Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Feast of the Martyrs of England and Wales on the Radio

I'll be on the Son Rise Morning Show Friday morning, May 3 to highlight once again the great Feast of the Martyrs of England and Wales, which is on Saturday, May 4 in the Dioceses of England and Wales. Brian Patrick and I will discuss the martyrs and their feast, which is set on the day the protomartyrs of the English Reformation suffered and died at Tyburn in 1535, at 7:45 a.m. Eastern--6:45 a.m. Central (where I am!)

Then on Monday afternoon, May 6, I'll be on Kresta in the Afternoon to discuss the same feast (Al Kresta is on retreat this week so we'll talk then from 4:35 to 4:55 p.m. Eastern--3:35 to 3:55 p.m. Central.

With both of these interviews, I do want to highlight the upcoming Catholic Martyrs of England Pilgrimage, pointing out that our tour will visit several sites and shrines associated with these martyrs:

York: St. Margaret Clitherow and St. Henry Walpole, and several other priests, including two of the Carthusians of the Charterhouse in London, were martyred there; York was a major center of recusancy;

Oxford: Many of the priests who suffered martyrdom during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were former students at the University of Oxford, including St. Edmund Campion, St. Cuthbert Mayne, St. Ralph Sherwin; and four martyrs were executed in Oxford: Blessed George Nichols and Blessed Richard Yaxley, priests; Blessed Thomas Belson and Blessed Humphrey Pritchard, laymen;

Canterbury: Not only the site of St. Thomas a Becket's martyrdom but also of St. John Stone, Augustinian Canon (executed after Christmas in 1539) and the Oaten Hill martyrs, executed after the failure of the Spanish Armada: Blessed Edward Campion, Blessed Christopher Buxton, Blessed Robert Wilcox, and Blessed Robert Widmerpool--and there's the St. Thomas More connection as his head is buried in St. Dunstan's Anglican church;

London: St. Thomas More, St. John Fisher and many, many others (St. Robert Southwell, St. Oliver Plunkett, St. Anne Line, et al) suffered both at the Tower of London and at Tyburn Tree, and at various other sites in London, including Smithfield, where Blessed John Forrest was burned alive;

Arundel: not the site of martyrdom, but an important shrine at the Cathedral of St. Philip Howard and the location of splendid Arundel Castle, with its exhibit of "relics" of Mary, Queen of Scots and a fascinating chapel.

This pilgrimage, since I developed the itinerary at Corporate Travel Services' request, is unique in its focus on the English martyrs and in the selection of cities and sights to visit. With daily Mass in so many historically significant places (the Parish of English Martyrs in York; St. Aloysius Oratory Church in Oxford; St. Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church in Canterbury; the Cathedral of St. Philip Howard in Arundel, and St. Etheldreda's and Westminster Cathedral in London!) the spiritual blessings of the pilgrimage will be as great as the historical background we'll all share. All the English Martyrs, pray for us!

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