Did you know Franz Liszt was in the minor orders?
I didn't. I was reading about Liszt today and was surprised to learn that he had actually been ordained to the minor orders by Cardinal Hohenlohe in 1865 at the Vatican. After his ordination, he wore the cassock and collar at all times, even when conducting the orchestra. He was also apparently addressed as abbé, despite not having advanced to priesthood.

[Image: Franz_Liszt_by_Pierre_Petit.png]

Despite having probably slept with every other princess or noblewoman in Europe before ordination (one illegitimate daughter who resulted from a tryst with a countess ended up marrying Richard Wagner), the Catholic Encyclopedia says he took his duties as a cleric quite seriously.

Catholic Encyclopedia, Franz Liszt Wrote:His career of twenty-one years as an abbé was most exemplary and edifying. Punctilious as he was in the performance of his ecclesiastical duties, his interest in art continued unabated. His piano pupils followed him on his casual wanderings, contemporaneous art was not neglected, but above all the old ecclesiastical masters and the new movement for the restoration of liturgical music, represented by the Cäcilienverein, found a devoted, enthusiastic, and generous supporter in him. His own larger ecclesiastical compositions, though no doubt unwittingly deviating from strict liturgical requirements, are nevertheless imbued with deep, religious sentiment. It was while attending the marriage of his granddaughter, and coincidentally the "Parsifal" performances at Bayreuth, that, after receiving the rites of the Church, he succumbed to an acute attack of pneumonia at the home of a friend, near Wagner's Villa Wahnfried. His wish, expressed in a letter (La Mara, I, 439) breathing the most loyal devotion to the Church and humble gratitude to God, to be buried without pomp or display, where he died, was carried out by interring him in the Bayreuth cemetery.

Here's a photo of him at the height of his career, by the way. Men just don't look this debonair anymore.

[Image: 490px-Franz_Liszt_by_Herman_Biow-_1843.png]
Another interesting thing to read about is Lisztomania.


Wiki, Lisztomania Wrote:Lisztomania was characterized by a hysterical reaction to Liszt and his concerts.[2][3] Liszt's playing was reported to raise the mood of the audience to a level of mystical ecstasy.[3] Admirers of Liszt would swarm over him, fighting over his handkerchiefs and gloves.[3] Fans would wear his portrait on brooches and cameos.[2][4] Women would try to get locks of his hair, and whenever he broke a piano string, admirers would try to obtain it in order to make a bracelet.[4] Some female admirers would even carry glass phials into which they poured his coffee dregs.[2] According to one report:

    Liszt once threw away an old cigar stump in the street under the watchful eyes of an infatuated lady-in-waiting, who reverently picked the offensive weed out of the gutter, had it encased in a locket and surrounded with the monogram "F.L." in diamonds, and went about her courtly duties unaware of the sickly odour it gave forth.[2]
Yes, I had read about him a few months ago.
Well at least those aristocratic chicks had something to swoon over.

Yes, I did actually! Liszt has always been one of my favourite composers. He was an absolutely brilliant pianist. The fact that he was Catholic (and in the minor orders) makes him that much better!
Did you know that one of his star pupils was a young Jew who converted to the Catholic Faith and became a Carmelite Friar?  Here's the remarkable story from catholicism.org .

Hermann Cohen (1820-1871) was a child prodigy who, at the age of 13, was dazzling Parisian audiences with his stunning virtuosity. A star pupil of virtuoso and composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886), he lamentably learned more from him than piano playing. Though Liszt was Catholic in name, he was part of Paris’ debauched salon culture, parading his swinish morals by running off to Switzerland with Countess Marie d’Agoult, who abandoned her husband and children to live in sin with Liszt. The young Hermann, in youthful admiration at his master’s liberty of spirit, followed him to Switzerland.

Upon his return to Paris, Cohen picked up the bad habit of gambling and ended up in serious debt. The money he made from teaching lessons, rather than paying his creditors, only fueled his debauched lifestyle.

But at the age of 26, this worldly Jewish prodigy found himself in the uncomfortable position of conducting an amateur choir for the May devotions in the Sainte-Valère Church in Paris. “I accepted, solely inspired by my love of music and the pleasure of offering assistance. When the moment of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament arrived, I felt an indescribable agitation. I was, in spite of my own will, led to bend towards the ground. Coming back the following Friday, I was overawed in the same manner, and I suddenly had the idea to become Catholic.”

After he met the zealous Parisian priest, Father Legrand, Hermann’s entry into the Church happened very quickly. On August 28, 1847 — the feast of Saint Augustine — he was baptized in the chapel of Our Lady of Zion (the apostolate begun by the Jewish convert Father Theodore Ratisbonne). He took the name Augustine. On September 8 of the same year, he made his First Holy Communion, thereafter communicating daily. For the next two years, he worked at paying off his tremendous gambling debt and founded a men’s association for nocturnal adoration of the Blessed Eucharist.

On October 6, 1849, Hermann received a grace he had desired ever since his conversion: the habit of a religious. Under the name of Brother Augustin-Marie of the Most Blessed Sacrament, he became a novice for the Discalced Carmelite Friars. He professed his vows on October 7, 1850, and on Holy Saturday, 1851, he was ordained a priest.

Soon after his ordination, Father Augustin-Marie preached a sermon in Paris, in which he uttered these moving words: “My brothers, my first act when appearing in this Christian pulpit must be the making of amends for the scandals that I previously made the mistake of committing in this city. What right, you could tell me, do you have to preach, you whom we have seen dragging yourself around in the mud of an immodest immorality, and openly professing every kind of error? Yes, my brothers, I confess that I have sinned against Heaven and against you… Also, I have come to you covered in a penitential habit… The Mother of Jesus revealed the Eucharist to me, I met Jesus, I met my God and soon I became Christian. I requested holy Baptism, and the holy water flowed on me. Instantly, all my sins, these horrible sins of twenty-five years of crime, were wiped away. And my soul immediately became pure and innocent. God, my brothers, has forgiven me…. Do you not forgive me as well?” The sermon converted many, including some of his former companions in sin.

This is but a sampling of what the 20 years of his zealous priestly work produced. (Among other accomplishments, he reintroduced the Carmelite Order into England where it had not existed for 300 years. His apostolate there brought many conversions.)

In 1871, Father Augustin-Marie administered the last rites to some soldiers dying of smallpox, even though he had a scratch on his finger and knew the danger of contagion. As could be expected, he contracted the disease. A few days later, this Cohen (Hebrew for “priest”) died, a victim of his own priesthood. His last words were: “Now, O my God, I place my soul into Your hands.”

Link to original - http://catholicism.org/worldly-jewish-pi...friar.html
(08-20-2012, 09:25 AM)Hawaii Five-0 Wrote: Did you know that one of his star pupils was a young Jew who converted to the Catholic Faith and became a Carmelite Friar?

Yeah. As I hear it, it was Augustin-Marie who inspired Liszt to go through with becoming a cleric (though he entertained the idea long before).
I'm a Lisztophile and have been for about 25 years.  It's been a long time since I read a biography of him, but I recently started the 3 volume biography by Alan Walker, I did this after reading his follow up series of essays "Reflections on Liszt."

Some interesting tidbits that I've come across was that Liszt was devout from early on and had much of Kempis' "Imitation of Christ" memorized.  He and his father Adam Liszt would often go on retreats at a Franciscan monastery.  (His Father and Grandfather were both interesting characters as well. ) 

Liszt books of finger exercises which he published late in life were actually patterned on the breviary. 

Pius IX used to drop in on Liszt (when Liszt was a guest in Rome) and sing Italian opera with Liszt providing the accompaniment. 

Didn't know. A very interesting man. Thanks to you and others for all the tidbits!
(08-20-2012, 08:30 AM)jake-the-rake Wrote: Yes, I had read about him a few months ago.
Well at least those aristocratic chicks had something to swoon over.


Oh yeah, I've heard this perfomed live! It riffs heavily on the "Dies Irae" from the Requiem Mass.

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