Overtown Miscellany - Charles Waterton

"Knight of Christ"

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Emund Waterton, 1860sOBITUARY
The Tablet,
International Catholic News Weekly
Page 27, 30th July 1887

We regret to announce the death of MR. EDMUND WATERTON, Knight of Christ, on Friday July 22nd. Mr. Waterton's health had for the last few years caused his friends much anxiety. On his return home in June last from Algiers, where he had spent the winter, he showed some little signs of renewed strength. Their hopeful appearance however proved only to be the last flicker of the candle. Just a week ago it became apparent to all that his days if not hours were numbered, and he himself asked for the Sacraments, naming the Jesuit Father he wished to have at his side at the last moment. He received all the Rites of Holy Church with the deepest piety and recollection, in the midst of his sorrowing family and servants, answering all the prayers with perfect self-possession. The last lines he wrote, or attempted to write, with trembling hand, very few minutes before receiving the Sacraments, are a protestation that he desired to die a true son of the Church and of the Blessed Virgin. He was able to hear Mass twice more, to receive Holy Viaticum once again before entering his last agony. Even then the lips were to be seen moving frequently in prayer, the enfeebled hand struggled to the last to make the old familiar Sign of the Cross, and the crucifix applied to his lips was enough to rouse him out of his lethargy. Fortified with the special blessing of the Holy Father, and a last Absolution, and surrounded by his family, he expired peacefully in the early morning of the Feast of St. Mary Magdalen. Mr. Waterton was born at Walton Hall, Yorkshire, April 7th, 1830. He received all his education at Stonyhurst College. To this home of his youth, as well as to the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, at home and abroad he remained all his life unalterably attached. Here in his younger days, he conceived that chivalrous devotion to the Blessed Mother of God, for which he was so remarkable and which is breathed in the pages of his Pietas Mariana Britannica. From the day (December 8th 1843) that he wrote himself down Servus B.V.M, Perpetuus, to within a few days of his death, he never once missed saying the Sodalist's Little Office of the Immaculate Conception. The character of this true Knight of Christ and of our blessed Lady, is well summed up in the words of a friend, who knew him intimately, addressed in a letter of condolence to his family. "To him the great reality of this world was the Catholic Church and all its history, actual life, sacraments, devotions, ceremonies, saints, religious orders, and men and women living in its spirit and power." R.I.P.