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Friday, November 28, 2014

Blessed James Thomson, Priest, 1582


BORN in or near York, he was a devout Catholic, and was deprived of a pension which he had, owing to his fidelity to the old religion. With the desire of consecrating his life to God he went over to Rheims in the summer of 1580, but fell so ill that his life was despaired of. He, however, begged Dr. Allen to allow him to be ordained without delay, as he believed God intended to empfoy him on the English Mission. A dispensation was therefore obtained from Rome, and he received all the Sacred Orders within twelve days, in May 1581, though he was so ill that he could scarcely stand. He regained sufficient strength to proceed to England, but was arrested in the city of York, August 11, 1582, after scarcely a year's apostolate. He confessed that he was a priest, and refused the oath of Supremacy or to fight against the Pope. He was led to the Castle prison in double irons on November 25, was tried and condemned, and on November 28 suffered at York Tyburn. 

In her visits to his grave and that of the other martyrs under the gallows, Margaret Clitheroe found strength for her own passion.

"And she rendered to the just the wages of their labours and conducted them in a wonderful way, and was to them" for a covert by day and for the light of the stars by night."— WISDOM x. 17.

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