Father Byles was walking on the upper deck praying his breviary when the Titanic struck the iceberg. As the ship was sinking, he assisted many third-class passengers up to the Boat Deck to the lifeboats. He reputedly twice refused a place on a lifeboat. Toward the very end, he recited the rosary and other prayers, heard confessions, and gave absolution to more than a hundred passengers who remained trapped on the stern of the ship after all of the lifeboats had been launched.
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