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George Halley, in religion Br Angelus of St Joseph, was born in Herefordeshire, in England, of Catholic parents, by whom he was entrusted for his education to the care of a Carmelite missionary.  In the year 1640 he came to Ireland to join the Carmelite Order, being then in the 18th year of this age.  A happy omen of his future destinies, he received the sacred habit of Our Lady on the 5th of May, the feast of St Angelus, the Carmelite Martyr.St Angelus of Sicily

Having completed the noviciate and pronounced the vows of religion, he was sent by his superiors to Drogheda, in the year 1642, to enter upon a course of studies in a house of the Order.  It happened that in this year almost all the Catholics were relentlessly driven forth from the town by the Puritan garrison.  Br Angelus, with a few of his religous brethren, contrived to remain unnoticed for some time, intending to depart as soon as they could do so unobserved.  But  before he could effect his purpose, he was discovered and thrown into prison, where Protestant ministers left no means untried to make him renouce the Catholice religion; but he remained firm, and continued even to observe the strict abstinance from flesh meat prescribed by the rule of the Order.  He was, in consequence, subjected to injury and insult, and constrained to fast on bread and water. 

The ministers persisted long in fruitless attempts to shake his constancy.  At length, in order to put an end to the harassing conflict and to secure himself againt danger, he opposed a rigourous and unbroken silence to their vexatious importunities, contenting himself merely with occasionally replying -'The way of the Lord is immaculate, and the ways of heretics vile.'  Throughout this encounter with the heretical minishters, Br Angelus, like the prophet, ceased not to beseech the Almight Giver of gifts to grant him perseverance and constancy.  He frequently offered to God the sacrifice of his life, and often expressed to his Catholic fellow-prisoners his ardent desire to shed his blood for the faith, in order thus to encourage and sustain them in the hour of trial. 

All attempts to subdue the constancy of the dauntless friar having entirely failed, Br. Angelus was released from prison.  Quitting Drogheda immediately, he set off to join his religous brethren, whether at Ardee (the convent here was founded by Rudolph Pipard in the Reign of Edward I) or at Athboy (The founder was William De Loundres, in 1317) our Annalists do not say.  ON his way he rested in a certain town, called by one of our Annalists Selanum, probably the present town of Slane; by another Charigia.  While there, the place was attacked by the Puritans under Lord Moore, on August, the 14th and being insufficiently provided with gunpowder, was captured by him during the following night.

Martyrs of Penal IrelandBrother Angelus, considering that his death was at hand, assisted at Mass in the morning, together with some nuns, who were also at the time flying fom their persecutors, and received the Holy Eucharist after which he earnestly exhorted the nuns to continue steadfast in the faith, to faithfully observe their sacred vows, and, if necessary, to defend them by a glorious death.  He then concluded his discourse by offering up his own life to God for the Catholic faith.  In order to await the manifestations of the divine will in his regard, he refrained from needlessly or rashly exposing himself, but endeavoured to escape unobserved in the company of the nuns, with whom he appeared before Lord Moore. 

The nuns were granted their liberty by the Puritan Commander.  But not so Br Angelus; for him the tyrant reserved his frowns, and informed him that no such mercy would be shown to him, whom, he said, he well knew to be an Englishman, a Papist, and a monk, escaped from prison, but who would not escape his hand.  Yet, however, one way was left open to him by which he might save his life, namely, to abandon the Papist superstitions and profess the reformed religion -  if he followed this advice he should have a sure and high reward.  To this Br Angelus calmly and boldly replied that he had been imbibed with his mother's milk, and that he would not barter his soul for life or liberty.  Lord Moore repeated his promises; but when he found that it was in vain, after holding a consultation with his officers, he pronounced sentence of death of Br Angelus. 

The holy confessor received the sentence with joy, glad to suffer death for the faith of his fathers and the religious profession.  He only asked as a favour that this execution should not be deferred beyond that day, the festival of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the special patron of his Order.  The Puritan, enraged at the mention of Our Lady's name and triumph, told him that his wish would be that day and that very instant gratified, and immediately gave orders to three of his soldiers to shoot him.  Br Angelus was led forth to the place of execution, singing the litany of the Blessed Virgin.  An heritical minister interrupted him, and pressed him to adopt his errors; but the soldier of Christ bade him retire, saying, 'Get thee behind me, Satan.'  Having come to the appointed place, he fell on his knees, and raising his heart to God, he awaited death.  The soliers fired three times at him, but he remained unhurt by the bullets; whereupon, by command of Lord Moore, a soldier despatched him with a sword.  The nuns were witnesses of his holy death, and afterwards related all its circumstances to our Fathers.  The confessor's body was buried in an obscure spot; but in the course of time it was transferred by the people to their principal church, where it was interred by them with all the sacred rites of Christian burial.

Text from 'Our Martyrs' - A Record of those who suffered for the Catholic Faith under the Penal Laws in Ireland by Rev. D. Murphy, S.J., published by Fallon & Co., 16 Lower Sackville Street, 1896.