George Gervase

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Blessed George Gervase (1571 – 11 April 1608) was an English Benedictine priest who worked as a missionary in England during the period of recusancy. He was martyred at Tyburn.

George Gervase was born in Bosham, Sussex. Losing both parents in boyhood, he was kidnapped by pirates, remaining in captivity over twelve years. He lost his Catholic religion during that period; but, when at last he was able to return to England, and found that his brother Henry had become a voluntary exile in Flanders in order to be able to practice his religion, George followed him there, and was soon reconciled with the Church. He entered the English College at Douai in 1595, and was ordained priest in 1603. He at once went to the English mission, where he worked for over two years. He was arrested in June 1606, and banished with several other clergy.[1]

He then made a pilgrimage to Rome, and there endeavoured to enter the Society of Jesus, but, not being admitted, he returned to Douai, where he was clothed as a novice at the English Benedictine Congregation monastery of St. Gregory’s (now at Downside Abbey). His brother Henry had obtained for him a comfortable living near Lille, being anxious to preserve him from the persecution then raging in England. But George was determined to labour for the conversion of his native land, and succeeded in returning to England. He was soon arrested and incarcerated. Refusing to take the new oath of allegiance on account of its infringing on spiritual matters where Catholics were concerned, he was tried, convicted of the offense of being a priest, and was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn.

He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius X.


  1. ^ PD-icon.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "George Gervase". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.