Saturday, August 07, 2010

7 August - Bl Edward Bamber

Today is the anniversary of one of the priests martyred during the English civil war. From Henry Sebastian Bowden, C.O.'s Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales:

Born in Lancashire, he made his studies at St Omer and Seville, and returned to England a priest. The brief memoirs of his life speak of his unwearied diligence in instructing Catholics and converting Protestants, the good he did in times and places of the greatest danger, and the courage he displayed at all times. He was apprehended during the Civil War, and kept in Lancaster Castle for thee years without trial. At length, on the worthless evidence of two apostates, he was sentenced. On 7 August 1646 he and two fellow priests were drawn to the place of execution, and one Croft, a felon, was brought to die with them. Mr Bamber used all his efforts to bring this man to repentance, telling him, if he would only repent, declare himself a Catholic, and publicly confess some of his more public sins, he would absolve him. In site of the threats and indignation of the officials and ministers, the prisoner declared he died a Catholic, openly confessed some of his most scandalous crimes, and was publicly absolved. Priest and penitent then sealed their profession with their blood.

Fr Bamber was canonized by Pope John Paul II.