+ Thomas was born in East Reading, Yorkshire, England. After being ordained a priest in Reims, France, he returned to minster to the oppressed Catholics of England in 1588.
+ Known for his care of the poor, he would travel on foot from home to home, village to village, until a broken leg forced him to ride a horse.
+ At the age of 70, Thomas was betrayed and taken to York. At his arrest, he was found with a rosary and the a written grant of indulgence. These were used as evidence against him and he was condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.
+ Blessed Thomas Atkinson was executed on March 11, 1616, and beatified in 1987.
“In the days of the martyrs whom we honor today, there were other Christians who died for their beliefs. We can all now appreciate and respect their sacrifice. Let us respond together to the great challenge which confronts those who would preach the Gospel in our age. Let us be bold and united in our profession of our common Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.”—Pope Saint John Paul II
Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed Thomas to overcome the torments of his passion, grant that we, who celebrate the day of his triumph, may remain invincible under your protection against the snares of the enemy. 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)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.