Priest-Hero Went Down With the Titanic
I received this from a friend yesterday and it begs to be shared.
(Yesterday) was the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Over 1500 lives were lost and Fr. Byles was one of those passengers who died in the sinking. He is the priest-hero of the Titanic. His last Mass was April 14th – Low Sunday. Today is also Low Sunday. Today’s Gospel is all about the incredulity of the doubting St. Thomas, the name-sake of Fr. Byles who took the name of Thomas when he converted to Catholicism.
“An invitation to officiate at the wedding of his younger brother William prompted Father Byles to make the trip to New York City. He said Mass on the morning of the sinking, Low Sunday, 14 April 1912, for both second- and third-Class passengers in their respective lounges. The sermon was on the need for a spiritual lifebelt in the shape of prayer and the sacraments when in danger of spiritual shipwreck in times of temptation.
Father Byles was walking on the upper deck reciting his breviary when the Titanic struck the iceberg. As the ship was sinking, he assisted many third-class passengers up to the Boat Deck to the lifeboats. He reputedly twice refused a place on a lifeboat. Toward the very end, he prayed the rosary and other prayers, heard confessions, and gave absolution to more than a hundred passengers who remained trapped on the stern of the ship after all of the lifeboats had been launched. His body, if recovered, was never identified.”
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