Saturday, 10 October 2009


In November 1638, at the age of 21, Abergavenny born David Lewis entered the English College, Rome. He assumed the alias, Charles Baker. In those dark days of bigotry, fear, mistrust and persecution, it was common practice for priests destined for the “English Mission” to take an assumed name. Upon completion of his studies, he was ordained a priest on 20th July 1642. Three years later he joined the Society of Jesus. After his profession as a Jesuit, Fr Lewis returned to Wales. With the exception of one year in Rome, Fr David Lewis spent the rest of his life ministering to the Catholics of South Wales. He laboured for them for more than 30 years until his arrest at Llantarnam in November 1678. All this time he worked under the name of Charles Baker. He was martyred at Usk in August 1679 and canonised by Pope Paul VI in October 1970. In the Catholic Church of Our Ladye and St Michael, Abergavenny, there is a beautiful stained glass window which commemorates St David Lewis under his alias of Charles Baker.

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