Nicholas Owen was canonized 364 years after his death.
Such is often the case with the Catholic Church, charged with curating a 3,000-year treasure trove of saints and stories, rovers and relics.
Owen’s tale is unlike any other. Born in Oxford, England in the mid-16th century, his devout family prepared him well for his remarkable life’s work. His father was as a carpenter who taught him the trade. Two older brothers became priests, bringing the sacraments to a hungry community.
There was much to be done in Elizabethan England, a dark and frightening time when Catholics were persecuted and priests were incarcerated or hanged. A “papist” caught converting an Anglican could be charged with high treason.