Father Thomas Byles: The Heroic Priest Who Remained And Prayed On The Titanic Board During The Catastrophe

Date December 13, 2017

It has been more than a century since the Titanic ship sank during its voyage to New York City. The tragedy that took the lives of 1,500 passengers is still remembered.

The terrible tragedy

It was one of the most famous ships in history because of the level of the havoc caused by its destruction. Being the largest ship at the time, it had about 2,200 passengers and crew aboard when it hit an iceberg and sank!


Every now and then, new information about that accident gives us more perspective on what really happened on that fateful day. As it is often the case with disasters and occurrences like this, while many lives may be claimed in the process, there seem to be a simultaneous emergence of heroes.

Certain men and women left their names on the sand of time for their heroic activities in the few hours they had left to live. One of such people is the Catholic priest, Father Thomas Byles

Father Thomas Byles' story – God bless him

Although he was one of those who lost their lives that night, Father Thomas would never be forgotten for his actions.

Everett Historical /

Father Thomas boarded the ship in Southampton and was headed to the United States. He had been invited to the United States to officiate the wedding ceremony of his brother who had found love there.

On the trip, he carried a small altar stone, his priestly garment, and was conducting mass for passengers. In the course of the journey, he also heard the confessions.

On that fateful day, he held a mass in the morning for passengers in the second and third classes of the ship as though he knew that would be his last.

When the accident happened, he helped women and children make their way to the lifeboats, and they made their escape out of the ship. And as soon as the last lifeboat was gone, he got back to the deck and knelt down to pray.

Anton_Ivanov /

Father Thomas Byles' Legacy

It is reported that several other passengers joined him there praying for salvation before they perished.

In his honor, a Requiem Mass was conducted by his brother William and his wife. William later traveled to Rome to meet Pope Pius X, and Father Thomas was named a Matyr for the church of God.

Thank God for faithful servants of God like Father Thomas who stand in service to the very end of their lives. He shall always be remembered.

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