and his successors, the Roman Pontiffs, wanted it done.

That is what I have striven to do and am doing” (Apologia).

There is something touchingly inspiring and pathetic in those words.  In retrospect we may say that his tryst with St. Peter was not in vain.  Rarely indeed was a promise more faithfully fulfilled.  From his study of St. Thomas and of the Papal Encyclicals he acquired a grasp of the doctrine of the Redemption that as at once coherent and dynamic.  In an age when the bulk of spiritual literature as tinged if not tainted with Protestant individualism, and long before “Mystici Corporis” appeared, Father Fahey inculcated the doctrine of our solidarity in the Mystical Body and preached a very positive Christianity that was most satisfying to the mind and to the will most stimulating.  His power to synthesize where others were content to analyse, to keep the whole panorama of the Divine Plan in view when others were satisfied to take the vision piecemeal -that was his great achievement.  From that vision - of the Divine Life intended by God to pervade all society and bring man in all his activities, under the salutary sway of Christ, priest and King - as from a fountain flowed all his endeavours and to that source they returned.


Though his writings where at first sight so varied, ranging from a treatise on Mental Prayer to a book on Money, yet there is continuity and consistency throughout.  He disapproved of Art. 44 because it could not be reconciled with the traditional teaching of the Sovereign Pontiffs on the Social Rights of Christ the King.  Freemasonry he opposed because it stood for organised and insidious opposition to the influence of the Mystical Body in society.  He exposed and deplored the machinations of International Finance as a perversion of God’s order.  Money in the hands of a small avaricious but powerful minority instead of being the servant of man, its flow regulated to ensure prosperous family life, was his master, imposing on millions iniquitous conditions hostile to the life of Grace.  He knew the supernatural was built on the natural, hence his attempts to draw public attention to the triumph of the philosophy of quantity over quality in domestic and agricultural life to the detriment of the health of soul and man alike.  To him the “machine-made, water-sodden lump of carbo-hydrates - cum- peroxide” which we call “Bakery Bread” was an abomination.  Likewise the disruption of agricultural life by the false economy of our day, the over emphasis on mechanised farming and the indiscriminate use of inorganic fertilizers called forth his strongest disapproval.  To the promoters of Liberalism through the Press and of licence through the Screen, Father Fahey was a formidable and unrelenting foe.  It is not generally known that with the prominent pioneers re-acting against disorder in all these domains, many of them non-Catholics - Father Fahey was  persona grata.


At first sight it would seem that Father Fahey was always in ‘opposition’, always sounding the negative note, condemning this, deploring that.  A closer study of the man and his teaching reveals the logic of that opposition, the tremendously positive thing which was his unswerving loyalty to Christ.  Perhaps his greatest handicap, humanly speaking, was his wisdom.  He knew too much.  “He was a great observer and looked quite through the deeds of men”.  He realised that ideas determine the course of history.  To what was false in the different social philosophies he was keenly alive.  In consequence he penetrated effortlessly behind the smoke-screen of political propaganda and beheld Satan marshaling his minions for yet another attack on the Divine life of Grace.  Small wonder then that one who was as fearless in propagating truth and unmasking error as he was consistent, profound and Papal in his teaching, should have disturbed the complacency and incurred the displeasure of many.  Among them were Catholics not a few of whom might reasonably have been expected to second his efforts and befriend the cause he had espoused.  Like the officious Roman soldiers who would beat St. Paul because he caused a tumult - though St. Paul had been put trumpeting the truth - so, too, many self-appointed patrons of ‘charity’, ‘tolerance’, and ‘liberty’, - (terms they never define) - have lashed this brave priest with their tongues less because his teaching was too profound for them to grasp than because his conclusions were too unpalatable for them to accept.


And now before we complete this brief pen-portrait of a great Irishman and a great priest, there are some shadows to be filled in which serve but to throw the main colours into bolder relief and heighten their effect.  To those great qualities of soul which we have so briefly considered we must add a few words about certain handicaps under which he laboured.  It is generally admitted that he was hypersensitive where his work and the opposition it aroused were concerned.  To ideas that ran counter to the teaching of Christ and His Vicars on earth Father Fahey was opposed with a fiery zeal of a Crusader.  Such opposition hurt him personally even to the extent of making him physically ill.  So fully was his mind attuned (by long years of study and meditation) to that of Christ, so closely was his heart identified with the Sacred Heart of Christ the King, that any opposition to the interests of Christ caused him intense pain.  Where ideas were concerned he was certainly very sensitive, much as a trained musician is sensitive to and shudders at the slightest discordant note.  He was abnormal - some thought.  But, perhaps had we studied as profoundly as he, (I’ll not forget the day he said to me apropos a recent attack “I have been studying the problem for forty years and it is just possible I may be right after all”), had we lived our Christian life as whole-heartedly as he, a life of utterly unselfish devotion to Christ, had we seen, finally, in all its commanding beauty the vision which inspired him, had such been our privilege, perhaps we would have come to understand that our way of looking at things was abnormal, not his.


Some thought him un-sociable because he disliked meeting people and avoided social gatherings, especially in his later years.  It was not generally known that he suffered over a long period of years from migraine, a continual headache which made his work as teacher and writer very difficult.  He knew from experience that social gatherings such as plays, concerts, etc. aggravated his complaint and rendered him unfit for the labours of the morrow - hence his abstention.  The last letter I received from him two weeks before his death was written he told me against a back-ground of laughter and applause.  One of the post-Christmas concerts was in progress in the Theologians’ study, but he was enjoying it from afar - at his desk.


To sum up now all we have written so far we may say that Father Fahey was a great professor, a great patriot and a great priest.  He will I feel be greater in death than in life.  The cause for which he strove so laboriously, or better, the crusade be preached so fervently, will not fail.  He has sown the seed with a generous hand and already a promising harvest is assured.  Not only do we on the missions, who were his pupils, thank God for that privilege, but throughout Ireland and in far off America there are groups of laymen to whom Father Fahey has opened up the vista of life full and satisfying, a life lived in Christ and for the promotion of the when news of his death reached America a Solemn Requiem Mass was offered in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, at the request and in the presence of a host of his friends.  A tombstone doubtless will be raised to his memory in Kimmage but we are his epitaph, his monument, we on whose souls the shining example and profound teaching of this learned and saintly priest have traced the likeness of Christ; we are his glory and his crown.

As I pen these lines in the troubled Kikuyu Reserve a  Dublin Opinion  lies un-opened on my desk.  It arrived this afternoon addressed to me in a familiar hand.  But this monthly packet of laughter is wrapped in pathos, the pathos of the hands that folded it, of the fingers that addressed it - for the last time.

For those friendly hands are stilled forever, folded now in the cold silence of the tomb.  Father Fahey is dead.  That he should die in the Lord was but the normal outcome of such a life.  The details of his last illness bore out that premonition.

Towards the end of 1953 he felt that the end was near. 

When on his way to class on 16th January, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of Sinners, he collapsed.  After an operation the following day he seemed at first to rally but it soon became evident that his was the end.  He lingered for some days perfectly conscious.  a remarkable peace invested his last hours impressing all who watched by his bedside.  Death came on 21st January.

Some who knew Father Fahey but slightly will evince surprise that he should have given the Dublin Opinion even a second thought, still less considered it a worth-while addition to a missionary’s mail.  Yet the very nature of that token is full of meaning.  He realized what a tonic a laugh can be and knew that the missionary at times would find a Dublin Opinion more refreshing than a theological review.  There is a delicacy in such Charity that is as rare as it is beautiful.

Specially recommended:

“The Mystical Body of Christ and the Reorganization of Society”

“The kingship of Christ and the Conversion of the Jewish Nation”

“The kingship of Christ and Organized Naturalism”

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