The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 21 January 1642

Venerable Bartholomew Alban Roe, Benedictine priest
Venerable Thomas Green or Reynolds, secular priest

The Benedictine Monk, known in religion as Father Alban, was born in Suffolk and brought up as a Protestant. All his life he was full of zeal, and it was in the attempt to refute the ‘errors’ of a man imprisoned at Saint Alban’s for holding the Catholic Faith that he received the initial grace of his own conversion. After this interview, in which his adversary gained the victory, he was never at peace until he found himself in the safe port of the True Church. Having entered the Benedictine Order in Lorraine, he prepared himself with assiduity to exercise the apostolate in England. He spent a great part of his life in prison, once in Maiden Lane, afterwards at Saint Alban’s, whence he was removed to the Fleet Prison, where he remained for seventeen years. He never lost his dauntless gaiety, and amid his many and severe sufferings of mind and body he never ceased to labour for souls.

Venerable Thomas Reynolds was born in Oxford, and studied abroad for the sake of the Catholic Religion no longer tolerated in his own country. He returned after receiving Holy Orders, and, passing through many vicissitudes, he was condemned to death at the advanced age of eighty years, fifty of which he had spent in the ministry of the priesthood. His companion in martyrdom, Father Alban Roe, met him with a cheerful countenance before the hurdle that was to convey them both to Tyburn. The two martyrs made their confessions to each other and recited the “Miserere” alternately. “Friend, pray let all be secure and do thy duty neatly, I have been a neat man all my life,” the old priest said to the executioner. “I dare look death in the face,” said Father Roe, when they would have bound his eyes.

– from The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn, by The Nuns of the Convent of Tyburn, 1917