Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dutchess Brady in Rome

Mrs. Brady in the end used to attend Holy Mass with the Irish Augustinians here at St. Patrick's (this is also where Edda Mussolini went, too, in the end before her death in 1995).

Would be nice to see somebody write a book on the life of this papal dutchess.


  1. A papal duchess, a rare honor from the papacy as it was usual for a pope to confer the title "Count of countess" on people, but Genevieve Brady was a remarkable woman and a devout Catholic. In the 1920s-30s ashe and her first husband were exceeding generous to the Church in Rome, to Cardinals, bishops and special causes. They were generous in America too. Duchess Genevieve received the Latare Medal from Notre Dame and she was also a Dame of Malta and a Dame of The Holy Sepulcher. Near the end of her life she donated her vast sprawling Long Island mansion to the Jesuits who to this day maintain it as a retreat center.
    She befriended Cardinal Spellman as was his patron when he was a priest in Rome although their friendship later waned.
    Her first husband made his fortune in oil and gas. He predeceased her. Her second husband was the Irish Ambassador to the Holy See.

  2. I did not know that Duchess Brady had remarried.

    All I know is that her first husband, Duke Nicholas Frederic Brady (1878-1930), was a Knight of Malta, Papal Knight, and a Papal Chamberlain. They married in 1906 and at some point he was given the papal title of Roman duke.

    I believe Duchess Brady hosted Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli when he visited the United States. I would like to learn more about them myself.

  3. Should she not be refered to regarding her later life as Mrs Macaulay, as the plaque suggests?

  4. The title "duchess" given to Genevieve Brady was "ad personem", that is "to the person". She was made a papal duchess in her own right and despite her second marriage she continued to bear the title "Duchess Genevieve".
    She was the daughter of a famous NYC police detective.
    The pope also conferred the title papal marquis upon New Yorker George MacDonald -- also a utilities giant in the 1920s-30s, a contemporary of the Bradys. His "Marquis George MacDonald Foundation" continues to disperse grants for various causes to this day.
    The papal duchess was buried in Pennsylvania at Jesuit Provincial House.
    A motor-car that she and her husband donated to Pope Pius IX is on display at the Vatican Museums.
    Papal noble titles flourisshed for many years. Pope Pius XII created Rose Kennedy a papal countess. The practice waned in the late 1950s and completely fell into abeysance following Vatican II. However, Pope John Paul II granted several papal noble titles of the rank "Count", but without fanfare nor were they published in the Acts of The Apostolic See. As a sovereign Head of State it is within his pervue to grant any such titles. Some are hereditary while others are not.

    1. Minor correction. Mrs. Brady's father was Patrick Garvan, a Hartfort CT Industrailist and State Senator. The "police detective" to whom you refer was Mrs. Brady's brother, Francis P Garvan. He had a career in law and law enforecement and also served as Custodian of Alien Properties under Woodrow Wilson.

  5. To Cardinal Pacelli she was always Mrs. Nicholas Brady.

  6. As Genevive Brady was a US citizen it was usual to refer to her simply as Mrs Brady, a papal duchess. Americans do not use noble titles in their name. However, in Europe she would have been referred to as a Duchess. John McCormack, the great Irish tenor, was always referred to as Count John McCormack...never "Mr" after receiving his papal noble title. Rose Kennedy was never called Countess Rose Kennedy but had she been the citizen of a European non republican nation she would have been. She has been referred to in the USA as Mrs Rose Kennedy, a papal countess". I suggest that Cardinal Pacelli called her Mrs Brady out of deference to her American citizenship.

  7. Please see any help you can provide on Mrs Brady would be very helpful. Please write to . We are also seeking to notify the Pope on the destruction of InisFada which is the only mansion / Church that Pupoe Pius XII stayed in during his visit to the United States.

  8. Here is her Wikipedia article if anyone would like to do some more reading up on her.