|Archbishop Emeritus of Santa Fe|
|In office||July 29, 1853 – July 19, 1885|
|Ordination||December 22, 1838|
|Consecration||November 24, 1850
by Martin Spalding
11 October 1814|
|Died||13 February 1888
Sante Fe, New Mexico
Jean-Baptiste Lamy (October 11, 1814 – February 13, 1888), was a French Roman Catholic clergyman and the first Archbishop of Santa Fe (New Mexico), United States. American writer Willa Cather's novel Death Comes for the Archbishop is based on his life and career.
Early life and priesthood
Lamy was born in Lempdes, Puy de Dôme, in the Auvergne region of France. He completed his classical studies in the preparatory seminary of Clermont and theological coursework in the grand seminary (major seminary) of Montferrand, where he was ordained a priest in December 22, 1838. After a few months as an assistant priest in his native diocese, in 1839 Lamy asked for and obtained permission to answer the call for missionaries of Bishop John Baptist Purcell, of Cincinnati, Ohio.
As a missionary in North America, Lamy labored in several missions of Ohio and Kentucky, when, to his surprise, he was notified of his appointment as bishop by Pope Pius IX of the recently created Vicariate of New Mexico on July 23, 1850. At the same time, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Agathonice. He was ordained bishop by November 24, 1850 by Bishop Martin Spalding of Louisville; Bishop Jacques-Maurice De Saint Palais of Vincennes and Bishop Louis Amadeus Rappe of Cleveland served as co-consecrators. After an arduous journey due to the primitive transportation of the period, Lamy reached Santa Fe in the summer of 1851.
Lamy entered Santa Fe on 9 August 1851, and was welcomed by the Governor of the territory, James S. Calhoun and many other citizens. However, Juan Felipe Ortiz, who was responsible for administration of the New Mexico church, told Lamy that he and the local clergy remained loyal to Bishop José Antonio Laureano de Zubiría of Durango, who had visited Santa Fe just a few months before. Lamy wrote to Bishop Zubiría asking him to explain the change of responsibility to the New Mexico priests, and when his request was unanswered went in person to Durango to meet with Bishop Zubiría, showing him the papal document appointed Lamy. In light of this, Zubiría had to agree to inform the priests of the change.
On July 23, 1853, the Vicariate of New Mexico was changed to the Diocese of Santa Fe, and Lamy was appointed bishop. His early efforts as Bishop were directed to reforming the New Mexico church, the building of more churches in the territory, the creation of new parishes, and the establishment of schools. He ended the marriage of priests and suppressed religious brotherhood societies within individual communities. He participated in the First Vatican Council from 1869-1870.
Lamy was responsible for the construction of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi (commonly known as St. Francis Cathedral) and Loretto Chapel. Both buildings were built in the style of the Romanesque churches of France familiar to Lamy. On February 12, 1875, the Diocese of Santa Fe was elevated to an archdiocese with Bishop Lamy as its first archbishop. On May 1, 1885, Lemy ordainedPeter Bourgade bishop; Bourgade would later become the fourth Archbishop of Santa Fe
Lamy's ended his tenure as bishop when he resigned 1885. He was appointed Titular Archbishop of Cyzicus later that year. He died of pneumonia in 1888 and is buried under the sanctuary floor of the Basilica. A bronze statue, dedicated in 1925, stands in his memory outside the front entrance of the Basilica, and the town of Lamy, New Mexico was named after him.
Lamy was succeeded as Archbishop of Santa Fe by Jean-Baptiste Salpointe, also from Auvergne, France.
- Horgan, Paul, Lamy of Santa Fe; a biography, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, N.Y. 1975.
- Lucero, Donald L. (2009-04-30). The Adobe Kingdom. Sunstone Press. ISBN 978-0-86534-669-7. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Salpointe, Jean Baptiste, Soldiers of the Cross; Notes on the Ecclesiastical History of New-Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, Documentary Publications, Salisbury, N.C. 1977 (originally published 1898).
|Consecrated by:||Martin John Spalding|
|Bishop||Date of consecration|
|Peter Bourgade||May 1, 1885|
|Vicariate Apostolic of New Mexico
Vicariate Changed to Diocese
Ferdinand Oesterhoff, O.Cist.
|Titular Bishop of Agathonice
Pasquale Pagnucci, O.F.M.
|Archbishop of Santa Fe
Titular Diocese Created
|Titular Archbishop of Cyzicus
William Scarisbrick, O.S.B.