March 21-22 – James Harrison

March 20, 2017

James Harrison

Priest and martyr; born in the Diocese of Lichfield, England, date unknown; died at York, 22 March, 1602.

Hanged, drawn and quartered

Hanged, drawn and quartered. Many of the English, by order of Elizabeth I, were martyred this way.

He studied at the English College at Reims, and was ordained there in September, 1583. In the following year he went on the English mission, where he laboured unobtrusively. In the early part of 1602 he was ministering to Catholics in Yorkshire and was resident in the house of a gentleman of the name of Anthony Battie (or Bates). While there, he was arrested by the pursuivants, together with Battie was tried at York and sentenced to death for high treason. The only charge against Harrison was that he performed the functions of a priest, and that against Battie was merely that he had entertained Harrison. The judge left York without fixing the date of execution, but Harrison was unexpectedly informed on the evening of 21 March that he was to die the next morning. With Battie, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered. The English Franciscans at Douai had his head as a relic for many years.

GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eny. Cath., s. v.; CHALLONER, Memoirs, I; Douay Diaries; Dodd-Tierney, Church History, II.

C. F. Wemyss Brown (Catholic Encyclopedia)

 

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  • Carlos Mesa

    It is interesting to note the zeal and fervor of the love and commitment that drove these priests and Catholics at that time, despite the gruesome and barbaric acts that awaited them. Yet, the fear of death did not repel nor cause despair in their flaming hearts that bore the armor of Christ.

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