Monk and Martyr (1569-1608)
+ George was born in Sussex in 1569. After serving as a soldier in Flanders and with the Spanish army, he entered the English College at Douai, France, in 1599 to study for the priesthood.
+ Ordained a secular priest at Cambrai in 1603, he was sent to the English mission the following year.
+ Banished from England after two years of ministry, he made a pilgrimage to Rome, where he decided to become a religious. George entered the newly established Benedictine Priory of Saint Gregory at Douai and, following his novitiate, he returned to England.
+ George was arrested after only two months of ministry and imprisoned in the Gatehouse at Westminster and tried at the “Old Bailey.” He freely admitted he was a priest, for which reason he was condemned to death.
+ It is likely that George made his solemn monastic profession shortly before being hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn on April 11, 1608.
+ Blessed George Gervase was beatified with other martyrs of the English Reformation in 1929.
For prayer and reflection
“Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our faults.”—Verse before the Gospel for Monday of Holy Week
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, though in our weakness we fail,
we may be revived through the Passion of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Collect for Monday of Holy Week)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.