Bullaker, Thomas, Bl.

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Franciscan priest, martyr; known in religion as John Baptist Bullaker; b. c. 16021604 at Midhurst, Chichester, Sussex, England; d. Oct. 12, 1642, hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, London(?), or at Dorchester under Charles I. At an early age Thomas, the only son of a successful physician, was sent by his Catholic parents to the English College at St. Omer and later to Valladolid, Spain. After a period of discernment he received the Franciscan habit at Abrojo (1622), and a few years later (162728) was ordained priest. Upon landing at Plymouth, England, (1630) on his return, he was betrayed by the ship's captain, immediately seized, and cast into prison. Upon his liberation two weeks later, he began his 12year ministry among the poor and sick Catholics of London. On Sept. 11, 1642 Bullaker was arrested while celebrating Mass in the house of his benefactress. He has left a partial but touching account of his arrest and trial. His cause for beatification was introduced in 1900 and completed with his beatification 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]