Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Catholic Martyrs of Wales (English Reformation Era)

Came a time upon our nation
when the faith of Rome was banned.
Christians found their hearts were broken
torn apart throughout our land.
Thus a traitor to the nation
anyone who loved the Pope!
Christians stood in condemnation;
who could bring them any hope?

Men who trained as priests for Cymru
came from Europe’s shores ere long.
Traversed far and wide our nation,
come to keep the Old Faith strong!
Saying Mass and heard confession,
priests of God: their only crime
Was that laws of England’s kingdom
made such treason, at that time.

Tonight EWTN presents the third episode of its special series on Wales, "The Golden Thread of Faith," which promises to cover the effects of the English Reformation on Wales:

Part 3 From the Reformation to the Present Day Pilgrims  King Henry VIII’s unwelcomed “Reformation”, the dissolution of the monasteries, Welsh recusants, Civil wars, the Titus Oates plot and the Welsh martyrs. Today Welsh Catholics can once again practice their faith and go on pilgrimages.

There are six Welsh martyrs among the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales--two from the Tudor era, one from the reign of James I, and three from the Popish Plot:

St Richard Gwyn - a layman and school-teacher, hung, drawn and quartered on October 17, 1584

St John Jones - hung, drawn, and quartered after two year's imprisonment and torture on July 12, 1589

St John Roberts - executed at Tyburn on December 10, 1610

St Philip Evans - and St John Lloyd - both executed in connection with the fake Popish Plot on July 22, 2012

St David Lewis - The Last Welsh Martyr. Executed on August 27, 1679

There are a few Welsh martyrs among the 85 Martyrs of England and Wales beatified by Blessed John Paul II in 1987:

Blessed Roger Cadwallador certainly has a Welsh name;

Blessed William Davies;

And the Irishman, Blessed Charles Mahoney, who was executed in Wales--his last words were: "Now Almighty God is pleased I should suffer this martyrdom. His Holy Name be praised since I die for my religion."

The six canonized martyrs and their companions (the beatified) are honored on a separate Feast Day (separate from the May 4th Feast Day for all the Catholics Martyrs of the English Reformation in England and Wales) on the 25th of October. That was the original date of the canonization of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Here is a link to a nice set of devotions to all the Welsh martyrs, including Sts. Julius and Aaron from the era of Roman occupation (episode I). It is the source of the hymn quoted above.

This series is a co-production of EWTN and the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. The DVD for the program should be available soon.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you found my hymn inspiring! Readers wanting the full version can find it at: