Ralph Sherwin and the English Martyrs

Saint Ralph Sherwin in a window at Saint Joseph’s

Saint Ralph Sherwin is our local saint, and was born nearby at Rodsley village, Derbyshire, in AD 1550. He moved to the English College, in exile at Douai (on account of the English Reformation and hostility towards the Catholic Church in England), where he was ordained priest. He returned to England with thirteen companions in April, 1580. However, in November of that year, he was arrested, imprisoned and sent to the Tower of London. He consistently refused to renounce his faith and a year later he was hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

Father Sherwin was canonised in 1970, and is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. His feastday is on the 1st of December, the day of his martyrdom. Saint Ralph is venerated in our small side chapel, which has a beautiful stained glass commemorative window (pictured above) and the relics of the saint.