Father Thomas Byles is the hero of Titanic proportions saving many lives forever. He was on board of the famous RMS Titanic passenger liner sea ship, and on the early morning of April 15, 1912:
Byles was walking on the upper deck praying his breviary when the Titanic struck the iceberg. 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 very 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. His body, if recovered, was never identified. His brothers installed a door in his memory at St Helen's Catholic Church in Chipping Ongar, Essex. Pope Pius X later described Byles as a "martyr for the Church".
All the persons who perished on that date but previously had confessions and received absolutions from this priest were truly saved forever. What a true hero!
In April 2015, Father Graham Smith, the current priest of St Helen's Church, with support of Bishop Alan Williams of the Diocese of Brentwood, initiated the first steps toward making Byles a saint.
For more on his life:
Father Thomas Byles pray for us!