St John Lloyd Priest and Martyr
+ Cardiff, Wales, 22 July 1679
Roman Martyrology: At Cardiff, Wales, Saint John Lloyd, priest and martyr, who under King Charles II was hanged for having exercised the priesthood in his homeland.
He was a native of Brecknockshire and belonged to an ancient Welsh family, very little information is available about his life. We do know that he entered the English College in Valladolid, Spain, in1649, under the fictitious name of Floyd, where he received the sacred order on July 7, 1653 (cf. Bnglish Registers of the College at Valladolid 11589-1862, ed. E. Henson, London 1930, p. 164). He studied philosophy and theology, and was immediately launched on a mission to England, so he returned on April 17, 1654, going to his native Wales, whhere, for almost twenty-five years he continued his activities. We don’t have much information abou his missionary work or the circumstances of his capture, which occurred on the end of 1678 in the house of Turberville at Penllyne in the county of Glamorgan.
St. John Lloyd is one of the many victims of the merciless persecution caused by the alleged Papist plot conceived by the evil English adventurer Titus Oates. Locked in a secret castle of Cardano for over five months before the persecutors were able to induce someone to testify against him, he was finally tried on May 5, 1679, and declared guilty of high treason to be ordained a priest abroad and have practiced at home the functions of the ministry against the prohibition of the law then in force, thus condemned to death by hanging and subsequent rendering. The execution of the sentence, however, was held over two and a half months later, in Cardiff on July 22, 1679. Before being executed, Saint John Lloyd, exposed the real reasons for their deaths in a short speech, the text of which is reported by R. Challoner (see op. Cit.).
Beatified by Pope Pius XI on 15 December. 1929 (cf. AAS, XXII , p. 18, n. CXLVI), St. John Lloyd is commemorated July 22, together with the Jesuit Priest, Philip Evans who was captured shortly before he was and met the same fate.
Canononized on October 29, 1970 by Pope Paul VI, as one of 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.
Source: Santi e Beati