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Sunday, September 07, 2014

+ Blessed JOHN DUCKETT, Priest, 1644



OF an old Yorkshire family, he entered Douay and was so much addicted, the Diary says, to mental prayer, that while he was yet a student he was known to pass whole nights in those heavenly communications. Being both humble and discreet, before going on the English Mission he conferred at Paris with some very spiritual persons on his way of prayer, of which they approved, though what passed between his soul and God was so sublime that they owned it was above their comprehensions. For further security against delusions, to which contempla-tives are often exposed, he placed himself under the direction of the Prior of the Carthusians at Newport (for the earlier history of this house), and spent two months in preparing himself by spiritual exercises for the conversion of souls. His mission was in the diocese of Durham, where he had been about a year when he was arrested, tried, and condemned. On hearing his sentence his countenance, which was naturally pale, became in a manner angelical, and his cheeks a beautiful colour, which continued till death. That this expression of outward joy proceeded from his heart, we learn from his letters. " Ever since I was a priest," he writes, " I did much fear to live, but nothing fear to die."

" This is my rest for ever and ever ; here will I dwell, for I have chosen it."—Ps. cxxxi. 14.

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