Benedictine Monk and Martyr: 1585-1641
+ Edward was the fourth son of Sir Alexander Barlow and Mary Bereton of Barlow Hall. Baptized as a Catholic shortly after his birth, he was, however, raised as a Protestant, conforming to English law. He returned to the Catholic Faith as an adult.
+ Educated at the College of St. Gregory in Douai, France, and the Royal College of St. Alban in Valladolid, Spain, Edward became a Benedictine monk in 1616, receiving the religious name “Ambrose.”
+ Dom Ambrose was ordained in 1617 and returned to England to minister in secret to Catholics in south Lancashire for 24 years. Unlike many priests serving in England at this time, he was very open about his ministry and was arrested several times.
+ On April 25, 1631, just after Easter Mass, he was arrested by an armed mob and was later charged with the crime of being a Catholic priest. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered on September 10, 1641.
+ Saint Ambrose Barlow was of the “Forty Martyrs of England and Wales” canonized by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1970.
Numbered among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales are two other members of the Order of Saint Benedict: Saint Alban Roe (martyred in 1642) and Saint John Roberts (martyred in 1610). Other martyrs include Carthusian and Brigittine monks, members of the Jesuits and Franciscans, an Augustinian Friar, members of the secular clergy, and seven lay men and women.
“Faced with the choice of remaining steadfast in their faith and of dying for it, or of saving their lives by denying that faith, without a moment’s hesitation and with a truly supernatural strength they stood for God and joyfully confronted martyrdom.”—Blessed Pope Paul VI, Homily at the Canonization of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Ambrose with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. 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 One Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.