Feast of John Duckett and Ralph Corby (September 8)   Leave a comment

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BLESSED RALPH CORBY (MARCH 25, 1598-SEPTEMBER 7, 1644)

BLESSED JOHN DUCKETT (1603-SEPTEMBER 7, 1644)

Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs in England

Feast Moved from September 7 to September 8 for the Purposes of This Ecumenical Calendar

Today I add to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days two Roman Catholic priests convicted of high treason for simply being Catholic priests in England when that was illegal.  The sentence, carried out on both at London on September 7, 1644, was hanging, drawing, and quartering.

The Irish-born Ralph Corby grew up in a devout family.  He joined the Jesuits and became a priest in 1625.  All of his siblings joined one religious order or another.  And, after the nest emptied, his parents took vows, with his father becoming a Jesuit lay brother and his mother a Benedictine nun.  Corby began his English mission in 1631/1632 and ministered in secret for twelve years, until July 8, 1644, when authorities at Newcastle arrested him.

John Duckett, who had a gift for contemplative prayer, was born in Sedbergh Parish, Yorkshire, England, in 1603.  Ordained a priest in 1639, he then studied for three years at the College of Arras in Paris, France, for three years.  Before Duckett began his English mission, he spent two months under the spiritual direction of his uncle, a Carthusian prior.  Duckett worked as a priest at Durham for about a year before the authorities arrested him on July 2, 1644, when he was en route to baptize two children.  The following quote comes from Duckett’s final letter, which he wrote on the night before he died:

I fear not death, nor do I condemn not life.  If life were my lot, I would endure it patiently; but if death, I shall receive it joyfully, for that Christ is my life, and death is my gain.  Never since my receiving of Holy Orders did I so much fear death as I did life, and now, when it approacheth can I faint?

Pope Pius XI beatified John Duckett and Ralph Corby in 1929.

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The Collect:

Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, who was born, lived, and died that we might have life and have it more abundantly, we thank you for the holy lives of John Duckett and Ralph Corby, who followed you all the way to their martyrdom.  Where martyrdom persists may the blood of the martyrs water the Church.  Yet may those who would make martyrs, moved by the Holy Spirit, refrain from violence instead.  In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The Readings:

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9

Psalm 63

2 Timothy 4:6-8

Luke 6:20-26

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KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 16, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE HOLY WOMEN OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

THE FEAST OF BROTHER ROGER OF TAIZE, FOUNDER OF THE TAIZE COMMUNITY

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