Saturday, October 31, 2020

St. John Henry Newman's "Re-Imagining" of Purgatory

On Monday, October 26, I watched Professor Kenneth Parker's Journey Home episode on EWTN. He is currently the Ryan Endowed Chair for Newman Studies, Professor of Historical Theology and soon will be the Chairman of the newly formed Department of Catholic Studies both at Duquesne University. 

He grew up in a Christian community I'd never heard of before, the Pilgrim Holiness Church. He studied Historical Theology at the University of Cambridge, became a Catholic in 1982 and discerned a  vocation as a Benedictine monk in California before returning to the academic world. As he says on his page at Duquesne:

My original area of scholarship focused on early modern English theology, and I have published on English sabbatarianism, Richard Greenham, and Elizabethan pastoral care. In the late 1980s my research interests expanded to include John Henry Newman and Christian historiographical traditions. In the early 2000s, I began exploring the papal infallibility debates of the 1860s and how history was employed by key theologians. This research has drawn me into studies of two Irish American archepiscopal brothers, Francis and Peter Kenrick, who profoundly influenced the discourse on papal authority in the 19th-century North Atlantic Catholic world. Their Irish background has led to research on the Irish gallican tradition and its impact on Catholicism in the United States.

In the course of his interview, some viewers sent emails and one of them asked about a neglected or relatively unknown aspect of Saint John Henry Newman's works and thought. Professor Parker suggested that how Newman "re-imagined our understanding of Purgatory" in The Dream of Gerontius was one thing, continuing with the thought that Newman often regretted "from his first book" [The Arians of the Fourth Century] that doctrines celebrated doxologically through worship had to be defended through intellectual argument, removing them from their proper place. 

What I interpreted him to mean is that the Divinity of Jesus was celebrated in the liturgy of the Church, but the attack on that Divinity by Arius meant that orthodox believers had to provide technical exegesis and theological arguments to defend and codify it. 

Furthermore, I conclude that Professor Parker was saying that in The Dream of Gerontius, with its earthly and heavenly liturgies of prayer and praise, Newman was providing a fresh vision of Purgatory in its proper context--worship and awe of the Holy Trinity; the justice and mercy of God; the reality of sin, repentance, and expiation--all in the experience of a man dying in the state of grace, absolved of sin, and prepared for judgment by the traditions of the Church.

When Gerontius's Soul approaches particular judgment, he hears those at his deathbed praying for him, and his Guardian Angel explains:

It is the voice of friends around thy bed,
Who say the "Subvenite" with the priest.
Hither the echoes come; before the Throne
Stands the great Angel of the Agony,
The same who strengthen'd Him, what time He knelt
Lone in that garden shade, bedew'd with blood.
That Angel best can plead with Him for all
Tormented souls, the dying and the dead.

The Subvenite is the responsory prayed immediately after the Christian has died:

R. Subveníte, Sancti Dei, occúrrite, Angeli Dómini, Suscipiéntes ániman ejus, Offeréntes eam in conspéctu Altíssimi. Suscípiat te Christus, qui vocávit te, et in sinum Abrahae Angeli dedúcant te. Suscipiéntes ánimam ejus, Offeréntes eam in conspéctu Altíssimi. 

V. Réquiem aetérnam dona ei, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat ei. Offeréntes eam in conspéctu Altìssimi. 

R. Come to his assistance, all you Saints of God: meet him, all you Angels of God: receiving his soul, offering it in the sight of the Most High. May Christ receive you, who hath called you, and may the Angels conduct you to Abraham's bosom. Receiving his (her) soul and offering it in the sight of the Most High.

V. Eternal rest give to him (her), Lord: and let perpetual light shine upon him (her). Offering it in the sight of the Most High.

This is what has been happening to Gerontius's Soul; the Angels of God have received it and are offering it "in the sight of the Most High" as the Soul goes to face God and Judgment. And after the Soul has received Judgment, Newman places a poem of great subtlety mixing joy and pain, longing and peace as the Soul is "happy in [his] pain", "Lone, not forlorn--" and will sing to "soothe [his] stricken breast":

Take me away, and in the lowest deep
There let me be,
And there in hope the lone night-watches keep,
Told out for me.
There, motionless, and happy in my pain,
Lone, not forlorn –
There will I sing my sad perpetual strain,
Until the morn,
There will I sing, and soothe my stricken breast,
Which ne’er can cease
To throb, and pine, and languish, till possest
Of its Sole Peace.
There will I sing my absent Lord and Love: –
Take me away,
That sooner I may rise, and go above,
And see Him in the truth of everlasting day.

[His Guardian Angel had warned his Soul that he would feel this way:

When then—if such thy lot—thou seest thy Judge,
The sight of Him will kindle in thy heart,
All tender, gracious, reverential thoughts.
Thou wilt be sick with love, and yearn for Him,
And feel as though thou couldst but pity Him,
That one so sweet should e’er have placed Himself
At disadvantage such, as to be used
So vilely by a being so vile as thee.
There is a pleading in His pensive eyes
Will pierce thee to the quick, and trouble thee.
And thou wilt hate and loathe thyself; for, though
Now sinless, thou wilt feel that thou hast sinned,
As never thou didst feel; and wilt desire
To slink away, and hide thee from His sight;
And yet wilt have a longing aye to dwell
Within the beauty of His countenance.
And these two pains, so counter and so keen,—
The longing for Him, when thou seest Him not;
The shame of self at thought of seeing Him,—
Will be thy veriest, sharpest purgatory.]

Sir Edward Elgar left that passage out of the libretto of his oratorio, but that image of the Soul seeing with spiritual eyes the love God has for him and how much the Soul has failed to receive that love worthily--and that moment "will be thy veriest, sharpest purgatory" is a re-imagining of the moment of Judgment and Purgatory, and even the immortal soul's reaction to its fate. It is ready for Purgatory now; it wants to be purified and prepared to enter that Presence again.

This is the passage that even Charles Kingsley, Newman's defeated opponent of the Apologia pro Vita Sua crisis could accept, as cited in this article by Robert Carballo:
I read the Dream with awe and admiration. However utterly I may differ from the entourage in which Dr. Newman’s present creed surrounds the central idea, I must feel that the central idea is as true, as it is noble, and it, as I suppose, is this: The longing of the soul to behold the Deity … that the soul is ready, even glad, to be hurled back to any depth, to endure any pain, from the moment it becomes aware of God’s actual perfection and its own impurity and meanness.
The Guardian Angel's description of Purgatory echoes a poem Newman wrote in 1853, "The Golden Prison", promising the presence of Angels even there--the Soul will not suffer alone.

Now let the golden prison open its gates,
Making sweet music, as each fold revolves
Upon its ready hinge. And ye great powers,
Angels of Purgatory, receive from me
My charge, a precious soul, until the day,
When, from all bond and forfeiture released,
I shall reclaim it for the courts of light.

And then the Guardian Angel's final words refer to "penal waters", a lake, and "bed of sorrows", as the Angels of Purgatory tend, nurse, and lull the penitent soul and prayers and Masses on earth make the time pass swiftly until she returns to convey his Soul to Heaven:

Softly and gently, dearly ransomed soul,
In my most loving arms I now enfold thee,
And o’er the penal waters, as they roll,
I poise thee, and I lower thee, and hold thee.
And carefully I dip thee in the lake,
And thou, without a sob or a resistance,
Dost through the flood thy rapid passage take,
Sinking deep, deeper, into the dim distance.
Angels, to whom the willing task is given,
Shall tend, and nurse, and lull thee, as thou liest;
And Masses on the earth, and prayers in heaven,
Shall aid thee at the Throne of the Most Highest.
Farewell, but not for ever brother dear,
Be brave and patient on thy bed of sorrow;
Swiftly shall pass thy night of trial here,
And I will come and wake thee on the morrow. 

Newman emphasizes that the sufferings of the Soul are outside of earthly time; it is not earthly days or weeks or months or years that pass but merely a "night", and the Guardian Angel will return "on the morrow".

Professor Parker mentioned Elgar's oratorio based upon Newman's poem: Dame Janet Baker's performance of this final aria is the perfect conclusion. Elgar's brilliance of weaving the prayers of the other Souls in Purgatory reciting Psalm 90 as the Angelicals sing "Praise to the Holiest in the Height" lead us to a peaceful Amen. 

Farewell, but not forever.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Preview: Last of the 40: Three Popish Plot Martyrs

On All Souls Day, Monday, November 2, Matt Swaim and I will conclude our Son Rise Morning Show series on the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales with the stories of Saint John Plessington, Saint John Kemble, and Saint David Lewis, the last Welsh martyr. These three martyrs were arrested in and near Wales. Kemble and Lewis were taken from Wales to London to be questioned about the Popish Plot and when authorities accepted that they'd had nothing to do with the Plot (which had never been a Plot), they were returned to Wales to face trial and execution for a being Catholic priests in England, acts of treason according to an Elizabethan statute. Plessington was merely arrested, charged with that crime, and executed. 

Saint John Plessington was born in Lancashire in 1637 in a Royalist (supporting the monarchy during the English Civil Wars) and Catholic family. He studied with the Jesuits at Scarisbrick Hall in Lancashire and then at what is now called the Royal College of Saint Alban at Valladolid, Spain, and then at Saint Omer Seminary in France, being ordained in 1662 on the Feast of the Annunciation. He returned to England in 1663, sometimes using the name John Scarisbrick and according to the Diocese of Shrewsbury, he:

based himself largely at Puddington Hall, near Burton, Wirral, where he laboured without harassment for more than decade as chaplain to the Massey family and tutor to the children.

But in 1678 the pretended revelations of a conspiracy to assassinate Charles II and replace him with his Catholic brother James created national hysteria. In December that year they claimed their first victim, Edward Coleman, and until 1st July 1681, with the martyrdom of St Oliver Plunkett, Catholics were executed in locations all over England. According to a local tradition, St John was drawn into the plot at the insistence of a Protestant landowner simply because he had forbidden a match between his son and a Catholic heiress. Three witnesses gave false evidence of seeing St John serving as a priest: he forgave each of them by name from the scaffold.

Saint John Plessington was hanged, drawn, and quartered on July 19, 1679. The Diocese of Shrewsbury has longed hoped to find his relics because the Massey family was able to prevent his quartered body to be displayed after his execution in Boughton, Cheshire:

The authorities had demanded that the quartered remains of St John were to be displayed at the four corners of Puddington Hall, near Burton, where he had served as chaplain to the obstinately Catholic Massey family and tutor to their children. When the soldiers arrived with the body, they were stoned by the locals and fled. The Masseys instead laid out the remains of the priest on an oak table to the hall in preparation for his burial.

Plessington was about 42 years old and had served in Monmouthshire for about 16 years.

Saint John Kemble was born during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in 1599 so was about 80 years old when he was executed. Like Father Plessington, he had been able to serve Catholics for many years (54) without much trouble. As this Herefordshire history website describes his life and martyrdom:

[His] family was staunchly Catholic, and already included four priests when John studied for his priesthood and was ordained at Douai College on 23rd February 1625, following which he returned to England and began his work as a missionary in Herefordshire and Monmouthshire. His popularity steadily grew, and not just among the Catholics…..he was a very likeable man, and he continued to serve for more than 50 years, living with his brother at Pembridge Castle.

Then, poor John was caught up in the horrific doings of Titus Oates the perjurer who fabricated the Popish Plot, which was the non-existent conspiracy by Catholics to kill King Charles II. Oates was a spectacularly nasty character, with no scruples whatsoever, and his fraud was eventually uncovered but sadly too late to save many an innocent man.

In 1678, Captain John Scudamore of Kentchurch (a lapsed Catholic, although his wife and children were parishioners of John Kemble) arrived at Pembridge Castle to arrest the elderly John Kemble, and although people tried hard to get him to escape he merely said “According to the course of nature I have but a few years to live. It will be an advantage to suffer for my religion and therefore I will not abscond.” He was taken to Hereford, where he spent three months in gaol, before being taken to Newgate Prison in London…….no comfortable trip as he was bundled backwards onto a horse like a sack. For anyone that would have been torture, but for an 80 year old it must have been almost unbearable. When interrogated, John refused to admit to a non existent plot, and eventually was sent back to Hereford…by foot. There, in accordance with Elizabeth I’s Statute 27 he was tried for the treasonable offence of being a Catholic priest and for saying Mass, and was duly declared guilty, being condemned to be hanged drawn and quartered.

Before he was executed on August 22, 1679, he asked to smoke his pipe one last time, drink a cup of wine, and finish his prayers. A "Kemble Cup" and a "Kemble Pipe" became well-known terms in the area. He was buried in the Anglican churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin at Welsh Newton.

The last of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, and the last of the Six Welsh Martyrs, was Saint David Lewis, SJ. As the Jesuits in Singapore website notes, it's a similar story to that of the six Popish Plot martyrs among the 40: he was arrested after serving the Catholic people for years because of the rewards promised during a time of fear and crisis:

David Lewis, a Welshman, was born in Abergevenny, Gwent, the youngest of 9 children to a Protestant father and a Catholic mother. He was raised as a Protestant and studied at the Royal Grammar School where his father was the headmaster. He read Law at the Middle Temple and became a Catholic in 1635. He returned to Abergevenny and lived with his parents and came to know his maternal uncle, John Prichard, a Jesuit priest ministering in South Wales. David was ordained to the priesthood in Rome in 1642 and entered the Jesuit Roman Novitiate in 1645.

After working in Wales for a year, Fr Lewis was recalled to Rome to serve as the Spiritual Director to the seminarians at the English College. He returned to work in Wales on the Hereford-Gwent border and for the next 30 years he worked tirelessly in the apostolate, showing special interest and care for the poor and needy and was twice superior of that district.

Because of the plot fabricated by Titus Oates, alleging that the Jesuits were intent on the murder of Charles II and the re-establishment of the Catholic faith in the land, anti-Catholic hatred ran high. Fr Lewis was arrested, betrayed by an apostate couple, who were eager to earn the 50 pounds for the capture of a Jesuit and the 200 pounds offered by the Welsh magistrate, John Arnold, a rabid Calvinist.

Like Father Kemble, he was taken to London for questioning and then returned for trial, found guilty, and condemned for his priesthood. He was finally executed on August 27, 1679, speaking to the witnesses of his martyrdom:

“I believe you are here not only to see a fellow native die, but also with expectation to hear a dying fellow native speak……. I speak not as a murderer, thief or such-like malefactor, but as a Christian, and therefore am not ashamed. My religion is the Roman Catholic; in it I have lived above this 40 years; in it I now die, and so fixedly die, that if all good things were offered me to renounce, all should not move me one hair’s-breadth, from my Roman Catholic faith. A Roman Catholic priest I am; a Roman Catholic priest of the religious order called the Society of Jesus I am, and I bless God who first called me… Please now to observe I was condemned for reading Mass, hearing Confessions, administering the Sacraments, and dying for this I therefore die for my religion.”

Saint John Plessington, pray for us!
Saint John Kemble, pray for us!
Saint David Lewis, pray for us!
40 Martyrs of England and Wales, pray for us!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Martyrs of Douai

In the Diocese of Westminster, England, today is the feast of the Douai Martyrs--that is, martyrs who studied at the English College/seminary in Douai during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries--who have been beatified and canonized. According to the website of the Diocese of Westminster:

The Martyrs of Douai were a group of men who trained for the priesthood at Douai College during the English Reformation and were executed on their return to England for preaching the Catholic faith. Operating as a Roman Catholic priest during the Protestant Reformation was considered high treason, with a punishment of being hanged, drawn and quartered. In total, 158 members of Douai College were martyred between the years 1577 and 1680, including St Robert Southwell and St Edmund Campion.

These men provided essential pastoral and spiritual guidance for Catholics throughout the country and administration of the sacraments. They willingly took on this mission knowing that, as soon as they stepped onto English soil, their lives would be in imminent danger. Many people risked their lives during this period to support these men by sheltering them or allowing them to celebrate Mass in their homes.

In recognition of the work of these men and the sacrifice they made, 80 alumni of Douai College were beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929, their feast day is celebrated on the 29th October.

Nineteen of the 158 martyrs were canonized in 1970:

Cuthbert Mayne
Ralph Sherwin
Edmund Campion, SJ
Alexander Briant, SJ
John Payne
Luke Kirby
Eustace White
Edmund Gennings
John Boste
Robert Southwell, SJ
Henry Walpole, SJ
John Almond
Edmund Arrowsmith, SJ
Ambrose Barlow, OSB
Alban Roe, OSB
Henry Morse, SJ
John Southworth
John Wall
John Kemble

(We'll talk about Saint John Kemble, a Popish Plot martyr, on Monday, November 2 in the last installment of our series on the Son Rise Morning Show!)

St. Cuthbert Mayne was the first Englishman prepared for the priesthood at Douai and he is the protomartyr of the English seminaries established on the Continent. Born in Devonshire, he was ordained an Anglican minister but became Catholic in the early 1570's while at Oxford. He returned to England in 1575, serving in Cornwall, and was arrested a year later. One of the charges against him was that he had an Agnus Dei, an image of Jesus as the Lamb of God, blessed by the pope. He was hung, drawn and quartered in Cornwall on November 29, 1577.

Blessed Thomas Thwing, the last Douai martyr, suffered during the Popish Plot hysteria in 1680. From 1664 to 1679 he served as a missionary priest in England. He and other members of Sir Thomas Gasciogne's household, including the master, were accused of a conspiracy to kill King Charles II and brought to London for trial. The others were acquitted but he was found guilty and condemned; the King pardoned him but the House of Commons demanded his execution. Of course he was innocent of any charges of conspiracy; he was guilty of being a Catholic priest. Blessed Thomas Thwing was hanged, drawn, and quartered on October 23, 1680.

The Catholic Encyclopedia provides information about Catholic activities in Douai:

To English Catholics, the name Douai will always be bound up with the college founded by Cardinal Allen during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, where the majority of the clergy were educated in penal times, and to which the preservation of the Catholic religion in England was largely due. Several other British establishments were founded there — colleges for the Scots and the Irish, and Benedictine and Franciscan monasteries — and Douai became the chief centre for those who were exiled for the Faith. The University of Douai may be said to date from 31 July, 1559, when Philip II of Spain (in whose dominions it was then situated) obtained a Bull from Pope Paul IV, authorizing its establishment the avowed object being the preservation of the purity of the Catholic Faith from the errors of the Reformation. Paul IV died before he had promulgated the Bull, which was, however, confirmed by his successor, Pius IV, 6 January, 1560. The letters patent of Philip II, dated 19 January, 1561, authorized the establishment of a university with five faculties; theology, canon law, civil law, medicine, and arts. The formal inauguration took place 5 October, 1562, when there was a public procession of the Blessed Sacrament, and a sermon was preached in the market-place by the Bishop of Arras.

There were already a considerable number of English Catholics living at Douai, and their influence made itself felt in the new university. In its early years, several of the chief posts were held by Englishmen, mostly from Oxford. The first chancellor of the university was Dr. Richard Smith, formerly Fellow of Merton and regius professor of divinity at Oxford; the regius professor of canon law at Douai for many years was Dr. Owen Lewis, Fellow of New College, who had held the corresponding post at Oxford; the first principal of Marchiennes College was Richard White, formerly Fellow of New College; while Allen himself, after taking his licentiate at Douai in 1560, became regius professor of divinity. It is reasonable to suppose that many of the traditions of Catholic Oxford were perpetuated at Douai. The university was, however, far from being even predominantly English; it was founded on the model of that of Louvain, from which seat of learning the majority of the first professors were drawn. The two features already mentioned — that the university was founded during the progress of the Reformation, to combat the errors of Protestantism, and that it was to a considerable extent under English influences — explain the fact that William Allen, when seeking a home for a projected English college abroad, turned his eyes towards Douai. . . . His object was to gather some of the numerous body of English Catholics who, having been forced to leave England, were scattered in different countries on the Continent, and to give them facilities for continuing their studies, so that when the time came for the re-establishment of Catholicism, which Allen was always confident could not be far distant, there might be a body of learned clergy ready to return to their country. This was of course a very different thing from sending missionaries over in defiance of the law while England still remained in the hands of the Protestants. This latter plan was an afterthought and a gradual growth from the circumstances in which the college found itself, though eventually it became its chief work. . . .

Please read the rest of the article to see how the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror meant the return of the Catholic scholars, seminarians, and monks to England. The article does not mention the Carthusian house that was also dissolved during the Reign of Terror (perhaps it had few English connections since the English Carthusian exiles were first located in Bruges and finally suppressed in Nieuwpoort by Emperor Joseph II), but the Chartreuse Saints-Joseph-et-Morand is now an art museum.

Martyrs of Douai, pray for us!

Image Credit: the Colleges at Douai (the English College is on the top), Adrien de Montigny (?–1615)[2] - From Les Collèges à Douai of the Album of Duke Charles of Croy. (Public Domain)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

St. John Henry Newman in Rome, 1846-1847

St. John Henry Newman's feast day is on October 9, the anniversary of his reception in to the Catholic Church by Blessed Dominic Barberi, the Passionist missionary to England. After his general Confession, reception, and first Holy Communion, he was Confirmed by Dr. Nicholas Wiseman, the Vicar Apostolic of the Midlands Region of England and Titular Bishop of Milopotamos (there weren't any Catholic dioceses in England yet) on November 1, All Saints Day. He took the Confirmation name of Mary. St. John Henry Mary Newman (like St. Anthony Mary Claret!).

Then he left Littlemore for Maryvale, Old Oscott at the invitation of Dr. Wiseman in 1846 on February 22; in September, he left England to study for the priesthood in Rome with one of his followers, Ambrose St. John. They spent five weeks in Milan and thus did not arrive in Rome until November.

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, writes for the Coming Home Network about Newman's experiences in Rome:

The Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, the center of the Holy See’s missionary endeavors, received them and gave them rooms at the Collegio Propaganda near the Spanish Steps. There, Newman and St. John would become ordinary seminarians. But who was going to educate the most perspicacious theologian of his time? It is perhaps comforting to hear his friend St. John report that the lectures were boring and somewhat lacking as pedagogical models, and so Newman would often fall to sleep in class. (Thankfully this does not appear to have been held against Newman in the cause for sainthood!)

Newman was left largely to himself, to continue his brilliant studies of the Church Fathers. Rome’s theologians had some doubts about his recently-published
Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. Newman’s argument, that Catholic dogma was not, as it were, handed down from Mount Sinai but unfolded in a divinely-guided process of historical development in the life of the Church, was initially a very disconcerting idea for Catholic theologians hard-pressed to defend a tradition under siege from nearly every quarter. They naturally wondered about how sound this new convert really was.

So Newman, newly arrived from a different ecclesial world, was not well understood, and given his somewhat melancholic temperament, we are left with the distinct impression that his 1846-1847 academic year in Rome was certainly not about “making merry” over the return of a prodigal son of the Church (Lk 15:24). Newman, once the consummate insider of Anglican Oxford, is now an awkward and disoriented guest struggling to learn the customs of the house.

Regarding the Roman reception Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, I don't mean to contradict Monsignor Steenson, but I think he is reflecting Owen Chadwick's view of Newman and his Essay. C. Michael Shea offers a different view:

Newman’s Early Roman Catholic Legacy forces us to substantially revise the commonly received view that, on the issue of doctrinal development, Newman was an unheeded prophetic voice crying in a desiccated Roman wilderness.

Shea’s book corrects the mistaken impression that Newman’s
Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845) fell upon deaf ears in the Catholic world, only to be rediscovered in the mid-twentieth century and then all but canonized at Vatican II. While Newman’s theology did indeed bear abundant twentieth-century fruit (see Ian Kerr’s [sic] 2014 book on the subject and Andrew Meszaro’s excellent article arguing that Dei verbum 8, via Yves Congar, has Newmanian roots), it bore fruit in his own day as well. What makes Shea’s book more than just an intriguing historical reappraisal is that he all but proves that Newman’s impact on the Jesuit Giovanni Perrone (1794–1876), the foremost theologian of the “Roman School” at midcentury (and a close advisor to Pope Pius IX), was an implicit but significant factor in the preparations for the promulgation of the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception in 1854. . . .

Shea’s thesis puts to the rest the persistent impression which arose from certain influential studies that Newman, while generally admired, was an unheeded prophet. In Shea’s convincing narrative, Owen Chadwick’s From Bossuet to Newman (1957) – while eminently readable like all of Chadwick’s work – shoulders a fair amount of the blame for this particular misappraisal. Chadwick contrasted a reigning Catholic “fixisme” which totally rejected doctrinal development (epitomized by the great Gallican, Bishop Bossuet) with the startling and new theory of Newman. According to Chadwick, Newman was considered – at least on this issue – as at best eccentric, and at worst doctrinally suspect. Shea shows that Chadwick far overestimated the impact and importance of the American convert Orestes Brownson’s polemic against Newman, and he contends that Chadwick misread the evidence regarding Newman’s encounters with Perrone, Pius IX, and others during Newman’s preparation for ordination in Rome. (One also wonders if Chadwick over-emphasized the incompatibility of the Gallican theological method with the idea of doctrinal development, since Shea points out that Henri Maret, one of the staunchest Gallican opponents of papal infallibility at Vatican I, actually affirmed development in his classic anti-infallibilist text).

Please read the rest of Shaun Blanchard's review of Shea's book in Faith & Culture: The Journal of the Augustine Institute.

Monday, October 26, 2020

This Morning: Saints Philip Evans, SJ and John Lloyd

Just a reminder that I'll be on the Son Rise Morning Show at about 7:50 a.m. Eastern/6:50 a.m. Central today to continue our series on the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. Anna Mitchell and I will discuss the missions and martyrdoms of Saint Philip Evans, SJ and Saint John Lloyd, captured and executed in the wake of the Popish Plot.

Please listen live here on the Sacred Heart Radio website; the podcast will be archived here; the segment will be repeated on Friday next week during the EWTN hour of the Son Rise Morning Show (from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. Eastern/5:00 to 6:00 a.m. Central).

Next Monday we'll conclude this series with brief profiles of the other three Popish Plot Martyrs: Saint John Plessington, Saint John Kemble, and Saint David Lewis, SJ.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Today: The 40 at 50

Today is the 50th anniversary of the canonization of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales in Rome by Pope Paul VI.

The Bishop of Plymouth, Mark O'Toole, issued a Pastoral Letter:

This weekend we mark an historic moment - the fiftieth anniversary of the Canonisation of the forty martyrs of England and Wales, which took place on 25th October 1970. On that occasion, Pope Paul VI reminded us:

"We have among the 40 holy Martyrs secular and regular priests, religious of various orders, and of different rank, lay people of very noble descent, as well as of modest condition; we have women who were married, mothers with a family. What unites them all is that interior attitude of fidelity to the call of God asked of them, as an answer of love…….The drama of the existence of these martyrs, was that their honest and sincere loyalty to the civil authority came to be in conflict with fidelity to God and with what, according to the dictates of their conscience illuminated by the Catholic faith, they knew to involve the revealed truths, especially to the Holy Eucharist and on the inalienable prerogatives of the successor of Peter, who, at the behest of God, is the universal Pastor of the Church of Christ." (Pope Paul VI, Homily at the Canonisation of the Forty Martyrs)

Bishop O'Toole then highlighted the diocesan martyr among the 40, St. Cuthbert Mayne:

Today, as we keep the memory of this great and well-loved saint, we see where his martyrdom can be truly rooted. It is founded on the death of Jesus, on His supreme sacrifice of love, consummated on the Cross, that we might have life (cf. Jn 10: 10). It is these two truths - the sacrifice of Jesus manifest anew in the sacrifice of the Mass and communion with the Holy Father - for which he and so many others died. These two truths have, for many centuries, been the hallmarks of the Catholic Faith in these islands.

St Cuthbert's strength to face martyrdom, came from his deep and intimate union with Jesus Christ. We know that in the months he spent in the dark prison cell in Launceston Castle, before his death, St. Cuthbert never lost heart. He spent his long wait by encouraging his fellow prisoners. He often fell on his knees to say his prayers, which lasted far into the night. On one occasion, just after midnight, it is recorded, St. Cuthbert was meditating and praying, and suddenly a bright light shone around him, lighting up the terrible wall of the dungeon. It awakened the other prisoners who wondered where the light was coming from. St. Cuthbert gently told them to go back to sleep and would not talk about it the following day. A miraculous consolation had been given to him in his dismal dungeon. Indeed, the Holy Spirit was preparing him for an eloquence beyond human speech.

At the Jesuits in Britain website, Father Dennis Blackledge shares his memories of the canonization, which he attended. The Arundel Cathedral website offers a downloadable booklet for a Votive Mass celebrating the anniversary which includes brief biographies of each of the martyrs.

On the Calendar of the Roman Missal of 1962 for the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Mass, today is the Feast of Christ the King as established by Pope Pius XI in 1925:

28. Therefore by Our Apostolic Authority We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October - the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day. This year, however, We desire that it be observed on the thirty-first day of the month on which day We Ourselves shall celebrate pontifically in honor of the kingship of Christ, and shall command that the same dedication be performed in Our presence. It seems to Us that We cannot in a more fitting manner close this Holy Year, nor better signify Our gratitude and that of the whole of the Catholic world to Christ the immortal King of ages, for the blessings showered upon Us, upon the Church, and upon the Catholic world during this holy period.

29. It is not necessary, Venerable Brethren, that We should explain to you at any length why We have decreed that this feast of the Kingship of Christ should be observed in addition to those other feasts in which his kingly dignity is already signified and celebrated. It will suffice to remark that although in all the feasts of our Lord the material object of worship is Christ, nevertheless their formal object is something quite distinct from his royal title and dignity. We have commanded its observance on a Sunday in order that not only the clergy may perform their duty by saying Mass and reciting the Office, but that the laity too, free from their daily tasks, may in a spirit of holy joy give ample testimony of their obedience and subjection to Christ. The last Sunday of October seemed the most convenient of all for this purpose, because it is at the end of the liturgical year, and thus the feast of the Kingship of Christ sets the crowning glory upon the mysteries of the life of Christ already commemorated during the year, and, before celebrating the triumph of all the Saints, we proclaim and extol the glory of him who triumphs in all the Saints and in all the Elect. Make it your duty and your task, Venerable Brethren, to see that sermons are preached to the people in every parish to teach them the meaning and the importance of this feast, that they may so order their lives as to be worthy of faithful and obedient subjects of the Divine King.

You might remember that it was Pope Pius XI who beatified 29 of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales in 1929 and who canonized Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More in 1935. 

These 40 Martyrs of England and Wales truly knew what King they served and to whom they owed faithful obedience! Here is a Litany of these Saints (for private devotion).

Christ the King, have mercy on us!
Holy Martyrs of England and Wales, pray for us!

Image Credit for Christ in Majesty: Romanesque illuminated manuscript Gospel Book, c.1220 (public domain).

Friday, October 23, 2020

Preview: Two Popish Plot Martyrs: Saint Philip Evans, SJ and Saint John Lloyd

With the penultimate episode of our survey of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, Anna Mitchell of the Son Rise Morning Show and I will move on to the Popish Plot Martyrs. We discussed one of these martyrs of 1679 before, Saint John Wall, as one of the two Franciscan martyrs among the canonized, but the last five martyrs we'll profile suffered for their priesthood and fidelity to Jesus at a particularly dangerous time for Catholics in England during the reign of Charles II, the restored Stuart monarch. 

The Popish Plot was a fictitious plot targeting the Jesuits serving in England. Titus Oates, a supposed convert who had sought admission to the Society of Jesus, made up a grand conspiracy to assassinate King Charles II and place his brother, James, the Duke of York--who just happened to be a real convert to Catholicism--on the throne. Oates and others accused several Jesuits, laymen serving at Court, the Queen, five Catholic members of the House of Lords, and others (including Samuel Pepys) of being in on this plot. Twenty-two innocent men, including nine Jesuits, were executed until Parliament and the Courts realized that Oates and his conspirators were lying. Charles II never believed Oates, but as J.P. Kenyon asserts in his classic narrative The Popish Plot, he dared not defend these innocent men, not even Saint Oliver Plunkett, the Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland, in part because of the tenuous status of the succession. Like so many before him, Charles had no legitimate male (or female) heir (plenty of illegitimate children) to succeed him so he was protecting his brother James's right to become king upon his death.

While neither of them was accused of being involved in the Popish Plot, Evans and Lloyd were arrested because of heightened efforts in England and Wales to find Catholic priests, even if they had been serving their flocks, like Saint John Lloyd, for many (24) years. Saint Philip Evans, SJ was a more recent recruit to the Catholic mission, having served only four years.

Saint Philip Evans, SJ and Saint John Lloyd were born and died in Wales, so their martyrdoms are celebrated on October 25 in Wales among the Six Welsh Martyrs and their [English] companions, the anniversary of the canonization of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. They are also celebrated on May 4 in England along with all the beatified Martyrs of England Wales. In Wales, they also have a separate feast on July 23 (since July 22 is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles). In England, their optional memorial is also celebrated on July 23 but Saint Bridget of Sweden's Feast as one of the Patrons of Europe probably takes precedence. (In the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite, commemoration of a saint or saints on another feast day is permitted, with the Collect of the commemorated saint prayed after the Collect of the superior feast!)

The martyrs were both arrested in late 1678, imprisoned in the Castle Gaol in Cardiff and finally tried in May, 1679. They were executed together on July 22, 1679 in Pwllhalog, near Cardiff at a site known as the "Death Junction".

The Friends of the Ordinariate blog offers these profiles of the two priests:

St. John Lloyd, the older of the two saints by some 15 years, was born at about 1630, and went to the Royal English College at Valladolid, being ordinaed priest on 7th June 1653. The following April he returned to Wales, and spent 24 years ministering among the Catholics of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire operating over a vast area. His brother was also a secular priest: Fr William Lloyd, who was also imprisoned in the Titus Oates plot, but died as a result of his torture before he was executed.

John Lloyd was arrested 20th November, 1678 and placed in solitary confinement, until being united in a cell with the younger Philip Evans.

St Philip Evans was born in Monmouthshire in 1645, studied at St. Omer, in France, and was ordained for the Society of Jesus in 1675. He immediately returned to Wales, and spent the next four years administering the Sacraments around Abergavenny, in his native Monmouthshire, staying in various different houses and continuing largely unmolested. He stayed at Sker House, with the Tuberville Family, where he was eventually arrested, in the wake of the Titus Oates plot. His betrayer was the younger bother of the owner of the house. He was arrested on the 4th December, 1678. He was then taken to Cardiff and imprisoned in the Castle Goal. For the first few weeks of his incarceration he was in solitary confinement, before being put in the same cell as Fr. John Lloyd. They were imprisoned until trial in May of 1679.

Their trial found them guilty of being priests, and they were sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered on the 9th May, 1679. It was not, however, until July that the sentence was decreed to be carried out. Philip, a light hearted man, was found playing tennis (they were allowed quite a bit of liberty) on the 21st July when news that the execution was to take place the following day reached him. The jailer told him he should return to prison, to which he responded “what haste is there? First let me play out my game!” which he duly did.

Philip was also a fine harp player, and when his jailers came to collect the two priests on the morning of the execution, they found Philip playing his harp, in spite of his leg shackles. These shackles took an hour to remove, so tight were they, and caused him excruciating pain.

According to this blog honoring the Welsh martyrs, St. Philip Evans was executed first:

When he mounted the scaffold Fr Evans said; “This is the best pulpit a man can have to preach in, therefore, I cannot forbear to tell you again that I die for God and for Religion’s sake.” He addressed the crowd in English and in Welsh, then turning to Fr Lloyd, who stood waiting his own turn, he said, “Adieu, Mr Lloyd! Though only for a little time, for we shall soon meet again.”

St. John Lloyd suffered hanging, drawing, and quartering after him.

St. John Lloyd, pray for us!
St. Philip Evans, pray for us!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

One of Elizabeth I's Diplomats, Sir William Waad, RIP

Sir William Wade or Waad or Wadd died on October 21, 1623.

He was born in 1546 and by the age of 30 was serving his monarch as an ambassador on the Continent, according to the Dictionary of National Biography:

In July 1576 he was residing at Paris, and frequently supplied political information to Burghley, whose ‘servant’ he is described as being (cf. Lansd. MS. 23, art. 75). He claimed ‘familiar acquaintance’ with the celebrated French publicist, Jean Bodin, from whom he seems to have derived some of the news he forwarded to Burghley. In the autumn of 1576 Sir Amias Paulet [q. v.] took Wade to Blois (Cal. State Papers, For. 1575-7 passim). During the winter of 1578-9 he was in Italy, whence he forwarded to Burghley reports on its political condition. From Venice in April 1579 he sent the lord-treasurer fifty of the rarest kinds of seeds in Italy (Cal. Hatfield MSS. ii. 254). In May he was at Florence, and in February 1579-1580 he was residing at Strasbourg. 

In the following April he was employed on some delicate mission in Paris by Sir Henry Cobham. The suggestion in the Cal. State Papers, Venetian, that he was ambassador to Spain and Portugal in 1579 is misdated. In 1580 he received instructions as ambassador to Portugal (Sloane MS. 1442, f. 114). In 1581 he seems to have returned to England, and entered the service of Sir Francis Walsingham as secretary, and in 1583 he became one of the clerks to the privy council (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1611-18, p.198). In April of that year he was sent to Vienna to discuss the differences between the Hanse Towns and English merchants abroad, and in July he accompanied Lord Willoughby on his embassy to Denmark to invest the king with the insignia of the Garter, and to negotiate an agreement on mercantile affairs (Birch, Memoirs of the Reign of Elizabeth, i. 24, 31). 

He undertook a couple of delicate and dangerous missions, to Spain and France:

In January 1583-4 he was sent to Madrid to explain the expulsion from England of the Spanish ambassador, Mendoza. He arrived in March, but Philip II refused all his requests for an interview, and ordered him out of Spain, with an intimation that he was fortunate to escape free (Cotton. MS. Vesp. C. vii. f.392; Cal. State Papers, Simancas, 1580-6, pp. 516, 520-1; Birch, i. 45, 48; Froude, xi. 414, 422). . . .

In March [1584-5] Waad was despatched to Paris to demand the surrender of the conspirator Thomas Morgan [accused in the Throckmorton Plot] (1543-1606?) [q. v.] Henry III was willing to consider the request but the catholic league [sic] and the Guises were violently opposed to it, and even instructed the Duc d’Aumale to waylay Waad and rescue Morgan on their way to the coast. Waad, however, convinced that he could not secure Morgan, contented himself with obtaining a promise that he should be detained in prison in France, but Aumale nevertheless attacked the envoy near Amiens, and inflicted on him a severe beating as an answer to his demand for the extradition of a catholic from France.

Waad also became involved in the ongoing issue of Mary, the former Queen of Scotland, being in England as a focus of Catholic plots:

He was back in England on 12 April, and with his return diplomatic relations between England and Spain ceased. In the same month Waad was sent to Mary Stuart to induce her to come to terns with Elizabeth, and his account of the interview is printed by Froude (Hist. xi. 448-51). In February 1584-5 he was appointed to accompany Nau to the court of James VI, but was stopped at the last minute (Cal. State Papers, Simancas, 1580-6, p. 533). . . .

In August 1585 Waad accompanied William Davison [q. v.] to the Low Countries to negotiate an alliance with the States-General. A year later he took a prominent part in arranging the seizure of Mary Stuart’s papers which implicated her in the Babington plot. He himself went down to Chartley in August 1586, and, while Mary was decoyed away on a hunting expedition, arrested her secretaries Nau and Curle, and having ransacked her cabinent [sic] , carried back a valuable collection of papers to London (ib. 1580-6, pp. 625-6; Amyas Poulet, Letter-Books, pp. 288 sqq.; Froude, xii. 160 sqq.) For this important service he was paid thirty pounds (Acts P. C. 1586-7, p. 211). In the following February he was again sent to France to explain the execution of Mary Stuart, to demand the recall of De l’Aubespine, the French ambassador, on the ground of his dependence on the league and complicity in Stafford’s plot [see Stafford, William, 1554-1612], and to justify Elizabeth’s detention of French shipping. For some time he was denied audience, the recall of the French ambassador was refused, but more success attended his endeavour to arrange the dispute about detention of French shipping in England and English shipping in France (Cal. State Papers, Venetian, 1581-91, pp. 475, 477, 483, 492, 517, 527, 533). He returned to England in June.

That was the end of Waad's diplomatic career. He became a member of Parliament but:

He was, however, mainly occupied with his duties as clerk of the privy council, and especially in tracking treasonable practices and examining jesuits [sic] and recusants. His zeal in these pursuits gained him the reputation of being the chief persecutor of the catholics [sic] (ib. Dom. 1601-1603, p. 199; cf. Lansd, MSS. 63, 66, 145, 148, 153; Law, The Archpriest Controversy, i. 84, 85, 155, 208, 212, 215, 226; Foley, Records, vol. iv. passim). As early as September 1584 he had, when Walsingham’s secretary, gained great credit by piecing together and deciphering the fragments of the treasonable document which Father William Crichton [q. v.] had torn up on his capture; a portrait of Waad thus engaged is given in Bishop Carleton’s ‘Thankfull Remembrance,’ 1624 (the story, sometimes described as ridiculous, is undoubtedly true; see Mr. T. G. Law in English Hist. Review, viii. 698). From this time Waad was frequently engaged in bringing to light plots against the queen’s life among them being that of Dr. Roderigo Lopez [q. v.] in 1594, of which Waad drew up a narrative, extant at the record office (State Papers, Dom. Vol. ccxlviii. art. 7), and Essex’s rebellion in 1601 (see Carleton, Thankfull Remembrance; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1591-1603, passim).

Waad continued in royal service during the reign of James I and was appointed Lieutenant of the Tower of London at least by 1605 because he questioned those accused in the Gunpowder Plot, including Guy Fawkes and Thomas Wintour. He was also involved in the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh and supervised the imprisonment of Lady Arbella Stuart.

Waad was removed from his post at the Tower in 1613, evidently through the efforts of Frances Howard, the Countess of Somerset, so she could arrange the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, who had been arrested through the efforts of Robert Carr, the Earl of Somerset (King James I's favorite). Waad was too good a Lieutenant to let poisoned tarts pass into Overbury's cell. The Lieutenant of the Tower who replaced him, Sir Gervase Helwys, would be found guilty of being an accessory to Overbury's murder and was executed on Tower Hill on November 20, 1615. Frances Howard pled guilty to the murder and was sentenced to death, but King James commuted her sentence--and Robert Carr's--to imprisonment in the Tower and exile from Court. 

Waad had retired from public life and died in his bed at home, Battles Hall in Manuden, Essex on October 21, 1623 and is buried in the churchyard of St. Mary's the Virgin in Manuden, with a memorial in the church.

Monday, October 19, 2020

This Morning: Saints Henry Morse and John Southworth

Just a reminder that I'll be on the Son Rise Morning Show at about 7:50 a.m. Eastern/6:50 a.m. Central today to continue our series on the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. Matt Swaim and I will discuss the missions and martyrdoms of Saint Henry Morse, SJ and Saint John Southworth.

Please listen live here on the Sacred Heart Radio website; the podcast will be archived here; the segment will be repeated on Friday next week during the EWTN hour of the Son Rise Morning Show (from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. Eastern/5:00 to 6:00 a.m. Central).

The Jesuits in Britain website posted a story in 2015 about how they obtained a portrait of Saint Henry Morse:

Around this time last year our attention was brought to an auction on French Ebay of ‘Portrait d’un martyr Jésuite (fin 17ième debut 18ième)’. This turned out to be a miniature oval shaped portrait of St Henry Morse SJ painted on copper by an unknown artist, with an inscription around the edge ‘Henricus Mas Passus 22 Janvari 1645’.

Jan Graffius, Curator of Collections at Stonyhurst College explains: ["]The painting is in the tradition of small devotional images painted on copper, produced in Flanders from around 1630 to 1670. Many of them were aimed at English recusants in exile, of which there were considerable numbers in the Low Countries. We have at Stonyhurst a set of 12 images of the life of Christ, Thomas Becket and Mary. The images of Mary all depict her with swords piercing her heart. These were probably picked up in St Omers (which was still part of the Spanish Netherlands at this point) by members of the Stonyhurst Shireburn family who went to St Omers in the 1640s-1670s. They were cheap to produce, easily packed and transported because of the copper support, and I suspect there were a good many in circulation in the Low Countries. They were dangerous objects to have in England because they were clearly Catholic. The images of martyred Jesuits were doubly incriminating, and so the majority of these Images probably stayed on the Continent. Many exiled English recusants lived in France and the Low Countries in the 17th century, and the painting may have been bought by one of them, and handed on to descendants.["]

Please read the rest there.

Saint Henry Morse, pray for us!
Saint John Southworth, pray for us!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Charming Blast from the Past: "My Name Day -- Come for Dessert"

Eighth Day Books celebrated its 32nd anniversary this weekend and offered a discount of 35% on all used books and 20% off new. I found this treasure, written by Helen McLoughlin and published in 1962 by the Liturgical Press. She provides prayers, hymns, recipes, lives of the saints, shopping and organizing tips, and a whole world of ideas for the celebration of children's name days. 

It's really a very dated book, with addresses of stores and other suppliers for the recipes and decorations she describes--Ye Olde Herb Shoppe on Dey Street in New York; Gourmet Magazine, the St. Leo Shop in Newport, RI where Ade Bethune sold her artwork, etc. Note that it's also based on the Roman Calendar before 1970.

EWTN provides the text of the book, and I think you know how happy I was when I saw that McLoughlin included the English Martyrs:


Martyrs of England! still be near us; Make us steadfast in hope and faith. Martyrs of England! let naught deride us From love of Jesus in life and death. Amen.

Four centuries ago an illustrious band of Englishmen sacrificed their lives because they would not deny the supremacy of the Pope. Said Blessed John Houghton, the first to be put to death: "Seeing that Jesus Christ gave spiritual power to His vicars by the words: 'I will give to thee the keys of heaven,' and no doctor has ever asserted these words to be spoken save to St. Peter only, which power is derived from him to the other apostles, and subsequently to the Pope and bishops--how could these words be so understood of a king, a layman and a secular person?"

The great Christian humanist Thomas More refused to recognize the king's sovereignty as spiritual head of the Anglican Church and died with a heroism full of good humor and simplicity. His friend Holbein has left a painting to show what a saint really looks like. For lawyers who claim him as their patron and for boys named after him, an excellent nameday gift is a color print from the Frick Collection (see FC, see Abbreviations). An 8 x 10 print costs only $.30; a 29 x 23 costs $15.00.

St. John Fisher, chaplain to the queen and chancellor of Cambridge University, was bishop of Rochester. His refusal to take the oath required of English bishops led to his imprisonment in the Tower of London, where he received the cardinal's hat shortly before his martyrdom.

Martyrs suffered in the reign of Henry VIII because they rejected his spiritual supremacy; in the time of Elizabeth they suffered for another reason. Not only was holy Mass prohibited, but it was treason for a priest to remain in England or for anyone to assist him. Consequently, many laymen and priests were martyred. (Only Thomas More and John Fisher have been canonized.) Among them were courageous women, such as Anne Line, hanged at Tyburn, and Margaret Clitherow, who was pressed to death at York.

Our favorite English martyr is Edmund Campion, S.J., who is immortalized in Robert Hugh Benson's book, "Come Rack, Come Rope." Children named Brian have patrons in Brian Lacey, a layman, and Brian Caulfield, a Jesuit. Another interesting name is Everard (Eberhard) after Blessed Everard Hanse, a converted Protestant minister who became a priest in Rheims and was butchered at Tyburn for his priesthood. An imported plaque of Edmund Campion costs $3.50 (AMS, see Abbreviations).

Other English martyrs include Oliver Plunkett, archbishop of Armagh, who was hanged, drawn and quartered in the persecution and whose relics are enshrined at Downside Abbey; Roger James, a Benedictine, whose given name is rendered for the Gaelic Rory and for the English Roy; George Gervase; Miles Gerard; Christopher Bales; Ralph Sherwin; Maurus Scott; David Lewis; Humphrey Middlemore; Walter Pierson; Robert Southwell, a Jesuit missionary to England and poet; Thurston Hunt; Arthur Bell; and Nicholas Owen, Jesuit lay-coordinator who saved countless priests by devising hiding places for them. Arthur Bell would be the patron for boys named Arthur since there is no saint having that name.

Boys called Howard, a name often given in families of Irish extraction, will be happy to find two patrons: Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, and his grandson, William Howard, viscount of Stafford. The crown dessert (see Crown Cake) carries a double significance on their feastday: their royalty and the reward of their martyrdom. Other beatified martyrs are Sidney Hodgson; Germain Gardiner; Eustace White; Richard Gwen, first martyr of Wales; and Sir Adrian Fortescue, Knight of the Bath and of St. John and a tertiary of St. Dominic.

Nameday desserts for these martyrs are Strawberry Frosted Layer Cake and Martyrs' Chiffon Dessert. A common symbol for them is the palm.

Prayer of the Beatified Martyrs

Father: Let us pray. Grant, almighty God, that we who admire in Your martyr N.... the courage of his glorious confession may witness in ourselves the power of his intercession. O God, who glorifies those who glorify You and who are honored in the honoring of Your saints, by the solemn judgment of Your Church glorify the blood of martyrs put to death in England for the testimony of Jesus, who lives and reigns forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

This book, and others Helen McLoughlin wrote including Family Advent Customs, Christmas to Candlemas, and Easter to Pentecost Family Customs, served as guides to bring the celebration of the liturgical year into the home. I've tried to find out more about the author but haven't had any luck on line. Please let me know if you have any for information.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Preview: Saints Henry Morse and John Southworth

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. 

According to Bishop Richard Challoner's Memoirs of Missionary Priests, Saint Henry Morse 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.

After being interrupted, he continued:

The time was . . . when I was a protestant, being then a student of the laws, in the inns of court in town: till being suspicious of the truth of my religion, I went abroad into Flanders, and upon full conviction renounced my former errors, and was reconciled to the church of Rome, the mistress of all churches. Upon my return into England, I was committed to prison for refusing the oath of pretended allegiance;  and from prison, though I was then no priest, I was sent into banishment. I went to Rome, and after I had gone through the course of my studies for seven years, I returned into England, to help the souls of my neighbours; and here, amongst other charities, I devoted myself to the service of the poor Catholics and others, in the time of the late plague, and suffered nothing to be wanting that lay in me, to their spiritual comfort.

And then another interruption--he was chastised for bragging about his "works"--and Saint Henry Morse continued:

I will glory in nothing, replied the father, but in my infirmities; but all glory I ascribe to God, who was pleased to make use of so weak an instrument in so pious a ministry and who is pleased now to favour me so far, as to allow me this day to seal the Catholic faith with my blood; a favour which I have begged of him for these thirty years: and I pray that my death may be some kind of atonement for the sins of this nation; and if I had as many lives as there are sands in the sea, I would most willingly lay them all down for this end, and in testimony of the Catholic faith, which faith is the only true, the only certain faith, the only faith confirmed by miracles still continuing; in which to this day the blind see, the dumb speak, the dead are raised to life. For thy testimonies, O Lord, are made credible exceedingly.

After that statement of faith, Father Morse denied ever knowing or ever being part of any plot against King Charles I, said his prayers and was executed at Tyburn. He was hanged to death before the rest of the barbarities of his martyrdom were performed upon his body.

Saint John Southworth, the patron saint of the Diocese of Westminster in London, also spoke clearly at Tyburn before his execution. Again, Bishop Challoner transcribes his last words, spoken as Oliver Cromwell was the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth:

Good people, I was born in Lancashire. This is the third time I have been apprehended, and now being to die, I would gladly witness and profess openly my faith, for which I suffer. And though my time be short, yet what I shall be deficient in words, I hope shall supply with my blood, which I will most willingly spend to the last drop for my faith. Neither my intent in coming into England, nor practice in England, was to act any thing against the secular government. Hither I was sent by my lawful superiors to teach Christ's faith, not to meddle with any temporal affairs. Christ sent his apostles; his apostles their successors; and their successors me. I did what I was commanded by them, who had power to command  me, being ever taught that I ought to obey them in matters ecclesiastical, and my temporal governors in business only temporal. I 'never acted nor thought any hurt against the present protector. I had only a care to do my own obligation, and discharge my own duty in saving my own and other men's souls. This, and only this, according to my poor abilities, I laboured to perform, I had commission to do it from him, to whom our Saviour, in his predecessor St. Peter, gave power to send others to propagate his faith. This is that for which I die, O holy cause! and not for any treason against the laws. My faith and obedience to my superiors is all the treason charged against me; nay I die for Christ's law, which no human law, by whomsoever made, ought to withstand or contradict. This law of Christ commanded me to obey these superiors, and this church, saying, whoever hears them hears himself. This church, these superiors of it I obeyed, and for obeying, die. I was brought up in the truly ancient Roman catholic apostolic religion, which taught me, that the sum of the only true Christian profession is to die. This lesson I have heretofore in my life-time desired to learn; this lesson I come here to put in practice by dying, being taught it by our blessed Saviour, both by precept and example. Himself said, 'he that will be my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow me.' Himself exemplary practised what he had recommended to others. To follow his holy doctrine, and imitate his holy death, I willingly suffer at present; this gallows--looking up--I look on as his cross, which I gladly take to follow my dear Saviour. My faith is my crime, the performance of my duty the occasion of my condemnation. I confess I am a great sinner; against God I have offended, but am innocent of any sin against man; I mean, the commonwealth and this present government.

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:

Martyr; b. in 1595 in Norfolk; d. at Tyburn, 1 Feb., 1644. He was received into the church at Douai, 5 June, 1614, after various journeys was ordained at Rome, and left for the mission, 19 June, 1624. He was admitted to the Society of Jesus at Heaton; there he was arrested and imprisoned for three years in York Castle, where he made his novitiate under his fellow prisoner, Father John Robinson, S.J., and took simple vows. Afterwards he was a missionary to the English regiments in the Low Countries. Returning to England at the end of 1633 he laboured in London, and in 1636 is reported to have received about ninety Protestant families into the Church. He himself contracted the plague but recovered. Arrested 27 February, 1636, he was imprisoned in Newgate. On 22 April he was brought to the bar charged with being a priest and having withdrawn the king's subjects from their faith and allegiance. He was found guilty on the first count, not guilty on the second, and sentence was deferred. On 23 April he made his solemn profession of the three vows to Father Edward Lusher. He was released on bail for 10,000 florins, 20 June, 1637, at the insistence of Queen Henrietta Maria. In order to free his sureties he voluntarily went into exile when the royal proclamation was issued ordering all priests to leave the country before 7 April, 1641, and became chaplain to Gage's English regiment in the service of Spain. In 1643 he returned to England; arrested after about a year and a half he was imprisoned at Durham and Newcastle, and sent by sea to London. On 30 January he was again brought to the bar and condemned on his previous conviction. On the day of his execution his hurdle was drawn by four horses and the French ambassador attended with all his suite, as also did the Count of Egmont and the Portuguese Ambassador. The martyr was allowed to hang until he was dead. At the quartering the footmen of the French Ambassador and of the Count of Egmont dipped their handkerchiefs into the martyr's blood. In 1647 many persons possessed by evil spirits were relieved through the application of his relics.

The same source provides these details about Saint John Southworth:

English martyr, b. in Lancashire, 1592, martyred at Tyburn, 28 June, 1654. A member of a junior branch of the Southworths of Samlesbury Hall, Blackburn, he was ordained priest at the English College, Douai, and was sent on the mission, 13 October, 1619. He was arrested and condemned to death in Lancashire in 1627, and imprisoned first in Lancaster Castle, and afterwards in the Clink, London, whence he and fifteen other priests were, on 11 April, 1630, delivered to the French Ambassador for transportation abroad. In 1636 he had been released from the Gatehouse, Westminster, and was living at Clerkenwell, but frequently visited the plague-stricken dwellings of Westminster to convert the dying. In 1637 he seems to have taken up his abode in Westminster, where he was arrested, 28 November, and again sent to the Gatehouse. Thence he was again transferred to the Clink and in 1640 was brought before the Commissioners for Causes Ecclesiastical, who sent him back there 24 June. On 16 July he was again liberated, but by 2 December he was again in the Gatehouse. After his final apprehension he was tried at the Old Bailey, and as he insisted on pleading "guilty" to being a priest, he was reluctantly condemned by the Recorder of London, Serjeant Steel. He was allowed to make a long speech at the gallows, and his remains were permitted to pass into the possession of the Duke of Norfolk's family, who had them sent to the English College at Douai. The wonderful recovery in 1656 of Francis Howard, seventh son of Henry Frederick, Earl of Arundel, was attributed to these relics, which were secreted during the French Revolution, and the present location of which is now unknown.

His remains were found, however, after this great encyclopedic work was published, and they are venerated in Westminster Cathedral.

Saint Henry Morse, pray for us!
Saint John Southworth, pray for us!

Monday, October 12, 2020

This Morning: Saints Barlow and Roe on the Son Rise Morning Show

Just a reminder that I'll be on the Son Rise Morning Show at about 7:50 a.m. Eastern/6:50 a.m. Central today to continue our series on the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. Anna Mitchell and I will discuss two more Benedictine martyrs among that number, Saint Ambrose Barlow and Saint Alban Roe.

Please listen live here on the Sacred Heart Radio website; the podcast will be archived here; the segment will be repeated on Friday next week during the EWTN hour of the Son Rise Morning Show (from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. Eastern/5:00 to 6:00 a.m. Central).

Barlow and Roe, and Saint John Roberts, whom we discussed late in September, were included along with six other Benedictine martyrs, Mark Barkworth, William Scott, Philip Powell, Thomas Tunstall, George Gervase, and Thomas Pickering among the 136 beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929. They were all active missionaries in England while having professed monastic vows in Benedictine houses on the Continent. The Benedictines who suffered under Henry VIII had previously sworn the Oaths required of them, but their refusal to surrender their abbeys as Thomas Cromwell and Henry demanded in late 1539, showed their ultimate loyalty to their monastic vocations and the Church.

In addition to the nine Benedictine martyrs beatified in 1929, there are several other martyrs from that order beginning with Henry VIII's reign with the Dissolution of the Monasteries and ending in Charles II's during the Popish Plot. According to my categorization of the different causes of martyrdom during and after the Long English Reformation, Benedictines suffered as Supremacy Martyrs during the reign of Henry VIII, as Recusant Martyrs during the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I, and one as a Popish Plot martyr during the reign of Charles II.

The Benedictine Supremacy martyrs are:
Blessed John Beche, Abbot of Colchester, 1 December 1539
Blessed Hugh Faringdon, Abbot of Reading, 15 November 1539 
Blessed Richard Whiting, Abbot of Glastonbury, 15 November 1539
Blessed John Rugg, 15 November 1539
Blessed John Thorne, 15 November 1539 
Blessed Roger James, 15 November 1539
(All beatified on 13 May 1895 by Pope Leo XIII)

The Benedictine Recusant martyrs are:
St. John Roberts, 10 December 1610
St. Ambrose Barlow, 10 September 1641
St. Alban Bartholomew Roe, 21 January 1642
Blessed Mark Barkworth, 27 February 1601
Blessed George Gervase, 11 April 1608
Blessed Maurus Scott, 30 May 1612

Blessed Thomas Tunstall, 13 July 1616
Blessed Philip Powell (sometimes spelled Philip Powel), 30 June 1646

The Benedictine Popish Plot martyr is:
Blessed Thomas Pickering, 9 May 1679 (Benedictine lay brother) 

Saint Ambrose Barlow, pray for us!
Saint Alban Roe, pray for us!
Saint Benedict, pray for us!