Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 November – Blessed James Thompson (Died 1582) Priest Martyr

Saint of the Day – 28 November – Blessed James Thompson (Died 1582) Priest Martyr , also known as James Hudson (an alias used to deflect the enemies of the Church). Born in the 16th century in York, North Yorkshire, England and was schooled and brought up there. He died by being hanged on 28 November 1582 in his hometown, York. He was Beatified on 29 December 1886 by Pope Leo XIII. Additional Memorial – 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai.

This depiction of two of the Douai Martyrs with the Douai College beneath them is in Ushaw College, Durham. Picture by Dominican Lawrence OP.

James arrived at Dr Allen’s College at Rheims on 19 September 1580 and in May of the next year, 1581, by virtue of a special dispensation, was admitted at Soissons, with one Nicholas Fox, firstly as a Deacon and then within 12 days, to the Sacred Orders of the Priesthood, although at the time he was so ill that he could hardly stand.

He was sent on the mission to England, the following 10 August and was arrested at York on 11 August, 1582. On being taken before the Council of the North, he frankly confessed his Priesthood, to the astonishment of his fellow citizens, who knew that he had not been away more than a year.

James was then loaded with double irons and was imprisoned, first in a private prison. When he could no longer pay for his private cell, he was sent to the castle.

On 25 November he was brought to the bar and condemned to the penalties of high treason. Three days later he suffered with great joy and tranquillity at the Knavesmire, York, cintinually protesting that he had never plotted against the Queen and that he died in and for the Catholic Faith. He refused to dispute with the Protestant minister in attendance.

While he was hanging, he first raised his hands to Heaven, then beat his breast with his right hand and finally made a great Sign of the Cross. In spite of his sentence, he was neither disembowelled nor quartered but was buried under the gallows.

Blessed James was Beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 29 December 1886.

NOTE: Between 1577 – the date of the Martyrdom of St Cuthbert Mayne, the Protomartyr of the English Seminary at Douai – and 1680, the date of the execution of Thomas Thwing, the College’s last Martyr, 158 College members (Priests and Laymen, secular and religious) were Martyred by the State, for their Catholic Faith. Usually under the charge of Treason or for refusing to take the Oath of Allegianceand Supremacy to Elizabeth I, as Supreme Governor of the Church. Each time the news of another execution reached the College, a solemn Mass of thanksgiving was sung.

Illustration for Memoirs of Missionary Priests by Bishop Challoner (Jack, 1878)


Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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