Friday, October 19, 2012

Affliction in This Life; Glory with Christ in the Next

St. Philip Howard is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. Philip was the earl of Arundel and Surrey and, although a Catholic, led a religiously apathetic life until his personal conversion, after which he was a zealous Catholic in the midst of Elizabethan England. Arrested by authorities, he was placed in the Tower of London in 1585 and condemned to death in 1589. The sentence was never carried out, and Philip languished in the Tower until his death at the age of thirty eight. Beatified in 1929, he was included among the English martyrs canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

Father William Weston, SJ brought the Earl of Arundel back to the practice of his faith and to the faithful love of his wife, Anne. Father Weston did not suffer martyrdom like his convert, but he was imprisoned so long in the Tower of London that he lost his sight--finally exiled after Elizabeth I died.

Anne (nee Dacre), the Countess of Arundel, survived her husband, took a vow of chastity, and struggled to raise their two children--all his possession were forfeit to Queen Elizabeth I.

The Earl wanted to see the son his wife had been pregnant with when he was arrested and confined in the Tower. Queen Elizabeth I said that he could if he would renounce his Catholic Faith. He sent her word to refuse that condition, regretting that he had only one life to sacrifice in the cause of his Faith. I wonder if that response gave the Queen pause.

More here and here. The dog pictured in the drawing above carried messages between St. Philip and St. Robert Southwell--and the artist has depicted St. Philip after carving the words: "The more affliction we endure for Christ in this world, the more glory we shall obtain with Christ in the next."

Quanto plus afflictionis pro Christo in hoc saeculo, tanto plus gloriae cum Christo in futuro. Arundell - 22 June 1587. 

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