Priest Who Stayed Behind On The Titanic Could Be Made A Saint
No greater love.
Via Truth Revolt:
In 1912, as the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic slowly descended into the depths of a freezing Atlantic Ocean, Father Thomas Byles twice rejected seats on a lifeboat to give Mass and hear confessions for passengers who had no chance of survival, an action of self-sacrifice that may be cause for his canonization as a Saint.
According to an eye-witness that night, Father Thomas Byles and another priest spent their final hours moving through crowds of terrified people hearing confessions, giving blessings, and, of course, saying Mass.
In a testimony to the New York Sun in 1912, survivor Miss Agnes McCoy said she saw Father Byles and another priest with a crowd of 100 people knelt before them as the ship began to sink.
“They were Catholics, Protestants, and Jewish people who were kneeling there,” McCoy told the New York Sun, “this fellow told me, Father Byles told them to prepare to meet God and he said the rosary. The others answered him, Father Byles and the other priest, he told me, were still standing there praying when the water came over the deck.”
McCoy stated she last saw them singing the hymn “Nearer My God To Thee.” Father Byles died alongside 1,500 people that night. His actions were later praised that year by Pope Pius X.
His act of self-sacrifice by refusing to board the lifeboats twice makes him a possible candidate as a “Martyr of Charity,” meaning a Catholic or Christian who willfully gave up their life in an act of service, with the most famous example being Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish Franciscan friar who sacrificed his life in place of another in the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz.