Priest and Martyr (d. 1587)
+ Born in the parish of St. Mabyn, near Bodmin, Cornwall, John Hambley converted to the Catholic Faith in 1582 and decided to leave Cornwall to avoid the penalties imposed on those who didn’t attend state-sponsored church services.
+ After traveling to London, he made his way to Rheims where he studied for the priesthood and was ordained in 1584.
+ Disguised as servant, he returned to England to serve the persecuted Catholic population in London. After five weeks, he traveled to Dorsetshire and serve Catholics in England’s Western Counties.
+ Around Easter 1586, he was denounced by a gentelman’s servant who recognized him from their time together at an inn. Hambley was captured and placed on trial but later escaped prison.
+ He continued his ministry until August 1587. In anticipation of the celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on August 15, the Protestant bishop of Salisbury decided to search the homes of local Catholics, suspecting that they might be able to catch a priest. During one of the raids, Hambley was recaptured.
+ During his subsequent imprisonment and torture, Hambley gave up the names of his Catholic friends and even denied his faith. However, when placed on trial again, he refused to break and was executed around March 29, 1587.
+ Blessed John Hambley was beatified with other English martyrs in 1987.
For prayer and reflection
“Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress.
Turn your ear towards me; on the day when I call, speedily answer me.”—Psalm 102:3
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.