Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 April – Blessed George Gervase OSB (1571–1608)

Saint of the Day – 11 April – Blessed George Gervase OSB (1571–1608) Priest and Martyr, Confessor, Missionary. Born at Boscham, Suffolk, England and died on 11 April, being hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, London, England. Additional Memorial- 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai.

His mother’s name was Shelly and both his father’s and mother’s families had been long established in the County of Suffolk. Losing both parents when he was twelve years old, he was kidnapped by pirates (probably a lieutenant of Drake, who was then buccaneering on the Spanish Main) and carried off to the West Indies with two of his brothers., remaining in captivity for over twelve years.

He lost his religion during that period but, when at last he was able to return to England and found that his brother, Henry had become a voluntary exile in Flanders, in order to be able to practice his faith, George followed him there and was soon reconciled with the Church.

He entered the English College at Douai in 1595 and was Ordained Priest in 1603. He at once went to the English mission. He laboured very successfully for over two years but was arrested in June 1606 and banished with several other clergy. He then made a pilgrimage to Rome and there, endeavoured to enter the Society of Jesus but, not being admitted for some unknown reason, he returned to Douai, where he received the Benedictine habit as a Novice.

Douai Colleges

His brother Henry, had obtained for him, a comfortable position near Lille, being anxious to preserve him from the persecution then raging in England. But George was determined to preach the Gospel and labour for the conversion of his native land and succeeded in returning to England. He was soon arrested again and incarcerated.

Martys of Douai

Refusing to take the new oath of allegiance to the reigning Monarch, he was tried, convicted of the offence of merely being a Catholic Priest, under the statute 27 of Elizabeth I and was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

A short time before his death, George was clothed in the Benedictine Habit by Father Augustine Bradshaw.

St Benedict Medal

George was Beatified on 15 December 1929 by Pope Pius XI.

The English College at Douai