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Poets

Melchior von Diepenbrock

(1798- 1853)

Melchior, Freiherr von Diepenbrock was a German Catholic Prince-Bishop of Breslau and Cardinal.

He attended the military academy at Bonn and took part in the campaign against France in 1815 as an officer of the militia. Upon his return he was much attracted by the personality of Johann Michael Sailer, a friend of the family, at that time professor at the University of Landshut in Bavaria, and studied public finance at that institution. When Sailer was made Bishop of Ratisbon, Diepenbrock followed him there, took up the study of theology, and was ordained priest 27 December 1823.

In 1835 he was made dean of the cathedral and vicar-general by the successor of Bishop Sailer. His knowledge of modern languages and his administrative ability, together with his understanding of the interior life and his ascetical character, paved the way for his elevation to the episcopal See of Breslau, to which he was elected on 15 January 1845. He at first declined the honor, but finally accepted out of obedience to the mandate of Pope Gregory XVI.

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