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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blessed JOHN WOODCOCK, Franciscan, 1646



BORN in Lancashire of a Protestant father, through his mother, a pious Catholic, he was educated at St. Omer's  and the English College, Rome. There he conceived the desire for a higher penitential life, and found admission with the Capuchins in Paris. "I have put on the habit,I praise sweet Jesus, almost three months," he wrote ; but his joy was short. Owing to the opposition of his relatives in England to his entering religion, and his weak health, in spite of his extraordinary piety he was dismissed the Order. He felt these reasons to be insufficient, and his aim never slackened to be a religious, and, further, to go on the English Mission. Eventually, after many difficulties, through the advocacy of his old friend Father William Anderton, a Recollect, he obtained admission into that Order. His illnesses were now frequent and grave, and he was sent to Spa for the waters. There he met with the Commissary General of his Order, and obtained at last leave to sail to England. H e had scarcely landed when he was apprehended, and, owing to the Civil War, remained for two years in Lancaster gaol, till he was sentenced and executed, and his perseverance was rewarded.

" One thing I do : forgetting the things that are behind, I press forward to the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus."—PHIL. iii. 13

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