mercredi 25 mars 2015

Bienheureux JAMES BIRD, martyr

Bienheureux Jacques Bird, martyr

Né à Winchester et élevé dans la foi protestante, il rejoint l'Église catholique à l'âge de 19 ans. Il va au collège de Douai mais rentre en Angleterre où il refuse de participer à la liturgie anglicane et de reconnaître la suprématie spirituelle royale. Il est condamné à mort et pendu en 1592.

Bienheureux Jacques Bird

martyr en Angleterre ( 1592)

Né à Winchester et élevé dans la foi protestante, il rejoint l'Église catholique à l'âge de 19 ans. Il va au collège de Douai mais rentre en Angleterre où il refuse de prononcer le serment de suprématie et est martyrisé dans sa ville natale. Il a été béatifié en 1929.

À Winchester, en Angleterre, l’an 1592, le bienheureux Jacques Bird, martyr. Sous la reine Élisabeth Ière, jeune homme de dix-neuf ans récemment devenu catholique, il refusa de participer à la liturgie anglicane et fut condamné aux supplices du gibet.

Martyrologe romain

Bl. James Bird

English martyr. Born in Winchester and raised as a Protestant, he embraced the Catholic Church at the age of nineteen. James visited Douai College in Reims, but he returned to England. There he refused to take the Oath of Supremacy and was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Winchester in his native city. He was beatified in 1929.

Blessed James Bird

Also known as
  • James Byrd
  • James Beard

Lay man in the apostolic vicariate of England, raised as a Protestant and converting to Catholicism at age 19. Considered entering the Douai seminary in Rheims, France, but decided against it and returned to England. He refused to take the Oath of Sumpremacy and was executed for his loyalty to the Church.


A Winchester Martyr on Lady Day

Blessed James Bird or Byrd or Beard was hung, drawn, and quartered for the crime of converting to Catholicism and denying the ecclesial supremacy of Elizabeth I on March 25 in 1593--when he was about 19 years old. He was born and he died in Winchester. 

He had traveled to Reims in France after his conversion in his 19th year to attend the seminary but had decided that he didn't have a vocation to the priesthood after all. Returning to England, the authorities suspected what he'd been up to and presented him with the Oath of Supremacy (which by statute requiring certain officials to take the oath, he would normally not have been ask to do). When he refused to take the Oath or even attend an Anglican service--even after his father begged him to--he was condemed to death.

This blog tells a rather charming--or horrible--story of his father seeing his head still on the pole upon the gates of Winchester:

BORN at Winchester of a gentleman's family and brought up a Protestant, he became a Catholic and went to study at Rheims. On his return he was apprehended and charged with being reconciled to the Roman Church, and maintaining the Pope under Christ to be the Head of the Church. Brought to the bar he acknowledged the indictment and received sentence of death as for high treason, though both life and liberty were offered him if he would but once go to the Protestant Church. When his father solicited him to save his life by complying, he modestly answered that, as he had always been obedient to him, so he would obey him now could he do so without offending God-After a long imprisonment he was hanged and quartered at Winchester, March 25, 1593. He suffered with wonderful constancy and cheerfulness, being but nineteen years old. His head was set upon a pole upon one of the gates of the city. His father one day passing by thought that the head bowing down made him a reverence, and cried out: "Oh, Jemmy my son, ever obedient in life, even when dead thou payest reverence to thy father. How far from thy heart was all treason or other wickedness."

He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI.

Blessed James Bird M (AC)

Born in Winchester, England; died 1593; beatified in 1929. James Bird was just 19, when he was hanged, drawn, and quartered in his native city for having been reconciled to the Church (Attwater2, Benedictines).