Monday, August 28, 2017

St. Edmund Arrowsmith, SJ

Today's English Catholic Martyr was raised in a recusant family and suffered much for his Catholic faith and his priesthood. Executed on the vigil of the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, it is interesting to note that his defense of holy matrimony brought about his final arrest. Like St. John the Baptist, speaking to Herod, he told one of his flock that his marriage was not valid and was betrayed.

According to this site, Catholic Online:

St. Edmund Arrowsmith (1585 - 1628) Edmund was the son of Robert Arrowsmith, a farmer, and was born at Haydock, England. He was baptized Brian, but always used his Confirmation name of Edmund. The family was constantly harrassed for its adherence to Catholicism, and in 1605 Edmund left England and went to Douai to study for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1612 and sent on the English mission the following year. He ministered to the Catholics of Lancashire without incident until about 1622, when he was arrested and questioned by the Protestant bishop of Chester. He was released when King James ordered all arrested priests be freed, joined the Jesuits in 1624, and in 1628 was arrested when betrayed by a young man he had censored for an incestuous marriage. He was convicted of being a Catholic priest, sentenced to death, and hanged, drawn, and quartered at Lancaster on August 28th. He was canonized as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales by Pope Paul VI in 1970. His feast day is August 28th.

The Catholic Truth Society has published a biography of St. Edmund Arrowsmith as one of its Saints of the Isles Series.

He recited the prayer O bone Jesu (Oh, Good Jesus, have mercy on us; because you have created us, you have redeemed us through your most Precious Blood), on his way to execution. There is another version of the prayer, attributed to St. Bernard of of Clairvaux, sung here by The Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers:

O bone Jesu. Illumina oculos meos,
ne unquam obdormiam in morte,
nequando dicat inimicus,
prevalui adversus eum.

O Adonai. In manus tuas, Domine,
commendo spiritum meum,
redemisti me, Domine Deus veritatis.

O Messias. Locutus sum in lingua mea,
notum fac mihi finem meum.

O Agios. Et numerum dierum meorum quis est,
ut sciam quid desit mihi.

O Heloi. Dirupisti Domine vincula mea,
tibi sacrificabo hostiam laudis,
et nomen Domini invocabo.

O Emmanuel. Periit fuga a me,
et non est qui requirat animam meam.

O Christe. Clamavi ad te, Domine, dixi,
tu es spes mea, portio mea in terra viventium.

O Rex noster. Fac mecum signum in bonum,
ut videant qui oderunt me, et confundantur,
quoniam tu Domine adiuvisti me,
et consolatus es me.

O Rabbi. Signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui, Domine,
dedisti laetitiam in corde meo. Amen.

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