Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Murray, Patrick Aloysius

MURRAY, PATRICK ALOYSIUS (1811–1882), catholic theologian, was born at Clones, co. Monaghan, on 18 Nov. 1811. He entered Maynooth on 25 Aug. 1829. After his six years' course he became a curate, and in the summer of 1838 was appointed professor of belles-lettres in the college. In 1841 he was appointed to the chair of theology, and held the post for forty-one years. Nearly two thousand priests passed through his classes. Personally he was held in reverence, but Carlyle, who saw him in Ireland during his tour, was not favourably impressed by him. He died in the college on 15 Nov. 1882, and was buried within its precincts. His greatest work was the Tractatus de Ecclesia Christ!' (Dublin, 3 vols. 1860-6). Dr. Healy, a distinguished scholar, now bishop of Clonfert, who wrote the obituary notice of Dr. Murray for the 'Freeman's Journal' (17 Nov. 1882), declares that this 'great treatise is now universally recognised as the most complete and exhaustive work in that wide branch of theological science. It is admitted to be the highest authority even in the French and Roman schools.' A compendium of it, in one volume, was published for Maynooth students. Murray was for many years one of the leading contributors to the 'Dublin Review,' and was a poet of ability.

His other works are:

  1. 'The Irish Annual Miscellany,' 1850, &c.
  2. 'Essays, chiefly Theological,' 1851.
  3. 'Sponsa Mater et Christi,' a poem, with notes and illustrations, 8vo, Dublin, 1858.
  4. 'Prose and Verse,' 8vo, Dublin and London, 1867.
  5. 'Tractatus de Gratia,' 8vo, Dublin, 1877.

[Irish Monthly, xix. 337-46; Freeman's Journ. 17 Nov. 1882; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

D. J. O'D.