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The untold story of the Titanicís Catholic priest who went down hearing confessions
Life Site News ^ | Fri Apr 13, 2012 | by Patrick B. Craine

Posted on 04/15/2012 10:33:15 AM PDT by GonzoII

Amidst all the tales of chivalry from the Titanic disaster there is one that’s not often told.

It is that of Fr. Thomas Byles, the Catholic priest who gave up two spots on a lifeboat in favour of offering spiritual aid to the other victims as they all went down with the “unsinkable” vessel.

A 42-year-old English convert, Fr. Byles was on his way to New York to offer the wedding Mass for his brother William. Reports suggest that he was reciting his breviary on the upper deck when the Titanic struck the iceberg in the twilight hours of Sunday, April 14th, 1912.

According to witnesses, as the ship went down the priest helped women and children get into the lifeboats, then heard confessions, gave absolution, and led passengers in reciting the Rosary.

Agnes McCoy, one of the survivors, says that as the great ship sank, Fr. Byles “stood on the deck with Catholics, Protestants and Jews kneeling around him.”

“Father Byles was saying the rosary and praying for the repose of the souls of those about to perish,” she told the New York Telegram on April 22, 1912, according to the website devoted to his memory, FatherByles.com.

In the words of the priest’s friend Fr. Patrick McKenna, “He twice refused the offer of a place in a boat, saying his duty was to stay on the ship while one soul wanted his ministrations.”

Nearly two weeks after the disaster, The Church Progress in St. Louis, Missouri wrote this moving tribute to the heroic priest:

In almost every line that has been written, and in every sentence that has been spoken, there stands boldly out above every other expression a picture of sublime heroism that will be copied into the pages of history. And well it may, for it is...

(Excerpt) Read more at lifesitenews.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; History
KEYWORDS: moralabsolutes; priesthood; titanic
http://fatherbyles.com/
1 posted on 04/15/2012 10:33:19 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: NYer

Ping.


2 posted on 04/15/2012 10:34:01 AM PDT by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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To: GonzoII
The untold story of the Titanic’s Catholic priest who went down hearing confessions
Titanic 100: The Essex priest who refused to leave passengers
The Martyr of the Titanic
The Priests Aboard (the) Titanic [Ecumenical]

3 posted on 04/15/2012 10:56:13 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

He was an English convert, incidentally, like Newman and Hopkins.


4 posted on 04/15/2012 11:47:12 AM PDT by livius
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To: GonzoII

John Harper was the True Hero on the Titanic

John Harper was born to a pair of solid Christian parents on May 29th, 1872. It was on the last Sunday of March 1886, when he was thirteen years old that he received Jesus as the Lord of his life. He never knew what it was to “sow his wild oats.” He began to preach about four years later at the ripe old age of 17 years old by going down to the streets of his village and pouring out his soul in earnest entreaty for men to be reconciled to God.

As John Harper’s life unfolded, one thing was apparent...he was consumed by the word of God. When asked by various ministers what his doctrine consisted of, he was known to reply “The Word of God!” After five or six years of toiling on street corners preaching the gospel and working in the mill during the day, Harper was taken in by Rev. E. A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, England. This set Harper free to devote his whole time of energy to the work so dear to his heart. Soon, John Harper started his own church in September of 1896. (Now known as the Harper Memorial Church.) This church which John Harper had started with just 25 members, had grown to over 500 members when he left 13 years later. During this time he had gotten married, but was shortly thereafter widowed. However brief the marriage, God did bless John Harper with a beautiful little girl named Nana.

Ironically, John Harper almost drowned several times during his life. When he was two and a half years of age, he almost drowned when he fell into a well but was resuscitated by his mother. At the age of twenty-six, he was swept out to sea by a reverse current and barely survived, and at thirty-two he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean. Perhaps, God used these experiences to prepare this servant for what he faced next...

It was the night of April 14, 1912. The RMS Titanic sailed swiftly on the bitterly cold ocean waters heading unknowingly into the pages of history. On board this luxurious ocean liner were many rich and famous people. At the time of the ship’s launch, it was the world’s largest man-made moveable object. At 11:40 p.m. on that fateful night, an iceberg scraped the ship’s starboard side, showering the decks with ice and ripping open six watertight compartments. The sea poured in.

On board the ship that night was John Harper and his much-beloved six-year-old daughter Nana. According to documented reports, as soon as it was apparent that the ship was going to sink, John Harper immediately took his daughter to a lifeboat. It is reasonable to assume that this widowed preacher could have easily gotten on board this boat to safety; however, it never seems to have crossed his mind. He bent down and kissed his precious little girl; looking into her eyes he told her that she would see him again someday. The flares going off in the dark sky above reflected the tears on his face as he turned and headed towards the crowd of desperate humanity on the sinking ocean liner.

As the rear of the huge ship began to lurch upwards, it was reported that Harper was seen making his way up the deck yelling, “Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!” It was only minutes later that the Titanic began to rumble deep within. Most people thought it was an explosion; actually the gargantuan ship was literally breaking in half. At this point, many people jumped off the decks and into the icy, dark waters below. John Harper was one of these people.

That night 1528 people went into the frigid waters. John Harper was seen swimming frantically to people in the water leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal. Mr. Harper swam up to one young man who had climbed up on a piece of debris. Rev. Harper asked him between breaths, “Are you saved?” The young man replied that he was not.

Harper then tried to lead him to Christ only to have the young man who was near shock, reply no. John Harper then took off his life jacket and threw it to the man and said, “Here then, you need this more than I do...” and swam away to other people. A few minutes later Harper swam back to the young man and succeeded in leading him to salvation. Of the 1528 people that went into the water that night, six were rescued by the lifeboats. One of them was this young man on the debris.

Four years later, at a survivors meeting, this young man stood up and in tears recounted how that after John Harper had led him to Christ. Mr. Harper had tried to swim back to help other people,yet because of the intense cold, had grown too weak to swim. His last words before going under in the frigid waters were, “Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” Does Hollywood remember this man? No. Oh well, no matter. This servant of God did what he had to do. While other people were trying to buy their way onto the lifeboats and selfishly trying to save their own lives, John Harper gave up his life so that others could be saved.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends...” John Harper was truly the hero of the Titanic!


5 posted on 04/15/2012 11:51:20 AM PDT by bibletruth
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To: GonzoII; 185JHP; 230FMJ; AKA Elena; APatientMan; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

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A beautiful, inspiring story of a man with moral and spiritual courage who no doubt gave consolation to many souls, whatever their faith. These are the stories children should hear, to inspire them to goodness and greatness.

6 posted on 04/15/2012 12:13:56 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
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To: GonzoII

All my children. Do me proud .................................. FRegards


7 posted on 04/15/2012 12:51:24 PM PDT by gonzo ( Buy more ammo, dammit! You should already have the firearms ... FRegards)
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To: bibletruth

Where’s the link to what you cut and pasted?


8 posted on 04/15/2012 1:19:46 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Link: http://www.blessedquietness.com/journal/housechu/harper.htm


9 posted on 04/15/2012 1:32:08 PM PDT by bibletruth
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To: bibletruth
Any explanation for why you omitted the following:

Author Unknown.

10 posted on 04/15/2012 2:00:06 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: GonzoII; All

All these men of God gave their lives doing the Lord’s work. God bless their eternal souls.


11 posted on 04/15/2012 2:07:44 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: GonzoII

My pastor gave a good sermon on this guy today.


12 posted on 04/15/2012 7:39:42 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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To: GonzoII; bibletruth

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing this I see—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
For my pardon this my plea—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Naught of works, ‘tis all of grace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

This is all my hope and peace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/miscellaneouslyrics/christianlyrics/whatcanwashawaymysinlyrics.html


13 posted on 04/15/2012 8:01:09 PM PDT by Bellflower (The LORD is Holy, separated from all sin, perfect, righteous, high and lifted up.)
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To: GonzoII; re_nortex

another Titanic ping


14 posted on 04/15/2012 9:16:55 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: gonzo

Thanks, Pop!


15 posted on 04/15/2012 10:58:11 PM PDT by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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