Gsell, Francis Xavier
|born on||30 October 1872 at 08:00 (= 08:00 AM )|
|Place||Benfeld, France, 48n22, 7e36|
|Timezone||LMT m7e36 (is local mean time)|
|Astrology data||07°13' 13°53 Asc. 20°11'|
Australian Roman Catholic bishop and missionary, known as the "Bishop with 150 wives".
He began active missionary work in Papua in 1900, then in 1906 re-established the Catholic Church in Palmerston (now Darwin), Northern Territory. He established an Aboriginal mission on Bathurst Island in 1910 and worked there until 1938. Though unsuccessful in converting adults, he persisted with children's education and "bought" many girls promised in marriage to older men according to tribal custom. He thus became known as the "Bishop with 150 wives" (also the title of his autobiography) for his activities in freeing girls from such arranged marriages, thus making it possible for them to marry men of their own age.
Gsell was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1935, and was Bishop of Darwin from 1938 to 1949, during which time he was influential in founding Aboriginal missions at Port Keats and Arltunga. He died on 12 July 1960.
Sy Scholfield forwarded birth certificate n°83 from the online Bas-Rhin departmental archives, image 23/30: "um acht Uhr morgens" (eight o'clock in the morning). Death data in margin. Wikipedia incorrectly has 30 June.
- Vocation : Religion : Ecclesiastics/ western (Roman Catholic bishop)
- Vocation : Religion : Missionary
- Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer