Thus it's no surprise that Father Henry Sebastian Bowden mentions Campion 20 (twenty) times in his Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors For Every Day in the Year, not counting the poem Saint Henry Walpole, SJ wrote about his mentor in martyrdom (Campion's blood splashed on Walpole and he left London to study for the priesthood and return to England as a missionary and martyr) included as an appendix ("Why do I use my paper, ynke and penne?")
And it's no surprise that we'll look at what Father Bowden says about Campion's martyrdom in our next segment on the Son Rise Morning Show on Monday, December 4.
I'll be on the Son Rise Morning Show at my usual time at about 6:50 a.m. Central/7:50 a.m. Eastern, the last segment in the second national hour on EWTN Radio. Please listen live here and/or catch the podcast later here.
I chose the most dramatic of the mementoes Father Bowden offers, the description of the day of Campion's martyrdom, December 1, 1581, with the title "A Sight to God and Man" because of the richness of the details in the account. As we read the description, we can try to imagine what that day was like, as though we are witnessing it:In the splash and mud of a wet December morning, Campion was led forth from the Tower, still in his old gown of Irish frieze. Undaunted he saluted the vast crowd, saying, “God save you all, gentlemen! God bless you and make you all good Catholics!”
At the gallows he began with a sweet firm voice, “Spectaculum facti sumus Deo Angelis et hominibus,”* but the Sheriffs interrupted him, and urged him to confess his treason. He repeatedly maintained his innocence, and having declined to join in prayer with the ministers, asked all Catholics for a Credo for him in his agony, and while again professing his loyalty to the Queen he went to his reward.
"I am a Catholic man and a priest; in that faith have I lived, and in that faith do I intend to die. If you esteem my religion treason, then am I guilty; as for other treason, I never committed any, God is my judge. But you have now what you desire. I beseech you to have patience, and suffer me to speak a word or two for discharge of my conscience."
He was not allowed to continue and his execution was almost another trial as he was questioned again about his loyalty to the Pope as the head of the Catholic Church and/or to the Queen of England. His final statement was:
"Wherein have I offended her? In this I am innocent. This is my last speech; in this give me credit — I have and do pray for her." Then the Lord Charles Howard asked of him for which queen he prayed, whether for Elizabeth the queen. To whom he answered, "Yea, for Elizabeth, your queen and my queen, unto whom I wish a long quiet reign with all prosperity."
Saint Ralph Sherwin, pray for us!
Saint Alexander Briant, pray for us!
Saint Henry Walpole, pray for us!