Thomas Byles

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Thomas Roussel Davids Byles (26 February 1870 – 15 April 1912) was an English Catholic priest. He was born in Leeds, Yorkshire.

Byles was a passenger aboard the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage when it sank after striking an iceberg during the night of 15 April 1912. He was reported as being one of the trapped passengers on the ship's rear deck in its final moments. He refused to leave the ship knowing people were unable to leave on lifeboats.[1]

As the ship was sinking, he assisted many third-class passengers up to the boat deck to the lifeboats. He reputedly twice refused a place on a lifeboat. Toward the end he recited the Rosary and other prayers, heard confessions and gave Absolution to more than a hundred passengers who remained trapped on the stern of the ship after all of the lifeboats had been launched.

Pope Pius X later described Byles as a "martyr for the Church".[2]

In 2015, the procedure to make Byles a saint began.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Titanic 100: The Essex priest who refused to leave passengers". BBC. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  2. "The priest who prayed the rosary and heard Confessions as the Titanic sank". Catholic Herald. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  3. "Father Thomas Byles: God's Faithful Servant on the Titanic". National Catholic Register. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.

Other websites[change | change source]