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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blessed MARMADUKE BOWES, layman, 1585


A Yorkshire gentleman, believing in his heart the Catholic faith, from fear of losing goods and liberty he would at times conform and go to the Protestant Church. Thus he led for long a miserable life, inwardly a Catholic, yet outwardly professing those very heresies which his soul detested. Notwithstanding, however, his schismatical dissembling, one grace he had, he never would close his doors to a priest whatever the cost might be, doubtless believing that by such works of mercy he might himself find in the end mercy at God’s hands. And so it proved. A young Catholic who had been schoolmaster to his children apostatised under torture, and became a fanatical informer bent upon the destruction of Catholics. He then accused Mr. Bowes of harbouring priests contrary to the statute, and both Mr. Bowes and his wife were imprisoned at York, but were released under bond of reappearance. At the next Assizes, on the evidence of the schoolmaster alone, Mr. Bowes was condemned, and in the three days before his execution he was reconciled to the Church and suffered boldly, professing his faith, and desiring that his death might be accepted in some measure in satisfaction for his profession of schism.

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