July 22nd - SS. Philip Evans and John Lloyd, Martyrs

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Jul 22, 2022, 3:01:13 AMJul 22
July 22nd - SS. Philip Evans and John Lloyd, Martyrs

Died at Cardiff, Wales, on July 22, 1679; beatified in 1929; canonized
by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as two of the Forty Martyrs of England and

Philip Evans was born in Monmouthshire, Wales, in 1645, and educated
at Saint-Omer. He joined the Society of Jesus when he was 20 and was
ordained at Liège, Belgium, in 1675. Father Philip was sent back to
Wales to minister to the Catholics in the southern part of the
country. For several years he zealously ministered to his flock
unmolested, but the civil authorities turned a blind eye until
November 1678. Although John Arnold, a justice of the peace and hunter
of priests, offered a 200 pound bounty for his arrest, Father Evans
refused to leave his flock untended.

Meanwhile, John Lloyd, a native of Breconshire (Brecknockshire),
Wales, was educated at Ghent, Belgium, and Valladolid, Spain, where he
was ordained in 1653. The following year he returned to Wales and
ministered to his fellow countrymen for 24 years.

In December 1678, Father Evans was arrested at the home of Christopher
Turberville at Sker, Glamorgan. When he refused to take the Oath of
Supremacy, he was imprisoned alone in Cardiff Castle, until he was
joined several weeks later by John Lloyd, who was arrested at Penllyn,
Glamorgan. They had both been arrested in the hysteria of the Titus
Oates plot to kill King Charles II.

After five months, the two priests were brought to trial, but when no
evidence of their complicity could be produced, they were charged with
being priests, which was illegal in the realm. Few were willing to
serve as witnesses against them. Finally, they were convicted on the
evidence of two poor women who were suborned to say that they had seen
Father Evans celebrating Mass.

Following the trial they were returned to prison, where they were
allowed a great deal of liberty—so much liberty that when an official
came to tell them they were be executed the following day, Father
Evans was playing tennis and would not return to his cell until he had
finished it. Father Evans spent his remaining hours playing the harp
and talking to his well-wishers who came to visit them. It almost
seems as though the local people were reluctant to have treated them
in such an uncharitable manner.

They were executed on Gallows Field (at the northeastern end of what
is now Richmond Road). Father Evans addressed the onlookers in Welsh
and English and, turning to his fellow martyr, said: "Adieu, Mr.
Lloyd, though for a little time, for we shall shortly meet again."
After Evans death, Father Lloyd made only a brief speech because, as
he said, "I never was a good speaker in my life" (Benedictines,
Delaney, Walsh).

Saint Quote:
You say in your book that while we live we are able to pray for each
other, but afterwards when we have died, the prayer of no person for
another can be heard.... But if the apostles and martyrs while still
in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be
solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their
crowns, victories, and triumphs?
--Saint Jerome from Against Vigilantius, 406AD

Bible Quote:
I will give glory to Thee, O Lord, O King, and I will praise Thee, O
God my Saviour. I will give glory to Thy name: for thou hast been a
helper and protector to me. (Ecclesiasticus 51:1-2)

O Mary, Twice Mother of Mercy
By St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)

O Mary,
thou art twice Mother of Mercy
because thou hast been made
Mother of our most merciful Saviour,
and, furthermore because,
thou hast given to us
so many signs
of thy maternal care and love.
Turn upon us, we beseech thee,
thy glance of compassion
and grant, that we may always
live free from sin,
which is the only impediment
to receiving the fruits
of the Divine Mercies.

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