Saint of the Day

April 25: Blesseds Robert Anderton and William Marsden

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.

Blesseds Robert Anderton and William Marsden were sixteenth-century Englishmen who had been ordained as Catholic priests. They had been forced to travel to France to be ordained because of the anti-Catholic persecution prevalent in England at the time.

They boarded a ship, apparently to return to England and serve secretly as priests, when the ship on which they were traveling was driven off its course. All the passengers were forced to disembark on the Isle of Wight, and suspicious officials sent them to the local magistrate. When they were asked if they were priests, they acknowledged that they were, which was sufficient cause for them to be put in prison. Although there was no evidence that they had tried to enter England because of the forced landing and although they were not technically violating the penal law of the time, they were condemned to death for treason all the same. They died together, cheerfully and remaining faithful through it all, on this date in 1586.

Blesseds Robert and William, help me to cheerfully accept injustice.