Alban Roe

Alban Roe

Saint Alban Roe (born as Bartholemew Roe c. 1583 - died 21 January 1642), was a Benedictine priest and Catholic Martyr.

Believed to have been born sometime in the year 1583 in Bury St. Edmunds, in the county of Suffolk, England. He converted to Catholicism, after meeting an imprisoned Catholic recusant, and set about devoting himself to God.

He spent some time at the English college at Douai in northern France, but was expelled for insubordination. He spent the rest of his novitiate at the Abbey of St. Lawrence, Dieulouard, a newly opened Benedictine house near Nancy. Dieulouard was home to Benedictine monks fleeing persecution in post Reformation England, from the only house re-opened by Queen Mary at Westminster. He was ordained priest there in 1612.

He was sent back to England to preach, but was banished in 1615. Undeterred, he returned in 1618 and was imprisoned until 1623, whereby his release and re-exile was organised by the Spanish Ambassador. He returned two years later, and was incarcerated for seventeen years, meeting his end at Tyburn, where he died by hanging, drawing and quartering on 21 January 1642.

He is remembered as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, and was canonised on 25 October 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

His brethren from Dieulouard returned to England in 1792, during the upheavals of the French revolution. In 1802 they settled in Yorkshire, at what was to become Ampleforth Abbey along with its eponymous College.

St. Alban Roe's Feast Day is celebrated on January 21.

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