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The Martyr of the Titanic
Alive Publishing ^ | 4/14/12 | Joanna Moorhead

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.

There’s 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, he’s quoting from the Book of the Apocalypse.

Which, according to historian Fr Stewart Foster, is ridiculous. ‘There’s no way a Catholic priest would be quoting from the Book of the Apocalypse as a ship was sinking,’ he says. ‘He’d 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 he’d 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 ...


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: priest; titanic

1 posted on 04/14/2012 6:49:45 PM PDT by marshmallow
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: marshmallow
People like these brave priests knew the moment they found out what had happened that the only person getting into a lifeboat after them would be the Captain - and they'd probably try to get him to go first, too.

I especially note this passage: Several passengers later testified to Fr Byles’s 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.

3 posted on 04/14/2012 6:58:25 PM PDT by Talisker (He who commands, must obey.)
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To: marshmallow
The Priests Aboard Titanic
4 posted on 04/14/2012 7:10:56 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: Jim Noble

Tell us how you really feel!


5 posted on 04/14/2012 7:38:19 PM PDT by RushingWater (Let's have a brokered convention and page Sarah Palin)
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To: Jim Noble

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....


6 posted on 04/14/2012 7:50:47 PM PDT by napscoordinator (VOTE FOR NEWT!!!!)
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To: Jim Noble

Oh, you’re cold.


7 posted on 04/14/2012 7:53:19 PM PDT by 353FMG
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To: Jim Noble

My favorite moment?

“Plink!”

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.


8 posted on 04/14/2012 8:00:04 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Talisker

Wow. Nicely put.


9 posted on 04/14/2012 8:02:16 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Talisker

A post worthy of a FReeper.


10 posted on 04/14/2012 8:06:22 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: marshmallow
I've been around long enough to remember the 50th anniversary of the Titanic sinking. This evening, the 100th anniversary, ABC is attempting to produce a two evening mini series version of the Titanic. Their attempt is off the Richtor scale horrible ... mostly advertising, occasionally interspersed with Titanic moments. What is with all these individual personal relationship issues ... stick to the event ... who gives a sh** about who is screwing who ... the story is about a state of the art passenger ship that sinks in the cold north Atlantic on its maiden voyage after striking a iceberg. A ‘Night to Remember’ which came out around the same time as the 50th anniversary of the sinking was much more dramatic.
11 posted on 04/14/2012 8:21:33 PM PDT by BluH2o
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To: marshmallow

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


12 posted on 04/14/2012 9:05:12 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: marshmallow
Someone forgot their Christian principles. Love God, Love your neighbor as yourself.

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.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

13 posted on 04/14/2012 9:12:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: RnMomof7
That was also my impression when I read this article. This priest's actions were certainly heroic and admirable as were those of many, many others who put others safety before their own. There was also a minister who swam back and forth as best he could to share the gospel with those who were without Christ floating in that frigid and deadly watery grave. He wasn't a “martyr” either, and to use that word for anyone other than those who were put to death rather than deny the Lord is just not right. I think it is a word that is tossed around way too casually these days.
14 posted on 04/14/2012 9:19:40 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: marshmallow

It’s a fictional movie.


15 posted on 04/14/2012 9:44:55 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel - Horace Walpole)
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To: RnMomof7
......he was going to die on that ship no matter where he was or what he was doing.

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.

16 posted on 04/15/2012 6:25:49 AM PDT by marshmallow (.)
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To: Oztrich Boy

A lot of students at the high school where I coach baseball were surprised to learn it wasn’t a fictional event.


17 posted on 04/15/2012 8:06:57 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: marshmallow
I remember the snarky remark “Jack” made to the priest as he passed him by.
18 posted on 04/15/2012 5:10:03 PM PDT by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: marshmallow; re_nortex

ping


19 posted on 04/15/2012 9:11:47 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: onedoug

“A lot of students at the high school where I coach baseball were surprised to learn it wasn’t 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.


20 posted on 04/15/2012 9:47:49 PM PDT by WoofDog123
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To: WoofDog123

Thank God there is still baseball to coach.


21 posted on 04/16/2012 6:00:55 AM PDT by onedoug
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