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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Blessed THOMAS MAXFIELD, Priest, 1616

TYBURN IN GALA















Biography

OF an ancient Staffordshire family, he arrived in England from Douay in 1615, and was arrested in London when making his thanksgiving after Mass. On attempting his escape from the Gatehouse, Westminster, he was recaptured, thrust into a subterranean dungeon, and put in stocks, so that he could neither stand nor lie down, while helplessly attacked by swarms of venomous insects. On the fourth day he was dragged out more dead than alive and forced to walk to Newgate, where he was confined with the common felons, two of whom he converted. On the eve of his martyrdom his saintly bearing and fortitude filled with joy and veneration his Catholic visitors, and the Blessed Sacrament was exposed day and night in the Spanish Ambassador's chapel on his behalf. On July 1, the day of his execution, to draw away the crowd, a woman was burnt at Smithfield, but to no purpose. A multitude on horse and foot accompanied the martyr through the crowded streets, the Catholics, Spaniards and English, openly showing their reverence, with bare heads begging his blessing. Tyburn gallows was found to be beautifully decorated with garlands and wreaths, and the ground covered with sweet-smelling herbs and greens, and amidst these emblems of his triumph the martyr won his crown, July 1, 1616.

" As a tree planted by the running water bringing forth its fruit in due season."—Ps. i. 3.

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