Skip to comments.The Martyr of the Titanic
Posted on 04/14/2012 6:49:41 PM PDT by marshmallow
Among the unsung heros of the Titanic, which sank 100 years ago this month, was a parish priest from Essex. Joanna Moorhead finds out more.
Theres a moment in the movie Titanic, as Kate Winslet and Leonardo di Caprio are desperately struggling across the deck in the final moments before the ship sinks, when the camera pans to a priest who is standing with a group of passengers reciting the Hail Mary. A few minutes later we see him again: this time, hes quoting from the Book of the Apocalypse.
Which, according to historian Fr Stewart Foster, is ridiculous. Theres no way a Catholic priest would be quoting from the Book of the Apocalypse as a ship was sinking, he says. Hed be ministering to his flock, hearing confessions and giving a general absolution.
And that, he says, is exactly what the Catholic priest the character is based on Father Thomas Byles was doing on the night of April 14-15 2012. As the Titanic sank, Father Byles was seen consoling the steerage class passengers, talking to them and praying the Rosary with them, says Fr Foster. Most of them were Italian or Irish, and since hed studied in Rome, he spoke Italian.
Several eyewitness accounts mention, too, that Fr Byles refused a place in a lifeboat and not just once, but on two separate occasions.
All of which explains, says Fr Foster, why Pope Pius X later told William Byles that his brother had been a martyr for the Church. The Pope gave him that accolade because he could have had his life saved but he refused he wanted to remain with the people until the end, says Fr Foster.
At the time the Titanic struck the iceberg Fr Byles was reciting his office on the upper.......
(Excerpt) Read more at alivepublishing.co.uk ...
I especially note this passage: Several passengers later testified to Fr Byless bravery. One, Helen Mary Mocklare, who had been a third class passenger, described how a few...became very excited and then the priest again raised his hand and instantly they were calm once more. The passengers were immediately impressed by the absolute self-control of the priest.
These priests did not give their lives on the night of April 15, 1912 - they gave their lives the moment they were ordained, years before.
Tell us how you really feel!
lol. Well back then I can’t say I thought that, but today IN ANY MOVIE I would applaud such a scene. In 1997, I had no idea how liberal Leo was....
Oh, you’re cold.
My favorite moment?
The sound of the guy hitting the propellor after falling the length of the now vertical Titanic. My wife and I cheered when Joel from the Soup used that scene, because I had joked about it that much.
Greatest irony of Titanic? Rose killed diCaprio (whatever his character’s name was.) She left a boat that was unfilled because she couldn’t part diCaprio. Had she stayed on the boat, DiCaprio’s character could have floated on that chest of drawers himself, and never would have frozen. Beautiful job, Rose.
Wow. Nicely put.
A post worthy of a FReeper.
A martyr is one that gives his life for the cause of Christ.. this priest was no martyr.. he was a victim of a horrible event.. he was going to die on that ship no matter where he was or what he was doing .
It is honorable for one to give comfort when they themselves are dying..but that does not make them a martyr
A person who chooses to suffer, even to die, rather than renounce his or her faith or Christian principles. After the example of Christ one does not resist one's persecutors when they use violence out of hatred or malice against Christ, or his Church, or some revealed truth of the Catholic religion. (Etym. Greek martyros, witness, martyr.)
It’s a fictional movie.
I have no desire to start a food fight over this but the above statement is inaccurate. He chose to die. If witnesses are to be believed, he was offered a spot in a lifeboat and refused. He therefore gave up his own life so that another might live, following the Gospel teaching ...."greater love hath no man.....".
Whether this makes him a "martyr" or not, I'll leave to the Almighty to decide.
A lot of students at the high school where I coach baseball were surprised to learn it wasn’t a fictional event.
“A lot of students at the high school where I coach baseball were surprised to learn it wasnt a fictional event.”
there apparently is an extraordinary gap in basic cultural and historical literacy among the current young generation. I guess replacing books with tv and computer games, and then social media/online, and replacing study and research in school with whatever it is they do now, does that.
Thank God there is still baseball to coach.