The CAPG's Blog
It was, (...), when Charleston was scourged by disease that the charity and heroism of the bishop were put to the test. "When that frightful scourge," writes W.G.Read, "the yellow fever, desolated Charleston, he was ever at his post." This is nothing new or strange to those who know the Catholic Priesthood. But when the Protestants of Charleston saw this apostolic man hurrying under the fiery noons of August and September, or the deadly midnight dew, to assist and console the victim of the plague, usually of the humblest and the poorest, they could not but exclaim, in the sincerity of their wonder and admiration: "This is Christian charity!"
"A near relative of mine, speaking of him to me, said: "I met him one forenoon, while the fever was at its highest, brushing along through, perhaps, the hottest street in the city. When I tell you he was blazing, I do not exaggerate - he was literally blazing! The fire sparkled from his cheeks, and flashed from his eyes! I shook hands with him, and as we parted, I thought to myself, my dear fellow, you will soon have enough of this!"
"But his work was not yet done. No! Season after season, amid vice, squalidity, and wretchedness, where intemperance, perhaps, kept maudlin watch by the dying and the dead; while the sob of sorrow was broken by the shriek of destitution and despair - there still stood Bishop England, the priest, the father, and the friend - to assure the penitent - to alarm the sinner - to pity and to succor - baptized again and again - unto his holy function, in that frightful black vomit - the direct symptom of the malady!"
Source: Trials and Triumphs of the Catholic Church in America by P.J. Mahon, James M. Hayes