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We aren’t sure when Francis Page was born, but we do know that he was born to a well-to-do English family living in Antwerp. He fell in love with the daughter of a Catholic lawyer for who he served as a clerk and became a Catholic in order to win over the family. He met the Jesuit Fr John Gerard who became an informal spiritual director to him, eventually encouraging Francis to go to the continent for his priestly formation at the English College at Rheims. He was ordained in 1600 and left for London where he narrowly escaped arrest after celebrating Mass at the House of Anne Line.
Fourteen months later Francis wasn’t so fortunate as he was recognised by a woman who made it her business to turn priests over to the authorities so she could keep the reward. He took refuge in an inn, but she made such an outcry that the innkeeper kept him until the authorities arrived. He was arrested, tried, and found guilty of high treason. On his return to London shortly after ordination, he’d applied to join the Jesuits, but it was very difficult for him to return to the continent to enter the novitiate. On the night before his execution he was allowed to join a Jesuit in the adjoining cell; the young priest took vows as a Jesuit, a fact he proudly proclaimed the following day shortly before he was executed.

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Blessed Francis Page