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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Blessed JOHN DUCKETT, Priest, 1644


HE was taken, in company with two Catholic laymen, as he was going to baptize two children on the Feast of the Visitation, July 2. His captors, the Parliament soldiers, carried him before a committee of the Sequestrators at Sunderland. He declined to answer as to his priesthood and demanded proof, but was committed to prison by reason of the Holy oils and books found on h
im. Again examined, and again refusing to inculpate himself, he was threatened with lighted matches placed between his fingers to make him confess what he was. This availing nothing he was sent back to prison. After an hour he was again called, and found his two companions on the point of being shipped and sent away, merely because he would not confess who he was. " Seeing this," he says, " and also fearing that the Catholics of the neighbourhood who knew me might suffer, and especially those with whom I lived, I confessed myself to free them and the country." His self-sacrifice was successful, and seemed an inspiration from Heaven. No more inquiry was made after his friends, but Father Duckett was sent up to London in company with Father Corby, a Jesuit, who was taken in these parts as he was going up to the altar to say Mass.

" If therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way."—JOHN xviii. 8.

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