Atkinson, Thomas, Bl.
ATKINSON, THOMAS, BL.
Priest, martyr; b. ca. 1546 in the East Riding, Yorkshire, England; d. March 11, 1616, hanged, drawn and quartered at York under James I. After his studies and ordination to the priesthood at Rheims (1588), he immediately returned to his native England. For 28 years he went about mostly on foot, ministering to his flock, especially the poor, and became so well known that he could not safely travel by day. At age 70 he was betrayed and taken to York with his host, Mr. Vavasour of Willitoft, and some members of the family. A pair of beads and the form of an indulgence found upon him confirmed his religion. He suffered "with wonderful patience, courage, and constancy, and signs of great comfort." Atkinson was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Nov. 22, 1987 with George haydock and Companions.
Feast of the English Martyrs: May 4 (England).
See Also: england, scotland, and wales, martyrs of.
Bibliography: r. challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, ed. j. h. pollen (rev. ed. London 1924). j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).
[k. i. rabenstein]