Blessed Thomas Helye, Priest
Biville, France, October 19, 1257
Roman Martyrology: At Biville near Cherbourg in Normandy, Blessed Thomas Helye, priest, who undertook the days in the exercise of sacred ministry, the nights in prayer and penance.
There is especially known for contemporary report written by Clement immediately after his death, and worthy of credit because its author could make use of the minutes of the investigation conducted by the Bishop of Coutances in 1260 and the depositions of witnesses of miracles.
The son of Elijah and Matilda, Thomas Helye was born in the early thirteenth century, at Biville at Cherbourg. He was first governor to Biville and then to Cherbourg, where he directed a school. He was diligent to the offices and undergoing corporal mortification, fasting several times a week. Having made a pilgrimage to Rome, he returned to Paris to study theology and was ordained to the 1236.
For twenty years he devoted himself to the apostolate traveling in all the parishes of the diocese of Coutances avran-ches and, accompanying his preaching with exercises of piety and austerity, which caught the imagination of his listeners. When he arrived in a parish, he said: “Behd the man of God! . His devotion to the Eucharist was high and several times came to be favored during the celebration of Holy Mass.
The traditions that say that Thomas Helye had exercised his ministry outside the diocese, and especially the two short S. Louis as chaplain, are not based on any serious foundation. He died October 19, 1257.
Since 1260 he had his chapel in the church of Biville and that same year, Jean d’Essais, Bishop of Coutances, was to begin the process of canonization in Rome, having conducted an investigation, which Clement used to write the Life. In 1266, Eudes Rigaud, archbishop of Rouen, on a visit to Biville, found evidence of the extraordinary miracles derived from the servant of God in the fourteenth century. The parish church of Biville gradually changed its patronage and became the church of Saint Thomas. In 1794, during the French Revolution, the inhabitants were able to to rescue his relics and prevent their desecration.
Source: Santi e Beati