Martyr – (d. 1585)
+ Marmaduke was born in Ingram Grange in Yorkshire, England. The date of his birth has not come down to us.
+ A married layman and father, he lived during a time when England’s Catholics were being persecuted for their faith. Fearing what might happen to him and his family, he practiced his Catholic faith in secret, outwardly conforming to the customs of the Church of England.
+ Marmaduke sheltered priests and raised his children as Catholics.
+ In 1585, the tutor of the Bowes’ children was arrested and bribed to get him to renounce his Catholic faith and denounce Marmaduke to the authorities for helping shelter priests.
+ Marmaduke and his wife were arrested and imprisoned in York. She was released but Marmaduke was convicted and executed.
+ Hanged on November 26, 1585, in York, becoming the first layman executed under the law that made harboring priests a capital offense. He was beatified with other English martyrs in 1987.
Honored with Blessed Marmaduke is Blessed Hugh Taylor, a priest who was martyred on November 25, 1585. Before his execution, he had given absolution to Blessed Marmaduke as he himself awaited martyrdom.
“Many are the trials of the just, but from them all the Lord will rescue them. The Lord will keep guard over all their bones; not one of their bones shall be broken.”—Psalm 34:20-21
Grant a joyful outcome to our prayers, O Lord, so that we, who each year devoutly honor the day of the passion of the holy Martyrs Marmaduke and Hugh, may also imitate the constancy of their faith. 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.