New York City, NY — In honor of her exemplary personal witness as a philosopher, teacher, author, and leading Catholic voice on cultural matters, Alice von Hildebrand was formally invested as a Dame Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of St. Gregory, on Oct. 30th, at a gala dinner celebrating her 90th birthday, hosted by the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project.
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, presented the honor to Alice von Hildebrand:
“Pope Francis, in recognition of the outstanding and faithful service of Dr. Alice von Hildebrand to the Church and to society in general has deigned to confer upon her the title of Lady Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory in public recognition of the esteem in which she is held in the Church.
“In celebrating the birth and baptism of Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, we think immediately of her husband of revered memory, Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand, to whom she was so devoted, first as his student and then as his wife and co-worker in the study of truth taught to us both by faith and reason, and in the life of truth through love of God. How fitting it is that The Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project is the host of our celebration, for, since its foundation by John Henry Crosby, Dr. von Hildebrand has worked tirelessly with him for the realization of its noble purposes.
“In thanking God for the gift of Alice von Hildebrand to us and to so many whose lives she has transformed by her teaching and her writing, let us join with her in preserving the memory of her beloved husband and in making his important writings more available and better known. In honoring her tonight, let us rededicate ourselves to the work of The Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project.”
Lady Alice, in accepting the honor, spoke of the importance of gratitude, of love and friendship as “remnants of the earthly paradise,” and of how she came to value philosophy through her husband’s witness:
“His approach showed that philosophy is not an abstract discipline. It is life. It involves my heart, my intelligence and my will, and therefore opens a vista of greatness and beauty that most of us are not aware of… He showed me that what we call Christian philosophy is not an abstraction, it is simply reason baptized by faith.”