Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. John of Bridlington, Confessor
THIS eminent contemplative was born near Bridlington, or Burlington, a seaport in Yorkshire, and received from the example and instructions of his pious parents the precious inheritance of the most fervent piety and tender devotion, which he diligently improved during the course of his studies at Oxford. When he returned from the university, finding all employments distasteful which took off his mind from God, he took the religious habit in the monastery of regular canons of St. Austin at Burlington. In this solitude it was his great study to know himself and God: to discover and to wipe away with tears of compunction all the imperfections and stains of his soul, and to purge his affections from whatever could defile or distort them, that he might offer to God a continual sacrifice of obedience, love, and praise, with a perfect purity of heart. Thus he prepared his soul to let in those heavenly beams, which are always streaming from God upon minds fitted to receive them; and he advanced daily in the victory over himself, in the experimental knowledge of spiritual things, and in the fervent exercise of charity and all interior virtues. He was successively precentor, almoner, and at length prior of his monastery. This last charge he had averted by his tears and importunities the first time he was chosen; but upon a second vacation, his brethren, who were ashamed of their former want of resolution, obliged him to take up the yoke. It is incredible how plentifully he relieved the necessities of all persons in distress, to whom he looked upon everything as due that by frugality and prudent economy could be spared in the management of his temporal revenue. His patience and meekness, his constant mortification and penance, and his constant application to the holy exercises of prayer, showed how much his whole conduct was regulated by the spirit of God; and an extraordinary spiritual prudence, peace of mind, and meekness of temper, were the amiable fruits of his virtue. When he had been seventeen years prior, he received with great joy the summons of his heavenly spouse, and was translated to eternal bliss on the 10th of October, 1379. Many miracles wrought through his intercession are mentioned by the author of his life, and by Walsingham, who testifies, that by order of the pope, the Archbishop of York, assisted by the Bishops of Durham and Carlisle, performed the ceremony of the translation of his relics. See his life in Surius, and Britannia Sancta.