April 7 – Ven. Edward Oldcorne and his servant

April 4, 2022

Ven. Edward Oldcorne

Ven. Edward Oldcorne

Martyr, b. 1561; d. 1606. His father was a Protestant, and his mother a Catholic. He was educated as a doctor, but later decided to enter the priesthood, went to the English College at Reims, then to Rome, where, after ordination, in 1587, he became a Jesuit. Next year he returned to England in company with Father John Gerard, and worked, chiefly in Worcester, until he was arrested with Father Henry Garnet and taken to the Tower. No evidence connecting him with the Gunpowder Plot could be obtained, and he was executed for his priesthood only. Two letters of his are at Stonyhurst (Ang., III, 1; VII, 60); the second, written from prison, overflows with zeal and charity. His last combat took place on 7 April, at Red Hill, Worcester. With him suffered his faithful servant, the Ven. Ralph Ashby, who is traditionally believed to have been a Jesuit lay-brother. Oldcorne’s picture, painted after his death for the Gesú, is extant, and a number of his relics.

FOLEY, Records S. J., IV, 202; MORRIS, John Gerard, x; GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath., s. v.

J.H. POLLEN (Catholic Encyclical)

________________________

Ven. Ralph Ashley

Martyr and Jesuit lay-brother; first heard of, it seems, as cook at Douay College, which he left 28 April, 1590, for the English College at Valladolid. Here he entered the Society of Jesus, but after a time returned to England because of ill-health. He fell in with Father Tesimond (Greenway), who eulogizes very highly the courage he had displayed among the Dutch heretics, by whom he had been captured during his journey. He landed in England 9 March, 1598, and was sent to serve Father Edward Oldcorne. Eight years later the two were arrested at Hindlip, near Worcester, and were committed to the Tower, together with Father Garnet, and Nicholas Owen, another laybrother, servant to Garnet. The two servants were terribly tortured, Owen dying of his torments, while the reticent answers and trembling signatures of Ashley’s extant confessions bear eloquent testimony to his constancy. He was ultimately remanded with Oldcorne to Worcester, where they were tried, condemned and executed together, 7 April, 1606, giving an admirable example of heroically faithful service.

PATRICK RYAN (Catholic Encyclical)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Previous post:

Next post: