Waterson, Edward, Bl.

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Priest, martyr; b. London, England; hanged, drawn, and quartered at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, Jan. 7, 1594 (new calendar). As a young Protestant, Edward Waterson traveled to Turkey in the company of English merchants. There he attracted the attention of a wealthy man who offered Waterson his daughter in marriage, if the young man would embrace Islam. Edward rejected the offer. In returning to Europe, he traveled through Italy and was converted to Catholicism (1588) by the future Bp. Richard Smith of Chalcedon. He studied theology at the English College in Rheims (158993), where he was ordained March 11, 1593. Full of zeal for the care of souls, he returned to England (June 24), where he was arrested mid-summer. Throughout his torture he remained humble and accepting of trials. It is related that several miraculous events tried to prevent his execution: the horses refused to drag his hurdle to the scaffold and the ladder there was mysteriously agitated by invisible means until the martyr signed it with the cross. He was beatified by Pius XI on Dec. 15, 1929.

Feast: 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; repr. Farnborough 1969). j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).

[k. i. rabenstein]