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Bl. John Duckett

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Birth: 1603
Death: 1644

John Duckett, of Underwinder, England, journeyed to the continent to study for the priesthood. As a seminarian at the English College of Douai, France, he gave much time to mental prayer, spending entire nights in contemplation. Four years after his ordination, Father Duckett was assigned to return to England. In preparation for his dangerous mission there, he spent two months in spiritual exercises at a Carthusian monastery in Belgium. On July 2, 1644, only a year after returning to England, Father Duckett was arrested by the Puritan authorities while en route to a baptism. The holy oils and the book of sacraments found in his possession were considered "incriminating" evidence. He and a fellow priest, (Blessed) Ralph Corby, were condemned to death for their priesthood. Father Duckett's joy in accepting his grim fate so impressed his jailers that they commented, "Assuredly this man dies for a good cause." At his execution, Father Duckett told a Protestant minister who stood ready to lecture him, "Sir, I come not hither to be taught my faith, but to die for the profession of it."


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