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Campaign starts for priest who prayed with Titanic passengers to be made a saint

Fr Thomas Byles

A campaign has been launched for the canonisation of the priest who stayed on board the Titanic as it sank in order to pray with his fellow passengers.

According to survivors testimonies, Fr Thomas Byles twice refused a place on a lifeboat and stayed on the ship to pray with the passengers who were left aboard.

Fr Byles was one of 1,500 people to die when the Titanic sank on April 15 1912 and his actions were praised by Pope Pius X.

Fr Graham Smith, the priest at Fr Byles’s former church, St Helens in Chipping Ongar, Essex, is urging prayers for Fr Byles and for people to report any miracles that occur as a result to the church.

Fr Smith said: “We hope people around the world will pray to him if they are in need and, if a miracle occurs, then beatification and then canonisation can go forward.”