On Monday, October 19, Matt Swaim and I will continue our series of brief biographies of each of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales on the Son Rise Morning Show. The 50th anniversary of their canonization is coming up soon, on Sunday, October 25.
Saint Henry Morse, SJ was martyred on February 1, 1645; Saint John Southworth on June 28, 1654, both at Tyburn. These two martyrs, both of whom served the people of London during a time of plague, spoke some of the most stirring words of all the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales before their executions.proclaimed:I am come hither to die for my religion, for that religion which is professed by the catholic Roman church, founded by Christ, established by the apostles, propagated through all ages by an hierarchy always visible to this day, grounded on the testimonies of holy scriptures; upheld by the authority of fathers and councils, out of which, in fine, there can be no hopes of salvation.
Finally, after he made a plea for leniency for the Catholic laity who wanted only to practice their faith, he was told to prepare for his death. The Venetian Secretary reported on his execution: he was hanged, and was not dead when the executioner "cut out his heart and entrails and threw them into a fire kindled for the purpose, the body being quartered . . . Such is the inhuman cruelty used towards the English Catholic religious."
The Catholic Encyclopedia provides this biography of Saint Henry Morse, SJ:
His remains were found, however, after this great encyclopedic work was published, and they are venerated in Westminster Cathedral.