ATHANASIUS, BROTHER (GUTHRIE, FRANCIS)
"Born at Stockton, Illinois. His mother, a convert, became Sister Ignatius, brought him to Notre Dame very young. Then baptized when 11 years old. Made his First Communion as a Minim. Was a Junior for several years. Made considerable progress in his studies as he was bright. Becoming somewhat careless he gave trouble to his teachers by his fits of anger. He left the College to work on the farm as an apprentice showing occasionally his temper but remaining ever a sincere Catholic. Later he entered the novitiate and from that moment led the life of a saint. Courteous, humble, obedient, he was a model to the Community. At the time of his death he was employed in the AVE MARIA office. He died of consumption brought on by a neglected cold. His whole illness was a lesson in patience and resignation. Cheerful to the last, he used to remind those about him not to neglect their employment on his account. He made his profession on his deathbed. Received the five scapulars. He died the death of the just. May our last end be like unto his." Fr. Granger, C.S.C., 1870
"I have to inform you of the death of our dear young Brother Athanasius who, but a moment ago, breathed his last before my eyes. In one sense I regret him sincerely; but such an edifying death scarcely leaves room for sorrow. Here he had been received into our Holy Church; last year he had been admitted into our Congregation which he never ceased to edify by the most regular and exemplary conduct. When I reached him on the 12th, I found him almost dying, in the last stage of consumption, but resigned and even cheerful in his resignation to God's holy will. As he approached his last end he became daily more admirable in his sentiments of faith and piety. Last night at 12 o'clock he desired to receive once more Holy Communion which I had the consolation to carry to him myself. I frequently visited him since and each time with new edification. Oh how sweet it is to die young, in innocence, and peace, in confidence and love of God! May our last moments be like unto his!
"Tomorrow at 4 p.m., we shall consign his mortal remains to the grave; but while I live, I shall remember the edification he has given us all, and pray that when our last hour shall have come it may find each of us as well prepared." Fr. Sorin, Circular Letter, March 22, 1870
"Frank Guthrie, a former student of Notre Dame University, and a member of St. Edward's Literary Association, entered St. Joseph's Novitiate July 1869, receiving in the following month the holy habit of religion and the name of Brother Athanasius, by which he is known and remembered among us."
"After a few months of sickness he ended an edifying life by a calm and peaceful death, March 22d, 1870, in the 18th year of his age. On his death bed he had the consolation of making, by special dispensation, his solemn profession as a member of the Order of Holy Cross, into the hands of the Very Rev. Fr. Granger."
"Reader! May his pure and holy life serve as a model for us, and may our end be like unto his -- the death of the just. Rest in peace." SCHOLASTIC, May 28, 1870
"In January 1868 our editor's corps, consisting of a large number of students, took charge of the SCHOLASTIC, three of the corps taking turns in editing the paper. This arrangement was found to be inconvenient, and was discontinued the next year. We have made inquiries concerning the different members, with the following result . . . Francis Guthrie became a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross. He is now dead." SCHOLASTIC, Sept. 28, 1878
Frank Guthrie, a former student of Notre Dame University, and a member of St. Edward's Literary Association, entered St. Joseph's Novitiate, July, 1869, receiving in the following month the holy habit of religion and the name of Brother Athanasius, by which he is known and remembered among us.
"After a few month's sickness, he ended an edifying life by a calm and peaceful death, April 22d, 1870, in the 18th year of his age. On his death bed he had the consolation of making, by dispensation, his profession as a member of the Order of the Holy Cross, into the hands of the Very Rev. Fr. Granger.
"Reader! May his pure and holy life serve as a model for us, and may our end be like unto his -- the death of the just. On reading this short sketch of a beloved companion and school-fellow, drop a tear to his memory while joining with me in saying, May he rest in peace. Amen."
"As one who leaves a cherished flower at night with drooping head.
And hasting to it with the morning light,
Looks -- sighs -- and backward starts with sudden fright
To find it dead.
Dear Friend and Brother! On a couch of pain I saw thee last.
And though I never may gaze on thee again
The memory of that scene shall aye remain
Till life be passed!
What saw I then? A vain and wasted youth,
Whose hurried breath
Whose hectic cheek, and lustrous eyes forsooth
Confirmed the dread, the sad, the solemn truth
Life is but death!
Nay, more; far more! I saw and joyed to see
Nor only I,
The peace that conquereth death's fierce agony
And wins the crown -- Dear Brother, I saw thee --
A Christian die.
Such fervent faith as sheds the blaze of day
On death's deep night --
Urging the eager soul to wend her way.
To heaven, where myriad sweet-voiced angels pray
In realms of light!
Such radiant hopes as they alone can feel
Who live by faith --
Filling the heart with peace thro' every ill,
Causing the soul with heavenly joy to thrill,
And smile on Death!
Such ardent love as only seraphs know
In heaven above
And saints on earth, whose hearts ecstatic glow,
And some faint image of this idol show --
. . . Within the church the deep-toned organ sighs --
Around a bier
Pale mourners stand -- on high, soft clouds arise
Of fragrant incense, while from streaming eyes
Rolls many a tear!
Forth, through the portal surging, issue slow,
The white-robed throng
Of priests and levites; solemnly they go
With lifted cross, and sad bells who low
Their sacred song.
The Miserere floats upon the breeze,
Filling the air --
In blessed ground enclosed by guardians trees
The grave is dug -- with prayer on bended knees
We leave thee there!
O, Brother, fare thee well! O, happy one
Life labors o'er,
sleep thou in peace, till earth's few sands be run,
And weary mother rested with sainted son
For evermore!" SCHOLASTIC, 3:151, 1870