Father Basil Maturin: Hero of the Lusitania

Father Basil Maturin was born on February 15,1847 in Dublin, Ireland to William Basil Maurin and Jane Cook. His family were Irish Anglicans. He was also the grandson of writer, Charles Maturin. He was ordained an Anglican priest in his twenties and was appointed rector of St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1897, he converted to Roman Catholicism and the following year in 1898, he was ordained a priest by his good friend, Herbert Cardinal Vaughn. He was a successful preacher and writer as well. He wrote many books and articles such as Laws of the Spiritual Life (1908), Self-Knowledge and Self-Discipline (1909), Christian Self-Mastery, and The Price of Unity (1912). In 1915, he began a successful preaching tour in the United States and preached to Americans of Irish descent. He also did Lenten services at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. After finishing up, he booked passage on the Cunard Line’s RMS Lusitania. He boarded the ship in New York on May 1,1915. On May 7,1915, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German u-boat off the coast of Ireland. When the liner was sinking, he helped many passengers to safety and gave absolution to many who were still trapped on board. He was offered a place in a lifeboat and refused. Father Maturin perished in the sinking on May 7,1915. His body was later recovered. Father Maturin was a hero.

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