Massive manhunt for Catholic priest


St John Boste

Celebrated on July 24th

A priest and martyr , John Boste was born at Dufton, in Westmoreland, and studied at Oxford. After he became a Catholic in 1576, he went to Reims and was ordained priest in 1581. Fr John went back to England where he worked in the north celebrating Mass and administering the Sacraments to recusant Catholics. He became the object of a massive manhunt and was finally captured and taken to London. There he was tortured on the rack and returned to Dryburn near Durham.

On July 24, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered. John Boste was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as a martyr of Durham. He is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales .

The picture below by artist Michael Boe, was commissioned by the bishop of Lancaster. It hangs in the church at Appleby. Michael writes:
“The hill I’ve painted over his right shoulder is in Dufton, his birthplace. Over his left shoulder is Durham cathedral. The place of his martyrdom.”


Your title - would draw millions - to the theater - if this was the next Hollywood movie !


The title is very misleading. Please change it


+1 for the title and getting me to click- learned about a saint I had never heard of before! :slight_smile:


Great title. I think we forget about the number of Catholic priests who have lived through such real-life drama and “massive manhunts”.

If EWTN ever wanted to get into the business of producing adventure series they would have a lot of good storylines.


To be fair, at the time he was executed Rome had issued a bull ordering all Catholics to overthrow their Monarch, and had thrown its support behind a foreign invasion fleet. Thankfully most English Catholics and their priests didnt embrace this call to treason, but the late Elizabethan repression was not untypical for its times and was moderated substantially as the invasion threat receded.


It would have been nice if the monarch was overthrown, IMHO.

Also, it doesn’t excuse or justify killing the priest.


This action by St. Pius V was a grave mistake, I believe. It unnecessarily endangered English Catholics; merely being Catholic, a priest, or celebrating Mass was treason. This is the reason saints like Edmund Campion were hanged, drawn, and quartered. Elizabeth’s reign started on a policy of tolerance, and there were even Catholics on the court. His bull changed this, to the detriment of English faithful. Sometimes, even Popes have to be politically savvy. No, it does not justify Elizabeth’s persecution of Catholics; her actions were cruel and evil. She could just have treated her Catholic subjects kindly and keep their civil loyalties and allowing them their freedoms, instead of throwing out the T word. But like it or not, the succession to the English throne was English business, and according to the laws and customs in place, her reign was kosher, regardless of her religion.

In the same breath, Mary I’s burning of Protestants also went overboard.

There’s enough blame to go around.

Oh, and as for the clickbait title: good job and kudos to the OP. No, don’t change it.


I agree with this also. I am not big on killing unless it is to repel some invading force or defeat some genuine evil like Hitler. And if one must kill people, burning and torture are not the ways to go about it.


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