After serving as a cook in the English colleges of Douai, France and Valladolid, Spain, the young Englishman Ralph Ashley sought admission to the Jesuit Order, but ill health compelled him to head back to England before he could complete his novitiate. Along the way, Ralph was captured by Dutch Protestants and detained by them. Nonetheless, in March of 1598, he managed to reach his native land, where he became a Jesuit lay brother and an assistant to the Jesuit priest, (Blessed) Edward Oldcorne. The two worked together in the service of England's persecuted Catholics for the next eight years, until they were both captured by the Protestant English authorities. They were subsequently imprisoned in the Tower of London, where Ralph was tortured with another Jesuit lay brother, (Blessed) Nicholas Owen. Ralph was tried and condemned to death with Father Oldcorne. The latter was executed first, after which Ralph kissed the martyred priest's feet, declaring, "How happy I am to follow in the steps of my sweet father."
Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for own lives than in volumes by theologians. Yet Therese died when she was 24, after having lived as cloistered Carmelite for ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Bishop and prophet, called "the Elder" or "the Bald." Also known as Elphege, he was the bishop of Winchester, England. There he ordained St. Dunstan. A holy prophet, Alphege is ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar