The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 23 June 1608

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Venerable Thomas Garnet, priest, S.J.

His father dedicated him to God from his birth. He studied at Saint Omer’s and later at Valladolid, where he was made priest and from whence he was sent on the English mission. He was soon apprehended on suspicion of being implicated in the Gunpowder Plot, and committed to the Tower where, for many months, he had no other bed than the bare ground, whereby he contracted severe sciatica. He had long desired to enter the Society of Jesus, and the sentence of banishment now gave him the opportunity of making his novitiate at Louvain. On returning from beyond the seas, contrary to the penal statute, he was betrayed by an apostate priest. His friends urged him to try to escape from prison, and suggested some opportunities, but a more persuasive voice spoke in his heart, saying: “Noli fugere” – “Do not run away.” Henceforth his one fear was lest he should be deprived of the crown of martyrdom which he won at the age of 34. His last words were those of the Veni Creator, “sermone ditans guttura.”

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