James Duckett was born at Gilfortrigs, Westmorland in Englad. He lived at a time when Elizabeth I was Queen of England. As a young man he became an apprentice (trainee) printer in London. There he came across a book called The Firm Foundation of the Catholic Religion.
He studied the book carefully and believed that the Catholic Church was the true Church. In those days, Catholics were ill-treated in England. James decided that he wanted to be a Catholic anyway and would bravely face any trouble that came his way.
The priest from his previous church came to look for him because James had been a regular church goer. James refused to go back. He was sent to prison twice for his stubbornness and both times the owner of the printing press he worked for, helped free him. But then the man asked James to find himself another job.
James Duckett knew there was no turning back and was able to find a disguised Catholic priest in the Gatehouse prison. The old priest, "Mr. Weekes," taught him about the Catholic faith and soon Duckett was received into the Catholic Church. He married a Catholic widow and their son became a Carthusian monk.
Blessed Duckett never forgot that it was a book that had changed his life. He made it his duty to provide his neighbors with Catholic books as he knew these books would help encourage and teach them about the faith and the Catholic Church.
So dangerous was this "work" that he was in prison for nine years out of the twelve that he was married. Finally, he was condemned to death by one manís witness. Peter Bullock, a book binder testified that he had bound Catholic books for Blessed Duckett, a very "serious crime." Peter Bullock turned traitor because he himself was sent to prison for a crime and hoped to be set free.
But he was not set free. Instead, both men were sent to die on the same day. Before they were hanged, Blessed Duckett told Bullock that he was forgiven. He kept encouraging the man as they were dying to accept the Catholic faith. Then the ropes were placed around their necks. Blessed Duckett was martyred and died for his faith in 1602.
Today we pray for all those who work in the media that God may guide them always.