A SAINT FROM THE TITANIC
At night of 14 and 15 April 1912, the transatlantic ship Titanic sank. The ship hit an iceberg which resulted in sinking at once.
At that time over 1.5 thousand passengers were killed, among whom there were many children. Over 700 people were rescued. The Titanic, despite being an enormous modern ocean liner, did not overcome the icy obstacle.
Wacław Sieroszewski wrote: ‘The man whose life is on the verge and is connected with the sea, must remember about treachery and ruthless cruelty of this part of the environment. He should not turn away his eyes from it for even a while, because life and control over the sea depend on the man’.
Despite assuring comfort, no one thought about proper equipping the Titanic with lifeboats. They had space only for 1170 people. There were signals mayday from the ship via radio, a white racket was launched but, unfortunately, nobody could bring help quickly, because other ships were too far-distanced from the place of the accident.
It became clear that not everybody would be rescued. Those for whose rescue there was no hope, had only an orchestra of 8 musicians who were playing all the time. In this way it was intended to calm down despair of people being there. The last melody which the musicians played was a supplication song ‘I want to be closer to you, my God’.
On the ship there was a priest who was sailing to New York. Earlier he had asked a captain for a possibility to celebrate the Holy Mass to which the captain agreed. During that tragic event the priest was praying with everyone, was giving confession, forgiveness and conciliation. The crew of the ship, which were evacuating passengers, had asked him twice to take place on a lifeboat, but he was giving his place to somebody else.
A big event is the fact that after 103 years since that terrible tragedy on the sea, there appeared attempts to open a beatification process of Fr. Thomas Roussel Byles. This priest on the ship fulfilled his mission.
Let the sea still connects us with brotherly crews, so that we could happily reach our destination and be happy with loving families who are waiting for these returns.