John Cardinal Farley of the Archdiocese of New York, was the only American cardinal to arrive in Rome in time to participate in the Conclave of 1914, making him the second American to participate in a conclave. Born in 1842 in Ireland he was orphaned at the age of 7. An uncle took him under his wing and saw to his education. He emigrated to the United States in 1864, and in 1865 after graduating from Saint John’s College in New York City, he began his study for the priesthood at Saint Joseph’s Provincial Seminary and completed them at the North American Pontifical College in Rome.
Ordained in 1870, he became secretary to Archbishop John McCloskey in 1872. From 1884-1902 he served as pastor of Saint Gabriel’s in Manhattan, while also serving as Vicar General of the Archdiocese from 1891-1902. In 1895 he was made Auxiliary Bishop of New York. In 1902 he was made Archbishop of New York. Pope Pius X gave him a Cardinal’s cap in 1911. In 1914 he was already in Europe at the time of the death of the Pope Pius X and was the only American cardinal to participate in the Conclave. During World War I he annoyed many of the Irish in New York for his pro-Allied stance, his contempt for Prussian militarism overcoming his ancestral antipathy for the English. Like most Irish emigrants to America he wore his patriotism on his sleeve and helped rally Catholics to support the war effort after the US entered the War in 1917. He did not live to see the Allied victory in the Great War, dying on September 17, 1918.