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Michael Francis McCarthy

ARMS: Azure two thylacines statant in pale proper.

SOURCE/NOTES & CREDITS: The arms are believed to be assumed. The illustration for background is from a photo by Richard D’Apice, the blazon supplied by J.H. Gaylor and the biographical text was adapted by D. Q. Wedvick from the obituary by Gordon Casely published in Tak Tent no. 38, Jan 2008 as well as from his own knowledge.

Michael Francis McCarthy, KCHS, was born in 1950 in Tasmania. He was born and raised as a staunch Roman Catholic and distinguished himself as the leading author of Catholic heraldic reference books. Two of these, perhaps his best known, are “Heraldica Collegii Cardinalium I”( 1198-1799) & “Heraldica Collegii Cardinalium” (1800-2000) which are monumental & unique reference works of the known arms of Catholic Cardinals, all illustrated by himself. Michael founded his own publishing house, the Thylacine Press, in Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia to print and sell his works. He continued to publish his books with his last work being “Armoria Pontificalium” the arms of the Popes ( 1012-2006) including the current pope, Benedict XVI. It was surely quite natural that thylacines became the charges in his own arms.

We asked him early in 2005 if he would consider doing paintings of certain popes and bishops in order to illustrate a series of three articles we wanted to write about Pope St. Pius X, the popes surrounding him and the legacy of bishops he engendered, Michael graciously assented and followed through with all the colour illustrations needed. The articles appeared in the Heraldry Society of Scotland’s “Tak Tent” & Double Tressure” and in “The Angelus”, a high quality monthly journal of the Society of St. Pius X.

As an artist Michael was influenced by both Dom Anselm Baker, OCSO and by the late Archbishop Bruno Bernard Heim and with his death on 3 August 2007 the heraldic world suffered a great loss. We are grateful for the work he did for us in life and we considered him a friend. Pray for his soul. dqw 20110217

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor.

Wedvick Armorial, 164, McCarthy, 20110217
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