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Saint Henry Walpole

Jesuit Priest Martyred in the English Missions

Public Domain

Jesuit Priest and Martyr (1558-1595)

His life

+ Henry was born in Docking, Norfolk, England. Raised in the Church of England, he converted the Catholic Faith after completing his university studies.

+ In 1582, Henry traveled to France and began to study for the priesthood, first in Rheims and then, later, at the English College in Rome. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1584 and was ordained a priest in 1588.

+ For a time, Henry served as a military chaplain in Belgium and in Saint Alban’s College in Valladolid, Spain.

+ He returned to England on December 4, 1593, to serve the persecuted Catholic community near the city of York.

+ Henry was arrested only one day after landing in England and was imprisoned in the Tower of London. After being repeatedly tortured, he was condemned for the crime of being a priest and was hanged, drawn and quartered on April 7, 1595.

+ Saint Henry Walpole was canonized in 1970 and is honored as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

For prayer and reflection

In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.”—Psalm 71:1-2


Almighty ever-living God,
grant us so to celebrate
the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion
that we may merit to receive your pardon.
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: Collect for Tuesday of Holy Week)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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