Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saint of the Day - St. John Boste, Bl. George Swallowell, and Bl. John Ingram

John Boste was born in Dufton, Westmoreland, England around the year 1544. From 1569-1572 he studied at Queen's College, Oxford and was made a Fellow of the college. However, in 1576 he converted to Catholicism, forcing him to resign his fellowship. He left to study in Rheims for the priesthood and was ordained on March 4, 1581. Later in the year, he returned to England to minister to the persecuted Church. A nationwide manhunt was ordered for this priest. He made use of disguises, particularly that of a servant of one Lord Montacute, in order to evade capture. However, on July 5, 1593, he was betrayed by Francis Ecclesfield and was captured while at the home of a man named William Claxton.

George Swallowell was born in Shadforth, Durham, England. He was raised protestant and even became a minister. However, while working as a schoolteacher, he converted to the Catholic faith and was eventually arrested for this "crime."

John Ingram was born in 1565 at Stoke Edith, Herefordshire, England, the son of Anthony Ingram of Wolford, Warwickshire and Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Hungerford. He studied at Worcesteshire and New College, Oxford. It was during his time as a student that he converted to Catholicism. Like St. John Boste, John Ingram went to Rheims to study for the priesthood under Cardinal William Allen. He continued his studies at the Jesuit College, Pont-a-Mousson, France and later at the English College in Rome where he was eventually ordained in 1589. Following his ordination he was sent to minister in Dunbar, Scotland. Due to the Catholic persecutions in Scotland which posed an imminent threat to his life, Bl. John fled across the border to England where he laid low for five hours before attempting to return to his mission. It was at this time, while he was crossing the Tweed, that he arrested.
All three men were eventually imprisoned in the Tower of London where they were tortured in an attempt to make them recant their faith, and, due to fear, George Swallowell did. John Boste later convinced him to repent and granted him absolution in the presence of the whole court.

John Boste and John Ingram were convicted of the high crime of priesthood and all three men were sentenced to death by being hanged, drawn and quartered. St. John Boste was executed on July 24, 1594 at Dryburn, near Durham, England. Blesseds George Swallowell and John Ingram were executed on July 26, 1594, George at Darlington, England and John at Newcastle-on-Tyne near Durham, England. John Ingram's last words were "I take God and His holy angels to the record that I die only for the holy Catholic faith and religion, and do rejoice and thank God with all my heart that He made me worthy to testify my faith therein by the spending of my blood in this manner."
John Boste was canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI. The canonizations of George Swallowell and John Ingram are still pending.

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