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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blessed THOMAS HOLFORD, Priest, 1588



THE son of a Protestant minister in Cheshire, he was reconciled by Father Davis, and ordained, and his life as a priest seems to have been a fulfilment of the Gospel precept of flight under persecution. " He was first searched for," says Father Davis, "in the house where I lay, on All Souls' Day, but escaped. Again, after being nearly taken in the search for Babington, he repaired again to a house where I was staying, but we escaped to a hay-barn, through a secret place at the foot of the stairs. He then laboured for souls in his own county, Cheshire, was apprehended, sent to London, and lodged in an inn at Holborn. Then, rising early, he managed to pass the pursuivants, who had drunk hard and were asleep. On Holborn Viaduct he met a Catholic gentleman, who, seeing him half-dressed, thought him a madman. Pulling off his yellow stocking and white boot-hose, he walked barefoot by unfrequented paths till he arrived, late at night, at a house where I lay, about eight miles from London. He had eaten nothing, and his feet were bleeding and torn with briars and thorns. My hosts and their daughters tended him and put him to bed. The next year he was apprehended, and executed, August 28, at Clerkenwell."

" They wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being in want, distressed, afflicted, of whom the world was not worthy."—HEB. xi.37, 38.

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