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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blessed THOMAS PERCY, Layman., 1572

TORN from his friends and followers, from his wife and his four little girls, and betrayed into the hands of a declared enemy, B. Thomas in his captivity at Lochleven had indeed " sunk into deep waters among them that hated him " (Ps. Ixviii.). But he found strength from above in his continual fasts and watchings and pious meditations, and proved himself a true champion of the faith. His Calvinist keeper, the Lord of Lochleven, brought many of his sect to try and persuade him, by cunning argument and speeches or by threats and promises, to embrace their errors, but he could never be persuaded to depart in the smallest matter from the Communion of the Catholic Church. When, as often happened, meat was brought to him on days which Catholics observe as a fast, he contented himself with bread alone ; and by his example moved some of those attending on him to repent of their apostasy. The fortitude he thus acquired found a witness in Lord Hunsdon, who reported "that he is readier to talk of hawks and hounds than anything else, though very sorrowful and fearing for his life."

"Eleazer, one of the chief of the scribes, was pressed to eat swine's flesh. But he, choosing rather a most glorious death than a hateful life, went forward voluntarily to the torment."—2 MACH. vi. 18, 19

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