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How Far Will a Priest Go to Help Others?

A notable example of a clergyman who sacrificed his own life in order to save others is Father Thomas Byles, a Catholic priest from England who perished in the sinking of the Titanic ocean liner in 1912. Byles turned down multiple offers to board lifeboats and instead remained on the ship as it sank after striking an iceberg. After assisting women and children into the lifeboats, Byles stayed on the Titanic to pray, hear confessions, and give absolution to the passengers who remained at the stern of the boat as it plunged into the water.

More about notable priests helping others:

  • Episcopal priest Phillips Brooks, a prominent antislavery activist in the United States, also wrote the Christmas song "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

  • Ordained priest Dr. Pauli Murray was a civil rights leader and feminist crusader who co-founded the National Organization for Women. She was also the first woman to receive a law degree from Yale University.

  • Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest from Mexico, is considered a patriotic hero for leading the revolution against Spain that eventually resulted in independence for Mexico in 1821 – ten years after Father Hidalgo's execution.

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