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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Venerable RALPH CORBY, SJ and Venerable JOHN DUCKETT, Priest, 1644


HAVING each refused to be spared at the cost of the other's life, they were sentenced to death, and returned with joy to prison, there to wait. V. Corby wrote: " For that holy and happy Saturday (September 7), which is the vigil of her glorious Nativity, by whose holy intercession I hope to be born again to a new and everlasting life." Their last day and the whole ensuing night was spent in prayer, fasting, watching, and in spiritual conferences with those who came to confess and to hear their last Mass. Amongst these were the Duchess of Guise and the French envoy. Father Corby in his last Mass appeared to be overwhelmed with an agony of sadness and fear. At length the cloud passed, and his joy returned. They went out to suffer with their tonsures shaved, the one in his Jesuit's habit, the other in his priest's cassock. At the gallows Father Duckett made no speech, but told an heretical minister that he had not come hither to be taught his religion, but to die for it. After a short discourse from Father Corby, the two confessors turned to each other. Together they had been arrested, supported each other by their mutual courage and self-sacrifice, and with a last most loving embrace they together received their eternal crown.

" Salute one another in a holy kiss; all the saints salute you."—2 COR. xiii. 12.

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