June 22, 1866

Archbishop Paul Cullen of Dublin becomes the first Irish cardinal on this day in 1866. Born in Co. Kildare, Cullen went on to study at the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. Cullen was appointed rector of Irish College and helped secure the college’s future. While rector from 1832-1850, he forged a close friendship with Pope Gregory XVI and Pope Pius IX and helped safeguard the interests of the Irish church. He was first made Archbishop of Armagh and then transferred to Archbishop of Dublin in 1852, where he would be later made a cardinal.

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