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In April 1912, Father Thomas Byles of Essex, England, boarded the Titanic set for New York to attend his younger brother William’s wedding. On the fateful morning of April 14, Fr. Byles preached a homily about "using prayer as your life vest, and the sacraments to save your soul in a spiritual shipwreck." Later that evening, as Fr. Byles was walking the upper deck in his topcoat, praying his breviary, the Titanic struck the iceberg. As The Deacon’s Bench reports:
According to BBC news, a movement is now underfoot to have Fr. Byles declared a saint. Fr. Graham Smith, pastor of St Helen’s Church in Essex, where Fr. Byles was pastor 100 years ago, said, “He’s an extraordinary man who gave his life for others…We need, in very old parlance, to raise him to the altar which means that the Vatican will recognize him as a martyr of the church."
Fr. Smith is encouraging people around the world to ask for the intercession of Fr. Byles if they are in need and to report any miracles to the Church.