Lloyd, John, St.

views updated


Welsh priest, martyr; b. Brecon, Wales, 1630?; d. Cardiff, July 22, 1679. Nothing is known of his life before he entered the seminary at Valladolid in 1649. He was ordained on June 7, 1653. On April 17, 1654, he left for England, and he worked on the mission in his native Wales. He was marked out as a victim by the Calvinist John Arnold, a justice of the peace, and after the outbreak of the Oates persecution, Lloyd was arrested in Glamorgan, Nov. 20, 1678. It was reported that he used to say Mass at Treivor, Llantilio (where there were many Catholics), and at Penrhos. No other charges were made against him. On his capture he was confined to Cardiff Castle in the same underground dungeon as Philip evans, with whom he was later tried and executed. Although many Catholics were brutally treated in an attempt to make them testify that they had witnessed these two priests performing their sacred functions, none did; eventually an old lady and her daughter were bribed into testifying against them. On their false evidence, Lloyd and Evans together were indicted and condemned (May 3, 1679), on the sole ground of their priesthood. They were not executed until July 22. Lloyd had first to witness the barbarous sentence of death carried out on his companion, Philip Evans. On the scaffold, in Gallows Field, he explained, "I never was a good speaker in my life"; and in a simple manner proclaimed his own faith, asked forgiveness of any persons he may have offended, and urged his fellow Catholics to bear their sufferings with patience. He was beatified by Pius XI on Dec. 15, 1929 and canonized by Paul VI on Oct. 25, 1970.

Feast: July 22; Oct. 25 (Feast of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales); May 4 (Feast of the English Martyrs in England).

See Also: england, scotland, and wales, martyrs of.

Bibliography: t. p. ellis, The Catholic Martyrs of Wales (London 1933). j. stonor, Six Welsh Martyrs (Postulation Pamphlets; London 1961) 1314. r. challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, ed. j. h. pollen (rev. ed. London 1924; repr. Farnborough 1969). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 3:166167. j. gillow, A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time (London and New York 18551902) 4:289290.

[g. fitzherbert]