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Maurice Eustace

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Eldest son of Sir John Eustace, Castlemartin, County Kildars, Ireland, martyred for the Faith, Nov. 1581. Owing to the penal laws he was sent to be educated at the Jesuit College at Bruges in Flanders, where, after the completion of his secular studies, he desired to enter the Society of Jesus. His father, however, wrote the superiors of the college to send him home Maurice returned to Ireland, much against his own inclinations, but in hope of being able, later on, to carry out his desire. After a brief stay, during which he tried to dissuade his father from opposing his vocation, he went back to Flanders. His old masters at the college of Bruges on learning his father's determination advised him to return to Ireland and devote himself in the world to the service of religion. Shortly after his arrival in Ireland he got an appointment as captain of horse, in which position he did much to edify, and even win back to the Faith, those who served under him. He never abandoned the idea of becoming a priest, and secretly took Holy Orders. His servant, who was aware of the fact, told his father, who had his son immediately arrested and imprisoned in Dublin. A younger brother, desiring to inherit the family estates, also reported Maurice to be a priest, a Jesuit, and a friend of the Queen's enemies. As a consequence he was put on trial for high treason. During his imprisonment Adam Loftus, Protestant Archbishop of Dublin, offered him his daughter in marriage, and a large dowry if he would accept the reformed religion. Yielding neither to the bribery nor persecution, Eustace was sentenced to public execution, and hanged.

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