Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/George J. Wigley

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Died in Rome, 20 January, 1866. By profession he was an architect, but subsequently devoted himself to journalism in Paris. He was one of the band of laymen who surrounded Frederick Ozanam and who founded with him the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. At Ozanam's suggestion he wrote some letters to "The Tablet" describing the aims and the work of the new Society. Lucas, editor of "The Tablet", then wrote some articles on the same subject and in January, 1844, the English branch was formed, Wigley, who was then living in London, becoming one of the original thirteen members. In or about 1860 Wigley took a leading part in forming both in England and in France the Peterspence Association for assisting the Holy Father. Shortly after Pius IX bestowed on him the Cross of St. Gregory the Great. He met his death in attending one of the St. Vincent de Paul cases in Rome, a Protestant English sailor. Wigley nursed him with great devotion, and had him received into the Church on his death-bed, and then falling ill of the same disease went to the hospital of the Brothers of St. John of God where he died.

DUNN, The Society S.V.P.; recollections of its early days in London (1907); AMHERST, The Formation of the Society of S.V.P. (London, 1899).