Blessed Thaddeus McCarthy

Blessed Thaddeus McCarthyAlso known as

  • Tadhg MacCarthy
  • Taddeo Machar
  • White Martyr of Munster



Son of the Lord of Muskerry, Ireland; grandson of the Lord of Kerry, Ireland. Educated by the Franciscans at Timoleague,at the University of Paris, and in Rome, Italy. Priest. Bishop of Ross, Ireland in 1482; when he arrived in Ross he found that Bishop Hugh O’Driscoll was still alive and holding the see. Because of the political intrigues of the time, and the fact that people were not above falsley reporting the bishop‘s death0 or sending an imposter to take his place, years of disputes broke out over the appointment, and Thaddeus never did assume his position. At one point he was excommunicated by Pope Sixtus IV, had the excommunication confirmed by Pope Innocent VIII, and charged with fraud; he was cleared of all charges, civil and ecclesiastic, and the excommunition revoked.

Bishop of Cork and Cloyne, Ireland on 21 April 1490. When he arrived he found that locals had chosen Gerald FitzGerald as bishop, and for political reasons there were armed supporters in the cathedral to prevent Thaddeus from assuming control. Thaddeus appealed to the Pope, and had his support, but without armed supporters he travelled for a while as a pilgrim to holy sites. He died while on the road. The title White Martyr of Munster commemorates the mental and physical anguish he suffered while trying to do the Church‘s work.




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Thaddeus McCarthy“. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 August 2020. Web. 20 October 2021. <>