+ Thomas was born in Lincolnshire, England and spent some time studying at Cambridge as a young man.
+ In 1581, he began studying for the priesthood in Rheims, France, and later continued his studies in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1587.
+ Thomas spent the next few years serving as a secretary or aid to an English bishop serving the Italian diocese of Cassano. He would also serve as prefect of studies in the Swiss College in Milan.
+ In 1590, Thomas returned to England to serve the oppressed Catholic population.
+ He was arrested in London on July 25, 1591, and charged with the crime of being a priest. Although he was able to escape, he was arrested again a few months later and subjected to inhuman tortures before being condemned to death on February 8, 1592, for both his priesthood and for reconciling a local Protestant man with the Catholic Church.
+ Blessed Thomas Pormort was executed on February 20, 1592, and was beatified with other Catholic martyrs from England, Scotland, and Wales in 1987.
For prayer and reflection
“The sufferings of this life cannot be compare to the glory that will be revealed in us in the life to come.”—from the Office of Readings for the Common of Martyrs
God of power and mercy,
you gave Thomas, your martyr, victory over pain and suffering.
Strengthen us who celebrate this day of his triumph
and help us to be victorious over the evils that threaten us.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Liturgy of the Hours: Common of Martyrs)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.