Priests and Martyrs (d. 1589)
+ John was a wealthy cloth merchant in Wakefield, England. A husband and father of several children, he divided his property among his children following his wife’s death and began to study for the priesthood in Rheims, France.
+ Ordained in 1581, John returned to England and began an underground mission as a home missioner to the persecuted Catholic population.
+ Robert Dalby was a Protestant minister who converted to Catholicism and was subsequently ordained a priest in 1588. He returned to England following his ordination.
+ These two priests were arrested in 1589 and tried and condemned for the crime of being priests. They were martyred together on March 16, 1589, in the city of York, and beatified with other England martyrs in 1929.
On this day, the Franciscan family remembers Saint Benedicta of Assisi. A Poor Clare nun, she succeeded Saint Clare as abbess of the monastery of San Damiano in Assisi. Saint Benedicta died in 1260.
“As gold in the furnace, the Lord put his chosen to the test; as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself; and in due time they will be honored, and grace and peace will be with the elect of God.”—Wisdom 3:6-7, 9
May the prayer of the blessed Martyrs John and Robert, being pleasing to you, O Lord, commend us, we pray, and confirm us in the profession of your truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For Several Martyrs)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.