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Death: 1582


Richard Kirkman, of Addingham, England, was ordained a priest in Reims, France at the Easter Vigil in 1579. Thereafter, he spent three years secretly ministering to persecuted English Catholics in the north of the country. In August of 1582, Father Kirkman was arrested by government agents suspicious of his identity. Before a judge, he admitted to being a Catholic priest. A search of his baggage yielded a chalice and other items for celebrating Mass. He was convicted for his priesthood and for having won converts to the Catholic faith. Afterwards, two judges interrogated the condemned priest in prison. Father Kirkman’s refusal to cooperate prompted one judge to become enraged and call him a traitor, to which the priest replied, “You might, sir, with the same justice, charge the apostles also with being traitors, for they taught the same doctrine that I now teach, and did the same things for which you condemn me.” Upon hearing his death sentence, Father Kirkman prayed aloud, “Thy holy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” He was executed together with a fellow priest, (Blessed) William Lacey.


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