Thursday, April 14, 2016

A First at St. Giles-in-the-Fields

From the Jesuits in Britain site, this good news:

On Saturday April 9th Fr Dominic Robinson SJ led a Mount Street Jesuit Community excursion to St Giles-in-the-Fields to celebrate a Mass in honour of the five Jesuit martyrs of the so-called ‘Titus Oates’ or ‘Popish’ plot of 1679, the last major executions of Catholics in England.  The five Jesuits are all buried in unmarked graves on the north side of the church, a mark of some respect compared to the quartering and piking of the bodies of those martyrs hung at Tyburn in the previous century. 

Fr Dominic said "I think this may be the first time a Mass honouring these later martyrs has been celebrated and we were very grateful for the permission of St Giles-in-the-Fields Rector The Revd Alan Carr, his Parish Council, and the Bishop of London The Rt Revd Richard Chartres; and a graced opportunity to learn from our Jesuit ancestors who struggled to live lives of courage and authenticity in more dangerous times in the history of the city in which we minister."

The five buried are: Blesseds Thomas Whitbread, William Harcourt, John Fenwick, John Gavan, Anthony Turner. 

Their executions took place on June 20, 1679. Read more about their executions on that day--when the promise of a pardon seemed an opportunity to save their lives--here.

Photo: St. Giles-in-the-Fields (used by permission).

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