April 19: Blessed James Duckett

If you enjoy this daily blog of lesser-known saints, see my book, which contains short biographies of saints for every day of the year.

James Duckett was a young apprentice to a printer in London, England, when he read a book that changed his life. The Firm Foundation of the Catholic Religion convinced him of the truth of the Catholic faith, and he refused to attend Protestant services anymore. He was sentenced to prison, but his former master intervened, got him released, but then sent him away to avoid the danger of being connected with James.

James was educated in the faith by an imprisoned priest, married a Catholic widow, and became a bookseller. But since he was a dealer in Catholic books in anti-Catholic England, he spent nine of the next twelve years in prison for his faith. A customer named Peter Bullock, who was in danger of death from the authorities for some other offense, decided to help his own prospects by turning in James as a Catholic. James was convicted solely on Bullock’s testimony and condemned to death. He told his wife to forgive Bullock, and—since Bullock was likewise convicted and sentenced to death—embraced the man before they died together.

Blessed James, help me to forgive my worst enemy.

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