Priest and Martyr (1546-1600)
+ Christopher was born in Middleton, Yorkshire, England. The son of a noble family, he was educated at Trinity College, Oxford. During his time at Oxford he converted to Catholicism.
+ In 1583, he left England and studied for the priesthood at the English College in Reims, France, and was ordained the following year. He completed his theological studies in 1586 and returned to England.
+ Few details of his ministry have come down to us. He was arrested in 1599 in the home of a widow named Eleanor Hunt.
+ During his imprisonment, he was forced to listen to Protestant sermons in the hopes that he would renounce the Catholic Faith. He was tried with Mrs. Hunt in 1600 and both were condemned to death. Christopher was executed on March 28, 1600. Mrs. Hunt would later die in prison.
+ Blessed Christopher Wharton was beatified as one of the “Eighty-Five Martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales” in 1987.
On this day the Church also remembers the 5th century martyr Saint Augusta of Treviso. According to ancient tradition, she was murdered by her father for her unwillingness to deny Christ.
“Fidelity to Jesus’ style — which is a style of hope — until death, was to be called a beautiful name by the first Christians: martyrdom, meaning witness.”—Pope Francis
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)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.