PHILIP EVANS was born at Monmouth in 1645, was educated at Saint-Omer, and joined the Society of Jesus at the age of twenty. In 1675 he was ordained at Liege and sent to South Wales. He was soon well known for his zeal, but no active notice was taken by the authorities until the scare of Oates plot, when in the November of 1678 John Arnold, of Llanvihangel Court near Abergavenny, a justice of the peace and hunter of priests, offered a reward of Ł200 for his arrest. Father Evans refused to leave his flock, and early in December was caught at the house of Christopher Turberville at Sker in Glamorgan. He refused the oath and was confined alone in an underground dungeon in Cardiff Castle. Two or three weeks afterwards he was joined by Mr John Lloyd, a secular priest, who had been taken at Penlline in Glamorgan. He was a Breconshire man, who had taken the missionary oath at Valladolid in 1649 and been sent to minister in his own country. After five months the two prisoners were brought up for trial at the shire-hall in Cardiff, charged not with complicity in the plot but as priests who had come unlawfully into the realm. It had been difficult to collect witnesses against them, and they were condemned and sentenced by Mr Justice Owen Wynne principally on the evidence of two poor women who were suborned to say that they had seen Father Evans celebrating Mass. On their return to prison they were better treated and allowed a good deal of liberty, so that when the under-sheriff came on July 21 to announce that their execution was fixed for the morrow, Father Evans was playing a game of tennis and would not return to his cell till he had finished it. Part of his few remaining hours of life he spent playing on the harp and talking to the numerous people who came to say farewell to himself and Mr Lloyd when the news got around. The execution took place on Gallows Field (at the north-eastern end of what is now Richmond Road, Cardiff). St Philip died first, after having addressed the people in Welsh and English, and saying Adieu, Mr Lloyd, though for a little time, for we shall shortly meet again , to St John, who made only a very brief speech because, as he said, I never was a good speaker in my life .
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Genevieve was born about the year 422, at Nanterre near Paris. She was seven years old when St. Germain of Auxerre came to her native village on his way to great Britain to combat the heresy of Pelagius. The child stood in the midst of a crowd gathered around the ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Although we have evidence that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. In the ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes