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\ BIB, MAJ. 

W^s- * 




il obstat 


Censor Dcputatus 


Vicarius Generalis 


die 17 Martii 1910 

St, Philifi blessing the future martyrs 










"Mementote praepositorum vestrorum, qui vobis locuti 
sunt vcrbum Dei : quorum intuentes exitum conversatioiiis, 
iniitamini fidem." HEB. xiii. 7. 

v BIB. MAJ. 




900 7 


As a daily remembrance of our forefathers in 
the faith, these selections have been made from 
the records of their lives and times, and also 
from their writings. While the fullest and most 
important biographies are naturally predomi- 
nant/the list is, it is hoped, fairly representative. 
In these pages are included not only those whom 
the Church has declared to be "Venerable" or 
"Blessed," but also various others of either sex, 
conspicuous as witnesses to the faith, or for their 
zeal in its behalf. Such characteristic incidents 
have also been added as may fill up the por 
traiture of the period. 

The claims of the martyrs on our devotion 
need hardly be expressed. If the Apostle of 
every country is specially venerated as the 
means by which the faith was first received, 
what honour is due to this goodly company of 
our own race and speech which at so great a 
cost preserved the faith for us ? Its members are 
our patrons, then, by the double tie of nature 
and grace. "Look," says the Prophet, "to the 
rock whence you are hewn, to the hole of the 
pit whence you were dug out." And our fore- 


fathers in the faith are indeed "exceedingly 
honourable." Fisher, the " Saintly Cardinal " ; 
More, the illustrious Chancellor ; Campion, the 
"golden-mouthed" ; Southwell, the priest poet; 
Margaret Pole, the last of the Plantagenets ; 
Margaret Clitheroe, in the "winepress alone" ; 
Ralph Milner, the sturdy yeoman ; Philip 
Howard, the victim of Herodias ; Swithin Wells, 
a " hunter before the Lord " ; Horner, the tailor,, 
with his vestments of salvation ; Mason, the 
serving-man ; Plunket, last in time, not least in 
dignity or holiness. All these high or humble, 
with the sons of SS. Augustine, Benedict, 
Bridget, Bruno, Francis, Ignatius, and the 
crowd of secular priests, bear the same palm 
and shine with the same aureole, for they con 
fessed una voce the same faith and sealed it 
with their blood, and for this land of ours. But 
for their willing sacrifices, this country might 
have been as frozen in heresy as Norway or 
Sweden and other northern lands. 

The period dealt with is full of instruction. 
It opens with the greed, lust, and despotism of 
Henry VIII. , triumphant in the suppression of 
the monasteries, the divorce of Catherine and 
the Oath of Supremacy. We note next the 
beginning of the new religion, the brief restora 
tion of the faith under Mary, then Protestantism 
established in blood under Elizabeth. Amidst 
the later persecutions, none appear more mali 
cious than that of the Commonwealth ; for the 
Puritans, like the Nonconformists of to-day, pro 
claimed liberty of conscience, and with that cry 
on their lips put Catholics to death solely for 


their faith. In contrast with the false brethren 
and apostates, with the time-servers and the 
traitors of every kind alas, too often found and 
against the growing domination of heretics and 
tyrants, the martyrs stand out as the champions 
of faith and freedom, and of freedom for the 

Considering the ubiquity and cunning of both 
private informers and Government spies, it may 
seem strange how the missionaries found even 
a temporary shelter on landing in England, but 
this was supplied to them by the Catholic laity 
without thought of personal risk. Harbouring 
priests was always regarded as felony and often 
punished by death, yet the cottages and shops 
of the poorer classes and the country-houses of 
the gentry were ever open to the missioner. 
Without the welcome hospitality and services 
of the laity, the work of the Apostolate would 
have been practically impossible. 

It is curious to note how the fire of persecu 
tion strengthened men s souls. " In Henry 
VIII s time," writes a missionary priest, "the 
whole Kingdom, with all its Bishops and learned 
men, abjured the faith at the word of the tyrant. 
But now in his daughter s time boys and women 
boldly profess the faith before the judge, and 
refuse to make the slightest concession even at 
the risk of death." It must be remembered, 
however, that many took the oath under Henry 
without realising the nature or consequences of 
their act. For, save in the matter of the King s 
Supremacy, a tenet which was differently inter 
preted, the faith was left intact. Under Eliza- 


beth, however, Protestantism undisguised was 
introduced, and the whole Marian Episcopacy, 
with one exception, died in prison rather than 

The Bishops then suffered for their religion 
alone, and their civil loyalty was never ques 
tioned. The martyrs, however, were tried and 
condemned on the charge of treason treason 
meaning any resistance to the Crown or State in 
the matter of religion and for their resistance, 
that is, for their faith, they died. Those, like 
BB. Felton, Storey, Woodhouse, who refused to 
acknowledge Elizabeth as Queen, because de 
posed by the Pope, won their crowns not as 
rebels or conspirators, but as champions of the 
Pope s authority, refusing the Oath of Supre 
macy, on declining by apostasy to save their 
lives. Loyalty to the lawful authority of the 
Crown was ever a first principle with Catholics. 
The " Pilgrimage of Grace" and the " Northern 
Rising," both undertaken to restore the old 
religion, were heralded by explicit declarations 
of loyalty to the reigning monarchs. Revolu 
tion was scouted as the offspring and badge of 
heresy. Thus B. Edward Powel challenged the 
apostate Barnes to show that the ancient creed 
had ever produced sedition or rebellion. In the 
Armada crisis Catholics, grievously as they had 
suffered, came forward, with a Howard at their 
head, to defend throne and country. Under 
Charles I., thirty years later, Catholics formed a 
fourth or even a third of the Royalist Army. 
When, then, Gregory XIII in 1580 exempted 
Catholics from the obligation of the Bull of 


Excommunication, we find priests and laity 
alike declaring Elizabeth de juro et de facto 
their Queen, for, apart from the Bull, she was 
the rightful successor to Mary, and in posses 
sion. The loyalty of the martyrs was indeed 
emphatic and outspoken. "God bless and save 
her," "Preserve her from her enemies," was 
their constant prayer on the scaffold. Ven. 
R. Drury and the twelve other appellant priests 
declared in their testimonial that they were as 
ready to shed their blood in defence of Queen 
and country as they would be in behalf of the 
lawful authority of the Church. Yet, notwith 
standing all this,for priest or layman, high or low, 
recusancy was treason, treason meant death, and 
the appellants suffered with the rest. 

The Church then was in the Catacombs. 
Her sanctuaries violated, her Liturgy and 
solemn offices silenced, the Holy Sacrifice 
offered only in secret and at the risk of life. 
Still her Divine Notes shone clearly in the 
darkness. Though black, she was beautiful. 
The penalty of joining her Communion was 
probably death, yet out of two hundred and 
sixty-five declared Blessed or Venerable from 
Elizabeth till Charles II, 1577 to 1681, fifty 
were converts from Conformity or Protestant 
ism. Of these fifty, thirty were of the Uni 
versity of Oxford, nine from that of Cambridge. 
Amongst them Fellows of Colleges like Cam 
pion and Hartley (S. John s), Sherwin (Exeter), 
Munden (New), Forde (Trinity), Richardson 
(Brasenose), Pilchard (Balliol) ; noted school 
masters like Shert and Cottam ; holders of rich 


benefices like Sutton, Vicar of Lutterworth,, 
Hanse, promoted to a wealthy living by the 
University of Cambridge ; librarians, Heath, 
Corpus Christi, Cambridge, men known for 
scholarship, learning, and position, and held 
in such account by the enemies of the faith, 
that honours, preferments, even bishoprics, 
were offered them as a bribe for apostasy. 
It seemed the hour of Antichrist, and the 
whole world seated in wickedness, yet the 
hand of the Lord was not shortened that it 
could not save, nor His ear heavy that it could 
not hear. 

Even in these short extracts some of the 
martyrs characteristics are clearly apparent. 
The grace of their bearing in youth, Briant, 
the beautiful Oxford boy ; their dignity in vene 
rable old age, Lockwood, fourscore and seven, 
apologising for his slowness in mounting the 
ladder ; their bright and cheerful courage, 
Cadwallador, the clatter of his fetters, his 
" little bells of gold " ; their ready wit, 
Anderton, Pope Joan, and Queen Elizabeth ; 
their silence under torture when speech meant, 
not apostasy, but only danger to a friend, 
Sherwin and Briant ; their accurately theo 
logical replies to their tormentors, Almond, 
Roberts, Plessington, Barlow ; the hidden 
heroism of the devout women, Margaret Ward. 
Then the matchless melody and stateliness 
of their diction : what classic examples may 
be met with in More s prayer in the Tower, 
Campion s defence on his trial, or as a tribute 
of filial piety, Hart s letters to his Protestant 


mother, or his clarion call " Stand fast ! " to 
the Catholic prisoners, or the sacred verses of 
Southwell, the first religious poet of his time, 
while the ditties of William Blundell present 
a striking instance of rugged but devotional 
phrase. But perhaps the most prominent trait 
of the martyrs is their candour and simplicity, 
the utter absence of mannerism or affectation 
in life or death, and this stands out in strong 
contrast with the pretentious cant of the 
ministers their tormentors, and the inane but 
virulent pomposity of their judges the pseudo- 

As regards their spiritual life, their fasts and 
penances, their disciplines and hair-shirts, their 
unwearied prayers reveal their training for the 
conflict^ while their forgiveness of their perse 
cutors under the bitter tortures show whose 
disciples they were. Their genuine Catholi 
cism, their instinctive love of their faith is seen 
in their attachment to the Church s language, 
their prayers in Latin, and their refusal to pray 
with heretics or to ask for their prayers. " We 
are not of your faith," said B. Kirby ; " to pray 
with you would be to dishonour God." How 
truly they suffered for the faith may be gathered 
from the fact that under Henry VIII the Oath 
of Supremacy would have saved their lives, 
while under Elizabeth and after, the rack, the 
rope, the knife need never have been theirs had 
they consented to go but once to the Protestant 
church, or had accused themselves of treason 
which they had never committed. May we 
learn to set a higher value on the faith as we 


realise the cost of its inheritance, and may we 
grasp the truth that faith is to be preserved for 
ourselves and our children, not by concession or 
compromise, not by crying peace when there 
is no peace, or declaring our professed enemies 
our surest friends, but by its steadfast and out 
spoken defence at the sacrifice of every tem 
poral interest, and, if need be, of life itself. 

With regard to the plan of the following 
pages. The day of death is marked by a cross. 
When several martyrdoms take place on the 
same day, or several pages are allotted to the 
same individual, all but the "crossed" name 
are distributed as vacancies occur. The con 
sequent separation of names from their proper 
days, or the dispersion of extracts belonging to 
the same individual or the inversion of their 
natural sequence is doubtless inconvenient, but 
it was of the first importance to keep the day of 
the death with the facts and details of martyr 
dom on its proper date when the Feast of the 
Martyr may be observed. Moreover, it must 
be remembered that the mementoes are not 
biographical memoirs, but short extracts or 
paragraphs, each complete and distinct in itself 
and telling its own tale. 

The compiler begs to express his sincere 
thanks to their authors or possessors for leave 
to use the following works : Rev. Dom. Bede 
Camm, O.S.B., "The Lives of the English 
Martyrs"; the Very Rev. F. Stebbing, Pro- 


vincial of the Redemptorists, Father Bridgett s 
Works ; the Rev. John Pollen, S.J., "The Acts 
of the Martyrs"; the Rev. E. G. Phillipps, 
Ushaw College, "The Extinction of the Ancient 
Hierarchy" ; Francis Blundell, Esq., of Crosby, 
the " Ditties of W. Blundell," and the " Cavalier s 
Note-Book." Challoner s " Missionary Priests" 
has been taken as a text-book, and much use 
has been made of the " Records of the English 
Catholics," the "Douay Diary," the "Life and 
Letters of Cardinal Allen," and of Mrs. Hope s 
" Franciscan Martyrs." 

Grateful thanks are also due to the Very Rev. 
Canon Gildea, D.D., the " Censor Deputatus," 
and to Rev. F. Christie and Brother Vincent 
Hayles of the Oratory, London, for much 
valuable assistance. 



1. Past and Present (i) . . 

2. Past and Present (a) . . 

3. Living Stones .... 
|4. The Voice of the Preacher . 

5. Defiling the Sanctuaries . 

6. The Prodigal s Return . 
fy. Balaam s Ass 

8. The Weak made Strong . 

9. Conversion by Knight 


10. The Pilgrimage of Grace 


11. The Pilgrimage of Grace 


fi2. The Sin of Ozias (i) . . 

13. A Herald of the Truth (2) . 

14. The Oldest Faith . . . 

15. Devotion to the Sacra 


16. A Boy Orator 

37. Prayer in Suffering . 

1 8. Lifting the Feeble Hands . 

19. Before the Sanhedrim . . 

20. Tribute to Caesar 

j-21. Fortified by Example . . 

f22. Scruples Cured .... 

23. The Practice of the Law . 

f24. Victims of Perjury . . . 

25. Saul, otherwise Paul . . 

26. The Smile of Royalty . . 

27. Mass under Penal Laws . 

28. Divine Vengeance on 


29. Supernatural Sympathies . 

30. A Talk with a Reformer . 

31. The Punishment of Achab 

William Blundell, L. 
William Blundell, L. 
Abbot Feckenham, O.S.B. 
B. Thomas Plumtree, Pr. 
Abbot Feckenham, O.S.B. 
Father J. Genings, O.S.F. 
Ven. Ed. Waterson, Pr. 
The Eleven Marian Bps. 
Thomas Pounde, SJ. 

Sir Robert Aske. 
Sir Thomas Percy. 

Bp. White, Winchester. 
Bp. White, Winchester. 
Ven. Wm. Lloyd, Pr. 
B. Fisher and Henry VII. 

B. Edmund Campion, S. J. 
B. Edmund Campion, S.J. 
B. Edmund Campion, S.J. 
B. Edmund Campion, S.J. 
B. Edmund Campion, S.J. 
Ven. Reynolds, Pr., and 

Ven. Roe, O.S.B. 
Ven. Wm. Pattenson, Pr. 
Ven. Nich. Woodfen, Pr. 
Ven. Ireland, S.J., and 

John Grove, L. 
Ven. Laurence Humphrey. 
B. Thomas More, L. 
Letter of a Missionary 

Ven. Arthur Bell, O.S.F. 

Ven. Edw. Stransham, Pr. 
B. Ralph Sherwin, Pr. 
Father Peto s Prophecy. 


fi. Grounds for Faith . . . 
2. A Mass of Thanks 
f3- Weep not for Me . . . 

4. Gall to Drink 

5. The Bread of the Strong . 

6. The Sunamitess Re 

f7. True to a Trust .... 

8. Prayers with Tears . . . 

9. The Stones of Israel . . 

10. Father of the Poor . . . 

11. Sorrow turned to Joy . . 

fi2. A Royal Hypocrite . . . 

13. A Friend of Publicans and 


14. Patience in the Apostolate 

15. Injustice Enthroned 

16. With the Plague-stricken 

17. From City to City . . . 
fi8. A Dying Life 

19. In the Shadow of Death 


20. In the Shadow of Death 

f2i. A Martyr Poet .... 

22. Honey from the Rock . . 

23. In the Pit of Misery 

24. More Precious than Life . 

25. The Changes of Heretics . 

26. Faith and Loyalty . . . 

27. The One Judge .... 

28. Harbouring Priests . . . 

29. The Cardinal s Hat 

Ven. Henry Morse, SJ. 
Ven. Henry Morse, SJ. 

B. John Nelson, S.J. 
B. John Nelson, S.J. 
B. John Nelson, S.J. 
Margaret Powell. 

B. Thomas Sherwood, L. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
Ven. George Haydock, 

Ven. George Haydock, 

Ven. James Fenn, Pr. 

Ven. John Nutter, Pr. 
Ven. John Munden, Pr. 
Ven. Henry Morse, S. T. 
Ven. Henry Morse, S.J. 
Ven. John Pibush, Pr. 
B. Thomas More, L. 

B. Thomas More, L. 

Ven. Robert Southwell, 

Ven. Robert Southwell, 

Ven. Robert Southwell, 

James, Earl of Derwent- 


B. Thomas More, L. 
Ven. Robert Drury, Pr. 
Ven. Mark Barkworth, 


Ven. Anne Line. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 





Heavenly Visions . . . 
Learning to Die . 

The Daily Sacrifice . . . 
The Vestments of Salva 

Filial Reverence . . . . 

Mother of Grace . . . . 

Holy Friendship . . . 

In Bonds for Christ (i) . 

9. In Bonds for Christ (2) . 

10. England s Debt to the 

fn. Chains Falling Off. . . 

12. "Stand Fast" .... 

13. A Last Request .... 

14. A Mendicant Chancellor . 
fi5. The Apostle of Yorkshire . 

16. Night turned to Day . . 

17. The Motive of a Missioner 
fi8. Christian Modesty . . . 

19. A Glimpse of Heaven . . 

20. The Morning Star . . . 
{21. Cut Asunder 

22. A Catholic s Grave . . . 

23. Fruit of Martyrdom . . 

24. The Guardian Angel . . 
f25. The Wine-press Alone 


26. Before Herod (2) ... 

27. A Valiant Woman (3) . . 

28. Filial Piety 

29. No Comparison .... 

30. Meeting in Heaven 

31. Jesus dulcis Memoria . . 


Ven. Stephen Rowsam, Pr. 
Father Coleman. 
Ven. Nicholas Horner, L. 
B. Thomas More, L. 

Ven. James Bird, L. 
Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.J. 
B. John Larke. 
B. Hart to Catholic 

Prisoners (i). 
B. Hart to Catholic 

Prisoners (2). 
B. William Hart, Pr. 

Ven. Thos. Atkinson, Pr. 
B. Hart to the Afflicted 

Catholics (i). 
B. Hart to the Afflicted 

Catholics (2). 
B. Thomas More, L. 
B. William Hart, Pr. 
Ven. Robert Dalby, Pr. 
B. William Hart, Pr. 
Ven. John Thulis, Pr. 
Ven. Roger Wren no, L. 
Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.F. 
Ven. Thos. Pilchard, Pr. 
John Jessop, L. 
Ven. William Pikes, L. 
Ven. John Hambley, Pr. 
B. Margaret Clitheroe. 

B. Margaret Clitheroe. 
B. Margaret Clitheroe. 
B. Hart to his Protestant 

Mother (i). 
B. Hart to his Protestant 

Mother (2). 
B. Hart to his Protestant 

Mother (3). 
Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.F. 


i. Love of the Seminary . . 
f"2. False Brethren .... 

3. Avoidance of Scandal . . 

4. The Last of his Line . . 

5. Strength in Union . . . 

6. The Song of the Spirit, 
jy. Under the Shadow of the 

Most High 

8. Devotion to S. Winifride . 

9. Life in Religion .... 
10. Virgo Potens 

fi i. Lost and Found. . . . 

12. Tormenting Ministers . 
fi3. A Fruitful Old Age . . 

14. Cry for Relief (i) . . . 

15. Cry for Relief (2) . . . 

16. Awaiting Sentence . 

17. Prayer for England . . 

18. The Bride of St. Francis . 

19. Good Books 

f-20. Penitent and Martyr . . 
{21. Devotion to the Priest 

22. An Unexpected Cure . . 

23. Ten Just Men .... 

24. Always the Same . . . 

25. One in Life and Death . 

f26. A Cheerful Giver . . . 

27. Light and Darkness . . 

28. Love, Earthly and Heav 


29. In the Waves .... 

30. The Pharisees Silenced . 

Ven. Thomas Maxwell, Pr. 
B. John Payne, Pr. 
Archbishop Heath of York. 
Bishop Goldwell, of S. 


Ven. Henry Walpole, S. T. 
Ven. Henry Walpole, S.J. 
Ven. Henry Walpole, S.J. 

Ven. Edward Oldcorne, 


Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.F. 
Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.F. 
Ven. George Gervase, 

Ven. George Gervase, 

Ven. John Lockwood, 


William Blundell, L. 
William Blundell, L. 
Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.F. 
Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.F. 
Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.F. 
Ven. James Duckett. 
Ven. James Bell, Pr. 
Ven. Thomas Tichburne, 

Ven. Robert Walkinson, 


B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
Ven. Anderton and Ven. 

Marsden, Prs. 
Ven. Edward Morgan , Pr. 
Ven. Francis Page, SJ. 
Ven. Francis Page, S.J. 

Ven. Anderton and Ven. 

Marsden, Prs. 
Ven. Robert Anderton, Pr. 


1. The Witness of Tradi 


2. The Mass of the Holy 


fs- The Seal of Confession . 
f 4 . Holy Wrath 

5. The Voice of the Bride 


6. A Model of the Flock . . 

7. Holy Fear 

8. A Garment of Camel s Hair 
fg. A Joyful Countenance . . 
10. The True Plotters . . . 

1 1 1. A Violated Cloister . . 

12. Called by Name .... 

13. A Royal Penitent . . . 

14. One only Gospel . . . 

15. Points in Controversy . . 

16. The Confession of an 


17. Devotion to Relics . . . 

18. The Mother of the Macha- 

fig. Come Quickly .... 

20. Prayers in Latin 

21. Hung on Presumption 
f-22. A Living Holocaust . . 

23. Patience under Calumny. 

24. A Catholic Cavalier . . 

25. Refusing a Challenge . . 

26. Praise and Thanksgiving . 

27. Father forgive them 

28. The Snares of the Phari 


f2g. Holy Mass and Martyrdom 

f30. Love of the Cross . . . 

31. Wisdom in Speech . . . 


B. Richard Reynolds, 


B. John Houghton, Car 

Father Henry Garnet, S.J. 
B. John Haile, Pr. 
BB. Houghton, Lawrence 
and Webster, Carthusians 
B. Richard Reynolds, 


B. Thomas Cottam, Pr. 
B. Thomas Cottam, Pr. 
B. Thos. Pickering, O.S.B. 
B. Richard Newport, Pr. 
BB. John Rochester and 

John Walworth, Carth. 
B.John Stone, Augustinian. 
Catherine of Aragon to 

B. John Forest. 
B. John Forest to Queen 


B. Richard Thirkell, Pr. 
Nichols to B. Luke 

Kirby, Pr. 
Mary Hutton. 
B. Margaret Pole. 

Ven. Peter Wright, S.J. 
B. Robert Johnson, Pr. 
Ven. William Scot, O.S.B. 
B. John Fcrest, O.S.F. 
B. Law. Richardson, Pr. 
William Blundell, L. 
William Blundell, L. 
B. John Shert, Pr. 
B. Thomas Cottam, Pr. 
B. Thomas Ford, Pr. 

B. Richard Thirkell, Pr. 
B. William Filbie, Pr. 
B. Luke Kirby, Pr. 


1. Reparation (i) . . . . 

2. Reparation (2) .... 
f3. Dignity of the Priesthood . 

4. Wisdom of the Ancients . 

f5. The House of my God 

6. A Boon of the Penal Laws 

7. A Priest to the Rescue 

8. Our Lady of Ipswich . . 

9. The End and the Means . 

10. " Possurnus" (We can) . 

11. An unjust Judgment . . 

12. Love s Servile Lot . . . 

fi3. Yea, yea, No, no . , 

14. The Learning of 


15. A Bribe Rejected . . 

16. A Puritan Conscience . 

17. The Commission 


18. Looking on Jesus . . 
fig. The Whims of a King 

f-20. Leave to Lie . . . . 



f2i. Fetters Unloosed . 

22. Ascending the Steps . 

23. Learning for Life . . 

24. The Wedding Garment 

25. A Martyr s Sleep . . 

26. The Bones of Elias . . 

27. Feeding the Hungry . 
f28. A Dangerous Seducer . 

29. S. Peter s Remorse . . 

t30. A Good Day 

B. John Story, L. 

B. John Story, L. 

Ven. Francis Ingleby, Pr. 

Bishop Poole, of Peter 

Father John Gray, O.^.F. 

William Blundell, L. 

B. Richard Thirkell, Pr. 

B. Thomas More, L. 

Ven. William Harcourt, 

Ven. Thomas Whitebread, 

Ven. Thomas Whitebread, 

Ven. Robert Southwell, 

B. Thomas Woodhouse, 

B. John Rigby, L. 

Five Jesuit Martyrs. 
Ven. John South worth, Pr. 
Ven. John Southworth, Pr. 

Ven. John Southworth, Pr. 
B. Sebastian Newdigate, 

B. Thomas Whitebread, 


Ven. John Rigby, L. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
B. John Fisher, Card. B. 
Margaret Clement. 
Ven. John Southworth, Pr. 
Ven. Robert Southwell, 

Ven. Philip Powell, O.S.B. 


fi. The Fruits of the Spirit . 

f2. Prayer without ceasing 
3. Tyburn in Gala .... 

t4- A Man of God .... 

fS. The Last First .... 

|6. The Privileges of Martyr 

|7. The Spouse of the Can 

f8. The Shield of Faith . . 
9. Introducer to Christ . . 

10. The Winding-Sheet . . 

11. "For My Sake and the 

Gospel " 
ti2. Apostolic Charity . . . 

fi 3 . Pilate s Wife 

fi4. The Law Eternal . . . 

15. No Compromise .... 

f 16. The Continuity Theory . 

17. Zeal for Martyrdom . . 

18. His Father s Son . . . 

fig. " Bones Thou hast 
humbled " 

20. No Priest, no Religion 

21. The Three Children in 

the Furnace 

22. Always Ready . . 

23. A Fall and a Victory . 
|24. Another Judas . . . 

25. The Seed of the Church 

26. A Brother in Need . . 
fsj. Voices from Heaven . 
faS. A Client of St. Anne . 
\2g. A Burning Heart . . 
[30. At Last . . . 4 . . 
(31. Shod for the Gospel 

Ven. Oliver Plunket, Arch 

Ven. Momford Scot, Pr. 
Ven. T. Maxfield, Pr. 
Ven. J. Cornelius, S.J. 
Ven. George Nichols, Pr. 
B. Thomas More, L. 

Ven. Roger Dickinson and 

B. Adrian Fortescue. 
Ven. Ralph Milner, L. 
B. Thomas More, L. 
Ven. Ralph Milner, L. 

Ven. J. Buckley, O.S.F. 
Ven. T. Tunstal, Pr. 
Ven. R. Langhorne, L. 
B. Thomas More, L. 
Ven. John Sugar, Pr. 
Ven. Robert Grissold, L. 
Ven. William Davies, 

Ven. Anthony Brookby, 


Ven. William Plessington. 
Ven. William Davies and 

Ven. Philip Evans, S.J. 
Ven. Richard Sympson.Pr. 
Ven. John Bost, Pr. 
Ven. John Ingram, Pr. 
Ven. Geo. Swallowell, L. 
Ven. Robert Sutton, Pr. 
Ven. Wm. Ward, O.S.F. 
Ven. Wm. Ward, O.S.F. 
B. Thomas Abel, Pr. 
B. Everard Hanse, Pr. 


1. Peter repentant . . . 

2. Casting out Fear . . 

3. The Baptist and Herod 

4. Hermit and Martyr 

5. The Wings of a Dove . 

6. Twice Hung .... 

f7. A Public Confession . . 
+8. A Champion of the Pope . 
fg. Poison detected .... 

10. Forward to the Mark . . 

11. The Northern Rising . . 

12. The Abomination of De 


13. Cleansing the Temple. 

14. Absolved from Afar . . 

15. The Four Last Things . 

16. Four Things more . . . 

17. A Hunted Life .... 

18. The Eternal Priesthood . 
fig. A Lamentation fulfilled . 

20. Thirty Pieces of Silver . 

21. The Friday Abstinence . 
+22. The Holy House of Loreto 

23. The Crown of Dignity 

24. A Voluntary Offering . . 

25. Reproached for Christ . 
f26. Cheerful in Adversity . . 
f27. Glorifying God .... 

f28. Striking their Breasts . . 

f2g. Murder for Example . . 

f30. Visiting the Prisoners . . 

*3i. The Tabernacle of Kore . 


John Thomas, L. 

Ven. Th. Whitaker, Pr. 

Ven. Thomas Belchiam, 

Ven. Nicholas Postgate, 

Ven. Nicholas Postgate, 

Ven. John Woodcock, 


Ven. Edward Bamber, Pr. 
B. John Felton, L. 
Ven. Thos. Palasor, Pr. 
Ven. John Woodcock, 


Letter of St. Pius V. 
B. Thomas Percy, L. 

B. Thomas Percy, L. 

Ven. Hugh Green, Pr. 

Ven. Hugh Green, Pr., 
on the Scaffold. 

Ven. Hugh Green, Pr., 
on the Scaffold. 

Ven. Thos. Holford, Pr. 

Ven. R. Cadwallador, Pr, 

Ven. Hugh Green, Pr. 

B. Thomas Percy, L. 

B. Thomas Percy, L. 

B. William Lacy, Pr. 

Ven. John Kemble, Pr. 

Ven. John Wall, O.S.F. 

Ven. Charles Baker, SJ. 

Bishop Thirlby, of Ely. 

Ven. Roger Cadwalla 
dor, Pr. 

Ven. Edmund Arrow- 
smith, SJ. 

Ven. Richard Herst, L. 

Ven. Margaret Ward. 

Ven. Thomas Felton, L. 


1. A Life-Offering for the 


2. Time and Eternity . . . 

3. How long, O Lord? . . 

4. Perseverance 

5. Faithful in the End . . 

6. An Easter Offering . . . 
fy. The Contemplative Way . 

8. Holy Rivalry . . . . . 

9. The Kiss of Peace . . . 
10. Pressed out of Measure . 

xi. Hereditary Champion of 

12. A Martyr s Maxims (i) . 

13. A Martyr s Maxims (2) 

14. Separated unto the Gospel 

15. The Primitive Church . . 

16. Horror of Scandal . 

17. Romans the only Priests . 

18. Stronger than Death . . 

19. Prayers for the Dead . 

20. To Save Others .... 

21. A Holy Youth .... 

22. Lowly, but bold .... 

23. The Narrow Way . . 

24. A Martyr s Legacies . . 

25. A Reprover of Sin . . 

26. A Fair Trial 

27. A Peacemaker .... 

28. Petition for re-admission . 
t2Q. Love of Parents .... 

30. Little Bells of Gold . . . 

Ven. John Goodman, Pr. 

B. Thomas More, L. . 
B. Abel, Pr., to B. Forest, 


B. John Forest to B. Abel. 
Bp. Bonner, of London. 
Ven. Ed. Barlow, O.S.B. 
Ven. John Duckett, Pr. 
Ven. Corby, S.T., and 

Ven. Duckett, Pr. 
Ven. Corby, S.J., and 

Ven. Duckett, Pr. 
Bishop Bourne, of Bath 

and Wells. 
Robert Dymocke, L. 

B. Adrian Fortescue, L. 

B. Adrian Fortescue, L. 

Ven. Ed. Barlow, O.S.B. 

Ven. Ed. Barlow, O.S.B. 

Ven. Ed. Barlow, O.S.B. 

Ven. Ed. Barlow, O.S.B. 

Ven. Richard Herst, L. 

Ven. Richard Herst, L. 

Ven. John Duckett, Pr. 

Ven. Edmund Arrow- 
smith, S.J. 

Ven. Edmund Arrow- 
smith, S.J. 

Ven. John Wall, O.S.F. 

B. Everard Hanse, Pr. 

Ven. Oliver Plunket, Arch 

Ven. Oliver Plunket, Arch 

Bishop Watson , of Lincoln. 

Ven. J. Woodcock, O.S.F. 

Ven. William Spenser, Pr. 

Ven. Roger Cadwalla- 
dor, Pr. 


fr. A True Israelite .... 

2. The Unity of Christendom 

3. An Advocate of Christ 

4. The Final Judgment . . 

5. A Mother s Sacrifice 

6. The Catholic Association . 

7. Poverty Preferred . . . 

f8. Casting out Devils . . . 
9. Our Captain Christ (i) . 

10. Our Captain Christ (2) 

11. The Image of Christ . . 
fi2. Fire from Heaven . . . 

13. The Last Gloria .... 

14. The Dwellers of Caphar- 


15. A Prophecy Fulfilled . . 
fi6. Father of many Sons . . 

17. On Attendance at Protes 

tant Services 

1 8. An Apostate Land . . . 
{19. From Prison to Paradise . 
" 20. The Hatred of Herodias(i) 

21. The Hatred of Herodias(2) 

22. A Filial Appeal .... 

23. The Strictness of the 


24. And then the Judgment . 

25. Our Home in Heaven . . 

26. Wisdom learnt in Chains 

27. A Worm and no Man . 

28. The More Excellent Way 

29. With Arms Outstretched . 
f30. The Voice of the People . 

31. Thirst for Martyrdom . . 

Ven. John Robinson, Pr. 

B. Thomas More, L. 

Ven. Philip Powell, O.S.B. 

B. Edmund Campion, S.J. 

Ven. William Hartley, 

George Gilbert, S.J. 

Bishop Bonner, of Lon 

Ven. Richard Dibdale, Pr. 

B. Thirkell to the Catholic 
prisoners (i). 

B. Thirkell to the Catholic 
prisoners (2). 

Ven. Th. Bullaker, O.S.F. 

Ven. Th. Bullaker, O.S.F. 

Ven. Th. Bullaker, O.S.F. 

Ven. Th. Bullaker, O.S.F. 

Ven. Th. Bullaker, O.S.F. 
William, Cardinal Allen. 
William, Cardinal Allen. 

William, Cardinal Allen. 
Ven. Philip Howard, L. 
Ven. Philip Howard, L. 
Ven. Philip Howard, L. 
Ven. Southwell, S. J. , to his 

Protestant father. 
Ven. Southwell, S. J. , to his 

Protestant father. 
Ven. Southwell, S.J., to his 

Protestant father. 
Ven. Southwell, S.J., to his 

Protestant father. 
B. Richard Thirkell, Pr. 
B. Alexander Briant, S.J. 
B. Alexander Briant, S.J. 
Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.F. 
Ven. John Slade, L. 
Ven. Henry Heath, O.S.F. 


I. Upon the Image of Death 

f 2. The Waters of Mara . . 

3. A Vision in the Night . 

4. Masses for the Dead . . 

5. The Blackfriar s Collapse 

6. The Vow of Religion . . 

7. God s Ways not Ours . . 

8. Faith and Loyalty . . . 
f9. The Last Mass .... 

10. Unseen in the Midst of 


11. A Blessed Lot .... 

12. Called to Account . . . 

13. Need of Contrition 

14. Guardian of the Sanctu 

+15. The Watchman on the 

fi6. Devotion to S. Jerome . . 

17. Strong in Hope .... 
1 8. The Passion Foretold . . 

19. False Witnesses .... 

20. Lifelong Repentance . 

21. Shedding Innocent Blood 

22. Willing Sacrifices . 

f23. Wasted Away .... 

24. Alone with God .... 

25. A Daughter s Farewell . 
. The House of Zaccheus . 

27. Wolves in Sheep s Cloth 


28. The Martyrs Shrines . . 
2g. First-Fruits ..... 
30. Satan Thwarted .... 




Yen. Robert Southwell, 


Ven. John Bodey, L. 
Ven. John Bodey, L. 
Ven. John Cornelius, S.T. 
Father Robert Drury, SJ. 
Ven. Cornelius, S.J., to a 


Ven. Edmund Genings.Pr. 
B. Edward Powell, Pr. 
Ven. George Nappier, Pr. 
Ven. George Nappier, Pr. 

Ven. Peter Wright, S.J., 

on the Scaffold. 
B. Campion, to Protestant 

Bishop Cheney. 
Ven. John Almond, Pr. 
B. Faringdon, O.S.B. 

B. Whiting, O.S.B. 

Ven. Edward Osbalde- 
stone, Pr. 

Bishop Bayne,of Lichfield. 

B. Edmund Campion, SJ. 

B. Edmund Campion, SJ. 

Bishop Tunstall, of Dur 

B. Edmund Campion, S.T. 

Ven. Robert Southwell, 

Bishop Pate, of Worcester. 

B. Thomas More, L. 

B. Thomas More, L. 

Ven. MarmadukeBowes,L. 

Ven. George Errington, 
L. , and Companions. 

James Thompson, Pr. 

B. Cuthbert Mayne, Pr. 

Ven. Alexander Crow, Pr. 


fi. A Sight to God and 

2. Keeper of the Vineyard . 

3. The Cross and the 


4. Painless Torment . . . 
f5. Blood for Blood .... 

6. Flores Martyrum . . . 

7. Faith and Works . . . 

8. The Sleep of the Just . . 

9. Malchus Ear .... 
fio. The Sweat of the Passion 
4ix. The Office of Our Lady . 
|i2. All Things to all Men . . 

13. Invocation of the Saints . 

14. The Fool s Robe . . . 
iq. Not in the Judgment 


16. A Mighty Hunter . . . 

17. In Bonds, but Free . . . 

18. The Good Thief . . . 

19. The Last Supper . . . 

20. The Mission to Teach . . 

21. Priest, not Traitor . . . 

22. The Rights of the Church 

23. Freemen Born .... 

f24. A Priest s Epitaph . . . 

25. The Burning Babe . . . 

26. Fit for War and Comely . 

27. Black, but Beautiful . . 

28. Graven in God s Hands . 
f2g. The Witness of a Good 


30. A Persecutor Penitent . . 

31. Sorrow to Life .... 

B. Edmund Campion, 


B. John Beche, O.S.B. 
B. Alexander Briant, S.J. 

B. Alexander Briant, S.J. 
Ven. John Almond, Pr. 
Ven. John Almond, Pr. 
Ven. John Almond, Pr. 
B. Ralph Sherwin, Pr. 
Ven. John Mason, L. 
Ven. Eustace White, Pr. 
Ven. Arthur Bell, O.S.F. 
Ven. Thomas Holland, 


Ven. Ed. Genings, Pr. 
Ven. Ed. Genings, Pr. 
Ven. Ed. Genings, Pr. 

Ven. Swithin Wells, L. 
Ven. Swithin Wells, L. 
Ven. John Roberts, O.S.B. 
Ven. John Roberts, O.S.B. 
Ven. John Roberts, O.S.B. 
Ven. John Roberts, O.S.B. 
Ven. John Roberts, O.S.B. 
Ven. Edmund Genings, 

and Companions. 
George Muscot, Pr. 
Ven. Robert Southwell, 


B. Alexander Briant, S.J. 
B. Alexander Briant, S.J. 
B. Ralph Sherwin, Pr. 
William, Viscount Stafford. 

Ven. John Almond, Pr. 
Bp. Oglethorpe, of Carlisle. 


January I 

W. BLUNDELL, 1600 

THE time hath been we had one faith, 
And strode aright one ancient path ; 
The time is now that each man may 
See new Religions coin d each day. 

Sweet Jesu, with thy mother mild. 
Sweet Virgin mother, with thy child, 
Angels and Saints of each degree, 
Redress our country s misery. 

The time hath been priests did accord 
In exposition of God s word ; 
The time is now, like shipman s hose, 
It s turn d by each fond preacher s glose. 

The time hath been that sheep obeyed 
Their pastors, doing as they said ; 
The time is now that sheep will preach, 
And th ancient pastors seem to teach. 

The time hath been the prelate s door 
Was seldom shut against the poor ; 
The time is now, so wives go fine, 
They take not thought the beggar kine. 

The time hath been men did believe 
God s sacraments his grace did give ; 
The time is now men say they are 
Uncertain signs and tokens bare. 

January 2 

THE time hath been men would live chaste, 
And so could maid that vows had past ; 
The time is now that gift has gone, 
New gospellers such gifts have none. 

Sweet Jesu, with thy mother mild, 
Sweet Virgin mother, with thy child ; 
Angels and Saints of each degree 
Redress our country s misery. 

The time hath been that Saints could see, 
Could hear and help our misery ; 
The time is now that fiends alone 
Have leave to range saints must be gone. 

The time hath been fear made us quake 
To sin, lest God should us forsake ; 
The time is now the vilest knave 
Is sure (he ll say) God will him save. 

The time hath been to fast and pray, 
And do alms deeds was thought the way ; 
The time is now, men say indeed, 
Such stuff with God hath little meed. 

The time hath been, within this land, 
One s word as good as was his bond ; 
The time is now, all men may see, 
New faiths have killed old honesty. 

January 3 

ABBOT FECKENHAM, O.S.B., 1585 (i) 
JOHN HOWMAN was born at Feckenham in 
Worcestershire, and is known by the name of 
his birthplace. As a Benedictine monk he 
became chaplain to Bishop Bonner, and was 
imprisoned in the reign of Edward VI for his 
defence of the Faith. Under Mary he became 
Dean of St. Paul s, and, later, Abbot of the re 
stored Abbey of Westminster. In spite of its 
late dissolution, he received the Queen on St. 
Thomas Eve, December 20, 1556, with twenty- 
eight other monks, all men of mature age, the 
youngest being upwards of forty, and all pious 
and learned. Some three years later, when he 
met Elizabeth for the opening of her first Parlia 
ment at the Abbey door, he in his pontifical 
robes and his monks in procession with their 
lighted candles, the Queen cried out, "Away 
with these lights ! We see very well." The 
Litany was sung in English, and Dr. Cox, a 
married priest and bitter heretic, preached 
against the Catholic religion and the monks, 
and urged the Queen to destroy them- The 
Abbot then knew that his fate was sealed. On 
July 12, 1559, Feckenham and his monks were 
ejected for refusing to take the Oath of Supre 
macy. He was imprisoned, and died at Wis- 
beach, 1585. His abbey was destroyed, but the 
stones live. 

" Be ye also as living stones built up, a spiritual 
house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual 
sacrifices acceptable to God." I PETER ii. 5. 

January 4 


BORN in the diocese of Lincoln, a scholar of 
.Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1546, he was 
made Rector of Stubton in his native county. 
He resigned his benefice on the change of re 
ligion under Elizabeth, and became a school 
master at Lincoln, but was obliged to resign the 
post on account of his faith. But it is as chief 
chaplain and priest of the army of the Rising 
that he won the martyr s palm. His voice seems 
to have been like the Baptist s and to have stirred 
high and low alike. His call to abandon heresy 
and to rally to the standard of the faith ran 
through the northern counties, and hundreds 
came in response to his summons. He appears 
to have been celebrant of the Mass in Durham 
Cathedral immediately preceding F. Holmes 
sermon and the public Absolution which followed. 
On his capture after the failure of the Rising, he 
was singled out as a notable example of the 
priests who had officiated. On the gibbet in 
the market-place at Durham he was offered his 
life if he would embrace heresy, but he refused, 
and dying to this world received eternal life 
from Christ. He suffered January 4, 1572, and 
was buried in the market-place. 

" Wherein I labour even unto bands, but the 
word of God is not bound." 2 TIM. ii. 9. 

January 5 

Abbot FECKENHAM, O.S.B. (2) 

SPEECH in the House of Lords : " My good 
Lords, when in Queen Mary s days your 
honour do know right well how the people 
of this realm did live in order and under law. 
There was no spoiling of Churches, pulling 
down of Altars, and most blasphemous tread 
ing down of The Sacrament under their feet, 
and hanging up the knave of clubs in the place 
thereof. There was no knocking or cutting of 
the face and legs of the Crucifix, and of the 
image of Christ. There was no open flesh- 
eating or shambles-keeping in the Lent and 
days prohibited. The subjects of this realm, 
and especially such as were of the honourable 
council in Queen Mary s days, knew the way 
to Church or Chapel, and to begin their daily 
work by calling for help and grace by humble 
prayer. But now since the coming of our most 
sovereign and dear lady Queen Elizabeth, by 
the only preachers and scaffold-players of this 
new religion all things are changed and turned 
upside down. Obedience is gone, humility and 
meekness clean abolished, virtuous, chaste, and 
straight living abandoned." 

" Her priests have despised my law and have 
defiled my sanctuaries. Her princes in the 
midst of her are like wolves ravening the prey, 
to shed blood and destroy souls." EZEK. xxii. 
26, 27. 

I? B 

January 6 

Father JOHN GENINGS, O.S.F., d. 1660 

THE news of his brother s martyrdom in 
December 1591 caused John Genings joy 
rather than sorrow, since he deemed it an 
escape from all Edmund s arguments and 
persuasions in favour of the Catholic religion, 
being himself strongly against the faith. But 
about ten days after his brother s execution, 
having spent all that day in sport and jollity, 
being weary with play, he returned home. 
There his heart felt heavy, and he began to 
weigh how idly he had passed the day. His 
brother s death came before him, and how he 
had abandoned all worldly pleasures, and for 
the sake of religion alone endured intolerable 
torments. Then the contrast of their two lives 
the one mortified, fearing sin, the other spent 
in self-indulgence and in every kind of vice. 
Struck with remorse, he wept bitterly and 
besought God to show him the truth. In an 
instant joy filled his heart with a tender 
reverence for the Blessed Virgin and the 
Saints, of whom he had scarcely heard. He 
longed now to be of his brother s faith, and 
gloried in his eternal happiness. He left 
England secretly, was made priest at Douay, 
became a Franciscan, and the first Provincial 
of the renewed English Province. 

" I will arise and go to my Father, and say 
to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven 
and before thee." LUKE xv. 8. 

January 7 

t Ven. EDWARD WATERSON, Pr., 1593 

HE was born in London and brought up in the 
Protestant religion. In company with certain 
merchants he travelled to Turkey to see the 
East, and there a rich Turk, taking a fancy to 
him, offered him his daughter in marriage 
if he would renounce Christianity. Waterson, 
however, refused the proposal with horror, and 
taking Rome on his way homewards was in 
structed and reconciled to the Church. He 
was then admitted as a student at Rheims, and 
though he had but little learning, his zeal 
mastered all difficulties, and he was ordained 
priest in Mid-Lent 1592 and sent to England, 
^hortly after his arrival he was apprehended 
and condemned on account of his priesthood. 
Catholic eye-witnesses relate that, as he was 
being drawn to his execution, the hurdle 
suddenly stood still, and the officers in vain 
flogged the horses to move it. Fresh animals 
were secured, but they broke the traces, and 
the hurdle remained fixed. Waterson had 
therefore to be led on foot to the gallows ; 
there the ladder shook violently of itself till 
the martyr by the sign of the Cross made it 
still, and ascending won his crown. 

" And when the ass saw the angel standing 
she fell under the feet of the rider, who, being 
angry, beat her sides more vehemently with a 
staff." NUM. xxii. 27. 


January 8 


BY permission of Gregory XIII, under the 
fresco of a prison, on the walls of the English 
College, Rome, the following sentence was 
inscribed : "For their Confession of the Roman 
See and the Catholic Faith, eleven Catholic 
Bishops died, after wasting away by a long 
imprisonment." That is, the Catholic Bishops 
whom Elizabeth found in their Sees on her 
accession, with the exception of Kitchen of 
Llandaff, one and all refused to take the oath 
of supremacy, and were deposed. Those who 
had been weak before, like Tunstall and 
Gardiner, and had accepted Henry VIII under 
the title of Head of the Church, were staunch 
now, for they had learnt where their error led. 
They were placed in private confinement or 
imprisoned, but on the breaking out of the 
Plague in London they were subjected to the 
galling custody of their Protestant successors 
in what had been their own palaces, and there 
in one or other prison in the end all died. 
Their end was in obloquy before men, but their 
sculptured effigies in desecrated cathedrals 
would never give God the glory of their broken 
croziers and empty thrones. 

"They recovered strength from weakness, 
and became valiant in war ; they had trials of 
mockeries and stripes, moreover also of bands 
and prisons, being approved by the testimony 
of their faith." HEB. xi. 34, 36, 39. 


January 9 


BORN at Belmont, near Winchester, and edu 
cated at that College, in gifts of body and mind 
he far surpassed his fellows. Inheriting a large 
fortune of his father s, he soon won the favour of 
Elizabeth by his handsome presence, physical 
agility, lavish expenditure, and ready wit. A 
complimentary poem of his, which he delivered 
to the Queen at Winchester College, still further 
secured her partiality. He basked in her smiles, 
and, though a Catholic at heart, professed her 
new religion. On Christmas Day, 1569, at a 
great Court festivity, Pounde surpassed all com 
petitors in the execution of a dance in which he 
spun with marvellous rapidity. At the Queen s 
invitation he consented to repeat the perform 
ance, but, turning giddy, fell prostrate, amidst 
the jeers of the spectators. The Queen s 
laughter mingled with the rest, and, giving him 
a kick in derision, bade him, "Rise, Sir Ox !" 
" Sic transit gloria mundi," he was heard to say 
as he rose a changed man. He retired to Bel 
mont, was reconciled to the Church, entered on 
a life of prayer and severe penance, and for his 
open profession and skilled defence of his faith 
spent his days in prison for thirty years. He 
was liberated by James I in 1603, was admitted 
into the Society of Jesus and died 1615. 

" O ye sons of men, how long will you be dull 
of heart ? Why do you love vanity and seek 
after lying?" Ps. iv. 3. 

O T 

January 10 


HE was of an old Yorkshire family, and was the 
chief leader in the Pilgrimage of Grace, as 
he had been in the Lincolnshire rising. The 
following is his proclamation, October 1536: 
" Simple and evil-disposed persons being of the 
King s Council have incensed his Grace with 
many inductions contrary to the faith of God, 
the honour of the King, and the weal of the 
Realm. They intend to destroy the Church in 
England and her ministers ; they have robbed 
and spoiled, and further they intend to rob and 
spoil, the whole body of this realm. We have 
now taken this Pilgrimage for the preservation 
of Christ s Church, of the Realm, of the King : 
to the intent of making petition to the King for 
the reformation of that which is amiss, and for 
the punishment of heretics and subverters of the 
laws ; and neither for money, malice, nor dis 
pleasure of any person, but such as be unworthy 
to remain about the King. Come with us, 
Lords, Knights, Masters, Kinsmen, and friends ! 
If ye fight against us and defeat, ye will but put 
both us and you into bondage for ever ; if we 
overcome you, ye shall be at your will. We 
will fight and die against all who shall be about 
to stop us in this pilgrimage, and God shall 
judge between us." 

"What wouldest thou ask of us? We are 
ready to die rather than transgress the laws of 
God received from our fathers." 2 MACH. 
vii. 2. 


January 1 1 


IN October 1536, from the Scottish Borders 
to the Humber, the good staunch Catholics 
of the North flocked to the banners of the Pil 
grimage of Grace. Second in command under 
Aske, leading the vanguard of six thousand 
men under the banner of St. Cuthbert, rode Sir 
Thomas Percy, brother of the Earl of Northum 
berland. They marched, some forty thousand 
strong, into Yorkshire, and Henry quailed be 
fore the pilgrims, though his forces were large. 
By deceitfully promising the redress of their 
grievances he cajoled them into dispersing and 
returning home. But in the next spring, on 
their re-assembling, he despatched more numer 
ous troops to the Duke of Norfolk, his lieutenant, 
who succeeded in securing their leaders. Sir 
Thomas, though he surrendered, was taken to 
Westminster, tried, and hanged with, amongst 
other supposed leaders, the Abbot of Jervaulx 
and the Dominican Friar John Pickering. They 
suffered " because, as false traitors, they con 
spired to deprive the King of his royal dignity, 
viz. of being on earth the Supreme Head of the 
Church in England." 

Thus, though not among the Beatified, they 
died for the faith. 

" For whom do you stay ? I will not obey 
the commandment of the King, but the com 
mandment of God which was given by Moses." 
2 MACH. vii. 30. 


January 12 

t Bishop WHITE OF WINCHESTER, 1560 (i) 

HE was Warden of Winchester School in 1551, 
when the second master perverted to Calvinism ; 
the head boy, Joliffe, and many of the scholars 
were infected by the heresy. It was the year of 
the sweating sickness. Joliffe and his followers 
were seized with the malady and died. Then 
the Warden, by his powerful exhortations, 
brought the school to penance, and renewed 
the faith of the boys some two hundred strong. 
For his resistance to Edward VI s innovations 
he was committed to the Tower. Promoted by 
Mary to the See of Winchester, at her funeral 
sermon he said, " She found the realm poisoned 
with heresy and purged it, and remembering 
herself to be a member of Christ s Church she 
refused to write herself head thereof, which title 
no prince a thousand and five hundred years after 
Christ usurped, and was herself by her learning 
able to render the cause why. She could say 
that after Zacharias was dead, Ozias the prince 
took on him the priest s office, which prospered 
not with him because it was not his vocation, 
but God struck him therefore with leprosy on 
his forehead. She would say, How can I, 
being a woman, be head of the Church, who 
by the Scriptures am forbidden to speak in the 
Church. " 

" And Ozias the king was a leper to the day 
of his death, for which he had been cast out of 
the house of the Lord." 2 PARAL. xxvi. 21. 


January 1 3 

Bishop WHITE OF WINCHESTER, 1560 (2) 

" I AM come into this world," he said in his 
sermon, "to this end, to serve God and to be 
saved. I come into this world to witness unto 
the truth, as Christ my Master came before me, 
but I impugn the truth and advance falsehood. 
I was regenerate, and by solemn vow became a 
member of Christ s Catholic Church, and have 
since divided myself from the unity thereof, 
and I am become a member of the new Church 
of Geneva ; and did after lapse to actual and 
deadly sin ; reformed by Heaven, I am now 
again relapsed to sin, and dwell stubbornly 
therein. Mark my end right honourable, and 
what shall become of me ! I shall in the end 
be damned everlastingly." Of Bishops he says : 
"They are placed by God, as Ezechias says, to 
keep watch and ward upon the walls and give 
warning when the enemy cometh ; if, then, they 
see the wolf toward the flock, as at the present 
he be coming from Geneva and Germany with 
their pestilential doctrines to infect the people, 
and from fear or flattery they give no warning, 
and let the wolves devour their flock, the blood 
of the people will be required at their hand." 
He died of Tower ague, contracted in prison, 
July 12, 1560. 

" I am come into the world that I should give 
testimony of the truth." JOHN xviii. 37. 

January 14 


Ven. WILLIAM LLOYD, Pr., 1679 

BORN in Carmarthenshire, he became a convert, 
was ordained at Lisbon, and returned to the 
English Mission. In spite of continuous illness, 
he toiled for souls till his arrest for the pates 
Plot, for which he was condemned, but died in 
prison at Brecknock six days before the date 
appointed for his execution in 1679. He left a 
speech for his execution, of which a portion is 
here summarised : " The faith in which I leave 
this world is that in which the Apostles lived 
and died after having received the Holy Ghost, 
and I do renounce all errors against that faith. 
Without faith no one can please God, and 
without pleasing God no one can be saved, and 
seeing there is no faith save that which Christ 
taught to His Apostles, it behoveth every man 
to find out that faith and to live and die in it, 
though they lose the world thereby, for it means 
being saved or dammed for ever. Now that 
Apostolic faith must be the oldest, for it was 
planted by our Saviour Himself, which He pro 
mised should last for ever, and against which 
the gates of Hell should never prevail. For 
this reason I made choice of the Holy Catholic 
Apostolic faith and Roman religion to live and 
die in." 

" Built on the foundation of the prophets and 
apostles, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief 
corner-stone." EPH. ii. 20. 

January 15 

B. FISHER and HENRY VII, 1509 

IN his funeral sermon on Henry VII Fisher 
said: "The cause of his hope was true belief 
that he had in God, in His Church, and in the 
Sacraments thereof, which he received all with 
marvellous devotion ; namely, in the Sacrament 
of Penance, the Sacrament of the Altar, and 
the Sacrament of Aneling the Sacrament of 
Penance with a marvellous compassion and 
flow of tears ; the Sacrament of the Altar he 
received at Mid-Lent and again upon Easter 
Day with great reverence. At his first entry 
into the closet, where the Sacrament was, he 
took off his bonnet and kneeled down upon his 
knees, and so crept forth devoutly till he came 
unto the place itself where he received the 
Sacrament. The Sacrament of Aneling, when 
he well perceived that he began utterly to 
fail, he desirously asked therefor, and heartily 
prayed that it might be administered unto 
him ; wherein he made ready and offered every 
part of his body by order, and as he might for 
weakness turned himself at every time and 
answered in the suffrages thereof. That same 
day of his departing, he heard Mass of the 
Glorious Virgin, the Mother of Christ, to whom 
always in his life he had singular and special 

"If thou didst know the gift of God." 
JOHN iv. 10. 


January 16 

BORN 1 540, of Catholic parents in London, he 
was educated at Christ s Hospital, Newgate, and 
for his proved ability was given a scholarship 
by Sir John White in his new foundation of St. 
John s College, Oxford. But he was famous 
for his gift of eloquence from his earliest youth. 
As a Bluecoat boy of thirteen years of age he 
made an oration to Queen Mary on her acces 
sion, opposite St. Paul s, on behalf of the Lon 
don scholars, and his modest grace charmed no 
less than his eloquence. At Oxford his oratori 
cal pre-eminence was attested by the various 
addresses he was chosen to deliver, but the 
growing convictions of the truth of Catholicism 
drove him from the University in 1569 on the 
completion of the Proctorship. After a visit to 
Ireland he was reconciled to the Church, re 
paired to Douay, and there to wipe out by 
penance the " mark of the beast," as he called 
his Anglican deaconship, he entered the Society 
of Jesus in Rome, 1573, and after seven years 
in Prague he landed at Dover, 1580. For 
thirteen months he preached, as occasion per 
mitted, twice and thrice a day throughout Eng 
land, and his fervent eloquence won innumerable 
souls. After continuous hairbreadth escapes he 
was arrested at Dame Yates house at Lyford, 
July n, 1581, and taken to the Tower. 

"And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet 
of the Highest : for thou shalt go before the face 
of the Lord to prepare His ways." LUKE i. 76. 

January 17 


IN the Tower, besides the ordinary miseries in 
cident to that kind of imprisonment, being 
regarded for his controversial writings as well 
as for his eloquence as in a special way the 
Pope s champion, he was divers times racked, 
to force out of him whose houses he had fre 
quented, by whom he was relieved, whom he 
had reconciled, and such like. At his first 
racking, they went no further with him ; but 
afterwards, when they saw he could not be won 
to divulge any matter, at least in religion, which 
was the thing they most desired, they thought 
it good to forge matter of treason against him, 
and framed their demands accordingly ; about 
which he was so cruelly torn and rent upon the 
torture, the two last times, that he told a friend 
of his, that found means to speak with him, that 
he thought they meant to make him away in 
that manner. Before he went to the rack, he 
used to kneel at the rack-house door, to com 
mend himself to God s mercy ; and upon the 
rack he called continually upon God, repeating 
often the holy name of Jesus. He most charitably 
forgave his tormentors and the causers thereof. 
His keeper asking him the next day how he felt 
his hands and feet, he answered, " Not ill, be 
cause not at all." 

" When I am weak, then am I powerful." 
2 COR. xii. 10. 


January 18 


AT the Bar he was arraigned with the others 
and commanded, as custom is in such cases, to 
hold up his hand ; but both his arms being 
pitifully benumbed by his often cruel racking 
before, and he having them wrapped in a furred 
.cuff, he was not able to lift his hand so high as 
the rest did, and as required of him ; but one 
of his companions, kissing his hand so abused 
for the confession of Christ, took off his cuff, so 
he lifted up his arm as high as he could, and 
pleaded not guilty as all the rest did. " I pro 
test," said he, " before God and the holy angels, 
before heaven and earth, before the world and 
this Bar whereat I stand, which is but a small 
resemblance of the terrible judgment of the 
next life, that I am not guilty of any part of 
the treason contained in the indictment, or of 
any other treason whatsoever." Then lifting 
up his voice he added, " Is it possible to find 
twelve men so wicked and void of all conscience 
in this city or land, that will find us guilty to 
gether of this one crime, divers of us never 
meeting or knowing one the other, before our 
bringing to this Bar?" 

" Therefore lift up the hands which hang 
down and the feeble knees." HEB. xii. 12. 

January 19 

" WHERETO, then, appertaineth these objections 
of treason ? He barely affirmeth ; we flatly deny 
them. But let us examine them ; how will they 
urge us ? We fled our country ; what of that ? 
The Pope gave us entertainment ; how then ? 
We are Catholics ; what is that to the purpose ? 
We persuaded the people ; what folio weth ? We 
are therefore traitors. We deny the sequel ; 
this is no more necessary than if a sheep had 
been stolen, and to accuse me you should frame 
this reason : my parents are thieves, my com 
panions suspected persons, myself an evil liver, 
and one that loveth mutton ; therefore I stole 
the sheep. Who seeth not but these be odious 
circumstances to bring a man in hatred with 
the jury, and no necessary matter to conclude 
him guilty ? Yea, but we seduced the Queen s 
subjects from their allegiance to her Majesty ! 
What can be more unlikely ? We are dead men 
to the world ; we only travelled for souls ; we 
touched neither state nor policy ; we had no 
such commission. Where was, then, our se 
ducing ? Nay, but we reconciled them to the 
Pope. Nay, then, what reconciliation can there 
be to him, since reconciliation is only due to 
God ? Wherefore we pray that better proof 
may be used, and that our lives may not be 
prejudiced by conjectures." 

"Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, 
bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest 
thou me?" JOHN xyiii. 23. 

January 20 



" HER Majesty herself and the commissioners 
as well urged me on the point of supremacy, 
and as to whether the Pope might lawfully 
excommunicate her ! I acknowledged her 
Highness as my governess and Sovereign : I 
acknowledged her Majesty de facto et de jure 
to be Queen : I confessed an obedience due 
to the Crown as my temporal head and primate. 
This I said then, so I say now. I will willingly 
pay to her Majesty what is hers, yet I must 
pay to God what is His. As to whether the 
excommunication, admitting that it were of 
effect, would discharge me of my allegiance, 
I said this was a ( dangerous question, and they 
that demanded this demanded my blood. If 
I would admit the Pope s authority, and then 
he should excommunicate her, I would then do 
as God would give me grace ; but I never 
admitted any such matter, neither ought I to 
be wrested with any such suppositions. To 
conclude. They are not matters of fact ; they 
be not in the trial of the country ; the jury 
ought not to take any notice of them ; for 
though they are doubtless very discreet men, 
and trained in debates pertinent to their own 
calling, yet they are laymen, they are temporal, 
and unfit judges to decide so deep a question." 

" Render therefore to Caesar the things that 
are Caesar s, and to God the things that are 
God s." MATT. xxii. 21. 

January 21 

t Yen. REYNOLDS, Pr., and Yen. ROE, O.S.B. r 

BOTH were converts, Reynolds from Oxford, 
Roe from Cambridge. Reynolds was ordained 
at Seville, and returned to England about 1590. 
For fifty years he laboured in the Mission, was 
banished, imprisoned, sentenced, reprieved, 
then suddenly ordered for execution. He was 
very infirm from age, his great size, and many 
sufferings. When the summons came he 
earnestly prayed for fortitude. Roe became 
a Benedictine at Dieulwart, Lorraine, was 
there ordained, braved all dangers on the 
English Mission, was banished, and finally 
imprisoned for seventeen years. To add to the 
miseries of his long confinement, he suffered 
from the stone, and endured cheerfully two 
operations. He was at last led out to execu 
tion with Father Reynolds. Lying down on 
the hurdle by his side, he felt his pulse, and 
jokingly asked him how he felt. " In good 
heart," said Father Reynolds, and blessed God 
for giving him a companion of such undaunted 
courage. Their way to Tyburn was like a 
triumphial procession. The Catholics threw 
themselves on their knees, begged their bless 
ings, and kissed their hands and garments. 
Thus both together won their crowns. 

"A brother helped by a brother is like a 
strong city." PROV. xviii. 19. 

33 C 

January 22 
t Ven. WILLIAM PATTENSON, Pr., 1592 
BORN in the county of Durham, he entered 
Douay College, was ordained priest in 1587, 
and went upon the English Mission in 1589. 
After two years work he came up to London 
to consult some fellow-priests, and so rid him 
self of certain scruples of conscience with which 
he was much troubled. He stayed in London 
at Mr. Laurence Mompesson s house (a Catholic 
gentleman) in Clerkenwell, where was in hiding 
another priest, Mr. James Young. On the 
third Sunday of Advent, after both had said 
Mass, the pursuivant suddenly entered the 
house. Mr. Young escaped through the hiding- 
place, but Mr. Pattenson was caught in at 
tempting to follow him. He was tried at the 
Old Bailey and condemned. The night before 
his execution he was put down into the con 
demned hole with seven malefactors. In his 
zeal for their salvation all his own troubles, 
interior scruples, and fear of impending death 
vanished ; he gave himself up entirely to their 
conversion, and spoke with such effect that six 
out of the seven were reconciled by him, and 
died the next morning professing the Catholic 
faith. The persecutors were so enraged at the 
conversion of these men, that they caused the 
martyr to be cut down immediately, so that he 
was alive and conscious while being cut open. 

"According to the multitude of my sorrows 
in my heart, Thy consolations have given joy 
to my soul." PS. xciii. 19. 

January 23 

Yen. NICOLAS WOODFEN, Pr., 1586 

His true name was Nicolas Wheeler. He was 
born at Leominster, Herefordshire, and in the 
school of that town he was esteemed highly for 
his abilities. He performed his priest s studies 
at Douay and Rheims, and was ordained at the 
latter town, March 25, 1581. He was sent on 
the English Mission the following June, and 
arrived in London in a state of great necessity, 
having, as he said, no money to buy food and 
scarce clothes for his back. A fellow-priest, 
Father Davis, whose address he found, supplied 
his immediate needs and introduced him to 
Catholics, and by the help of Mr. Francis 
Brown, Lord Montague s brother, a lodging 
was found for him at a haberdasher s in Fleet 
Street. There,disguised as a lawyer,he laboured 
with great profit among the members of the 
Inns of Court, for he had a handsome presence, 
affable and courteous manners, and great power 
of attraction. But Morris, the pursuivant, found 
him out and forced him to flee. He was again 
nearly caught with Father Davis in his next 
hiding-place at Sir T. Tresham s house at Hox- 
ton, but his hour was not yet come. The third 
time, however, he fell into the pursuivant s hands 
he was tried, sentenced, and suffered with great 
constancy at Tyburn, January 21, 1586. 

" For all the law is fulfilled in one word: thou 
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." GAL. v. 14. 

January 24 

t Ven. IRELAND, S.J., and JOHN GROVE, L., 


IRELAND was of gentle birth. His uncle was 
killed in the King s service and his relations 
assisted Charles II to escape after his defeat at 
Worcester. Educated at St. Omers, he entered 
the Society of Jesus, went on the English Mis 
sion in 1677, and was apprehended as a con 
spirator in the pretended Gates Plot. Gates 
swore that he had been present with Ireland 
at a meeting held in August to kill the King. 
Ireland proved by the evidence of above forty 
witnesses, many of them of note, that he was in 
the country, when Gates swore he was in Lon 
don, at the time named, yet he was condemned 
to death. Ireland said he pardoned all who had 
a hand in his death, that if he were guilty of 
treason he would be bound then to declare it, 
or the name of any accomplice, even of his own 
father. " As for ourselves," he said, " we would 
beg a thousand pardons both of God and man ; 
but seeing that we cannot be believed we must 
commit ourselves to the mercy of Almighty God, 
and hope to find pardon through Christ." 

After begging the prayers of all Catholics, he 
was executed at Tyburn, with John Grove, a 
Catholic layman, whose innocence was likewise 
fully proved, January 14, 1679. The cheerful 
patience and constancy of both martyrs aston 
ished the beholders. 

"A false witness shall not be unpunished, and 
he that speaketh lies shall perish." PROV. xix. 9. 

January 25 


BORN and brought up as a Protestant, he studied 
the books of his religion earnestly, and at the 
age of eighteen considered himself a master in 
controversy and was very anxious to dispute 
with some Catholic priest. Father Stanney was 
applied to, and appointed a place and date for 
the conference. Having first preached on the 
Real Presence, for the day was within the Octave 
of Corpus Christi, he saw Humphrey in private, 
and in a short time reconciled him to the Church. 
Though his life had been blameless before the 
world, he was now filled with contrition for his 
past sins, and an ardent desire to spread that 
faith which he had so strongly opposed. He 
visited the Catholic prisoners, catechised the 
ignorant, and prepared schismatics for their 
conversion. Falling grievously ill he said in the 
height of fever that the Queen was a heretic, 
and for this he was imprisoned in Winchester 
jail and sentenced to death at the age of twenty- 
one. On mounting the ladder he made the 
sign of the Cross on the rounds and was mocked 
by the hangman for so doing. Humphrey 
smiled in return, and the hangman, furious, 
boxed his ear. The martyr meekly replied, 
" Why do you treat me thus ? I never gave you 
cause." He suffered at Winchester, 1591. 

" I will shew him how great things he must 
suffer for My name s sake. ACTS ix. 16. 

January 26 


HENRY VIII took such pleasure in More s 
company that he would sometimes upon the 
sudden come to his house at Chelsea to be 
merry with him, whither on a time unlocked for 
he came to dinner, and after dinner, in a fair 
garden of his, walked with him by the space of 
an hour holding his arms about his neck. Of 
all of which favours he made no more account 
than a deep wise man should do. Wherefore, 
when that after the King s departure his son-in- 
law, Mr. William Roper, rejoicingly came unto 
him saying these words, " Sir, how happy are 
you whom the King hath so familiarly enter 
tained, as I have never seen him do to any other 
except Cardinal Wolsey, whom I have seen his 
Grace walk withal arm in arm," Sir Thomas 
More answered in this sort : " I thank our 
Lord, son, I find his Grace my very good Lord 
indeed, and I believe he doth as singularly 
favour me as he doth any subject within this 
realm. Howbeit, Son Roper, I have no cause 
to be proud thereof, for if my head could win 
him one castle in France, it should not fail to 
serve his turn." 

" It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than 
to trust in princes." Ps. cxvii. 9. 

January 27 


"WHEN a priest comes to their houses they 
first salute him as a stranger unknown to them, 
and then they take him to an inner chamber 
where an oratory is set up, when all fall on their 
knees and beg his blessing. If he says he must 
go to-morrow, as he usually does, for it is 
dangerous to stay longer, they all prepare for 
Confession that evening. The next morning 
they hear Mass and receive Holy Communion ; 
then after preaching, and giving his blessing a 
second time, the priest departs, conducted by 
one of the young gentlemen (that is, of the 
Catholic Association). No one is to be found 
to complain of the length of the Services. If 
the Mass does not last nearly an hour many are 
discontented. If six, eight, or more Masses are 
said in the same place, and in the same day 
(as often happens when there is a meeting of 
priests), the same congregation will assist at all. 
When they can get priests they confess every 
week. Quarrels are scarce known amongst 
them. Disputes are almost always left to the 
arbitration of the priest. They do not willingly 
intermarry with heretics, nor will they pray 
with them, nor do they like to have any dealing 
with them." 

"Thou hast prepared a table before me against 
them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my 
head with oil, and my chalice which inebriateth 
me how goodly is it." Ps. xxii. 5. 

January 28 

Ven. ARTHUR BELL, O.S.F., on the Scaffold 

" DEAR COUNTRYMEN, give ear to me, and as 
you desire to be delivered from your present 
miseries put an end to your sins ; for without 
doubt your enormous crimes are the cause of 
the calamities under which you groan. But 
above all I exhort you to renounce heresy, in 
which you have been so long engaged ; for this 
(with grief I speak it) has cut you off like putrid 
members from the body of Christ, and like dead 
branches from the tree of His Church. But if 
you resolve to persist in loving darkness more 
than light, long afflictions will attend you, and 
certainly many calamities and miseries threaten 
this city and the whole kingdom unless they 
desist from persecuting priests and Catholics. 
See and consider, I beseech you, the afflictions 
with which God has begun visibly to punish 
you, and be assured that all these punishments 
are tokens of His love, and a proof that He 
would not destroy you but as it were by con 
straint. I repeat, these chastisements, civil 
wars, and calamities are inflicted to bring you 
from shipwreck into the haven of the Catholic 
Church. Abuse, then, no longer His mercy, nor 
force him to destroy you by obstinacy in your 

" Know thou and see that it is an evil and a 
bitter thing to have left the Lord thy God." 
JER. ii. 19. 


January 29 


HE was born of good Catholic parents in the 
parish of St. Mary Magdalene, Oxford ; was 
educated in St. John s College in that univer 
sity, and took his B.A. degree 1576. Shortly 
after this he left the University, was reconciled 
to the Church, entered Douay, and was ordained 
priest at Rheims in December 1580. He was 
sent on the English Mission in June 1581, and 
was soon famous as a preacher ; but he had a 
particular gift for winning the souls of young 
men, and in July 1583 returned to Rheims with 
a band of ten Oxford undergraduates, five of 
whom were from Trinity College, viz. John 
Atkins, William Morgan, John and Walter 
Owen, and Richard Blount. After remaining 
some time at Rheims with Cardinal Allen, who 
loved him much, he returned to labour in 
London, and lived in constant peril of arrest, 
but having great presence of mind he effected 
wonderful escapes. He had bad health, being 
far gone in consumption ; but he never ceased 
to mortify himself, and generally wore a hair 
shirt. He had a great devotion to the Divine 
Office, and rebuked a priest for saying it in 
bed, but his corrections were always made with 
tact. He suffered at Tyburn, January 21, 1586. 

" I became all things to all men that I might 
save all." i COR. ix. 22. 

January 30 

Ven. RALPH SHERWIN, Pr., Dec. i 

HE wrote at Geneva when on his way from 
Rome to England with FF. Campion, Persons, 
and others, as follows : 

. " Well, our inn being taken, forthwith Father 
Persons and Mr. Paschal, with Mr. Patrick, 
his man (Campion disguised as a servant), and 
myself, went out to talk with Beza, whom we 
found in his house, and there saluted him, 
showing that passing that way we thought 
good to see him, for that he was a man talked 
of in all the world. And after such speech 
Father Persons asked how his j Church was 
governed ; who said by equality in the ministry, 
and that they were nine, and that every one 
ruled his week. Then it was said that we had 
bishops in England, and that the Queen was 
the continual head. He answered shamefully 
that he knew not that, but after these assertions, 
though much declining, insinuated that he liked 
not that ; yet, being urged, said, as they com 
monly shift, that they differed in discipline, not 
in doctrine. All this while Mr. Campion stood 
waiting with his hat in his hand, facing out the 
doting, heretical fool. After this he told some 
false, bad news, and then came strangers with 
letters, and so we were forced to leave." 

" A man that is a heretic avoid, knowing that 
he that is such a one is subverted and sinneth, 
being condemned by his own judgment." 
TlTUS iii. 10, ii. 


January 31 


IN May 1533, preaching before Henry VIII 
at Greenwich, on the history of Achab, Peto 
tried to persuade him to separate from Anne 
Boleyn, and applied to the king the prophet s 
threat. " I am that Micheas," he said, "whom 
thou wilt hate, because I must tell thee truly 
that this marriage is unlawful. I know that I 
shall eat the bread of affliction and drink the 
water of sorrow, yet because our Lord hath put 
it into my mouth I must speak it. There are 
many other preachers who will persuade you 
otherwise, feeding thy folly and frail affections 
upon hope of their own worldly promotion, and 
by that means betraying thy soul, thy honour, 
and thy posterity to obtain fat benefices, become 
rich abbots and get ecclesiastical dignities. 
These, I say, are the four hundred prophets 
who in the spirit of lying seek to deceive thee. 
But take good heed lest being seduced thou 
hast found Achah s punishment, and have thy 
blood licked up by the dogs." From Henry s 
dead body, though embalmed, there issued, 
owing to a fall in the coffin, a quantity of blood 
and corrupt matter, which was licked up by a 
great black dog, which the guards tried in vain 
to kill. 

" Where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth 
shall the dogs lick thy blood, even thine." 
3 KINGS xxi. 19. 


February i 

t Ven. HENRY MORSE, S.J., 1645 
" 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 a 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. Time was when I was a Protestant, 
being then a student of the law 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 to England I was committed to prison 
for refusing to take the oath of supremacy, and 
banished. After seven years I returned to 
England as a priest, and devoted myself to 
the poor and the plague-stricken." " No self- 
glorification," here interrupted the Sheriff. " I 
will glory only in God," continued the martyr, 
"who has pleased to allow me to seal the 
Catholic faith with my blood, and I pray that 
my death may atone for the sins of this nation, 
for which end and in testimony of the one true 
Catholic faith confirmed by miracles now as 
ever, I willing die." Tyburn, February I, 1645. 

" Thy testimonies, O Lord, are made exceed 
ingly credible." Ps. xcii. 5. 

February 2 

Ven. HENRY MORSE, S.J., 1645 

ON February I, 1645, the day of his execution, 
he celebrated, early in the morning, a votive 
Mass of the Blessed Trinity in thanksgiving for 
the great favour God was pleased to do him in 
calling him to the crown of martyrdom, having 
first, according to custom, recited the Litanies 
of our Blessed Lady and of all the Saints, for 
the conversion of England. After which he 
made an exhortation to the Catholics who were 
present, and, having rested for an hour, said the 
Canonical Hours, and then visited his fellow- 
prisoners, and took leave of them with a cheer 
fulness that was extraordinary. The little space 
that remained he employed in prayer with a 
religious of his order, till, being admonished that 
his time was come, he cast himself on his knees, 
and, with hands and eyes lifted up to Heaven, 
gave hearty thanks to Almighty God for His 
infinite mercy towards him, and offered himself 
without reserve as a sacrifice to His Divine 
Majesty. " Come, my sweetest Jesus," said he, 
"that I may now be inseparably united to Thee 
in time and eternity : welcome ropes, hurdles, 
gibbets, knives, and butchery, welcome for the 
love of Jesus my Saviour." At nine he was 
drawn on a sledge by four horses to Tyburn. 

" What shall I render to the Lord for all the 
things that he hath rendered to me ? I will 
take the chalice of salvation, and look upon the 
name of the Lord." Ps. cxv. 3, 4. 


February 3 

t B. JOHN NELSON, S.J., 1578 

UPON Monday, February 3, 1577, being the day 
of his martyrdom, he came very early, before 
day, up to the higher part of the prison ; where 
as, from Saturday till then, he had been kept 
in a low dungeon. Two of his nearest kinsmen 
coming to him found him earnest at his prayers 
with his hands joined together and lifted up, 
insomuch that the other prisoners there pre 
sent did both mark it and wonder at it much. 
When they had talked awhile together, and he 
saw them so full of sorrow that they had much 
ado to abstain from weepin g, yet for all that he 
was nothing moved himself, neither gave any 
sign or appearance of sorrow either in voice or 
countenance, but rebuked them, saying that he 
looked for some comfort and consolation of 
them in that case, and not by their tears to be 
occasioned to grieve ; willing them further to 
weep for their sins, and not for him, for he had 
a sure confidence that all should go well with 
him. When his kinsmen took their last farewell, 
they fell into such immoderate lamentations that 
he was somewhat moved, but repressed nature, 
and dismissed them. He suffered at Tyburn, the 
second of the seminarist martyrs, and was ad 
mitted into the Society of Jesus before his death. 

" But Jesus turning to them said, Daughters 
of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but for your 
children." LUKE xxiii. 28. 

February 4 

B. JOHN NELSON, S.J., 1578 

BORN, in 1534, of an ancient Yorkshire family, 
he was nearly forty years of age when he went 
to the newly-established college at Douay and 
was ordained, and of his four brothers two 
followed his example. He returned to England 
1577, and after a year s ministry was called upon 
to exorcise a possessed person. The evil spirit, 
when it was cast out, told him that it would cost 
him his life. He was apprehended, Sunday, 
December i, as he was saying the next day s 
Matins. He refused to take the oath of supre 
macy, declared repeatedly that the Pope was 
the Supreme Head of the Church and that the 
new religion set up in England was both schis- 
matical and heretical as a voluntary departure 
from Catholic unity. For this statement he was 
condemned as guilty of high treason. He had 
always held that England would never be re 
stored to the Church save by blood-shedding, 
and that his own life would be taken for that 
cause. He received his sentence therefore with 
great calmness and prepared himself for death. 
He was confined in a filthy underground dun 
geon infested with vermin. The jailer s wife 
offered him some wine, but he refused it, saying 
he would prefer water or rather vinegar and 
gall, to more closely follow his Lord. 

" And they gave Him wine mingled with gall, 
which, when He had tasted, He would not 
drink." MATT. xvii. 34. 

February 5 

B. JOHN NELSON, S.J., 1578 

THE thought of the joy and alacrity with which 
the martyrs suffered so comforted him, that he 
doubted not he himself would be consoled by 
God in the midst of his agony. And surely this 
courage and willingness to die came from this : 
that on the Thursday before his arraignment and 
death he had cleansed his conscience by confes 
sion, and had fortified himself by receiving the 
Blessed Sacrament of the altar. A priest, his 
friend, wishing to be communicated by Nelson, 
fixed upon Candlemas day, because of the solem 
nity of the Feast, but, reflecting that such festivals 
are more subject to suspicion, they concluded to 
defer it till the day after Candlemas ; but Mr. 
Nelson wished rather to anticipate the Feast 
and to communicate upon the Thursday before, 
which was done : though, at that time, neither he 
nor any of his friends suspected that he should 
so shortly come to his martyrdom. When, be 
hold ! the very next day after, word was brought 
him that he was to be arraigned on the morrow, 
and should be undoubtedly condemned if he did 
not revoke his former words, and so indeed it 
fell out. Thus by God s special providence he 
had chosen the Thursday before the Feast ; for 
otherwise, he must have died without the sacred 

" And he walked in the strength of that food to 
Horeb the Mount of God." 3 KINGS xxx. 8. 

February 6 


OF good birth, she was reduced to great poverty 
through her sufferings for the faith. Her chief 
devotion was ministering to the priests in prison, 
and, though her husband was a Protestant, she 
generally managed to maintain one in her house. 
It was under her roof in the city of London that 
Father Bullaker was seized while saying Mass, 
and Margaret and her boy, aged twelve, who 
was serving the Mass, were taken with him. At 
her trial, in October 1642, being threatened with 
death for her religion, she expressed her joy at 
the prospect of laying down her life for the faith 
in which she had been born, and which she 
hoped with God s mercy to bear unspotted to 
the grave. When the judge, who was a Puritan, 
urged her to think of her soul and her family and 
embrace the national religion, instead of dying 
for papistical superstition, she replied that Par 
liament must first choose what that religion 
was to be, for at present it was a matter of dis 
pute. She was sent back to prison, and there, on 
hearing that Father Bullaker was condemned to 
death, but that her sentence was deferred, she 
burst into tears ; yet quickly recovering her 
self, she offered her new lease of life to God as 
obediently as she had accepted death. 

" Now there was a great woman there who 
detained him (Eliseus) to eat bread, and as he 
often passed that way, he turned into her house 
to eat bread." 4 KINGS iv. 8. 

49 D 

February 7 


His parents both suffered much for the faith. 
His mother was a sister of Mr. Francis Tregian, 
in whose house B. Cuthbert Mayne was taken. 
Their son Thomas, one of fourteen children, 
followed his father s trade of draper, intending 
however to cross to Douay and become a priest. 
One day when walking in the streets of London 
he was seized on the cry of " Stop the traitor ! " 
raised by a youth Martin Tregony, a virulent 
papist-hunter. His mother, Lady Tregony, was 
a pious Catholic, and Sherwood frequently 
visited her, and Martin suspected him of assist 
ing in having Mass said in her house. At his 
condemnation Sherwood declared that the 
Pope and not the Queen was the head of the 
Church in England, and was then most cruelly 
racked to discover where he had heard Mass. 
He could not be induced, however, to betray or 
bring any man into danger. After this he was 
cast into a filthy, dark dungeon, swarming with 
loathsome and ferocious rats, and only left it 
twice during three months to be again tortured 
on the rack. He had lost the use of his limbs, 
was starving, and searched with pain, but no 
compromising words passed his lips. He was 
executed at Tyburn, February 7, 1578, aged 

" Keep that which is committed to thy trust." 
2 TIM. vi. 20. 

February 8 

B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B., 1535 

" HE never omitted so much as one collect of 
his daily service, which he used commonly to 
say to himself alone, without the help of any 
chaplain, not in such speed or hasty manner to 
be at an end, as many will do, but in most 
reverent and devout manner, so distinctly and 
tractably pronouncing every word, that he 
seemed a very devourer of heavenly food, never 
satiated nor filled therewith. Insomuch that 
talking on a time with a Carthusian monk, who 
much commended his zeal and diligent pains in 
compiling his book against Luther, he answered 
again, saying that he wished that time of writ 
ing had been spent in prayer, thinking that 
prayer would have done more good and was of 
more merit. 

"And to help this devotion he caused a 
great hole to be digged through the wall of his 
church at Rochester, whereby he might the 
more commodiously have prospect into the 
church at Mass and Evensong times. When 
he himself used to say Mass, as many times he 
used to do, if he was not letted by some urgent 
and great cause, ye might then perceive in him 
such earnest devotion that many times the tears 
would fall from his cheeks." 

" With a strong cry and tears offering up 
prayers. " HEB. v. 7. 


February 9 

B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B v 1535 
AFTER reminding our Lord of His promise that 
the Gospel should be preached throughout the 
world as a testimony to all nations, he recalls 
how the Apostles were but soft and yielding clay 
till they were baked hard by the fire of the 
Holy Ghost, and then offered a prayer to be 
fulfilled in himself. " So, good Lord, do now 
in like manner again with Thy Church militant, 
change and make the soft and slippery earth 
into hard stones. Set in Thy Church strong 
and mighty pillars, that may suffer and endure 
great labours watching, poverty, thirst, hunger, 
cold, and heat which also shall not fear the 
threatenings of princes, persecution, neither 
death, but always persuade and think with 
themselves to suffer, with a good will, slanders, 
shame, and all kinds of torments for the glory 
and laud of Thy Holy Name. By this manner, 
good Lord, the truth of Thy Gospel shall be 
preached throughout the world. . . . Oh ! if it 
would please our Lord God to show this great 
goodness and mercy in our days, the memorial 
of His so doing ought, of very right, to be left 
in perpetual writing, never to be forgotten of 
all our posterity, that every generation might 
love and worship Him time without end." 

" His bow rested upon the strong, and the 
bands of his arms and his hands were loosed, 
by the hands of the mighty one of Jacob, thence 
forth he came forth a pastor, the Stone of 
Israel." GEN. xlix. 24. 

February 10 


B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B., 1535 

To poor sick persons he was a physician, to the 
lame he was a staff, to poor widows an advocate, 
to orphans a tutor, and to poor travellers a host. 
Wheresoever he lay, either at Rochester or 
elsewhere, his order was to inquire where any 
poor sick folks lay near him, which after he 
once knew, he would diligently visit them. 
And when he saw any of them likely to die 
he would preach to them, teaching them the 
way to die, with such godly persuasions that 
for the most part he never departed till the sick 
persons were well satisfied and contented with 
death. Many times it was his chance to come 
to such poor houses as, for want of chimnies, 
were unbearable for the smoke, yet himself 
would there sit three or four hours together when 
none of his servants were able to abide in the 
house. And in some other poor houses where 
stairs were wanting, he would never disdain to 
climb up a ladder for such a good purpose. 
And when he had given them such ghostly 
comfort as he thought expedient for their souls, 
he would at his departure leave behind him his 
charitable alms, giving charge to his steward 
daily to prepare meat for them if they were poor. 

" Because I had delivered the poor man that 
cried out : and the fatherless that had no helper, 
the blessing of him that was ready to perish 
came upon me and I comforted the heart of the 
widow." JOB xxix. 12. 

February n 

Ven. GEORGE HAYDOCK, Pr., 1584 

HE was the son of Verran Haydock, the repre 
sentative of an ancient Catholic family of Cottam 
Hall, Lancashire ; his mother, a Westby of 
Westby, York. When on her deathbed, to con 
sole her sorrowing husband, she pointed, with 
the infant George in her arms, to the motto em 
broidered at the foot of the bed, " Tristitia vestra 
in gaudium vertetur." But the joy prophesied 
was not to be of this world. The widowed 
husband, seeing how persecution was ravaging 
the Church in England, to offer some reparation 
made over his property to his son William, and 
went over to Douay with the two others, 
Richard and George, all three to be trained for 
the priesthood. The father became procurator 
of the Douay College in England, and filled the 
office with great success. Richard after varied 
missionary work died in Rome, and George 
returned to England as a priest in February 
1 58 1, and was betrayed on arriving by an old 
tenant of his father s who had apostatised. His 
aged father on the previous All Souls Eve, 
when about to say the accustomed midnight 
Mass, seemed to see his son s severed head 
above the altar, and to hear the words, " Tristitia 
vestra, c.," and, swooning away, gave back his 
soul to God to find his sorrow turned to joy. 

"Your sorrow shall be turned into joy." 
JOHN xvi. 20. 


February 1 2 

f Ven. GEORGE HAYDOCK, Pr., 1584 

ARRESTED as a priest in February 1582 in St. 
Paul s Churchyard, he was confined in the 
Tower, where he was robbed of all his money, 
and suffered much from the hardships of his 
imprisonment, and from a lingering disease that 
he had contracted in Italy. On February 7, 

1 583, he was sentenced to death for having been 
made priest by the Pope s authority beyond the 
seas. He attributed this happy event to the 
prayers of St. Dorothy, Virgin and Martyr, 
whose day it was, and he marked it in the 
Calendar of his Breviary, which he left to Dr. 
Creagh, Archbishop of Armagh, then a prisoner 
in the Tower. But to his sorrow he heard that 
the Queen had changed her mind, and that he 
was not to suffer. His Confessor, however, a 
man of great experience, encouraged him by 
the assurance that these rumours were indus 
triously spread abroad only to represent the 
Queen as averse from these cruelties, and to 
remove any odium from her, as if they were ex 
torted from her against her inclinations. The 
falseness of the Queen s reported leniency was 
proved by the event. Father Haydockj without 
a sign of any pardon, was hung at Tyburn, and 
the whole butchery performed February 12, 


" They spoke indeed peacefully to me : and 
speaking in anger of the earth they devised 
guilt." Ps. xxxiv. 20. 


February 13 


Ven. JAMES FENN, Pr., 1584 

ORDAINED priest when a widower of mature 
age, he laboured first in his own county, Somer 
setshire. He was soon apprehended, and to 
complete his disgrace was exposed to the people, 
chained and fettered, on a market-day. Re 
moved to the Marshalsea, where his priesthood 
was unknown, he spent his time in strengthening 
the Catholics, administering the Sacraments and 
reconciling Protestants to the Church. The 
main objects of his charity, however, were the 
criminals and pirates under sentence of death. 
These he visited and exhorted with great affec 
tion to make good use of the time by repenting 
of their sins and seeking pardon through the 
power Christ had left with His Church. Many 
responded to his call, among them one noted 
pirate, till then in despair at the load of his sins, 
cast himself at his feet and desired to be recon 
ciled. This was done, and so staunch was this 
convert that he absolutely refused the prayers 
and communion of the Protestant minister, and 
on the scaffold publicly professed his faith. As 
Father Fenn was being laid on the hurdle his 
little daughter Frances came weeping to take 
leave of him. The good man lifted his pinioned 
hands as far as he could and gave her his bless 
ing, and was drawn to Tyburn, Feb. 12, 1584. 

"Behold a glutton and a wine-bibber, the 
friend of publicans and sinners." LUKE vii. 34. 

February 14 

Ven. JOHN NUTTER, Pr., 1584 

BORN at Burnley, Lancashire, educated at Ox 
ford, he became a Catholic and was ordained at 
Rheims, and embarked for the English Mission 
in 1582. Being taken ill of a violent fever, he 
was put ashore at Dunwich, Suffolk. The ship 
shortly afterwards foundered, and a minister, in 
search of booty from the wreck, to his dis 
appointment secured only a bag containing 
Catholic books. These, however, raised sus 
picions that the sick man was a priest. Father 
Nutter was apprehended, fettered, and clogged, 
and, notwithstanding his weakness and pains, 
conveyed over rugged ways in a jolting waggon 
to London. At the Marshalsea he recovered 
his health and toiled indefatigably for his 
fellow-prisoners. His success was great, but his 
apparent failures were even more remarkable. 
However stubborn or perverse a soul might 
prove, he never would despond nor desist, but 
persevered with prayers and instructions till 
grace conquered. There was one with whom 
the man of God took much pains who proved 
obdurate to the end ; yet the spectacle of the 
martyr s death so moved him that he resolved 
to live in that Church for which the holy priest 
had died with such constancy. Father Nutter 
was executed at Tyburn, February 12, 1584. 

" Thou, O Man of God, pursue justice, charity, 
patience. Fight the good fight." I TlM. vi. 

II, 12. 


February 15 
Yen. JOHN MUNDEN, Pr., 1584 
HE was born at Maperton, in Dorsetshire, was 
educated at Oxford, and became a Fellow of 
New College, 1562. The fact of his being a 
Catholic, however, getting known, he was de 
prived of his fellowship in 1566, went abroad to 
Rheims and to Rome, and returned a priest to 
England in 1582. About the end of February 
that year, as he was going up from Winchester 
to London, he was met on Hounslow Heath by 
a lawyer, named Hammond, who, knowing him 
to be a priest, delivered him to the Justices of 
Staines, who sent him to Sir Francis Walsing- 
ham, the Secretary of State. The Secretary 
inveighed against the Seminarists, the Rheims 
translations of the New Testament, and ques 
tioned him, among other matters, as to whether 
the Queen was Sovereign both de jure and de 
facto. To this, on Munden replying that he 
did not rightly understand these terms, Wal- 
singham gave him a stunning blow on his head. 
He was then examined by Popham, the Attorney 
General, who accused him of having led an 
immoral life in his own country, and loaded him 
with fresh insults. After a twelvemonth s im 
prisonment, he suffered with FF. Haydock, 
Fenn, Hemerford, and Nutter. Being the last, 
he helped them by his prayers on earth as they 
him by theirs in heaven. February 12, 1584. 

" He that justifieth the wicked, and he that 
condemneth the just, both are an abomination 
before God." PROV. xvii. 5. 

February i 6 

t Yen. HENRY MORSE, S.J., 1645 
BORN of a gentleman s family in Suffolk, he 
was converted, as a law student in London at 
the age of twenty-three, and went abroad to 
Douay. Returning to England as priest in 
1624, he was apprehended on landing at New 
castle, and cast into prison at York. Being 
already in ill-health, he suffered much from 
want and the filth of the place for three years. 
He found means, however, during this time to 
be admitted to the Society of Jesus, and laboured 
with great fruit among the felons and male 
factors. Banished in 1627, he nearly died from 
a malignant fever which he caught as camp 
missioner among the English soldiers on the 
Continent. In 1636 he returned to minister to 
the plague-stricken in London. He visited the 
infected under incredible difficulties. Harassed 
by the pursuivants, suspected even by good 
Catholics, he spent his time day and night, as 
occasion called, in squalid and foetid garrets, and 
in close contact with every form of the disease. 
His self-sacrifice was rewarded by numerous 
conversions. He was himself stricken with the 
disease, but on recovery he immediately re 
turned to his labours, to be again infected, and 
when almost dead was brought back to life by 
receipt of a letter ordering him to rest for awhile. 

"The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are 
cleansed, the poor have the gospel preached to 
them. And blessed is he who is not scandalised 
in Me." MATT. xi. 5, 6. 

February 17 

Ven. HENRY MORSE, S.J., 1645 

SOON after his second recovery from the plague, 
he was committed to Newgate for being a priest 
and seducing his Majesty s subjects from the 
religion by law established, and a certificate 
was read in court showing that he had perverted 
560 Protestants in and about the Parish of 
St. Giles in the Fields. For being a priest he 
was banished in 1641, and again he devoted 
himself to the English soldiers quartered in 
Flanders, till in 1643 ne returned to the North 
of England, and there resumed his missionary 
labours. Apprehended, he was lodged for the 
night in a constable s house whose wife was a 
Catholic and enabled him to escape. About 
six weeks after, however, God s will that he 
should suffer for His Name plainly appeared, 
for he was recognised, arrested, and shipped 
from Newcastle for London. At sea he endured 
much from the barbarous usage of the crew, 
and was nearly lost with the ship in a violent 
storm. The martyr s crown was, however, to be 
his. Arrived in London, he was committed to 
Newgate, and, notwithstanding that his brother, 
a Protestant, left no stone unturned to save his 
life, he was sentenced to death for high treason 
on his previous conviction of being a priest. 
He suffered February i, 1644. 

" And when they shall persecute in one city, 
flee into another." MATT. x. 23. 

February 1 8 


t Ven. JOHN PIBUSH, Pr., 1601 

BORN at Thirsk in Yorkshire, he made his 
studies at Rheims, was ordained priest in 1587, 
and sent to the English Mission in 1589. His 
work lay in Gloucestershire, and after a year s 
labours he was apprehended at Moreton le 
Marsh and committed to Gloucester jail. Some 
of the felons confined there having managed 
to break a passage through the walls, Pibush, 
like the other prisoners, made his escape. He 
was apprehended, however, the next day, sent 
up to London, tried, and condemned on account 
of his priesthood. For seven years his execu 
tion was postponed, and during the whole of 
that period he was kept in the Queen s Bench 
huddled up with the other prisoners, some of 
them the worst of criminals. Through the 
miseries of his imprisonment he contracted a 
grievous infirmity, so that he was sometimes 
for hours without sense or movement. His worst 
sufferings, however, were from the brutality 
and blasphemies of his fellow-prisoners. His 
patience touched their hearts at last, and his 
jailor gave him a separate cell, in which at 
times he said Mass to the great comfort of his 
soul. He was executed at St. Thomas Water 
ings, February 18, 1601. 

" Why do you persecute me as God, and glut 
yourselves with my flesh ? For I know that my 
Redeemer liveth, and that in my flesh I shall 
see my God." JOB xix. 22, 25, 26. 

February 19 

B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

GIVE me Thy grace, good God, 
To set the world at naught ; 
To set my mind fast on Thee and not to hang 
Upon the blast of men s mouths; 
To be content to be solitary ; 
Not to long for worldly company ; 
Little and little utterly to cast off the world, 
And rid my mind of all business thereof; 
Not to long to hear of any worldly things, 
But that the hearing of worldly phantasies may 
be to me displeasant. 

Gladly to be thinking of God ; 
Piteously to call for His help. 
To lean unto the comfort of God ; 
Busily to labour to love Him ; 
To know mine own vility and wretchedness ; 
To humble and meeken myself under the mighty 
hand of God : 

To bewail my sins past ; 
For the purging of them patiently to suffer 

Gladly to bear my purgatory here ; 
To be joyful of tribulations. 

" To enlighten them that sit in darkness and 
in the shadow of death." LUKE i. 79. 


February 20 

B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 
GIVE me Thy grace, good God, 
To walk the narrow way that leadeth to life ; 
To bear the cross with Christ ; 

To have the last things in remembrance ; 
To have afore mine eye my death that is ever 
at hand. 

To make death no stranger to me, 
To foresee and consider the everlasting fire 
of hell. 
To pray for pardon before the Judge 

come ; 
To have continually in mind the Passion that 

Christ suffered for me. 

For His benefits uncessantly to give Him 

To buy the time again that I have lost. 
To abstain from vain confabulations. 
To eschew light foolish mirth and glad- 
. ness. 

Recreations not necessary to cut off; 
Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life, 

and all, 
To set the loss at right naught for the winning 

of Christ. 

To think my worst enemies my best friends, for 
the brethren of Joseph could never have 
done him so much good with their love 
and favour as they did him with their 
malice and hatred. 

" To direct our feet into the way of peace." 
LUKE i. 79. 


February 21 

t Ven. ROBERT SOUTHWELL, S.J., 1595 

OF an old Norfolk family, he was stolen by a 
gipsy as an infant, but the theft was speedily 
discovered, and Southwell proved his gratitude 
to his rescuer by seeking out and converting 
the woman who detected the theft when he 
returned to England as a Jesuit priest in 1584. 
He laboured on the Mission with great success, 
in which his mastery of the English tongue 
stood him in good service. His poems, in their 
directness and force, their antitheses, and terse 
ness, in beauty of conception and fidelity of 
expression, rank with those of the finest Eliza 
bethan sonneteers. His lyre, however, was 
tuned to no mere amorous strains, but to show 
how "virtue and verse suit together." The 
divine beauty of Jesus and Mary, the opera 
tions of grace, the deformity of sin, the nature 
of contrition, contempt of the world, the brevity 
of life, all these are told with a charm and a 
grace in verses now little, alas ! known, and 
are set forth with equal power in his letters. 
He was shamefully betrayed by a woman, once 
his penitent, was ten times tortured, and, after 
three years confinement in the Tower in a filthy 
hole, was brought out, covered with vermin, at 
the age of thirty-three to receive his martyr s 

"The mercies of the Lord I will sing for 
ever." Ps. Ixxxviii. 2. 


February 22 


"WE have written many letters, but it seems 
few have come to your hands. We sail in the 
midst of these stormy waves with no small 
danger ; from which nevertheless it has pleased 
our Lord hitherto to deliver us. We have 
altogether with much comfort renewed the 
vows of the Society, according to our custom. 
I seem to see the beginnings of a religious life 
in England, of which we now sow the seeds 
with tears, that others hereafter may with joy 
carry in the sheaves to the heavenly granaries. 
We have sung the Canticles of the Lord in a 
strange land, and in this desert we have sucked 
honey from the rock and oil from the hard stone. 
But these joys ended in sorrow, and sudden 
fears dispersed us into different places ; but in 
fine we were more afraid than hurt, for we all 
escaped. I, with another of ours seeking to 
avoid Scylla, had like to have fallen into Charyb- 
dis, but by the mercy of God we passed be 
twixt them both. In another of mine I gave 
an account of the martyrdoms of Mr. Bayles 
and Mr. Horner, and of the edification the 
people received from their holy ends. We 
also, if not unworthy, look for the time when 
our day may come." 

" He set him upon high land, that he might 
suck honey out of the rock and oil out of the 
hardest stone." DEUT. xxxii. 13. 

6 5 E 

February 23 


THE labours to which they obliged them (the 
imprisoned priests) were continual and im 
moderate, and no less in sickness than in 
health ; for with hard blows and stripes they 
forced them to accomplish their task how weak 
soever they were. Some are there hung up for 
whole days by the hands, in such manner that 
they can but just touch the ground with the tips 
of their toes. In fine, they that are kept in that 
prison truly live "in lacu miseriae et in luto 
fecis." This Purgatory we are looking for 
every hour, in which Topliffe and Young, the 
two executioners of the Catholics, exercise all 
kinds of torment. But come what pleaseth 
God, we hope that we shall be able to bear all 
in Him that strengthens us. In the meantime 
we pray that they may be put to confusion who 
work iniquity, and that the Lord may speak 
peace to His people (Ps. xxiv. and Ixxxix.) that, 
as the Royal Prophet says, His glory may dwell 
in our land. I most humbly recommend myself 
to the holy sacrifices of your Reverence and of 
all our friends. 

" My flesh is clothed with rottenness and the 
filth of dust ; my skin is withered and drawn 
together." JOB vii. 5. 


February 24 

HE took part in the rising of 1715, and on the 
investment of Preston by the Government troops 
voluntarily surrendered himself to save further 
bloodshed. At his trial he pleaded the fact of 
his surrender, with the hopes of mercy held out 
to him, but was ^condemned to death on January 
1716. On Monday, Feb. 20, Sydney, Under 
Secretary for State, and the Duke of Rox 
burgh, Keeper of the Privy Seal for Scotland, 
visited him in the Tower, and in the King s 
name offered him his life if he would acknow 
ledge the Hanoverian title and conform to the 
Protestant religion. The offer was tempting, 
for the Earl was devotedly attached to his wife 
and children, but his faith was dearer still, and 
he unhesitatingly refused the offer. He now 
prepared his soul with great care, made a 
general confession, heard Mass and com 
municated, abstained from all flesh meat, and 
gave his mind wholly to the things of God. 
The New Testament, the Imitation of Christ, 
and St. Augustine s Confessions were his chief 
books, and the Passion of his Lord was ever 
before him. By these means he became wholly 
detached, and accomplished his dreaded parting 
with his wife by the mutual oblation of them 
selves to God. He was executed on Tower 
Hill, February 24, 1716. 

" But I fear none of these things, neither do 
I count my life more precious than myself that 
I may consummate my course." ACTS xx. 24. 

February 25 


"TiNDALE conceals the meaning of words by 
his translation. For priest he substitutes 
senior, for the Church the congregation, 
* confession becomes knowledge, and * pen 
ance repentance. He changeth grace 
into favour, whereas every favour is not 
grace in England, for in some favour there 
is little grace. ... A contrite heart he 
changeth into a troubled heart, and many 
more things like and many texts untruly trans 
lated for the maintenance of heresy. The most 
foolish heretic in the town may write more false 
heresies in one leaf than the wisest man in the 
whole world can well and conveniently by reason 
and authority confute in forty. These evan 
gelical brethren think my works too long. But 
also Our Lady s psalter think they too long 
by all the Ave Marias and some good piece of 
the Creed too. Then the Mass think they too 
long by the Secrets and the Canon. Instead 
of a long Breviary a short primer shall serve 
them ; and yet the primer without Our Lady s 
Matins. And the seven Psalms think they long 
enough without the Litany ; and as for dirge or 
commemoration for their friends souls, all that 
service is too long." 

" Keep that which is committed to thy trust, 
avoiding the profane novelties of words and 
appositions of knowledge falsely so called." 
i TIM. vi. 20. 


February 26 

f Ven. ROBERT DRURY, Pr., 1607 

BORN of a gentleman s family in Buckingham 
shire, he followed his studies at Rheims and 
Valladolid, at the college lately founded by 
Philip II for the English clergy. There he 
was ordained, and sent on the English Mission 
in 1593. His work lay in and about London, 
and his zeal and learning were alike edifying. 
In 1601 Elizabeth set forth a proclamation on 
November 7, that she would be willing to show 
some favour to such of the clergy as would 
assure her of their allegiance to her as their 
lawful Queen. On this, Drury, with thirteen 
others of the most earnest of the secular clergy, 
drew up a declaration affirming their loyalty to 
the Queen, while at the same time they acknow 
ledged the supreme spiritual authority of the 
Bishop of Rome, as successor of St. Peter, 
which they believed to be wholly compatible 
with their civil allegiance ; and they further 
declared their readiness to shed their blood for 
the Queen or the Church if the rights of either 
were attacked. This declaration does not seem 
to have lessened the persecutions, though the 
subscribers themselves were left unmolested. A 
new oath, however, was framed under James I, 
abjuring the Pope s power, and on Drury re 
fusing to take this as against his conscience, 
he was executed at Tyburn, February 26, 1607. 

" I will speak of Thy testimonies before kings, 
and will not be ashamed." Ps. cxviii. 46. 

February 27 

t Ven. MARK BARKWORTH, O.S.B., 1601 

A CONVERT from Protestantism, he was arrested 
shortly after his arrival from Valladolid on the 
English Mission. At the Old Bailey, being told 
to hold up his hand as charged with priesthood 
and treason, he replied, " How is priesthood a 
treason ? Was not our Saviour a priest accord 
ing to the order of Melchisedech ? Was He a 
traitor? Though I am of opinion, were He to 
be judged at this tribunal, He would meet with 
the like treatment as I look for." Asked by 
whom he would be tried, ** By God," said he, 
" and by the Apostles and Evangelists, and by 
all the blessed Martyrs and Saints in Heaven. 
I will never let my blood lay at the door of these 
poor men (to the jury) who will be forced to bring 
a verdict against the right or wrong for fear of 
a lifelong fine. Let learned men judge in my 
cause." " Will you, then, be judged by a jury of 
ministers?" they asked. "Hell-fire," he said, 
" will try them ; my cause is not to be trusted to 
them." " You would then have a jury of priests ? " 
said the judge. "That is right," he replied, 
"and you will find a complete jury of them in 
Wisbeach Castle." On this he was sentenced to 
death, and replied, " Deo Gratias." He suffered 
February 27, 1601. 

" But to me it is a very small thing to be judged 
by you or by man s day." I COR. iv. 3. 


February 28 

Yen. ANNE LINE, 1601 

A DEVOUT widow gentlewoman, she suffered 
continuous ill health, but her soul was strong. 
She received the Blessed Sacrament at least 
weekly, and always with abundance of tears. 
Her one desire was to win the palm of martyr 
dom, and she feared much but she would be 
deprived of it, as very few of her sex had then 
suffered. The assurance of a former confessor 
of hers, B. Thompson, himself a martyr, and a 
vision she had of our Lord on the Cross, bid her 
hope that her desire would be obtained, and she 
was not deceived. On Candlemas Day, 1601, 
her house was beset by pursuivants at the very 
time Mass was beginning, but, as the doors were 
strongly barred, the priest, Mr. Page, managed 
to escape, and the house was searched in vain. 
Mrs. Line, however, was arrested and carried in 
a chair to the Old Bailey, for she was too weak 
to walk, and there sentenced to death. At 
Tyburn she declared, " I am sentenced to death 
for harbouring a Catholic priest, and so far I am 
from repenting that I wish I could have enter 
tained a thousand." She suffered February 27, 
1 60 1, before the two priests, BB. Barkworth and 
Filcock, and the former blessed her dead body, 
saying, they would quickly follow her. 

" He that receiveth a prophet in the name of 
a prophet shall receive the reward of a prophet." 
MATT. x. 41. 

February 29 



ON hearing news of his promotion to the sacred 
purple, from personal humility and contempt of 
honour, he remarked that if the Cardinal s hat 
were laid at his feet he would not stoop to pick 
it up; yet that he held the dignities of the Church 
in due reverence the following dialogue shows. 

"My Lord of Rochester," said Cromwell, "if 
the Pope should now send you a Cardinal s hat, 
what would you do ? Would you take it ? " 

" Sir," said he, " I know myself so far un 
worthy of any such dignity, that I think of 
nothing less than such matters ; but if he do 
send it me, assure yourself I will work with it 
by all the means I can to benefit the Church of 
Christ, and in that respect I will receive it on 
my knees." The King s rage was uncontrollable. 
When he heard of this answer of the servant of 
God, he said to Cromwell : " Yea, is he yet so 
lusty ? Well, let the Pope send him a hat when 
he will ; but I will so provide that whensoever 
it cometh he shall wear it on his shoulders, for 
head shall he have none to set it on." And so 
was his death decreed. 

"Thou hast set on his head a crown of 
precious stones." Ps. xxi. 3. 


March i 

Yen. STEPHEN ROWSAM, Pr., 1587 

BORN in Staffordshire, as a commoner at Oriel 
College,and again when a minister at the Church 
of St. Mary s, Oxford, he is said to have had 
divers strange visions, and to have beheld a 
bright crown over his head, which he showed 
to his companions. Being converted he went 
to Rheims, was ordained priest, and was again 
favoured with supernatural visions and voices. 
Once when saying Mass a large spider covered 
with dirt fell from the roof into the chalice after 
consecration, but he consumed it from reverence 
to the Precious Blood. He arrived in England 
in 1583, and was arrested the same year and 
cast into the " Little Ease" in the Tower. Dur 
ing the eighteen months of imprisonment in this 
wretched hole he was consoled by many heavenly 
visitations, and birds would circle round him and 
sing as he knelt in prayer. In 1585 he was 
banished, but his zeal for the faith soon brought 
him back to England, where he was again 
arrested, thrust into Gloucester jail, and con 
demned. On his way back to the prison after 
the sentence he was pelted and covered with 
filth by some youths on a dunghill. On the 
morning of his martyrdom he celebrated Mass, 
and going forth completed his thanksgiving by 
the sacrifice of his life. March 1587. 

" I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh ; and 
your young men shall see visions, and your old 
men shall dream dreams." JOEL ii. 28. 

March 2 


AFTER leading for some years a worldly life, he 
entered the noviciate of the Recollects at Douay 
about 1628. Born a poet, he wrote verses as 
a help to his devotions on the Duel of Death. 
His novice master to mortify him ordered him 
to throw his composition into the fire, and he 
instantly obeyed. On landing as a priest in 
England he was seized and racked, and having 
no shirt, for by the rule the Franciscan habit 
must be worn next the skin, suspicions were 
aroused, but he calmed them by attributing his 
needy apparel to his extreme poverty. On re 
fusing to take the oath of allegiance, he was, 
however, imprisoned. Released through his 
friends 3 generosity, he began his missionary 
labours. Disguised as a cavalier, his wit, 
brilliant talents, and polished manners made him 
generally popular, and aided his work for souls. 
But the secret of his power lay under his gay 
exterior, in his complete detachment from earthly 
things, and his constant thought of death. He 
was many times arrested, and at length con 
demned, but he was left chained, insulted, often 
beaten, to drag out three or four years in a 
filthy prison till he learnt in practice the study 
of his life how to die. Newgate, 1645. 

" In the morning thou shalt say : Who will 
grant me evening ? and at evening : Who will 
grant rne morning?" DEUT. xxviii. 67 

grant rne morning 


March 3 

B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

BORN February 7, 1478, in Cheapside, London, 
he was sent to St. Antony s School, Threadneedle 
Street, and was then placed in the household ot 
Cardinal Moreton, Archbishop of Canterbury 
and Lord Chancellor. At the age of fourteen 
he was sent to Oxford, and studied under Lin- 
acre and Grocyn, and four years later became a 
lecturer at Furnival s Inn. In his twenty-fifth 
year he had serious thoughts of becoming a 
religious. "The world was made up," he 
wrote, " of false love and flattery, of hatred and 
quarrels, and of all that ministered to the body 
and the Devil." Being near the Carthusians, 
he imitated their austerities, wore a hair shirt, 
took the discipline on Fridays and Fast Days, 
said Lauds, Matins, and the Penitential Psalms, 
and always heard an entire Mass daily. This 
practice he continued throughout his life, and 
observed it so religiously that when the King 
once sent for him while he was hearing Mass 
he would not stir until the Mass was finished, 
although the summons was twice or thrice 
repeated. To the Royal messenger urging him 
to come without delay, he said that he thought 
first to perform his duty to a better Man than 
the King was, nor was the King then angered 
with Sir Thomas s boldness. 

" His sacrifices were consumed by fire every 
day." ECCLUS. xlv. 17. 

March 4 


A NATIVE of York, a tailor by trade and a 
zealous Catholic, he endeavoured, according to 
his ability, to persuade others to embrace the 
faith. Having come up to London to be cured 
of a wound in his leg, he was committed to 
Newgate for harbouring priests. There the 
heavy fetter on his leg and the deprivation of all 
medical aid rendered an amputation necessary. 
During the operation he sat upon a form, un 
bound, in silence, a priest the while (Hewett, 
who was afterwards himself a Martyr) holding 
his head, and he was further comforted by such 
a vivid apprehension of Christ bearing His 
Cross that he seemed to see it on His shoulders. 
Freed at the earnest suit of his friends, he 
worked at his trade at some lodgings at Smith- 
field. Again cast into Bridewell for harbouring 
priests, he was hung up by the wrists till he 
nearly died. At length condemned solely for 
making a jerkin for a priest, he was hanged in 
front of his lodging in Smithfield, March 3, 1 590. 
On the night before his execution, finding him 
self overwhelmed with anguish, he betook him 
self to prayer, and perceived a bright crown of 
glory hanging over his head. Assured of its 
reality, he said : " O Lord, Thy will be mine," 
and died with extraordinary signs of joy. 

"He hath clothed me with the garments of 
salvation." ISA. Ixi. 10. 

March 5 

Ven. JAMES BIRD, L., 1593 

BORN at Winchester of a gentleman s family 
and brought up a Protestant, he became a 
Catholic and went to study at Rheims. On his 
return he was apprehended and charged with 
being reconciled to the Roman Church, and 
maintaining the Pope under Christ to be the 
Head of the Church. Brought to the bar he 
acknowledged the indictment and received sen 
tence of death as for high treason, though both 
life and liberty were offered him if he would but 
once go to the Protestant Church. When his 
father solicited him to save his life by com 
plying, he modestly answered that, as he had 
always been obedient to him, so he would obey 
him now could he do so without offending God. 
After a long imprisonment he was hanged and 
quartered at Winchester, March 25, 1593. He 
suffered with wonderful constancy and cheerful 
ness, being but nineteen years old. His head 
was set upon a pole upon one of the gates of 
the city. His father one day passing by thought 
that the head bowing down made him a rever 
ence, and cried out : " Oh, Jemmy my son, ever 
obedient in life, even when dead thou payest 
reverence to thy father. How far from thy 
heart was all treason or other wickedness." 

" Honour thy father in work and word, and 
all patience, that a blessing may come upon 
thee from him." ECCLUS. iii. 9, 10. 

March 6 


" O BLESSED and ever most Blessed Mother ! 
my sole consolation in this sorrowful pilgrimage 
on earth is that Jesus Christ is thy only Son and 
that through thy gracious intercession He does 
not reject me. .My highest perfection is to try 
and imitate thy singular humility and obedience, 
and to make myself in all things the servant of 
God s good pleasure and commands. All my 
studies and knowledge tend to this, that I may 
understand at least some portion of those mys 
teries which were infinitely consummated in 
thee : how God, the author and beginner of all 
things, indivisible in essence, received from thee 
a Son coeval and coequal with Himself in 
majesty, distinct in person, but undivided in the 
participation of substance and glory ; how the 
same Person who from all eternity claimed by 
right the Divine nature, laying aside His Royal 
Sceptre and power became a weak infant, de 
riving flesh from thy flesh, fed from thy breasts, 
pressed in thine embrace and warmed in thy 
bosom, but far more happily and deeply 
cherished by thy love." 

" Blessed is the womb that bare Thee and the 
paps that gave Thee suck." LUKE xi. 27. 

March 7 

t B. JOHN LARKE, Pr., 1544 

IN 1504 he was presented to the small Rectory 
of St. Ethelburga, Bishopsgate, a benefice which 
he retained till a few years before his death. 
In 1526 he was presented to the Rectory of 
Woodford in Essex, which he resigned when 
Sir Thomas More appointed him to that of 
Chelsea in 1531. Sir Thomas was at that time 
Lord Chancellor, and in that capacity he had 
the right of appointment by a grant from the 
Abbot and Canons of Westmister. Little as is 
known of the life and ministry of the future 
martyr, the patronage of the Blessed Thomas 
is a sufficient proof of his merits, for he would 
never have promoted one whom he did not feel 
was worthy of the office. It was Larke s Mass 
at Chelsea that More served daily, and priest 
and server held each other in mutual esteem, 
and their holy friendship strengthened them for 
the coming sacrifice. More was martyred on 
July 6, 1535, but it was not till nine years later 
that Larke was tried with B. Germain Gardiner, 
a layman, and B. John Ireland, a priest, for 
refusing to take the oath. Fortified by More s 
example, he stood firm in the hour of trial, and 
suffered at Tyburn, March 7, 1544. 

" For she is an infinite treasure to men which 
they that use become the friends of God, being 
commended for the gift of discipline." WISDOM 
vii. 14. 


March 8 


"You are a holy nation, a people specially dedi 
cated to God, that you maybe partakers of His 
eternal inheritance ; ye are safe in the Ark of 
Noe, in a most happy condition, placed on a 
mountain which is subject to no evil chance. 
Therefore proceed as ye have begun in the 
ranks of God s army, remain firm in your holy 
vocation, fight to the very end ; and heaven 
heaven, I say, in which is joy and bliss never 
to be put into words shall be yours for ever. 
Let this be your one and only study, to worship 
God and to fear Him, and nothing will be 
wanting to you. He is Almighty who will 
defend you ; merciful who will rule over you ; 
rich who will feed you ; sweet and loving who 
will console and strengthen you. You will find 
Him in your doubts a skilful doctor, in danger 
a faithful guide, in labours an ever present help, 
in all other troubles whatsoever a speedy Com 
forter. You then who are in bonds for Christ 
and separated from the world are not subject 
to these temptations by which the children of 
this world are harassed. . . . Take account of 
time and do not let a day pass without fruit." 

" We are the sons of God, and if sons heirs 
also and joint heirs with Christ ; yet so if we 
suffer with Him we may also be glorified with 
Him." ROM. viii. 16, 17. 

March 9 


" LET all your thoughts and meditations be on 
Heaven and heavenly things. Let your prayers 
be ardent, but your actions discreet and well 
considered ; bear trials with patience. I pray 
you, for Christ s sake, that you so live and so 
bear yourselves in all things that the enemies 
of the faith may be forced to account you, not 
as relaxed, but as modest and religious. But 
before all things, carefully preserve the unity 
of the spirit in the bond of peace, loving each 
other with fraternal charity ; let there be no 
dissensions among you, no discords ; for thus 
will God embrace you with His love, and the 
angels proclaim your praises. And I beseech 
you, for Christ s sake, most beloved brethren, 
daily, nay, every hour, to pray for me, a wretched 
sinner, that I may finish my course to God s 
glory, and I will pray for you here and in 
Heaven, if God grant me ^lat grace. Fare 
well, my most beloved sons, I beseech you to 
pardon me whatsoever wrong by chance or 
negligence I may have done you. This I have 
written to you in the greatest haste, when al 
most overcome with sleep and "greatly wearied." 

" Above all things have charity, which is the 
bond of perfection." COL. iii. 14. 


March 10 

B. WILLIAM HART, Pr., 1583 

BEFORE leaving Rome he made the following 
address to Gregory XIII, March 1583 : " Of all 
the monuments which your virtues have raised 
to themselves throughout Christendom, none 
are more glorious than the provision made by 
you for the salvation of the souls of our country 
men who are being dragged down to perdition. 
By your fatherly tenderness and care those who 
were children of wrath have now become heirs 
of God, fellow-heirs with Jesus Christ. You 
have opened up the way of return to the faith 
and practice of our ancestral religion by oppos 
ing to the barbarous rage of the heretics those 
schools of virtue and learning, the Seminaries 
of Rome and Rheims. Remit not, most Blessed 
Father, your efforts to aid the afflicted and com 
fort the wretched, nor withhold that fostering care 
for our dear England, which spontaneously was 
yours, though events prove contrary and the 
times evil. This is the prayer addressed to you 
by the cries of helpless infants, the moanings of 
mothers, the tears of our nobles, the earnest en 
treaties of the clergy, the loyalty to this Holy 
See of which so many of our countrymen have 
given proof. What they, being absent, are un 
able to say may not be suppressed by us who 
are privileged to behold your fatherly counten 

"Feed My lambs, feed My sheep." JOHN 
xxi. 15, 16. 


March 1 1 

f Yen. THOMAS ATKINSON, Pr., 1616 

BORN in the East Riding of Yorkshire, he was 
educated at Rheims, ordained, and went on the 
English Mission in 1588. For some twenty- 
eight years he toiled in his own country with 
Apostolic zeal, taking great pains in serving the 
poor, whom he supplied with food and comforts, 
which they greatly needed. For many years he 
travelled on foot, whatever the weather, and 
often after a weary and wet day he would be 
obliged to remain in some outhouse or corner, 
even in the frost or snow, till the owners of the 
house could receive him with safety. During the 
severe frost he fell and broke his leg, and suffered 
much in its setting through the unskilfulness of 
the surgeon. After this he journeyed mostly on 
horseback. In 1616, when in the house of Mr. 
Vavasour of Willitoft, he was arrested, together 
with his host and his wife and children, con 
veyed to York, and there without proof or wit 
ness sentenced to death. After he was ironed, 
the fetters fell off of themselves when the holy 
old man began to pray, as the keeper attested 
before Lord Sheffield, the President of the 
North, who inquired into the matter. At the 
scaffold he was offered his life if he would take 
the oath, but he refused, and suffered with joy a 
most cruel martyrdom, York, March 17, 1616. 

"And the angel striking Peter on the side 
raised him up, saying, Arise quickly, and the 
chains fell off from his hands." ACTS xii. 7. 

March 12 


"THIS is the first, the last, the only request I make, 
and have yet made or ever shall. Fulfil these 
my desires, hear my voice, keep to my counsel. 
But why do I, a miserable and unhappy sinner, 
beg of you, that in this age, most poisoned and 
most dangerous to the good, you should perse 
vere firm and constant in your confession, where 
angels, archangels, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, 
martyrs, confessors, virgins, the whole world be 
seech it, when the salvation of your souls and 
the good God Himself make the same entreaty, 
that you. should remain firm in the faith you 
have once received and in your confession ot 
the truth ? May God of His infinite mercy help 
you to do so, and I, your spiritual father, though 
weak and loaded with sins innumerable, will 
never cease to pray for you, both in this life and 
the next. Wherefore I entreat y6u, in every 
way I can, to be mindful of me as often as you 
offer your devout prayers to God, lest I be like a 
melting candle, which giveth light to others and 
itself consumeth. Again and again farewell, my 
much desired ones. The servant of all and 
every one of you." 

" Lest perhaps when I have preached to 
others I myself should become a castaway." 
i COR. ix. 27. 


March 13 


STAND fast, brethren, stand steadfast, I say, 
in that faith which Christ planted, the Apostles 
preached, the Martyrs confirmed, the whole 
world approved and embraced. Stand firm in 
that faith which, as it is the oldest, is also the 
truest and most sure, and which is most in 
harmony with the Holy Scriptures and with all 
antiquity. Stand constant in that faith which 
has a worship worthy of all honour and re 
verence, Sacraments most holy, abounding in 
spiritual consolation. For if ye have remained 
constant in this faith, that is, in the Catholic 
Church, in the Ark of Noe, in the house of 
Rahab, with what joy and consolation of the 
soul will ye not be flooded : yours will be the 
Sacrament of penance for the cleansing of your 
souls ; yours the Sacrament of the Body and 
Blood of our Saviour for the refreshing of your 
souls ; you will be partakers of all the satisfac 
tion and merits of Christ, of the fellowship of 
the Saints, of the suffrages, prayers, fasts, and 
almsdeeds of all the just whom the Catholic 
Church throughout the world holds in her 
bosom. O blessed they, yea, and thrice 
blessed, who in this deplorable world stand 
firm in the faith of Christ." 

"The devil goeth about seeking whom he 
may devour, whom resist ye strong in faith. 
i PETER v. 8, 9. 


March 14 


ON Henry VIII assuming the title of Supreme 
Head of the Church, More resigned his chan 
cellorship, and, being thereby reduced to ex 
treme poverty, he thus announced the change 
to his family : " I have been brought up at 
Oxford, at an Inn of Chancery, at Lincoln s 
Inn, and also in the King s Court, and so from 
the least degree to the highest, and yet my 
revenues are now a little above a hundred 
pounds the year. So that we must, if we like 
to live together, become contributors together. 
But we had better not fall to the lowest fare 
first. We will not therefore descend to Oxford 
fare, nor to the fare of New s Inn, but we will 
begin with Lincoln s Inn diet, which, if we find 
ourselves unable to maintain, then will we next 
year after go one step down to New Inn fare. 
If that exceed our ability too, then will we the 
next year after descend to Oxford fare, where 
many grave, ancient, and learned fathers be 
conversant continually ; which if our ability 
stretch not to maintain neither, then may we 
yet with bags and wallets go a-begging together, 
and hoping for pity some good folk will give 
their charity, at every man s door to sing Salve 
Regina, and so keep company merrily together." 

"As having nothing, and possessing all 
things." 2 COR. vi. 10. 

March 15 

f B. WILLIAM HART, Pr., 1583 

BORN in Wells, Somerset, of Lincoln College, 
Oxford, a brilliant scholar, he turned his back 
on the world and embraced the faith. At 
Douay he was a model to the future martyrs 
there by his fortitude under the most acute and 
almost continual pain from the stone. After 
trying the Spa waters in vain, during a four 
days journey on foot from Douay to Rheims 
he underwent violent paroxysms of the disease. 
Without anaesthetics he now endured a terrible 
operation, which he bore unmoved, and the 
result was a perfect cure. In England, York 
shire was the field of his priestly labours, and, 
though they were for little over a year, their 
success was such as to earn for him the title of 
Apostle of that county. His special devotion 
was to the Catholic prisoners in their fetid 
dungeons, and he visited them daily at this 
period of his life. Betrayed by an apostate, he 
was imprisoned underground in York Castle 
and doubly fettered, as he seemed so elated. 
He triumphantly refuted the Protestant minis 
ters at his trial before he suffered. He begged 
his spiritual children to remain indoors on the 
day of his execution unless they could assist at 
it with a joyous face and a tranquil mien. He 
was hanged at York, March 15, 1583. 

" Be ye steadfast, immovable^ always abound 
ing in the work of the Lord, knowing that your 
labour is not in vain." i COR. xv. 58. 

March 1 6 

t Yen. ROBERT DALEY, Pr., 1589 

BORN in the county of Durham and brought up 
a Protestant, he was a minister of the Established 
religion when a Catholic chanced to admonish 
him on the danger of his state. Reflecting on 
this and on his past life he fell into such despair 
that he tried to kill himself with a knife. The 
stroke, however, was not mortal, and as he fell a 
boy who was by called for help and brought the 
neighbours to his assistance. During his pro 
cess of recovery he was brought by a priest to a 
repentant state of mind and was reconciled. He 
now went to Rheims, was ordained priest, and, 
returning to England, was arrested at Scar 
borough, where he landed in 1589. At his trial 
he answered the judges with much boldness, and 
openly confessed himself a priest, and the judges 
declared that they found him guilty on his own 
admission. He was led to execution with John 
Amias, also a secular priest, and both went with 
much joy, and, having kissed and blessed the 
hurdle, they lay down on it and would not suffer 
themselves to be bound. This cheerful courage 
they maintained to the end. Thus Father Dalby 
washed out with his own blood the stains of his 
former life. They suffered at Gloucester, March 
16, 1589. 

" They have turned night into day, and after 
darkness I hope for light again. JOB xvii. 12. 

March 17 

B. WILLIAM HART, Pr., 1583 

THE judge asked him why he had left his native 
country to go beyond the seas. He answered : 
" For no other reason, my Lord, than to acquire 
virtue and learning, and whereas I found religion 
and virtue flourishing in those countries, I took 
Holy Orders (to which I perceived myself called 
by a Divine vocation) to the end that renouncing 
the world I might be more at liberty to serve my 
Master." They asked him how he had employed 
his time since he had returned to England. He 
answered : " Everywhere I have been I have 
tried, as far as I could, to instruct the ignorant, 
in order that they might be more prepared to 
give an account of the faith that is in them. I 
have also fed them with heavenly food, in order 
that, being confirmed in good, they might strive 
to keep their conscience pure, and by their pious 
and religious life stop the mouths of those who 
calumniate us." Being found guilty of treason 
for leaving the country without the Queen s 
leave, and for seducing her subjects by reconcil 
ing them to the Church, he replied that " the 
obedience which he taught men to give to the 
Sovereign Pontiff increased the allegiance due 
to their Prince." 

" In all things let us exhibit ourselves as the 
Ministers of God, in charity unfeigned, in the 
word of truth." 2 COR. vi. 4, 6, 7. 


March 18 

t Ven. JOHN THULIS, Pr., 1616 
BORN at Up-Holland in Lancashire, he 
studied at Rheims and was ordained priest at 
Rome. Soon after his return to England he 
was arrested and imprisoned at Wisbeach, 
whence he escaped or was released, for he sub 
sequently laboured as a missioner in his own 
county and was there arrested by order of Lord 
Derby and cast into Lancaster jail. In the 
same prison with him was a weaver by trade, 
Roger Wrenno, a zealous and devout soul. To 
gether before the Lent Assizes in 1616 they 
found the means of escape about five in the 
evening, and walked fast the whole night for, as 
they thought, some thirty miles, when on the 
sun rising they found themselves again under 
the very walls of Lancaster jail. Nothing 
daunted, they saw in this mishap God s will for 
their martyrdom. Arrested again, they were 
both offered their lives if they would take the 
oath of allegiance, but they steadfastly refused. 
Special efforts were made on behalf of Thtilis, 
who was much loved for his marvellous patience 
and charity. In many sicknesses, when nigh to 
death, in controversies with ministers, under 
insults and calumny, he had never lost his 
gentleness of manner or evenness of mind. His 
last words to his fellow-priests in prison were an 
exhortation to mutual charity. He suffered at 
Lancaster, March 18, 1616. 

" Let your modesty be known before all men." 
PHIL. iv. 5. 


March 19 

Ven. ROGER WRENNO, L., 1616 

WRENNO, a weaver, was condemned with Ven. 
Thulis for assisting priests. After he was turned 
off the ladder, the rope broke with the weight 
of his body, and he fell down to the ground. 
After a short space he came perfectly to him 
self, and, going upon his knees, began to pray 
very devoutly, his eyes and hands lifted up to 
Heaven. Upon this the minister Lee came 
to him and extolled the mercies of God in his 
regard and likewise the King s clemency, who 
would give him his life if he would but take 
the oath. The good man at this arose, saying, 
" I am the same man I was, and in the same 
mind ; use your pleasure with me," and with 
that he ran to the ladder, and went up it as 
fast as he could. " How now," says the sheriff, 
" what does the man mean, that he is in such 
haste ? " " Oh ! " says the good man, " if you 
had seen that which I have just now seen you 
would be as much in haste to die as I now 
am." And so the executioner, putting a stronger 
rope about his neck, turned the ladder, and 
quickly sent him to see the good things of which 
before he had had a glimpse. He suffered at 
Lancaster, March 18, 1616. 


"I believe to see the good things of the Lord 
the land of the living." Ps. xxvi. 13. 

March 20 

Ven. HENRY HEATH, O.S.F., 1643 

BORN at Peterborough, 1600, a Protestant, edu 
cated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, as 
librarian of that college he studied religious 
questions. In comparing the Patristic quota 
tions of the Protestant Whitaker with those of 
the Catholic Bellarmine, he found the latter so 
much more true and correct that he was drawn 
to the faith. He now exposed the errors of 
Protestantism with such publicity and force 
that the College authorities resolved on his ex 
pulsion and imprisonment. He fled therefore 
to the Spanish embassy in London, then the 
asylum of distressed Catholics, but was refused 
admittance. He next applied to Mr. George 
Jerningham, a well-known Catholic, who, tak 
ing him for a spy, rejected him with bitter 
reproaches. Thus destitute of friends and re 
pulsed on all sides, he bethought him of the 
devotion of Catholics to our Blessed Lady, in 
whom he had hitherto but little faith. Turning 
to her as the Morning Star of the wanderer and 
the hope of the afflicted, he besought her to take 
pity on him, and vowed in return to devote him 
self to her service. When on a sudden the 
same Mr. Jerningham, who had rejected him, 
came up and accosted him with kindness, took 
him to a priest, Father Muscot, who confessed 
him and reconciled him to the Church. 

" As a shining light goeth forwards and in- 
creaseth even to perfect day." PROV. iv. 18. 

March 21 

f Yen. THOMAS PILCHARD, Pr., 1587 

A FELLOW of Balliol, he was made priest at 
Rheims and returned to England in 1583. He 
was of most gentle, courteous manners and an 
indefatigable missioner. His work lay in the 
western counties, and when apprehended he 
was cast into Dorchester jail. There he con 
verted many of his fellow-prisoners, and from all 
parts his counsel was sought. At length he was 
tried and sentenced to death. Sentences of this 
sort were, however, rare in Dorchester, and an 
executioner could hardly be found until at length 
a cook, or rather a butcher, was hired at a great 
cost. But after the rope was cut and the priest, 
being still alive, stood on his feet under the 
scaffold, the fellow held back struck with fear. 
At length, compelled by the officials to finish 
his work, he drove his knife, hardly knowing 
what he did, into the body of the priest, and 
leaving it there he again hung back horror- 
stricken amidst the groans of the spectators. 
This lasted so long that Mr. Pilchard, coming 
completely to himself, naked and horribly 
wounded, inclining his head to the sheriff, 
said : " Is this, then, your justice, Mr. sheriff?" 
At last he was brutally despatched. He suffered 
at Dorchester, March 21, 1587. 

" They were stoned, they were cut asunder, 
they were tempted, they were put to death by 
the sword." HEB. xi. 37. 

March 22 

JOHN JESSOP, L., c. 1587 

HE was Ven. Pilchard s faithful and loving com 
panion, and before and after his imprisonment 
his chief instrument in saving souls. He was 
with Pilchard when the latter was captured in 
Fleet Street, and, being unable to conceal his 
grief, and known to be Pilchard s companion 
elsewhere, he was apprehended and suffered to 
linger in prison, and at length died, either from 
grief or the filth of the place, though he was a 
man in the flower of his age, being less than 
forty years old. In his will he gave special 
directions that his body should not be buried in 
a graveyard, but as closely as possible to the 
body of Pilchard in the fields by the place of his 
execution. When his friends and his wife asked 
him to consult in this matter the honour of his 
family, and not to make light of consecrated 
ground, he replied that all graveyards were now 
profaned by the bodies of heretics, and that he 
felt assured the blood and members of so great 
a Martyr would abundantly sanctify the place he 
had chosen. This was shown by the fact that 
till Pilchard s limbs were taken down from the 
walls, where they had been hung, the whole 
surrounding country was swept with the most 
terrific storms and lightnings. 

" Behold, I will open your graves and will 
bring you out of your sepulchres, O my people: 
and will bring you into the land of Israel." 
EZECH. xxxvii. 12. 


March 23 

Ven. WILLIAM PIKES, L., 1591 

HE was born at Parley, near Christchurch, 
Hampshire, and became a joiner by trade in 
the town of Dorchester. He was put on his trial 
for having spoken in prison too freely in favour 
of the Catholic religion. The "bloody" ques 
tion about the Pope s supremacy was put to him, 
and he frankly confessed that he maintained the 
authority of the Roman See, and he was con 
demned to die a traitor s death. When they 
asked him, as is their wont, whether to save his 
life and family he would recant, he boldly replied 
that it did not become a son of Mr. Pilchard to 
do so. "Did that traitor, then, pervert you?" 
asked the judge. " That holy priest of God and 
true martyr of Christ," he replied, "taught me 
the truth of the Catholic Faith." Asked when 
he first met him, " It was on a journey," said he, 
" returning from this city." He was hanged at 
Dorchester in 1591, and cut down alive. Being 
a very able, strong man, when the executioners 
came to throw him on the block to quarter him, 
he stood upon his feet, on which the sheriff s men 
overmastering him threw him down and pinned 
his hands fast to the ground with their halberts, 
and so the butchery was performed. 

" Unless the grain of wheat ."ailing into the 
ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die 
it bringeth forth much fruit." JOHNxii. 24, 25. 

March 24 

Ven. JOHN HAMBLEY, Pr., 1587 

A NATIVE of Somersetshire, he arrived frorr, 
Douay on the English Mission in 1585. Ar 
rested, he spent two years in prison and was 
then condemned. In terror at his death sen 
tence he promised to yield to what the judges 
required, which was practically tantamount to 
denying the faith. Great hereat was the jubila 
tion of the heretics, and not least that of the 
judge. But whilst the priest was standing be 
tween the constables, like the rest of the con 
demned, there came up to him (for the assizes 
were held in booths in the open) a certain un 
known man, who, after placing some letters in 
his hand, at once withdrew, no one preventing 
him, which in itself was a kind of miracle. Mr. 
Hambley read and re-read them, until at length 
he broke into tears and gave signs of being 
strongly moved, but refused to give the contents 
of the letters or the name of the bearer. The 
next morning before the judge he expressed his 
shame for his promise of conformity, was sen 
tenced, and bravely won his martyr s crown. 
Although these letters, doubtless, restored him 
to a right mind, yet neither the writer nor the 
bearer have ever been discovered, and many 
believed that they were brought by his Guardian 
Angel. He suffered at Salisbury about Easter, 

" He hath given His angels charge over thee, 
to guard thee in all thy ways." Ps. xc. 1 1 

March 25 


FORBIDDEN to see husband or child, pestered 
by successive ministers, and herself charged 
with gross immorality, Margaret learnt at length, 
on March 24, that she was to die on the morrow, 
that year Good Friday. She had prepared 
herself for this by fasting and prayer, but she 
begged for a maid to be with her during the 
night, for "though death is my comfort," she 
said, " the flesh is frail," but as no one could be 
admitted the keeper s wife sat with her for a 
while. The first hours of the night Margaret 
passed on her knees in prayer, clothed in a 
linen habit made by herself for her passion. At 
three she rose and laid herself flat on the stones 
for a quarter of an hour, then rested on her bed. 
At eight the Sheriffs called, and with them she 
walked barefoot, going along through the crowd 
to the Tolbooth. There turning from the minis 
ters she knelt and prayed by herself. Forced 
to undress, she laid herself on the ground clothed 
only in the linen habit, her face covered with a 
handkerchief, her hands outstretched and bound 
as if on a cross. The weighted door was laid 
on her ; at the first crushing pain she cried, 
" Jesu, Mercy," and after a quarter of an hour 
passed to her God. 

" I have trodden the wine-press alone. " ISA. 
Ixiii. 3. 

97 G 

March 26 


ON March 10, 1586, when she had been at 
liberty some eighteen months, her husband was 
summoned before the Council at York, and in 
his absence his house was searched. The priest 
there in hiding escaped, but Margaret and her 
children were taken prisoners. Enraged at their 
failure the searchers stripped a Flemish boy of 
twelve years, staying in the house, and threa 
tened him with rods till he showed them the 
priest s chamber, and where the Church stuff 
was kept. At her trial, lest her children might 
be forced by evidence to be guilty of her blood, 
she refused to plead, giving as a reason how 
ever that she had committed no offence. Two 
chalices were therefore produced and religious 
pictures, and two ruffians clad themselves in 
the priestly vestments and began playing the 
fool, pulling and hauling themselves before the 
judges, while one, holding up a piece of bread, 
said to the martyr, " Behold the God in whom 
thou believest." At her second examination 
she again refused to plead, saying that there 
was no evidence against her save that of children, 
whom you can make say anything for a rod or 
an apple. The judge urged her to demand a 
jury, but in vain, and on her refusal she was 
sentenced to be pressed to death. 

" Herod questioned Him in many words, but 
Jesus answered him nothing." LUKE xxiii. 9. 

March 27 


WIFE of John Clitheroe, sometime Sheriff of 
York, she was thirty years of age, and already 
married, when a growing dissatisfaction with 
the Protestant religion led her, after due inquiry, 
to embrace the faith. During the following 
twelve years of her Catholic life her house was 
a refuge for priests, whom she received at her 
own peril and unknown to her husband. With 
this help she brought up her children in the 
faith and her eldest son for the priesthood. 
She managed to hear Mass almost daily, com 
municated twice a week, and fasted rigorously. 
For her persistent recusancy she was repeatedly 
cast into prison, even for two years together and 
more, but her sufferings only increased her fer 
vour. " Were it not," she said, " for her husband 
and child she would rather stay there always, 
apart from the world with God." Still, when at 
liberty she was most attentive to the care of her 
house, and with her servant took part herself in 
the humblest menial work. She was exposed 
to much ill-usage even from Catholics, who mis 
judged and censured her, but her constancy and 
patience never failed. Her husband said she 
had only two faults, fasting too much and 
refusing to go to Church. 

" Her children rose up and called her blessed : 
her husband and he praised her. Many daugh 
ters have gathered together riches : thou hast 
surpassed them all." PROV. xxxi. 28-29. 


March 28 



" SEEING that by the severity of the laws, by 
the wickedness of the times, and by God s holy 
ordinance and appointment, my days in this 
life are cut off: of duty and conscience I am 
bound (being far from you in body, but in spirit 
very near you) not only to crave your daily 
blessing, but also to write these few words 
unto you. You have been a most loving, 
natural, and careful mother unto me : you have 
suffered great pains in my birth and bringing 
up ; you have toiled and turmoiled to feed and 
sustain me your first and eldest child ; and 
therefore for these and all other your motherly 
cherishings I give you, as it becometh me to 
do, most humble and hearty thanks; wishing 
that it lay in me to show myself as loving, 
natural, and dutiful a son as you have showed 
yourself a most tender and careful mother. I 
had meant this spring to have seen you if God 
had granted me health and liberty, but now 
never shall I see you or any of yours in this 
life again ; trusting yet in Heaven to meet you, 
to see you, and to live everlastingly with you." 

" Forget not the groanings of thy mother." 
ECCLUS. vii. 29. 


March 29 


" ALAS, sweet Mother, why do you weep ? Why 
do you lament ? Why do you take so heavily 
my honourable death ? Know you not that we 
are born once to die ; and that always in this 
life we may not live ? Know you not how vain, 
how wicked, how inconstant, how miserable 
this life of ours is ? Do you not consider my 
calling, my estate, my profession ? do you not 
remember that I am going to a place of all 
pleasure and felicity ? Why, then, do you weep ? 
why do you mourn ? why do you cry out ? But 
perhaps you will say I weep not so much for 
your death as I do for your being hanged, 
drawn, quartered. My sweetest mother, it is the 
favourablest, honourablest, happiest death that 
ever could have chanced unto me. I die, not 
for knavery, but for verity : I die, not for treason 
but for religion ; I die, not for any ill de 
meanour or offence committed, but only for my 
faith, for my conscience, for my priesthood, for 
my blessed Saviour Jesus Christ : and to tell 
you truth if I had ten thousand lives I am 
bound to lose them all rather than to break 
my faith and offend my God. We are not 
made to eat, drink, sleep, but to serve God, 
and to the cost of our lives." 

" For I reckon that the sufferings of this time 
are not worthy to be compared with the glory 
to come." ROM. viii. 18. 

March 30 


" TELL me, for God s sake, would you not gladly 
see me a Bishop, King, or Emperor? Yea, 
verily, you would. How glad, then, may you be 
to see me a martyr, a saint, a most glorious and 
bright star in Heaven. The joy of this life is 
nothing, and the joy of the other is everlasting, 
and therefore thrice happy may you think your 
self that your son William is going from earth 
to Heaven. I can say no more but desire you 
to be of good cheer, because myself am well. 
If I had lived I would have helped you in your 
age, as you have helped me in my youth. But 
now I must desire God to help you and my 
brethren, for I cannot. Good mother, be con 
tent with that which God hath appointed for my 
perpetual comfort ; and now, in your old days, 
serve God in the old Catholic manner; pray 
unto Him daily ; beseech Him heartily to make 
you a member of His Church, and that He will 
save your soul : for Jesus sake, good mother, 
serve God. Read that book I gave you, and 
die a member of Christ s Body, and then one 
day we shall meet in Heaven by God s grace. 
God comfort yon, Jesus save your soul, and send 
you once to Heaven. Farewell." 

"As one whom the mother caresseth, so will 
I comfort you, and you shal] be comforted in 
Jerusalem." ISA. Ixvi. 13. 

March 31 

Yen. HENRY HEATH, O.S.F., 1643 

" WHEREAS I have learnt by certain experience 
that all human consolation is subject to vanity, 
therefore I determine to have alone most sweet 
Jesus in my mind and in all things to meditate 
on His sweetness. O how sweet is Jesus, who 
for me, so vile a worm, hath suffered so many 
things, and of such a sort ! Sweet house, in 
which Jesus doth vouchsafe to dwell with me ! 
Sweet cell, in which I may always contemplate 
Sweet Jesus ! Sweet drink, sweet bread, which 
most Sweet Jesus hath provided for my refresh 
ment ! Sweet Brothers, who have given them 
selves up so absolutely to the service and love 
of Sweet Jesus ! Sweet consolation, sweet dis 
course, by which Sweet Jesus doth ease my 
afflictions ! Sweet abjection, sweet mortifica 
tion, by which I may suffer something for Sweet 
Jesus ! Sweet afflictions, sweet pain, sweet 
chastisement, by which I am forced to call 
for the help of Jesus ! O how sweet are all 
the creatures who so exceedingly extol the 
wisdom and power of my Sweet Jesus ! Never, 
therefore, will I admit through all toils and 
trials other than that sweet word. Thy will 
be always done, Lord Jesus. Amen." 

"Taste and see how sweet the Lord is." 
Ps. xxxiii. 9. 


April i 

Ven. THOMAS MAXWELL, Pr., 1616 

To the President of Douay College he wrote : 
"As in duty I am bound never to forget you 
who have had so tender and fatherly care of 
me, so now especially I must write to you for 
perhaps the last time, as I expect, with some 
hope, to end my days in the just quarrel of my 
Lord and Master Jesus Christ. You will have 
heard of my attempted escape, of how God 
delivered me again into the hands of my 
enemies, and my subsequent affliction and 
misery. On Wednesday or Thursday I am to 
receive my trial on life or death, the happiest 
news that I ever had. God give me strength 
and courage to glorify His name by my death, 
and to fill up the number of my glorified brethren 
who are gone before me. I think myself most 
happy to be a branch and still a member of 
that blessed house of Douay, that has afforded 
to our poor barren country so much good and 
happy seed. I am therefore yours, and so will 
live and die. Good father, make me partaker 
of your prayers, and commend me to all my 
good and dearly loved brethren, for whom and 
for the prosperity of that house I will never 
cease to pray." He suffered at Tyburn, July i, 

" Who maketh the barren woman to dwell in 
a house the joyful mother of children." Ps. 
cxii. 8. 


April 2 


BORN in the diocese of Peterborough, he entered 
Douay in 1574, and returned to England with 
B. Cuthbert Mayne in 1576. His chief refuge 
in England was at Lady Petre s house at In- 
gatestone, where the priests hiding-place, dis 
covered in 1855, proved to be under the bed 
room floor, measuring 14 feet by 2 feet I inch 
in breadth and 10 feet in height. He wrote 
to Douay that both the number of converts, 
especially among the gentlemen, and their con 
stancy under persecution were alike amazing. 
He was arrested in 1579 by means of " Judas " 
Eliot. This man had been employed in posi 
tions of trust in several Catholic households, 
to their great loss. He had embezzled monies 
of Lady Petre, and had enticed a young woman 
away from the Roper household, and had then 
applied to B. Payne to marry them, and on his 
refusal determined to be avenged. The charge 
of theft and murder was now hanging over him, 
but by betraying a priest he escaped from both, 
and filled his pockets as well. On his perjured 
evidence alone, though refuted in court, Father 
Payne was sentenced, and hung at Chelmsford, 
April 2, 1582. The Holy Name "Jesus" was 
on his lips as he died. 

" If my enemy had reviled me I would have 
borne it, but thou a man of one mind with me ; 
in the house of God we walked with consent." 
Ps. liv. 14, 15. 


April 3 

Archbishop HEATH OF YORK, 1579 

HE took the oath of supremacy under Henry 
VIII, and accepted from him in succession the 
Sees of Rochester and Worcester. Repenting 
of his cowardice, he opposed the innovations of 
Edward VI, and was imprisoned in 1551. Under 
Mary he was set free, absolved from his schism, 
and made Archbishop of York. On his refusal 
to crown Elizabeth or to take the oath of 
supremacy he was deposed, and freedom of 
residence was offered him if he would assist at 
the Protestant services ; but he declined the 
offer, and "why I decline," he said, "the 
Council have often heard me say to Parliament, 
all of which may be summed up thus : What 
ever is contrary to the Catholic faith is heresy ; 
whatever is contrary to unity is schism." And 
when the visitors said that he would not be re 
quired to receive communion, he answered " that 
it is the same thing in reason to act a part of 
schism as the whole, nor would I that even my 
back should be seen where scandal might be 
given, since the heart cannot be read." He 
died in the Tower twenty years after his de 
position, April 1579. The other Bishops re 
garded him, it was said, as monks do their 

" Whoever shall scandalise one of these little 

ones that believe in Me, it were better for him 

that a millstone were hanged round his neck 

and he were cast into the sea." MARK ix. 41. 


April 4 

f Bishop GOLDWELL.OF ST. ASAPH, 1585 

BORN of ancient lineage at Great Chart, Kent, 
a scholar of All Souls, known as a mathema 
tician, he became Rector of Cheriton, Kent. In 
1534, to avoid the oath of supremacy, he went 
to Rome, and was appointed sub-president of 
the English Hospice, and chaplain to Pole. 
He now entered the lately-founded Theatine 
Order, and in attendance on Pole assisted at 
the Conclave of Paul III. In 1553 he was 
sent to England, at the instance of Charles V, 
to communicate with the newly-crowned Queen 
Mary regarding her marriage with Philip II, 
and by her was promoted to the See of St. Asaph, 
where he showed his zeal in establishing 
ecclesiastical discipline. On Elizabeth s acces 
sion, finding himself unable to discharge any 
episcopal duty, he returned to Rome, and was 
chosen Superior of the Roman house of his 
Order. He assisted at the Council of Trent, 
and helped to found the English College with 
the endowments of the Hospice. Prevented by 
ill health and great age from returning to give 
his life in England as he desired, he died in 
Rome, April 3, 1585, aged eighty-five, the last of 
the ancient English hierarchy, and no unworthy 
representative of his saintly predecessors. 

" Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch 
cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the 
vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in 
Me." JOHN xv. 4. 


April 5 

Ven. HENRY WALPOLE, S.J., 1595 

" I AM much astonished that so vile a creature as 
I am should be so near, as they tell me, to the 
crown of martyrdom : but this I know for certain, 
that the Blood of my most blessed Saviour and 
Redeemer and His most sweet love is able to 
make me worthy of it, l omnia possum in eo qui 
me comfortat. Your Reverence, most loving 
father, is engaged in the midst of the battle. I 
sit here an idle spectator of the field ; yet King 
David has appointed an equal portion for us 
both, and love, charity, and union, which unites 
us together in Jesus Christ our Lord, makes us 
mutually partakers of another s merits, and what 
can be more closely united than we two, who, as 
your Reverence sees, simul segregati sumus 
in hoc ministerium. About Mid-Lent I hope 
my lot will be decided, as then the assizes will 
be held. Meanwhile I have leisure to prepare 
myself, and I beg your Reverence to join your 
holy prayers with my poor ones, and I trust 
that our Lord may grant me, not regarding my 
many imperfections, but the fervent labours, 
prayers, and holy sacrifices of so many fathers, 
and my brothers His servants, to glorify Him 
in life or death." 

" That you stand fast in one spirit, with one 
mind labouring together for the faith of the 
gospel." PHIL. i. 27. 


April 6 

Ven. HENRY WALPOLE, S.J., 1595 

IN the Tower he was in great and extraordinary 
want, without bed, without clothes, without any 
thing to cover him, and that at a season when 
the cold was most sharp and piercing, so that 
the Lieutenant, though an enemy, out of pure 
compassion had given him a little straw to sleep 
on. He was fourteen times under the torture. 
This consists of being hung up six or seven 
hours by the hands in iron clasps, which cut the 
flesh and cause much blood to flow, and at times 
terminates fatally. From the Tower he was sent 
to York, and upon all that journey he never lay 
down upon a bed, but his sleep was on the bare 
ground. In the York prison he had nothing but 
one poor mat three feet long, on which he made 
his prayer upon his knees for a great part of the 
night. Besides this long prayer he spent not a 
little time in making English verses, for which 
he had a particular talent and grace ; for before 
he left the kingdom he had made a poem on the 
martyrdom of Father Campion, for which the 
publisher was condemned to lose his ears and 
to pass the remainder of his days in prison, and 
there, after nine years, he made a pious end. 

" I will pray with the spirit, I will pray also 
with the understanding ; I will sing with the 
spirit, I will sing also with the understanding." 
I COR. xiv. 15. 


April 7 


t Ven. HENRY WALPOLE, S.J., 1595 
BORN of an ancient Catholic family in Norfolk, 
he studied both at Oxford and Cambridge and 
then followed the law in Gray s Inn, London. His 
zeal for the faith brought him into trouble with the 
Government, and he went abroad, and in 1584 
entered the Society of Jesus at Rome, three of his 
brothers following his example. He was em 
ployed in Italy, Flanders, and Spain before he 
obtained his heart s desire, and was sent on the 
English Mission in December 1593. He was 
arrested after landing at Bamborough Head, 
Yorkshire, imprisoned at York and sent up to 
London. Committed to the Tower, he was 
exafnined and tortured fourteen times, and then 
sent back to York, where he was sentenced to 
die. Before his sentence he wrote : il I know 
not yet what will become of me ; but whatever 
shall happen, by the grace of God it shall be 
welcome. For in every place north, south, east 
or west He is at hand and the wings of His 
protection are stretched forth to every place 
where they are who truly serve and worship 
Him. I trust that He will be glorified in me 
whether in life or death : qui coepit perficiet : 
mihi vivere Christus est et mori lucrum. " 
Father Walpole was executed at York, together 
with Father Rawlins, a secular priest, April 7, 


" Who dwells under the Shadow of the Most 
High shall abide under the protection of the 
God of Heaven." Ps. xc. i. 

April 8 


BORN in Yorkshire, he made his studies in 
Rheims and Rome, where he remained six years, 
was ordained priest and admitted into the 
Society of Jesus. He came over to England 
with Father John Gerard, S.J., in 1588 and was 
sent into Worcestershire, where he laboured with 
great zeal and profit. His place of residence 
was Henlip, Mr. Abington s, whose sister, Mrs. 
Dorothy Abington, having been brought up at 
Queen Elizabeth s Court, was a violent Protes 
tant. After all arguments had failed, Father 
Oldcorne determined by fasting and prayer to 
cast out the deaf and dumb devil, and success 
followed. The but now bigoted Protestant came 
bathed in tears, threw herself at his feet and 
begged to be received, which was speedily ac 
complished. Under the stress of his labours 
and many dangers his health gave way, and he 
was reduced to extreme weakness by a violent 
haemorrhage and an apparently incurable cancer 
in his mouth. He resolved to have recourse to 
St. Winefride, and by bathing in her well was 
completely cured. He was seized at Henlip, 
and after being five times racked in London 
was executed at Worcester, April 7, 1606. 

" They brought forth the sick into the streets 
and laid them on beds and couches, that when 
Peter came his shadow at the least might over 
shadow them that they might be delivered from 
their infirmities." ACTS v. 15. 

April 9 


"THE very house and walls of thy enclosure 
cannot but put thee in mind where and how thou 
hast lived these many years, as if thou hadst 
been long already dead and buried in thy habit 
from the world. How sweetly now canst thou 
say to thyself, O happy time, O blessed years, 
that I have now passed in my Redeemer s ser 
vice ! O blessed prison ! O happy chains and 
bonds of my vows which I have borne for sweet 
Jesus ! Here I have daily carried my cross, 
which has taught me the way of true humility 
and patience. Here have I been broken of my 
own proper will and judgment, which would have 
hindered me from being wholly resigned and 
obedient to the will of God. Here have I been 
trained up in virtue, in the fear of God, in the 
way to Heaven. Here I sweetly sing the praises 
of my Redeemer. Here have I followed Him 
through every step of His passion. Here have 
I spent many a groan to come to Jesus when He 
has hid Himself from me. And now my whole 
pilgrimage is to be ended ! Now I go to my 
sweet Beloved, no more trouble or temptation, 
never to be separated from Him. " 

" My Beloved to me and I to Him." CANT, 
ii. 1 6. 


April i o 

Ven. HENRY HEATH, O.S.F., 1643 

FATHER HEATH S own conversion was a re 
markable effect of Mary s intercession, but more 
striking yet was that of his aged father. A 
bigoted Protestant, he seemed proof alike against 
arguments and prayers, and was now on the 
brink of the grave. To Our Lady Father Heath 
turned, beseeching her aid for his father in his 
extreme peril, when suddenly the old man, now 
fourscore, crossed the sea, arrived at Douay, and 
was reconciled to the Church. Again, during 
Father Heath s guardianship, when his com 
munity was dying of want and disease, through 
Our Lady s prayers the sick recovered and their 
needs were relieved. And now, to obtain the 
Superior s consent to his going to England, he 
started on a pilgrimage to her shrine at Mon- 
taigu in Brabant. At Ghent he found his petition 
refused, but still completed his pilgrimage, and 
on the way back the same Superior who refused 
now granted his request. From that time till 
his death Father Heath seemed a changed man. 
His anxieties and fears were succeeded by a 
holy calm, and supernatural joy manifested itself 
in his whole conduct, but especially at Mass. 
He constantly extolled the glory of the Martyrs, 
as if he had already a foretaste of their reward. 
Thus did Our Lady answer his prayers. 

" He who is mighty hath done great things 
for me and Holy is His Name." LUKE ii. 49. 
113 H 

April 1 1 

t Ven. GEORGE GERVASE, O.S.B., 1608 

HE was born at Bosham in Sussex. His father 
belonged to a noted family in that county, and 
his mother was of the ancient stock of the 
Shelleys. He was left an orphan when he was 
twelve years of age, and not long after was kid 
napped by a pirate (probably a lieutenant of 
Drake, who was then buccaneering on the 
Spanish Main), and was taken to the West Indies 
with two of his brothers, and, considering his 
surroundings, the lawlessness, plunder, and 
bloodshed of a pirate s life, it is not surprising to 
learn that he quite lost his religion. At length 
he found means of returning to England, and 
went over to Flanders, where his eldest brother 
Henry was staying, both for conscience sake 
and to enjoy the free practice of his religion. 
By his example George was reconciled to the 
Catholic faith, entered Douay, was ordained 
priest 1603, and entered on the English Mission 
1604. After two years he was apprehended and 
banished. His brother had provided a comfort 
able home for him at Lille, but his zeal for souls 
drew him again to England, where he was 
shortly apprehended, and, refusing to take the 
oath of allegiance, was condemned. He suffered 
at Tyburn, April II, 1608, aged thirty-seven, 
having been admitted to the Benedictine Order. 

" My father and mother have left me, but the 
Lord hath taken me up." Ps. xxvi. 10. 

April 12 

Ven. GEORGE GERVASE, O. S.B., 1608 

"URGED at his examination as to whether the 
Pope could depose princes, he demurred, saying 
it was a hard question, and at last replied, 
* Yes, and also all the princes of the world ; 
and on his trial answered, What I have said 
my blood is ready to answer. After his con 
demnation the Bishop sent seven ministers on 
the Sunday morning before his execution to deal 
with him ; one was Dr. Morton, whom I saw. 
They all tormented him according to their 
diversities of spirits, but, as the keeper said, he 
remained a most obstinate Papist. This much 
I will adjoin of my own knowledge (he being 
dearest unto me), that since the first persecution 
in England never any priest, for the space of two 
or three days, ever had more affliction amongst 
ministers, and that by means of the Bishop. 
The whole Sunday night before his death he 
was accompanied by five ministers. On the 
hurdle he lifted up his bound hands, signing to 
me to pray for him. At the gallows, at the 
minister s final importunities, he said: Tut, 
tut, look to thyself, poor man. He was cruelly 
butchered, but now enjoyeth all felicity, being 
most devout to our Blessed Lady." Written by 
one who was present. 

"They surrounded me like bees, and they 
burned like fire among thorns." Ps. cxvii. 12. 

April 13 

f Ven. JOHN LOCKWOOD, Pr., 1642 

OF a good Yorkshire Catholic family, he gave 
up his estate, became a priest, and laboured for 
forty-four years as a missioner in his own county. 
He was imprisoned, banished, retaken, con 
demned to death, reprieved, escaped, or obtained 
his liberty, and was finally apprehended at the 
house of Mrs. Catenby, a Catholic widow, where 
he had lived some years. He was cultivating 
his little garden when he was seized, and, being 
too weak to walk or ride, he was laid across the 
horse and thus conveyed to York. There he 
was sentenced to death with Mr. Catherick, a 
fellow-priest. Mr. Catherick was to suffer first, 
but, showing signs of fear, Father Lockwood 
claimed as senior the privilege of taking preced 
ence. He then earnestly prayed for their mutual 
perseverance, and beginning with much difficulty 
to climb the ladder, he begged the Sheriff to 
have patience, as it was a piece of hard service 
for an old man fourscore and seven. At length, 
with the help of two men, whom he paid for 
their pains, he reached the top, and asking 
Father Catherick with a smile how he did, the 
latter replied : " In good heart, blessed be God ; 
your good example has strengthened me." So 
both won their crown. April 13, 1642. 

" They that are planted in the house of the 
Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of 
our God. They shall still increase in a fruitful 
old age." PS. xci. 14, 15. 

April 14 

W. BLUNDELL, 1600 

WE Catholics, tormented sore 
With heresy s foul railing tongue, 
With prisons, tortures, loss of goods, 
Of land, yea, lives, even thieves among, 
Do crave, with heart surcharged with grief, 
Of Thee, sweet Jesu, some relief. 

We crave relief in this distress, 
We seek some ease of this annoy ; 
Yet are we well content with all, 
So Thee in end we may enjoy ; 
Ourselves to Thee we do resign 
Relieve us, Lord, our cause is Thine. 

Our cause is Thine, and Thine are we, 
Who from Thy truth refuse to slide : 
Our faith Thy truth, true faith the cause 
For which these garboyles we abide ; 
True faith, I say, as plain appears 
To all who shut not eyes and ears. 

To all who shut not eyes and ears 

Gainst fathers, scriptures, Church, and Thee, 

Who built Thy Church, as doctors all 

With scriptures plainly do agree, 

Not, soon to fall, upon the sand, 

But on a Rock still sure to stand. 

Still sure to stand, yea, on a hill, 
For all her friends and foes to see, 
Her friends to foster and defend, 
Her foes to vanquish gloriously ; 
From age to age this hath she done, 
Thus shall she do in time to come. 

April 15 

W. BLUNDELL, 1600 

IN time to come, as heretofore, 
Most certainly she shall prevail 
Gainst all the force and sleighty wiles, 
Wherewith hell-gates may her assail ; 
Who shoot against this brazen wall 
With their fond bolts themselves will gall. 

Themselves to gall they will be sure, 
Who strive to ruinate Thy house, 
And to withdraw Thy children dear 
From soft lap of Thy dearest spouse, 
Thy children whom, with streams of blood, 
Thou bought, sweet Lord, upon the Rood. 

Upon the Rood Thou bought our souls 
With price more worth then all Thou bought, 
Yet doth the fiend our foes so blind, 
Both souls and price they set at naught ; 
They reckon not enough their ill, 
Except with theirs our souls they spill. 

Our souls to spill they think full soon 
Or else our bodies to enthrall ; 
Or, at the least, to wantful state, 
Through hard pursuits, to bring us all ; 
Come quickly, therefore, Lord Jesus, 
And judge this cause twixt them and us. 

Give judgment, Lord, twixt them and us, 
The balance yet let pity hold : 
Let mercy measure their offence, 
And grace reduce them to Thy fold, 
That we, all children of Thy spouse, 
May live as brethren in Thy house. 

April 1 6 

Ven. HENRY HEATH, O.S.F., 1643 

HE had always expressed his conviction that 
the martyrs found joy in suffering, and the 
following letter shows that his own experience 
confirmed the fact : " Your consolations filled 
my soul with joy. The judges have not yet 
passed sentence. I beseech the Divine Good 
ness that it may be according to my wishes, 
that I may die for my Lord Jesus Christ. Ah, 
Father, what else can I desire than to suffer 
with Christ, to be rejected with Christ, to die a 
thousand deaths that I may live eternally with 
Christ ? If it be the glory of the soldier to be 
like his Lord, far be it from me to glory in 
aught save in the Cross of the Crucified ! Let 
the executioners come, let them tear my body 
to pieces, let them gnaw my flesh with their 
teeth, let them pierce me through and through 
and grind me to the dust. This momentary 
suffering will work a weight of glory in Heaven. 
Reverend Father, pray for me, a miserable 
sinner, that I may be always in the Wounds 
of the Crucified till death is swallowed up in 

" For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." 
-PHIL. i. 21. 


April 17 

t Yen. HENRY HEATH, O.S.F., 1643 

ON his trial he said, " I came to this country 
to free souls from the servitude of the devil 
and to convert them from heresy." " Which 
heresy?" they asked. "Protestant, Puritan, 
Brownist, Anabaptist," I replied, " and many 
others, for whoever professes these are rightly 
called heretics." Again, " I was a Protestant 
myself up to my twenty-fourth year, and pro 
fessed the same heresy that you do now. But, 
as Job says, Perish the day in which I was 
born, so I heap up curses and execrations on 
the day on which I began to imbibe the Pro 
testant superstition." As he was being dragged 
to the hurdle he prayed God to remove the 
darkness and blindness of the Protestants, and 
on the scaffold, with the rope round his neck, 
he protested that his return to England was for 
no other design but to spend his life and labours 
in the conversion of his country, and that for 
this alone was he condemned to die. After he 
had recited the hymn and prayer of St. Anicetus, 
Pope and Martyr, whose day it was, he finished 
his course praying, "Jesus, Mary Jesus, for 
give my sins ; Jesus, convert England ; Jesus, 
have mercy on this country. O England, 
turn thyself to the Lord thy God." Tyburn, 
April 17, 1643. 

" Convert us, O Lord, to Thee and we shall 
be converted ; renew our days as from the 
beginning." LAM. v. 21. 

April 1 8 

Yen. HENRY HEATH, O.S.F., 1643 

HE was so attached to his habit the pledge of 
his poverty that he altered it to the form of a 
sailor s clothes when he set out for England. 
At Dunkirk he declined the secular attire which 
his brethren, by order of the Guardian, had 
prepared for him, and on board ship refused 
the offer of a German nobleman to defray his 
expenses to London. Landed in England, he 
begged his way, but with scant success, as the 
whole country was astir with fresh anti-Catholic 
persecution. He thus describes his arrest the 
evening he entered London : " I arrived after 
sunset, and went to the inn called l The Star, 
near the bridge of the city. But about eight 
o clock they turned me out, saying there was 
no room for me there. Where should I turn, 
poor and needy, without money and destitute 
of all help? For I had come barefoot from 
Dover, where I landed, and I had that day 
walked forty miles. Overcome by fatigue, I 
sat down to rest for a short time at the door of 
a citizen, but the master of the house, finding 
me there, asked me many questions, sent for a 
constable, and in consequence of some papers 
found on me I was imprisoned in the Compter." 

" The foxes have holes, and the birds of the 
air nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to 
lay His head." MATT. viii. 30. 

April 19 

Ven. JAMES DUCKETT, L., 1602 

BROUGHT up as a Protestant, he was ap 
prenticed to a Catholic bookseller, Peter 
Mason. After reading "The Foundation of 
the Catholic Religion," Duckett ceased to 
attend the Protestant Church, and was com 
mitted to Bridewell for his persistent refusal to 
go there. Being freed by his master s means, 
he was a second time apprehended and sent 
to the Compter. Again freed, he found means 
of being reconciled, and after a while married 
a good Catholic widow, Anne Cooper. They 
supported themselves by making priests vest 
ments, altar necessaries, and publishing Catholic 
books. On these being discovered, his house 
was searched, and he was imprisoned for two 
years in Newgate. Discharged on his wife s 
petition, she being in labour, he was again im 
prisoned for having bound certain Latin and 
English primers, and was again sent to the 
leads, Newgate. While in prison he printed 
other Catholic books, and was cast into Limbo, 
a dark dungeon traversed by the city sewer 
with its poisonous filth. Freed yet once more, 
he was again apprehended and hanged with his 
betrayer, whom he forgave and kissed on the 
scaffold. Of his twelve years of married life, 
nine were passed in prison. He suffered at 
Tyburn, April 19, 1602. 

" They that instruct many to justice shall shine 
as stars for all eternity." DANIEL xii. 3. 

April 20 

t Yen. JAMES BELL, Pr., 1584 

MADE priest in Queen Mary s days, on Eliza 
beth s accession he suffered himself to be carried 
away with the stream and conformed. For many 
years he officiated as a Protestant minister in 
divers parts of the Kingdom. At length, in 
1581, through the remonstrances of a Catholic 
matron together with a severe illness, grace 
triumphed, and he was reconciled. After some 
months spent in penitential" exercises he was 
allowed to resume his priestly functions, and for 
two years laboured diligently for souls. In 
January 1 584 he was apprehended, and acknow 
ledged himself a priest and his reconciliation to 
the Church after having long gone astray. He 
was sent from Manchester to Lancaster on horse 
back, his arms tied behind him and his legs 
lashed together under the horse s belly. At his 
trial he showed great courage, and acknowledged 
the Pope s supremacy against that of the Queen. 
On being sentenced to death for high treason 
he said to the judge, " I beg your lordship would 
add to the sentence that my lips and the tops of 
my fingers may be cut off for having sworn and 
subscribed to the articles of heretics, contrary 
both to my conscience and to God s truth." He 
suffered with great joy at Lancaster, April 20, 

"I saw his ways, and I healed him and brought 
him back, and restored comforts to him and to 
them that mourn for him." ISA. Ivii. 18. 

April 21 

t Ven. THOMAS TICHBORNE, Pr., 1602 
HE belonged to the ancient Catholic family of 
Tichborne in Hampshire, and went to Rheims 
to study in 1584, and thence to Rome in 1587. 
Soon after his arrival in England he spent some 
years in prison. His rescue, however, was 
effected in a very daring manner. One Thomas 
Hackshot, of Mursley, Buckinghamshire, with 
Nicholas Tichborne, a cousin of Thomas, know 
ing that the prisoner was to be conducted down 
a certain street under charge of only one jailer, 
laid wait for them, knocked down the jailer and 
enabled the priest to escape. A hue and cry 
was, however, soon raised, and both the rescuers 
were apprehended and cast into prison. After 
divers torments, which they endured with great 
constancy, they were executed at Tyburn, 
August 20, 1601. Thomas Tichborne fell again 
into the hands of the persecutors through the 
instrumentality of one Atkinson, an apostate 
priest, who, meeting him in the street, shouted 
out, " Stop the priest ! " to which Tichborne re 
plied, with truth, " I am no more a priest than 
yourself." Again committed to prison, he was 
tried and sentenced solely on account of his 
priesthood. He was far gone in fever, and re 
joiced greatly that he was enabled to live till he 
won his crown at Tyburn, April 20, 1602. 

" For every High" Priest taken from among 
men is ordained for men in the things that may 
appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and 
sacrifices for sins." HEB. v. i. 

April 22 


HE was born at Hemingborough, Yorkshire, 
educated at Douay and Rome, and ordained 
priest at Arras, March 25, 1602. On April 3rd 
the same year he crossed to England, and, being 
in ill health, placed himself under the care of a 
physician in London. On Friday, April 16, 
while he was walking in the streets with another 
Catholic, he met a stranger, in appearance a 
venerable old man, who saluted him with these 
words, " Jesus bless you, sir, you seem to be sick 
and troubled with many infirmities ; but be of 
good cheer, for within these four days you 
shall be cured of all." And so it happened, for 
the next day, Saturday, April 17, through the 
treachery of an apostate priest, John Fawther, 
he was apprehended, tried, and condemned, and 
was executed on the Tuesday following, April 
20, and so found rest. On the morning of the 
execution he found means to say Mass in prison, 
and those who were present, and especially Mr. 
Henry Owen, his server, and a prisoner for 
conscience sake, attest that there glistened about 
his head while he was celebrating a bright light 
like a ray of glory, which from the Consecration 
to the Communion rested directly over his head 
and then disappeared. He suffered at Tyburn, 
April 20, 1602. 

" Come to Me all you that labour and are bur 
dened, and I will refresh you." MATT. xi. 28. 

April 23 


B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B., 1535 

PREACHING on the Penitential Psalms he was 
led to review and bewail the state of Chris 
tendom, and unconsciously sketches his own 
position in it. 

" The religion of Christian Faith," he says, "is 
greatly diminished ; we be very few ; and where 
as sometime we were spread almost through 
the world, now we be thrust down into a very 
straight angle or corner. Our enemies held 
away from us Asia and Africa, two of the 
greatest parts of the world. Also, they hold 
from us a great portion of this part, called 
Europe, which we now inhabit, so that scant 
the sixth part that we had in possession before 
is left unto us. Besides this, our enemies daily 
lay await to have this little portion. There 
fore, good Lord, without Thy help, the name of 
Christian men shall utterly be destroyed and 
fordone. . . . Therefore, merciful Lord, exercise 
Thy mercy, show it indeed upon Thy Church, 
quia tempus est miserendi ejus. If there be 
many righteous people in Thy Church militant, 
hear us, wretched sinners, for the love of them ; 
be merciful unto Zion, that is to say, to all Thy 
Church. If in Thy Church be but a few 
righteous persons, so much the more is our 
wretchedness, and the more need we have of 
Thy mercy." 

"And Abraham said what if ten [just men] 
be found there, and He said I will not destroy 
it for the sake of ten." GEN. xviii. 32. 

April 24 

B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B., 1535 

BEING after his condemnation the space of four 
days in his prison, he occupied himself in con 
tinual prayer most fervently ; and although he 
looked daily for death, yet could ye not have 
perceived him one whit dismayed or disquieted 
thereat, neither in word nor countenance, but 
still continued his former trade of constancy 
and patience, and that rather with a more joyful 
cheer and free mind than ever he had done 
before, which appeared well by this chance. A 
false report of his execution having been fixed 
for a certain day, the cook brought him no 
dinner, and on the Bishop asking the reason, 
the cook replied that he thought the Bishop 
would be already dead, and that therefore it 
would be vain to dress anything for him. 
"Well," said the Bishop merrily to him again, 
"for all that report thou seest me yet alive, and 
therefore whatsoever news thou shalt hear of 
me hereafter, let me no more lack my dinner, 
but make it ready as thou art wont to do ; and 
if thou see me dead, when thou comest, then 
eat it thyself. But I promise thee, if I be alive, 
I mind, by God s grace, to eat never a bit the 

"Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever 
else you do, do all to the glory of God." 
i COR. x. 31. 


April 25 

t Ven. ROBERT ANDERTON and Yen.- W. 
MARSDEN, Pr., 1586 

THE Judge, Anderson, in the Isle of Wight, 
though he consented to the prisoners being 
found guilty of high treason, would not pro 
nounce sentence of death without the authority 
of the Queen, saying that this was her wish in 
the case of Seminarists. On March 10, 1586, 
they were therefore sent to the Marshalsea, 
London, and were examined by two of the 
Privy Council, who soon managed to extract 
treasonable matter from them. They were 
asked if they would keep the promise they had 
made never to try to persuade anybody in the 
matter of religion. They denied ever having 
made such a promise, and Anderton said, that 
as he regarded every one outside the Unity of 
the Church of Rome in danger of damnation, 
he would be bound to endeavour to reclaim 
them, and Marsden affirmed that to persuade 
the people of the truth of Catholicism was 
the one subject for which he had come to 
the country. The Queen, therefore, the Pro 
clamation said, could only let the law take its 
course. They were sent back to the island, 
and there " on some high ground in sight of the 
moaning sea," the scaffold was erected, and re 
fusing for the last time pardon as the price of 
apostasy^ they together won their crown, April 

25, 1586. 

" Who then shall separate us from the love of 
Christ ? "ROM. viii. 35. 

April 26 

f Yen. EDWARD MORGAN, Pr., 1642 

BORN in Flintshire, ordained at Salamanca, he 
was apprehended and confined in the Fleet for 
some fourteen years. He suffered much from 
the loathsomeness of the place and the want of 
all necessaries, but further from a report spread 
that he was mad ; but this slander he cheerfully 
forgave with all other injuries. He was sen 
tenced, on account of his priesthood, on April 
23, the Feast of St. George the Martyr, the 
patron of England, and he rejoiced in being 
condemned on that day. After his condemna 
tion many Protestants conferred with him to 
their profit, and the Catholics who flocked to 
him he comforted with many cheerful words. 
On the day after his condemnation his devo 
tion at his Mass was so inflamed that he said, 
" Enough, O Lord, enough." On his way to 
the scaffold his cheerfulness won the sym 
pathy of the crowd, and not a single insult 
was offered him. On the cart he preached on 
the Good Shepherd, and that all should be 
ready to die for Christ as He had died for us. At 
the order to fasten him, he said, smiling, that he 
hoped now to be sent to Heaven in a string. To 
a minister who rebuked him for his levity he 
answered, " What offence is there in going to 
Heaven cheerfully?" He suffered at Tyburn, 
April 26, 1642. 

" God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 COR. ix. 7. 
129 i 

April 27 

Ven. FRANCIS PAGE, S.J., 1602 

FATHER PAGE learnt from Mr. Floyd, a priest 
and fellow-prisoner, that he was to die on the 
morrow, for the keeper himself felt unable to 
be the bearer of such tidings. Father Page re 
ceived the message as from Heaven, and, having 
celebrated the Holy Mysteries, was so filled 
with joy and supernatural light that it seemed 
as if nothing could separate him from the love 
of his Lord. But that he might know that this 
sensible devotion is God s free gift, and might 
learn something also of the anguish and agony 
of His Saviour in Gethsemane, he was of a 
sudden deprived of these extraordinary favours, 
and, like his Master, became sad, sorrowful, 
even unto death. In his extremity of fear 
and anguish he earnestly desired Mr. Floyd s 
prayers, while his pallor betrayed his inward 
conflict. The storm continued till the Sheriff 
sent to him to prepare for death as the hour 
was at hand. The message in a moment re 
stored calm to his soul, and he went to meet 
death with every sign of joy. The whole way 
to Tyburn his soul was engaged in prayer, and 
with the holy name of Jesus on his lips the cart 
was drawn away. April 20, 1642. 

"The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken 
away ; blessed be the name of the Lord." JOB 
i. 21. 


April 28 

Ven. FRANCIS PAGE, S.J., 1602 

BROUGHT up a Protestant, he became clerk to 
a lawyer, and fell in love with a young gentle 
woman, a Catholic. Both on her account and by 
the persuasion of a Catholic friend he began to 
inquire into religion, was introduced to Father 
Gerard Thomson and by him reconciled to the 
Church. And this was not all. His heart be 
came gradually weaned from earthly affection 
and set upon higher things. Renouncing there 
fore the advantageous match now within his 
grasp, he entered Douay College, was or 
dained priest, and went on the English Mission, 
June 10, 1600. After a narrow escape from the 
pursuivants in the house of Mrs. Line, he pur 
sued his missionary labours till he was thus 
arrested. One night when on his priestly duties 
he perceived a woman following him whom he 
knew as an apostate and a priest-catcher, and 
therefore took shelter in the house of a Pro 
testant. The woman raised a cry that a priest 
was within, and the man of the house delivered 
Mr. Page to the constables. He was taken to 
Newgate and tried before Justice Popham, who 
had condemned Mrs. Line, and knowing that 
Mr. Page had escaped from her house, at the 
next sessions, merely on account of his priest 
hood, condemned him to death, 1602. 

" With the robe of justice he hath covered 
me, as a bridegroom decked with a crown, and 
a bride adorned with her jewels." ISA. Ixi. 10. 

April 29 

MARSDEN, Pr., 1586 

ANDERTON was of an honourable family in 
Lancashire and Marsden was of the same 
county. Both were at Oxford together, Ander- 
ton at St. Mary s Hall, Marsden at Brazenose. 
Both were drawn to the Church, went together to 
Rheims and were reconciled and ordained by 
the Cardinal of Guise. Anderton was an ex 
cellent preacher and a good Hebrew scholar, 
and when the Junior School at Rheims was 
opened he and Marsden were chosen to be 
prefects over the boys. In 1586 they embarked 
for England and were caught in so heavy a 
storm in mid-channel that the sailors gave them 
selves up for lost. But the martyrs threw them 
selves on their knees and made this prayer 
together : " O Lord, Thy will be done, but if we 
are to die, suffer us to die for Thy sake in our 
own country. Spare us, O Lord, and hear our 
prayers. Let us be taken on the English coast, 
but not swallowed up by the waves." Their 
prayer was heard ; the ship reached the Isle of 
Wight in safety. But the islanders were bitter 
heretics, with scarce a Catholic in the place, and 
proved more cruel than the waves. No sooner 
had the martyrs entered the town than they 
were recognised, seized, and cast into prison. 

" And they came to Him saying, Lord, save 
us ; we perish." MATT. viii. 25. 

April 30 

Ven. ROBERT ANDERTON, Pr., 1586 

JUDGING from his youth that he would make 
short work with him, the examining- Protestant 
Bishop of Winchester was surprised to find his 
arguments completely disposed of, and the 
audience scarce concealing their mirth and on 
the side of the priest. He betook himself, 
therefore, to abuse, and taunted the priests with 
the foulness of Pope Joan, and dilated on that 
fable with many words. To this Anderton 
replied, the audience listening with eager ears 
for what the martyrs would answer : " Although 
it is very easy to refute this fable, being the foul 
fabrication of heretics long since exploded, yet 
if it were true, surely, my Lord, it was not for you 
to propound so absurd a contumely." " Why ?" 
asked the other. " Because," said Anderton, 
" the basis of your faith, the citadel of your reli 
gion, is this, that you profess a woman to be 
the head of your Church. Surely whether we 
call her Pope Joan or Queen Elizabeth matters 
little. With what face, then, can you object 
that to us as an infamy which is your special 
glory ? How taunt the Roman See with that 
which you proudly regard as the bulwark of 
your religion?" The bishop being silenced, 
and not daring to utter a word in reply, was the 
laughing-stock of all. 

"And they could not answer Him to these 
things." LUKE xiv. 6. 


May i 

B. RICHARD REYNOLDS, Bridgettine, 1535 

INTERROGATED by the Chancellor why he had 
persisted in an opinion against which so many 
lords and bishops in Parliament and the whole 
realm had decreed, he replied : " I had intended 
to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ when He was 
questioned by Herod and not to answer. But 
since you compel me to clear both my own 
conscience and that of the bystanders, I say 
that ifwe propose to maintain opinions by proofs, 
testimonies, or reasons, mine will be far stronger 
than yours, because I have all the rest of 
Christendom in my favour. I dare even say all 
this kingdom, although the smaller part holds 
with you, for I am sure the larger part is at 
heart of our opinion, although outwardly, partly 
from fear and partly from hope, they profess to 
be of yours." On this he was commanded by the 
Secretary, under the heaviest penalties of the 
law, to declare who held with him. He replied : 
" All good men of the kingdom hold with me." 
He added : "As to proofs of dead witnesses, I 
have in my favour all the general councils, all 
the historians, the holy doctors of the Church 
for the last fifteen hundred years, especially St. 
Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. 

"Remove not the ancient landmarks which 
thy fathers have set." PROV. xxii. 28. 

May 2 

B. HOUGHTON, Proto- Martyr, Carthusian, 

DURING three days he prepared his brethren 
for their Passion. On the first, he urged them 
all to purify their hearts by a general confes 
sion ; on the second day he made them a 
pathetic address on the subject of charity, 
patience, and a firm adherence to God in the 
day of trial, ending with the words, " It is 
better for us to undergo a short suffering here 
for our sins than to lay up for ourselves eternal 
torments." Then on his knees he asked for 
giveness of his religious before each in turn, 
down to the last lay brother, and all the 
brethren did the same. The third day being 
come, he offered a solemn Votive Mass of the 
Holy Ghost to obtain the special graces they 
would all need. At the moment of the Eleva 
tion there was heard the sound of a gentle wind, 
perceptible to the bodily ear, but much more 
to the hearts of all present. For a long time 
he was unable to go on with his Mass, and all 
the rest were filled with a spirit of joy ; whilst 
afterwards, as they spoke of what had happened, 
the Prior attributed it to the devotion of his 
sons, and they to the sanctity of their Father. 

"The Spirit also helpeth our infirmity." 
ROM. viii. 26. 


May 3 

t Father HENRY GARNET, S.J., 1606 

HE was educated at Winchester, but became a 
Catholic, entered the Society, and succeeded 
Father Weston as Provincial in England. At 
that time a plot was being formed, chiefly by 
one Catesby, to blow up the Houses of Parlia 
ment, and he, to draw the Jesuits into the affair, 
revealed it in confession to Father Greenaway, 
S J., who represented to him the wickedness of 
the project, and obtained his leave to communi 
cate it in confession to Father Garnet. He in 
turn did his best to dissuade Catesby from his 
design, but was soon after betrayed and appre 
hended. Repeated examinations failing to dis 
cover his guilt, Cecil had him lodged next to 
Father Oldcorne, and intimated through the 
jailer that they might converse through a chink 
in the wall ; at the same time he placed two 
spies to overhear what was said. Father Garnet, 
suspecting nothing, told Father Oldcorne that 
only one man on earth knew of his being privy 
to the plot. This the spies repeated. Father 
Garnet was again examined and racked. He 
admitted that he had been told of the plot, but 
under the seal of confession, and could not 
therefore divulge it without the leave, of the 
penitent. He was condemned and executed. 
St. Paul s Churchyard, May 3, 1606. 

" Give not that which is holy to dogs." 
MATT. vii. 6. 


May 4 

f B. JOHN HAILE, Pr., 1535 

FELLOW of King s College, Cambridge, Vicar 
of Chelmsford, he was promoted to Isle worth, 
August 13, 1521. Little is known of his history 
beyond that he was respected for his edifying 
life. When in 1533, Henry repudiating his mar 
riage with Catherine, Anne Boleyn was crowned 
Queen, June 2, and the succession settled on 
her offspring, the aged Vicar was grievously 
scandalised. He confided to a neighbouring 
priest, Fern of Teddington, his sorrow for the 
evil of the times ; he reprobated the King s 
cruelty in oppressingand despoiling the Church, 
declared him a heretic, denounced his vile life 
and vicious court, and his unfaithfulness to 
Catherine, and characterised his marriage with 
Anne as not only the highest shame and undoing 
of himself, but also of this realm. " Three parts 
of England are against the King."he added, "and 
the Commons see well enough a sufficient cause 
of rebellion and insurrection, and we of the 
Church shall never live merrily till that day 
come." For these words he was indicted on the 
evidence of Fern and other priests in whom he 
had confided, and was executed at Tyburn, and 
is beatified as having suffered for the Faith in 
resisting the Royal Supremacy. 


" With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord 
of Hosts, because the children of Israel have for 
saken Thy covenant, have destroyed Thy altars 
and slain Thy prophets." 3 KINGS xix. 14. 

May 5 


Carthusians, 1535 

JOHN HOUGHTON was born in Essex, 1847, 
educated at Cambridge during the Chancellor 
ship of B. John Fisher, and, to avoid his parents 
matrimonial plans for him, took refuge with a 
priest and was ordained. After four years of his 
priesthood he entered the London Charterhouse, 
of which he became Prior, and was pre-eminent 
for his observance, mortification, and silence. 
When the oath of Supremacy was about to be 
tendered he was joined by Prior Lawrence from 
Beauvale and Prior Webster from Oxholme. 
After trying in vain to obtain some mitigation of 
the oath, which they refused to take in its present 
form, they were committed to the Tower, when 
the King s Commissaries and Cromwell himself 
endeavoured uselessly to gain their submission. 
On April 29 they were tried in Westminster, and 
the jury, after twenty-four hours delay, terrified 
by Cromwell s threats, found them guilty of high 
treason. On May 4, 1535, they were dragged in 
their habits on the hurdles to Tyburn, and were 
the first of Henry s victims to gain the Martyr s 
crown. As B. Thomas More saw them pass, 
from his cell in the Tower, he said they looked 
as " cheerful as if they were bridegrooms going 
to their marriage." And their bright and smiling 
countenances were unchanged to the end. 

" The friend of the bridegroom who standeth 
and heareth Him rejoiceth with joy, because of 
the bridegroom s voice." JOHN iii. 29. 

May 6 

B. RICHARD REYNOLDS, Bridgettine, 1535 

EDUCATED at Christ s College he became a 
monk at Syon House and suffered for refusing 
the oath of Supremacy at Tyburn, May 4, 1535. 
Cardinal Pole thus wrote in his praise : " One 
of these martyrs I must not pass over without 
a special notice, as he was intimately known to 
myself. Reynolds was his name, and he was 
one who for the sanctity of his life might be 
compared with the very first of those who pro 
fess the more exact rule of conduct according to 
the discipline of Christ, and had, moreover, a 
more than common knowledge of all the liberal 
arts, derived too from the original sources. He 
was well acquainted with the three chief lan 
guages, in which all liberal learning is comprised, 
and of all the monks in England was the only 
one who had this knowledge. To manifest to 
all futurity the praises of his sanctity and doc 
trine, and to show the height of his piety to Christ 
and his charity towards his country, one thing 
only seemed to be wanting, that in company with 
the other heroes he should in this time of so great 
need give testimony to the truth with his own 
blood, as he did. O blessed man ! truly worthy 
of the fullest confidence of thee, O my country ! " 

" Being made a pattern of the flock from the 
heart." i PETER v. 3. 


May 7 

B. THOMAS COTTAM, Pr., 1582 

OF Brazenose College, Oxford, then a school 
master in London, well known and beloved, he 
embraced the faith, and entered the English 
College at Rome. On his departing thence for 
Rheims the porter said to him: "Beware lest 
some other receive your crown." At Rheims 
he obtained leave to be ordained before his 
studies were completed, owing both to his bad 
health and his zeal for the mission. On landing 
at Dover in June 1580 he was apprehended and 
sent to London under charge of one Havard, 
who was secretly a Catholic, and who, arriving 
in London, dismissed him. Father Cottam 
wished to give himself up, so fearful was he of 
losing his crown, but was dissuaded by the fact 
that in doing so he would wilfully imperil his 
own life. At length, Havard being in danger 
for allowing his escape, he yielded himself to 
the law officer, saying: " Now God be thanked, 
for I was never quiet in my mind since I was 
let go. There was ever in my head what the 
porter at St. Andrews said to me." On hearing 
that his execution was fixed for the morrow, he 
exclaimed with joy, " God be praised, to-morrow 
is my day ; my name is first on the list." 

" The fear of the Lord is honour and glory and 
gladness and a crown of joy." ECCLUS. i. n. 

May 8 


THEN the Sheriff said to him, " Yet, Cottam, call 
for mercy and confess, and no doubt the Queen 
will be merciful unto you." Who answered, " My 
conscience giveth me a clear testimony that I 
never offended her." Adding that all that he 
did here suffer was for saving his soul ; desiring 
Almighty God, for His sweet Son s sake, that 
He would vouchsafe to take him to His mercy ; 
saying that Him only he had offended. And 
then he prayed, desiring forgiveness of all the 
world, and saying that he did from the bottom 
of his heart forgive all. Adding that the sins 
of this realm have deserved infinite punishment 
and God s just indignation, and desiring him of 
his mercy that he would call this people to 
repentance to see and acknowledge their sins. 
Then he begged all Catholics to pray with him, 
and, having said his Pater, and being in the 
middle of his Ave, the cart was driven away. 
He hanged till he was dead, and being stripped 
he was found to wear next his skin a shirt 
of very coarse canvas, without sleeves, which 
reached down beneath his middle, which was 
like in the nature of a hair shirt for the punish 
ment of his body, with which kind of things 
England is not now acquainted. 

"Those who are Christ s have crucified the 
flesh with its vices and concupiscences." 
GAL. v. 24. 


May 9 


HE was a professed lay brother in the Bene 
dictine Monastery at Douay, anc} was appre 
hended at the beginning of the Gates Plot. 
Gates and Bedloe swore that Pickering and 
Grove were appointed to kill the King, the latter 
receiving ,15,000, the former, being a priest, 
30,000 Masses. Pickering, they swore, had 
made three attempts on the King s life in 
St. James 5 Park ; at the first the flint of the pistol 
was loose ; at the second there was no powder ; 
at the third no bullets. Both prisoners absolutely 
denied the story, and Pickering swore he had 
never fired a pistol in his life. He was con 
demned with Ireland and Grove, but reprieved 
till May 9. At his execution he expressed great 
joy at giving his life for God and religion, that 
being his only fault. Taxed with being a priest, 
he replied, with a smile, " No, I am only a lay 
brother." At the moment of his hanging he was 
called upon again to confess his fault, at which, 
pulling up his cap and showing his innocent, 
smiling countenance, he said, "Is this the face 
of a dying criminal ? " And so he went with a 
smile to his God, the most harmless of men, the 
most unlikely, and the most unfit for an attempt 
to murder. He suffered at Tyburn, May 9, 1679. 

" The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, is 
signed upon us. Thou hast given gladness in 
my heart." Ps. iv. 7. 


May 10 


HE was a priest of great zeal who had twice 
been imprisoned and banished, when he was 
apprehended on his third return to the English 
Mission. His trial was the day following that 
of V. Scot. He owned himself a priest, but 
denied being a traitor, or that the new laws of 
England could be of any force against the law 
of God, or that authority which Jesus Christ had 
given to priests in these words : " Go, teach all 
nations," and said that by the laws as now made 
Christ Himself might be condemned as a priest. 
The recorder told him that priests were the first 
men who had plotted against his present Ma 
jesty (James I). "No, no," said Mr. Newport, 
"but Protestants and Puritans were the first 
men that plotted against him, and sought to rob 
him of his life whilst he was yet in his mother s 
womb." He defended himself with great con 
stancy and fortitude, and seemed very unwilling 
that his blood should lie at the door of the poor 
ignorant jury, who through fear would condemn 
him, but was obliged to acquiesce in the action 
of the law. He received his death sentence 
with much cheerfulness, and suffered in con 
junction with V. Scot at Tyburn, May 30, 1612. 

" If thou release this man thou art not Caesar s 
friend." JOHN xix. 17. 

May 1 1 

WALWORTH, Carthusians, 1537 

Six Carthusians had now won their crowns, and 
Europe had stood aghast at the cold-blooded 
murder. Fearful of rousing further indignation 
by continual slaughter, Henry VIII found other 
means of persecuting the Brethren who re 
mained. They were debarred intercourse with 
their extern friends. Two lay commissioners 
were introduced into the Convent without any 
pretence of law. Their usual penitential diet 
was reduced to a minimum. Insolent strangers 
would hustle and even strike them in the corri 
dors ; others would try to entrap them in dis 
pute or harangue them in the chapter. Yet 
the solitude and silence of their life were strictly 
observed ; with few exceptions all lived in 
charity and sought to bear each other s burdens, 
whilst the holy offices of the Church were per 
formed with the usual care and recollection. 
When the persecution had lasted a year without 
success, four of the most influential members 
were sent to distant houses of the Order. Of 
these Dom. John Rochester and Dom. John 
Walworth were sent to Hull, and after some 
months, having Droved their constancy there as 
fully as they had in London, they were hanged 
as recusants, York, May u, 1537. 

"The City of the Sanctuary has become a 
desert, Sion is made a desert, Jerusalem is 
desolate." ISA. Ixiv. 10. 

May 12 

B. JOHN STONE, Augustinian, 1538 

HE belonged to the Convent of the Augustinian 
Friars, which had been founded in the parish of 
St. George in Canterbury in 1325 during the 
reign of Edward III. The House had produced 
a well-known ecclesiastical writer, the learned 
John Copgrave, but its honour culminated in 
being the home of B. John. For resisting the 
King s spiritual supremacy he was thrown into 
prison, and Nicholas Harpsfield, Archdeacon 
of Canterbury, his intimate friend, under the 
name of Alan Cope, records the following 
event as having occurred during his confine 
ment : " When he was offering fervent prayer 
to God after an uninterrupted fast of three days, 
he heard a voice, but seeing no one, calling him 
by name and exhorting him to be of good cour 
age and suffer with constancy for the opinions 
he had professed. This heavenly message so 
much renewed his fervour that no persuasions 
or terrors could disturb his devotion. No 
details of his martyrdom finally reached us, but 
the Corporation of Canterbury account book 
gives the items of the expenses incurred for the 
gallows, the carpenter, the hurdle and horse, the 
halters, and the executioner the implements of 
his Passion hallowed now by his holy blood." 

"Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth." 
I KINGS iii. 10. 

M5 K 

May 13 


"Mv venerated Father, You who have been 
accustomed to advise others in doubtful cases 
know best what advice to give to yourself ; and 
with your piety and learning you know without 
doubt, and even desire if need be for the Name 
of Christ to undergo death and refuse nothing 
in such a cause. Be brave, then, and courageous, 
for if in these torments you have some pain to 
bear you will receive an eternal reward, which 
if any one were to be ready to lose both you 
and I would count him to be mad. But, alas, 
you leave me, your daughter, born to you in the 
Wounds of Christ, for a time at least you leave 
me in the greatest sorrow, for I am losing in 
you the man who has taught me the most in 
divine things. If I may freely say my wish, I 
had rather go before you through a thousand 
torments than follow you after a time. Yet I 
trust in the Lord that I shall see you not very 
long hence, when I shall be taken to the calm 
life of the blessed. Farewell, my honoured 
Father, commend me always to God, now and 
from your place in Heaven. Your most sorrow 
ful daughter, CATHERINE." 

"Whither thou goest, I will go; and where 
thou dwellest, I will dwell ; thy people shall be 
my people, and thy God my God." RUTH i. 16. 

May 14 


" MOST Serene Lady and Queen, my daughter 
most dear in the bowels of Christ, When I 
read your letter I was filled with incredible joy, 
because I saw how great is your constancy in 
the Faith. In this, if you persevere, without 
doubt you will attain salvation. Doubt not of 
me that by any inconstancy I should disgrace 
my grey hairs. Meanwhile I earnestly beg 
your steadfast prayers to God, for whose spouse 
we suffer torments, to receive me into His glory. 
For it have I striven these four and forty years 
in the Order of St. Francis. Meanwhile do you 
keep free from the pestilent doctrine of the 
heretics, so that if even an angel should come 
down from Heaven and bring you another 
doctrine from that which I have taught you, 
give no credit to his words, but reject him ; for 
that other doctrine does not come from God. 
These few words you must take in lieu of con 
solation ; but that you will receive from our 
Lord Jesus Christ, to whom I specially com 
mend you, to my father Francis, to St. Catherine ; 
and when you hear of my execution, I heartily 
beg of you to pray for me to her. I send you 
my rosary, as I have but three days to live." 

"But though we or an angel from heaver 
preach a gospel to you beside that which we 
have preached to you, let him be anathema." 
GAL. i. 8. 


May 15 


IN his examination the martyr forcibly told the 
Dean of York and his assessors that they were 
in no sense members of the Catholic Church. 
The Dean admitted that the Catholic faith had 
flourished in the Roman Church during some 
centuries, but asserted that it had afterwards 
died out. Thereupon Father Thirkell inquired 
in what year, under what Pontiff or Emperor 
this change had taken place ? Who were the 
assailants of the primitive faith ? Why was it 
not defended ? The Dean could only reply that 
it had crept in imperceptibly. Then he attacked 
the invocation of the Saints, and the martyr 
offered to defend it from St. Augustine. At first 
the Dean pretended to accept the challenge in 
order to see if the priest was in earnest ; but 
seeing he was prepared to prove his point, he 
said that this doctrine was a novelty introduced 
into the Church but little before the time of 
St. Augustine. Then the Dean began to abuse 
the Pope, calling him Anti-Christ. Thereupon 
the martyr cried out, " The Pope is the Vicar 
of Christ on earth, and the Supreme Head of 
the Church." The Dean in a fury of passion 
leaped from his chair, declaring that he would 
not suffer such language. 

" Carefully study to present thyself approved 
unto God a workman that needeth not to be 
ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." 
2 TIM. ii. 15, 16. 


May 1 6 


"WITHIN these few days John Nichols (an 
apostate priest and informer) came to my 
chamber window, with humble submission, to 
crave mercy for all his treacheries against us, 
and to acknowledge his books, sermons, and 
infamous speeches to be wicked, false, and 
execrable before God and man, and committed 
to writing and to the view of the world only 
for preferment and favour of the nobility. In 
detestation of his own doings and their wicked 
ness, he is minded never hereafter to ascend 
the pulpit or deal in any matter of religion. In 
proof thereof he showed me his new disguised 
apparel under his minister s weed, and he 
offered to go to Secretary Walsingham and 
show how treacherously I had been condemned. 
To give my censure and judgment of him; 
certain I think he will within a short time fall 
into infidelity, except God of His goodness 
reclaim him to the Catholic faith. Yet it 
seemeth he hath not lost all good gifts of 
nature, since his conscience pricketh him to 
open the truth in our defence, and to detest his 
own wickedness. Now I see, as all the world 
hereafter shall easily perceive, rather than God 
will have wilful murder concealed, He procureth 
the birds of the air to reveal it." 

"A man that is an apostate with a wicked 
heart deviseth evil, and at all times soweth 
discord." PROV. vi. 12, 14. 

May 17 


LEST the faithful might gather up any of the 
Martyr s blood, a great fire of straw was made 
to consume its last drop. B. R. Thirkell s 
head was parboiled in a cauldron, and, it would 
seem, set up beside that of B. William Hart, 
on stakes outside the leads of the Ousebridge 
prison. Mary Hutton, the wife of the Con 
fessor William Hutton, was imprisoned in a 
chamber next these leads women in these days 
having to suffer for their faith as well as men. 
Within a few days after it had been exposed, 
both heads disappeared. Mary Hutton was 
naturally suspected of having removed them, 
and was threatened with hanging unless she 
confessed to the fact. Her little children, who 
were imprisoned with their mother (the eldest 
was less than nine years old), were brought 
before the magistrates, with four beadles carry 
ing great birch rods, and were thus terrified 
into confessing that their mother had removed 
the martyrs heads. She was thrust into the 
underground hole, called the "low place," of 
the prison among the felons. As the place 
was already infected by a prisoner who had 
died there, this was tantamont to a sentence of 
death, and, in fact, Mary Hutton died there of 
the gaol fever within a month, 1583. 

" The Lord keepeth all their bones ; not one 
of them shall be broken." Ps. xxxiii. 21. 

May 1 8 


DAUGHTER of the Duke of Clarence, grand 
daughter of the Earl of Warwick, Margaret 
knew only sorrow from her birth. Before her 
fifth year her mother died and her father was 
found dead in the Tower. Her cousins and 
playmates, the Prince of Wales, now Edward V, 
and his brother Richard, Duke of York, were 
murdered. Her only brother, Edward, Earl of 
Warwick, was executed when she was but 
twenty-two. Married to Sir Richard Pole, 
after a few years she was left a widow with 
five children. Henry VIII, who revered her 
then for her holiness, reversed her husband s 
attainder, created her Countess of Salisbury, 
and made her sponsor to Catherine of Aragon s 
infant child, the future Queen Mary, and 
governess of her household. But the opposition 
of Margaret s son, the exiled Cardinal Pole, to 
Catherine s divorce embittered the King, and 
to make Pole " eat his heart," as Cromwell said, 
Margaret s eldest son, Lord Montagu, and her 
little grandson, the only hope of the family, 
were executed. Margaret herself was arrested, 
and, after three years confinement, condemned 
for treason, a tunic embroidered with the Five 
Wounds being proof thereof, and at the age 
of seventy the last of the Plantagenets won her 
crown on Tower Hill, May 28, 1541. 

"And last of all after the sons the mother 
also was consumed." 2 MACH. vii. 41. 

May 19 

t Yen. PETER WRIGHT, S.J., 1651 

BORN of poor but virtuous parents in North 
amptonshire, he lost his father in his boy 
hood, and entered the service of a country 
lawyer. Living amongst Protestants he con 
formed, but after a while regained his faith, 
and, going abroad, was reconciled and became 
a Jesuit priest. He served first as chaplain to 
the English soldiers in Flanders, where Colonel 
Sir Henry Gage became his inseparable com 
panion, and, after his death, in the Civil War, 
he lived with the family of the Marquis of 
Winchester. There on Candlemas Day, 1651, 
as he was about to say Mass, the pursuivants 
entered the house. Father Wright escaped to 
the leads, but was speedily captured. Sentenced 
to death through the evidence of some apostate, 
he said joyfully, "God Almighty s Holy Name 
be blessed now and for evermore." During the 
three days before his execution he confessed 
and consoled the troops of Catholics who visited 
him, and for his own part he made a general 
confession of his life, celebrated Mass daily, and 
confided to his brother priest that he had never 
experienced such joy as at the approach of 
death. On Whit-Monday morning, hearing the 
knocking at the grate, he took it as a summons 
from Heaven, and said : " I come, sweet Jesus, 
I come." He suffered at Tyburn, May 19, 

" Surely I come quickly: Amen. Come, Lord 
Jesus." APOC. xxii. 20. 

May 20 

BORN in Shropshire, he became a gentleman s 
servant, but went abroad, was ordained priest 
at Douay, and was sent on the English Mission 
in 1576. In December 1580, after being 
arrested, he was sent to the Tower, was three 
times most cruelly racked, and in November 
1581 was sentenced, but his execution was post 
poned till May 28, 1582. On the scaffold he 
answered the Sheriff that Elizabeth was as 
much Head of the Church as Mary had b.een. 
The Sheriff replied : " Thou art a traitor most 
obstinate." " If I be a traitor for holding the 
faith, then all our kings and queens and all 
our ancestors were traitors, for they maintained 
the same." Hereupon the rope was put about 
his neck, and he was willed to pray, which he 
did in Latin. They willed him to pray in 
English that they might witness with him : he 
said, " I pray that prayer which Christ taught, 
in a tongue I well understand." A minister 
cried out, "Pray as Christ taught." To whom 
Mr. Johnson replied, " What ! do you think 
Christ taught in English?" And so won his 
crown with the Church s words on his lips. 

"And their children spoke half in the speech 
of Azotus, and could not speak the Jews 
language, and they spoke according to the 
language of this and that people, and I chid 
them and laid my curse upon them." 2 ESDRAS 
xiii. 24, 25. 


May 21 


AT Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he was converted 
by reading Catholic books, and became a 
Benedictine at Valladolid. He was several 
times in prison. At his first examination before 
the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, 
George Abbot, a noted bigot, he refused the 
oath of allegiance, but neither confessed nor 
denied his priesthood. The chief proof brought 
for his being a priest was, that as he came by 
water from Gravesend to London, for safety s 
sake, he flung into the Thames a little bag con 
taining his breviary, faculties, and some medals 
and crosses, which a fisherman catching in his 
net had carried to the said George Abbot. At 
Newgate, before the Recorder, King Bishop of 
London, and others, he pleaded not guilty, and 
demanded legal proof that he was a priest, and 
he told the Bishop it did not become one of 
his cloth to* meddle in causes of life and death. 
The Bishop urged against him the fact of a 
paper giving leave to say Mass above or below 
ground being found in the bag. "Giving 
leave," said F. Scot ; " but to whom ? Was my 
name there expressed? If not, your lordship 
might have kept that argument to yourself, with 
the rest of the things in the bag." Upon mere 
presumption he was sentenced and suffered, 
Tyburn, May 30, 1612. 

"Thy princes are faithless companions of 
thieves ; they all love bribes, they run after 
rewards." ISA. i. 23. 


May 22 

f B. JOHN FOREST, O.S.F., 1538 

FRANCISCAN at the age of seventeen, professed 
Observant at Greenwich, Confessor of Queen 
Catherine of Aragon, as a strenuous opposer of 
the divorce he was imprisoned for two years at 
Newgate. There he composed a book on the 
Authority of the Church and the Pope, for which 
he was condemned to die, but neither torture nor 
coming death could force him to acknowledge 
the King s supremacy. After three years delay 
he was sentenced to be burnt as a heretic. On 
the stand at Smithfield he faced the Lords of the 
Council, with Latimer mounted on a pulpit. To 
the apostate s heretical invectives the martyrs 
rejoinders were so complete that Latimer in his 
rage exclaimed, "Burn him, burn him ! his words 
are enough." He was carried to the gibbet and 
suspended by a chain round the waist over the 
pile prepared. The flames were kindled and 
further fed by the image of a saint cast into the 
burning mass. The martyr prayed ; " Neither 
fire, faggot, nor scaffold shall separate me from 
Thee, O Lord." His sufferings were prolonged 
by a high wind scattering the flames. He bore 
the agony with invincible patience, and with the 
ascending flames the holocaust was consumed. 
He suffered at Smithfield, May 22, 1538. 

"And he went up and offered holocausts and 
his own sacrifice." 4 KINGS xvi. 12. 

May 23 


BORN in Lancashire, of Brasenose College, he 
was reconciled, and returned from Douay as a 
priest in 1577. He laboured with great success 
in his own country, residing, apparently as a 
schoolmaster, in the house of Mr. Houghton of 
Park Hall. He there, however, became the 
subject of a vile calumny. Mr. Houghton had 
re-married, and his three children by his first 
wife, a son and two daughters, for some unknown 
reason insinuated that the priest was unduly 
familiar with their stepmother, "a young gentle 
woman, very virtuous and wise." When the 
slander became known to B. Lawrence he ex 
horted the lady to patience and continuance in 
virtue, and himself repaired to London, where 
one Mr. Blundell had commissioned him to 
obtain some money owing from his cousin. 
Lawrence found the cousin, who promised to 
bring him the money, but returned with two 
sergeants to arrest him, and his trial and death 
speedily followed. Thus the very slander, far 
from causing the injury intended, indirectly pro 
cured him the Martyr s crown. The slandered 
lady closed a holy life by a blessed death, while 
the three calumniators fell into such great 
misery that it was regarded as a judgment of 
God. He suffered at Tyburn, May 31, 1582. 

" I have done judgment and justice : give me 
not up to them that slander me. Uphold Thy 
servant unto good." Ps. cxviii. 121, 122. 

May 24 


BORN at Crosby Hall, Lancashire, 1620, he lost 
his father in 1631. He married, at the age of 
fifteen, Ann Haynston, to enable his grandfather 
to resettle the estates, and thus preserve them 
from the grasp of the Crown as recusants by 
giving the holder only a life interest. He was 
a keen sportsman and fond of gaiety, and later 
in life regretted the excessive expenses thus in 
curred. At the break out of the Civil War, as a 
Captain of Dragoons, he espoused with ardour 
the Royal cause. In the assault on Lancashire 
his thigh was shattered by a musket shot, and 
he was crippled for the remainder of his life. 
During the next ten years he was frequently 
imprisoned, and his estate was sequestrated. 
He went abroad, taking two of his daughters 
to enter religion at Rouen, but returned with 
Charles IPs accession. Proscribed by Titus 
Gates, he declined to go abroad, preferring, he 
said, his plundered bare walls and a pair of 
crutches to an outlaw s life. In 1674 he was at 
the first imprisoned lest he should join James II 
in Ireland; and in 1695, when he was seventy- 
five years old, his arrest was attempted, but he 
was too crippled to be moved. That year he 
died, having sacrificed limbs, liberty, and goods 
for his faith and the throne. 

" Fear God : honour the king." i PET ii. 17. 

May 25 

W. BLUNDELL, a Catholic Cavalier, 1695 

EXPECTING a challenge to a duel from Colonel 
Moore, of Bank Hall, a neighbouring Pro 
testant magistrate, he prepared in anticipa 
tion the following reply : " I have lost much 
blood in defence of the laws [and will not 
hazard any to break them. I confess I dare 
not be damned on any account, and am un 
willing to be hanged on this. I have not 
learnt the ways to evade the hands of justice 
when I am guilty of blood. In short, I will 
neither meet you nor any man, how strong or 
weak he may be, with so bad a design, and I 
propose by God s assistance, that the most 
public or great affront that malice shall devise 
against me shall not move me from this reso 
lution. If I have done wrong to you or any 
man else, I will hazard my blood and fortune 
in a just and honourable way so far to make 
amends ; and in this I shall always be willing 
to submit to indifferent judges. In the mean 
time if this answer displease you, I shall never 
decline the walks to which my business leads 
me, out of any fear of your sword. But if you 
interpret and pervert this to be the answer of a 
coward, I will clearly evince the contrary to you 
and to all the world." 

" Whosoever shall shed man s blood, his blood 
shall be shed." GEN. ix. 6. 

May 26 

B. JOHN SHERT, Pr., 1582 

BORN in Cheshire, of Brasenose College, Ox 
ford, then a noted schoolmaster in London, he 
went abroad, was reconciled to the Church, and 
returned as a priest in 1579. After three years 
labour he was apprehended and condemned in 
November 1581. Seeing at Tyburn his com 
panion F. Ford hanged up before him, bright 
and smiling, with uplifted hands, he exclaimed : 
" O happy Thomas ! Happy art thou that didst 
run that happy race ! O benedicta anima ! O 
blessed soul, thou art in a good case ! Thou 
blessed soul, pray for me." Being rebuked for 
praying to the dead, he said : " O blessed Lady, 
Mother of God, pray for me, and all the Saints 
of Heaven pray for me." After which he made 
this act of thanksgiving : " O blessed Lord, to 
Thee be all honour and praise. I give most 
hearty thanks for that Thou didst create me 
out of nothing to Thy likeness and similitude. 
Secondly for my redemption by Thy sweet Son 
Jesus Christ, my Saviour and Redeemer ; and 
lastly, that Thou wilt bring me, Thy poor ser 
vant, to so happy a death for Thy sake ; to 
the world shameful yet to me most joyful and 
glorious, and for which I yield Thee most hearty 
thanks." Then, after again denying the charge 
of treason, he finished his course, Tyburn, May 
28, 1582. 

" Offer to God the sacrifice of praise, and pay 
thy vows to the Most High." Ps. xlix. 14. 

May 27 


HE was kept on the cart, whilst his companions, 
Mr. Kirby and Mr. Richardson, priests and 
graduates, were in turn hung, cut down, and 
quartered, that the sight of their sufferings 
might prevail upon him to yield. But Mr. 
Cottam signed himself with the sign of the 
cross, saying, " In nomine Patris," &c., and 
turning to the crowd with a smiling countenance 
he said, " God bless you all. Our Lord bless 
you all, 53 and was rebuked by a minister for 
making a jest of another preacher, who cried, 
" Despatch, despatch ! " to hurry up the execu 
tioner. Whilst they were talking round him, 
Mr. Cottam took Bull, the hangman, by the 
sleeve and said to him, " God forgive thee and 
make thee His servant ; take heed in time and 
call for grace, and no doubt but God will hear 
thee. Take example by the executioner of St. 
Paul, who during the time of the saint s exe 
cution, a little drop of blood falling from St. 
Paul upon his garment, white like milk, did 
afterwards call him to remembrance of himself, 
and so he became penitent for his sins, and be 
came a good man ; whose example I pray God 
thou mayest follow ; and I pray God give thee 
His grace." He suffered, Tyburn, May 30, 

" Father forgive them, for they know not what 
they do." LUKE xxiii. 34. 
1 60 

May 28 

B. THOMAS FORD, Pr., 1582 
HE was a native of Devonshire, became Fellow 
and President of Trinity College, Oxford, ex 
pressed there strongly his Catholic sympathies, 
and led a spotless and zealous life. In 1570 he 
abjured Protestantism and entered Douay. In 
1576 he returned to England as a priest, and 
after five years successful labour was seized, 
with B. Campion, at Dame Yates house, Lyford, 
in Berkshire. His examination shows how, by 
adroit casuistry, the Government hoped to re 
present the martyrs as political conspirators. 
F. Ford, however, declined to be entrapped. 
His answers may be summarised thus : i. He 
could not reply as to the legality of the Bull of 
Pius V against Elizabeth, as he was not privy to 
its circumstances. 2. The Pope has authority 
to depose princes on certain occasions. When 
such a Bull is published against Her Majesty 
he will then answer as to the duty of her sub 
jects. 3. As to the Pope s authorisation of the 
Northern Rising, being a private subject he 
cannot answer. 4. Dr. Sanders and Bristowe 
are learned men, and must answer themselves 
as to the truth of their book ; he himself cannot 
do so. The examination was, of course, a mere 
pretext, and F. Ford saw through the device 
and in no way committed himself. After much 
cruel treatment his sentence of death was carried 
out, Tyburn, May 28, 1582. 

" And the Pharisees watched that they might 
find an accusation against Him." MATT. x. 16. 


May 29 


BORN in Durham; after his ordination, in ad 
vanced age, at Douay in 1579, he exclaimed, 
" God alone knows how great a gift this is that 
hath been conferred upon me this day ! " Holy 
Mass was his constant thought, and it produced 
in his soul such daily increase of Divine love 
and heavenly courage that he desired nothing 
more than, in return for what Christ had done 
for him, to shed also his blood in Christ and 
for Christ. For eight whole years his prayers 
were that he might one day lay down his life 
for his faith, and this was at length granted 
him. He was apprehended and tried at York. 
He appeared at the bar a venerable old man in 
his priest s cassock, and acknowledged that he 
was a priest and had performed priestly func 
tions. He was found guilty, and spent the 
night instructing the criminals and preparing 
them for death. On entering the court the 
next morning he publicly blessed four Catholic 
prisoners there present, and a brave old woman 
who knelt to receive it defended his action by 
saying that as a minister of Christ he had the 
power to bless in His Name. He received the 
sentence of death with great joy, and so finished 
his course, York, May 29, 1583. 

" They overcame the dragon by the blood of 
the Lamb and by the word of the testimony, 
and they loved not their lives unto death." 
APOC. xii. ii. 


May 30 

f B. WILLIAM FILBIE, Pr., 1582 

BORN at Oxford, educated at Lincoln College, 
he embraced the faith, entered Douay, and 
returned to the English Mission in 1581. He 
was arrested at Lyford, with FF. Ford and 
Campion, and condemned with them at the 
Tower in November 1581. The following May 
he was drawn to Tyburn. On the scaffold a 
Sheriffs man, finding a little wooden cross in 
the martyr s handkerchief, held it up, saying, 
" O ! what a villainous traitor is this that hath 
a cross," and some of the people repeated the 
cry. But Father Filbie smiled -and made no 
reply. He was no more ashamed, says his 
biographer, of this his Saviours banner than 
of his crown, which he had taken care to shave. 
Then the Sheriff said, " Filbie, the Queen is 
merciful to you, and we have authority from 
her to carry you back, if you will ask her 
mercy." Filbie answered, " I never offended 
her," " Well, then," said the Sheriff, " make 
an end." And thus desiring all Catholics to 
pray for him, he prayed, saying his Pater, and 
Ave, and "In rnanus tuas," &c. ; and when the 
cart was drawn away, he said, " Lord, receive 
my soul," and so hanged, knocking his breast 
several times, till some pulled down his hands ; 
and so he finished his mortal life, Tyburn, 
May 30, 1582. 

"And then shall appear the sign of the Son 
of Man in the heavens, and then shall all the 
tribes of the earth mourn." MATT. xxiv. 30. 

May 31 

B. LUKE KIRBY, Pr., 1582 

BORN in Yorkshire, he was ordained at Douay 
1577, called to the English Mission in 1580, and 
was shortly apprehended. He underwent in the 
Tower, for more than an hour, the torture of the 
Scavenger s Daughter an iron hoop in which 
the body was compressed, hands, feet, and head 
being bound fast together, and the blood forced 
often from the nostrils, and even from the hands 
and feet by the violence of the pressure. On 
the scaffold he declared his loyalty to the Queen, 
and prayed God to preserve her from her ene 
mies. The minister bade him add "from the 
Pope s curse and power." " If the Pope make 
war against her, or curse her unjustly, God pre 
serve her from him also," replied the martyr. 
But when the Sheriff pressed him to obtain his 
freedom and forsake the Man of Rome, he 
replied that the Pope s authority was a point of 
faith, and that to save his life by denying it .was 
to damn his soul. He thus rightly distinguished 
between the Pope s acts as a temporal ruler and 
as the Infallible Head of the Church. He re 
fused to pray in English with the minister and 
the crowd, because to do so with those not of 
the faith would dishonour God ; but he asked 
for the prayers of all Catholics, and so won his 
crown, Tyburn, May 30, 1582. 

" O Lord, Thou wilt open my lips, and my 
mouth shall show forth Thy praise." Ps. 1. 17. 

June I 

t B. JOHN STOREY, L., 1571 

BORN about the year 1504, he became Professor 
of Civil Law, Head of Broadgates Hall, now 
Pembroke College, at Oxford, a learned Canon 
ist, and an eloquent and leading speaker in 
Parliament; it was on the floor of the House 
that he was to stand forth champion of the 
ancient faith. Under Henry VIII he had, like 
too many others, taken the oath of Supremacy, 
but the Bill of Edward VI substituting a new 
English Liturgy for the Holy Sacrifice of the 
Mass enabled him to repair his fall. " Woe to 
thee, O land," he said, quoting Holy Scripture, 
" whose king is a child." EcCLES x. 16. And 
for his bold protest he was committed to the 
Tower. He, however, obtained his release, and 
retired with his family to Louvain, where, with 
the Carthusians, he spent his days in doing pen 
ance for his fall and in prayer for the conversion 
of his country. On Mary s accession he re 
turned to England, and was appointed Chan 
cellor of the Diocese of London, and the bitter 
experience of his own lapse made him zealous 
in the suppression of heresy. He held with 
B. Thomas More that false doctrine was the 
greatest evil, and undermined Church and State 
alike, and though he pleaded for indulgence to 
the misguided, he knew no toleration with the 
fomenters of heresy and rebellion. 

" But where sin abounded, grace did more 
abound." ROM. v. 20. 


June 2 

B. JOHN STOREY, L., 1571 

IN order to root out once more the ancient 
Faith, Elizabeth inaugurated her reign by the 
Act of Conformity, and this persecuting measure 
evolved the strongest protest from B. John 
Storey, one of the very few Catholics now in 
Parliament. Taunted in reply with his severity 
to heretics, he only expressed his regret that he 
had not done more. For refusing to go to the 
Protestant Church he was sent to the Fleet, but 
escaped to Belgium, was naturalised as a Spanish 
subject, and was appointed Searcher of Vessels 
by the Duke of Alva. He was now much 
troubled lest by his flight he had forfeited the 
Martyr s crown, but his fears proved groundless. 
Entrapped on board an English vessel, he was 
conveyed to the Tower, racked, tortured, pes 
tered by fanatical preachers, and. grossly insulted 
by the street rabble. He pleaded in vain that 
as a Spanish subject he was not subject to the 
jurisdiction of an English court, and he refused 
to recognise an excommunicated and deposed 
Queen. Though nigh seventy years old, he bore 
unmoved his unjust trial, and endured with sin 
gular courage an execution of exceptional bru 
tality. It was his constancy which animated 
the B. Campion to sacrifice himself for the 
same cause. 

" Thou hast broken my bonds : I will sacrifice 
to Thee a sacrifice of praise." Ps. cxv. 16. 
1 66 

June 3 

f Yen. FRANCIS INGLEBY, Pr., 1586 
HE was the son of Sir John Ingleby, of Ripley, 
Yorkshire, and studied Jaw in London. After 
making good way in his profession he left the 
world, went to Rheims, was ordained priest, and 
returned to the English Mission in 1584. He 
worked with great success in his own county, 
and it was for harbouring Father Ingleby that 
Margaret Clitheroe underwent her cruel martyr 
dom. Once when in company with Mr. Lassie, 
a Catholic gentleman, outside the bishop s palace 
at York, the latter knelt down to receive his 
blessing. The action was observed from the 
windows by two ministers, chaplains of the 
Protestant Bishop, who could not understand 
paying such a mark of respect to one so poorly 
dressed. They therefore made inquiries, and 
had him apprehended as a priest. At the 
Council, when reproached as a gentleman of 
good birth for so far debasing himself as to 
become a priest, he replied that he made more 
account of his priesthood than of all other titles 
whatsoever. During his trial they endeavoured 
in vain to make him disclose what Catholics he 
had frequented, and they interrupted his speech 
on other matters with railings and blasphemies, 
so that he was never allowed to finish a sentence. 
He suffered, with great constancy, at York, 
June 3, 1586. 

" And the glory which Thou hast given Me 
I have given to them ; I in them and Thou in 
Me." JOHN xvii. 22, 23. 

June 4 

Bishop POOLE, of Peterborough, 1568 

FELLOW of All Souls, Dean of the Arches, 
Archdeacon of Derby and Salop, he was conse 
crated Bishop of Peterborough, August 15, 1537. 
He was a chronic invalid at the time of Eliza 
beth s accession, and begged Cecil to be excused 
attending the first Parliament on account of 
consumption and quartan ague, which, with the 
inclemency of the season and his great age, 
made it dangerous for him to travel. Old as 
he was, he could still bear his witness. He was 
commanded to consecrate Parker, a married 
priest suspected of heresy, his co-consecrators 
being two suspended, excommunicated ecclesi 
astics calling themselves bishops, relapsed here 
tics, and apostate religious. He refused to obey 
Elizabeth s behest, and, further, when the oath 
of Supremacy was tendered to him he preferred 
deposition to taking it. He was now placed 
under restraint, but at the breaking out of the 
plague in 1 564 was allowed to go to the house 
of a Catholic gentleman, Mr. Brian Fowler, in 
Staffordshire. Here, however, Bentham, the 
Protestant Bishop of Coventry, represented his 
presence as injurious to the interests of religion, 
and he appears to have died in the Fleet, May 

" Let not the discourse of the ancients escape 
thee, for of them thou shalt learn understand 
ing, and shalt give an answer in time of need." 
ECCLUS. viii. n, 12. 


June 5 

f Father JOHN GRAY, O.S.F., 1579 

EXPELLED by Henry VIII, he returned to 
England under Mary, to be again driven abroad 
by Elizabeth. He now sought shelter in the 
house of his order at Brussels, where he was 
already regarded as a Saint. The Protestants, 
however, having seized the town, attacked the 
Friary, and he was urged to fly. He was now 
seventy years of age, and during the fifty years 
that had passed since his exile had always longed 
for martyrdom. " Let us stay in God s house," 
he said ; " where can we die so happily as in the 
presence of the Blessed Sacrament, on the holy 
spot where we hope to be buried?" He spoke 
in vain ; the friars fled, and the mob entering the 
convent found Father Gray and Brother James, 
an English lay brother, alone on their knees 
before the altar of the Blessed Sacrament. The 
mob beat Brother James till he was left as dead, 
then turning to Father Gray they vilely abused 
and assaulted him. His prayers for mercy were 
met only by fresh insults, and one of them draw 
ing his sword dealt him a mortal wound on the 
head, whereupon he said sweetly, " I forgive you 
the wounds you inflict on me," and expired, 
June 5, 1579- 

" I have chosen to be an abject in the house 
of my God rather than to dwell in the taber 
nacles of sinners." Ps. Ixxxiii. u. 

June 6 


BY the penal laws that passed under James I 
Catholics were forbidden to reside within ten 
miles of London, or to go beyond five miles 
from their own homes without special leave. 
They were disabled from serving in court or 
military offices, or from practising in surgery, 
medicine, or law. They could not keep arms 
or Catholic books. Their children could not be 
christened or married save by a minister of the 
Church of England, or be buried in other than a 
Protestant cemetery, under a penalty of twenty 
pounds. Every child sent abroad, unless he 
returned and conformed, forfeited his rights of 
property, which passed to the Protestant next- 
of-kin. Such were some of the additional penal 
ties by which the Government hoped to stamp 
out the Catholic faith. Yet by the providence 
of God these penal measures helped to fill the 
ranks of the priesthood and the religious orders. 
With every liberal profession closed against 
them, the sons of the best families in England 
entered the Church and formed an exemplary 
body of priests, while the daughters, to whom 
marriage was denied, took the veil. Mr. Blun- 
dell could count eighty-seven relations in re 
ligion, and of his three sons and seven daughters 
two sons and three daughters became religious. 

" I called Thee to curse my enemies, and 
Thou on the contrary hast blessed them these 
three times." NUM. xxiv. 10. 

June 7 


TOGETHER with Mr. Thirkell were brought into 
Court a gentleman of note and his lady, arraigned 
for not going to church. On their being ques 
tioned, Mr. Thirkell, who till then appeared 
fixed in contemplation, turned to hear his reply. 
The gentleman s voice, through weakness, was 
scarcely audible. Upon which one cried out, 
"He looks at the priest;" and another, "This 
is the traitor who persuades him to all this;" 
and a third, who was on the bench and a kins 
man of the gentleman, said, " Cousin, now is 
your time before the judges bring in their 
verdict. Do not fling away your goods," adding, 
" But for this traitor of a priest, my cousin would 
be more tractable." Here Mr. Thirkell said, 
" Tis better to cast away our goods than to risk 
losing one s soul." Then to the gentleman, 
" Let your goods go ; stick you close to God, and 
with great courage confess His holy Name." 
The judges commanded his silence, but he 
replied that the constancy of these Catholics in 
maintaining so good a cause rejoiced him ex 
ceedingly, and it was his duty to encourage 
them. The gentleman and his lady were firm 
and were cast into prison, and Mr. Thirkell was 
summoned to the bar and received his death 
sentence for high treason. 

" I was an eye to the blind and a foot to the 
lame." JOB xxix. 15. 


June 8 


B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

" AMONG miracles, I durst boldly tell you for 
one. A very fair young daughter of Sir Roger 
Wentworth, twelve years old, was grievously 
possessed, her mind alienated, and raving with 
blasphemy of God and hatred of all hallowed 
things distinguishing them from the unhallowed. 
Of her own mind, and monished by the will of 
God, she went on pilgrimage to Our Lady of 
Ipswich. On the way she prophesied many 
things which proved true, and in a trance, 
though unlearned, spoke on deep things with 
marvellous wisdom. Laid before the image of 
Our Lady, the contortions of her face, eyes, 
and mouth were terrible to behold, when in the 
sight of all she was suddenly and perfectly 
cured. And in this matter no pretext of beg 
ging, no possibility of counterfeit ; her parents 
right honourable and sore abashed to see such 
chances in their children ; the witnesses great 
number, of repute and experience, the maid 
herself too young to feign, and at the end so 
virtuous and so moved with the miracle that 
she forsook the world and entered religion with 
the Minoresses, where she hath lived well and 
graciously ever since." 

" She shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie 
in wait for her heel." GEN. iii. 15. 

June 9 

BORN in Lancashire, he entered the Society of 
Jesus and laboured on the English Mission for 
thirty-five years. He was arrested for the Gates 
Plot, and sentenced at the age of seventy. On 
the scaffold he said : " The words of dying per 
sons have been esteemed as of the highest 
authority, because they are so shortly to be 
cited before the tribunal of God. This gives me 
hopes that mine may be so regarded ; therefore 
I do here declare, in the presence of Almighty 
God, the whole Court of Heaven and their 
numerous assembly, that as I hope by the 
merits and Passion of my Lord and sweet 
Saviour Jesus Christ for eternal bliss, I am as 
innocent as the child unborn of everything laid 
to my charge for which I am here to die. And 
I do utterly abhor and detest that abominable 
and false doctrine laid to our charge, that we 
can have licences to commit perjury or any sin 
to advance our cause, as expressly contrary to 
St. Paul s saying, evil may not be done that 
good may come thereof. Therefore we hold it 
unlawful to kill any person, much more our 
lawful King, whose person we are ready to 
defend with our lives. I pray God bless his 
Majesty and his royal Consort, the best of 
Queens. All who are in the Communion of the 
Roman Church pray for me." 

" Not rather, as we are slandered, and as 
some affirm that we say, Let us do evil that 
good may come of it." ROM. iii. 8 

June 10 
"POSSUMUS" (We Can) 


BORN of a gentleman s family in Essex, he was 
educated at St. Omer s, entered the Society of 
Jesus, and for thirty years laboured with great 
fruit on the English Mission. Made Provincial, 
he preached at his Visitation at Liege, on 
St. James Day, July 25, 1678 (that is, about two 
months before the Gates persecution began), 
on the Gospel of the Feast. " Potestis libere 
calicem quern ego bibiturus sum?" Can you 
drink the chalice which I am to drink ? They 
say we can." He then shewed clearly his fore 
sight of the coming storm, and great suffering 
in store for his brethren and himself. After 
saying that the times were now quiet, but that 
God only knew how long they would be so, he 
then pointedly repeated the text. " Can you 
drink the chalice? Can you undergo a hard 
persecution ? Are you contented to be falsely 
betrayed and injured and hurried away to 
prison ? Possumus (we can). Blessed be God. 
Potestis bibere ? Can you suffer the hardships 
of a jail, the straw bed, the hard diet, the chains 
and fetters ? Can you endure the rack ? Pos 
sumus (we can). Blessed be God. Can you 
patiently receive an unjust sentence of a shame 
ful death ? We can." And this last clause he 
uttered as a prayer with his eyes towards 

" Can you drink the chalice which I am to 
drink? They say to him, We can." MATT. 
xx. 22. 


June II 

GATES and Bedloe again swore to Whitebread 
having assisted at the meeting in London to kill 
the King, save that Bedloe now gave us of his 
own personal knowledge what he had before 
spoken of as hearsay, and explained that he had 
intentionally softened his witness on the previous 
occasion. Judge Wylde told him that he was a 
confirmed perjurer and ought never to enter the 
courts again, but go home and repent. On the 
other hand, Father Whitebread showed the im 
probability of his conspiring with a man whom 
he had never seen, and who had been expelled 
from St. Omer s for his irregular life. He pro 
duced fifteen students who swore that Gates was 
at St. Omer s when he swore he was at the meet 
ing in London. " If this plot existed," urged 
Father Whitebread, " in which so many persons 
of honour and quality were engaged, why are 
there no traces of its evidence, no arms bought, 
no men enlisted, no provision made for its exe 
cution ? There was no evidence for the jury but 
hard swearing." Lastly, speaking for himself 
and his companions, he contrasted the known 
innocence of their lives and the vicious im 
morality of their accusers. Nevertheless, Chief- 
Justice Scroggs directed the jury to find them 
guilty, and himself sentenced them to death. 

" O thou art grown old in evil days, now are 
thy sins come out; the judging unjust judg 
ments, oppressing the innocent and letting the 
guilty go free." DAN. xiii. 52, 53. 

June 12 


LOVE mistress is of many minds, 
Yet few know whom they serve,; 

They reckon least how little love 
Their service doth deserve. 

The will she robbeth from the wit, 
The sense from reason s lore ; 

She is delightful in the rind, 
Corrupted in the core. 

She shroudeth vice in virtue s veil, 

Pretending good in ill ; 
She offereth joy, affordeth grief, 

A. kiss, where she doth kill. 

She letteth fall some luring baits 

For fools to gather up ; 
To sweet, to sour, to every taste 

She tempereth her cup. 

Like tyrant, cruel wounds she gives ; 

Like surgeon, salves she lends ; 
But salve and sore have equal force, 

For death is both their ends. 

Plough not the seas, sow not the sands 

Leave off your idle pain ; 
Seek other mistress for your minds : 

Love s service is in vain. 


June 13 


HE was seized while at the Altar in the act of 
saying Mass and thrown into Fleet Prison, but, 
owing to the plague in London, was removed to 
the house in Cambridgeshire of Tyrrel the Fleet 
warder. B. Thomas, knowing him to be a 
Catholic at heart, rebuked him for eating meat 
in Lent, and said he would not stay in his house 
if he did so. Tyrrel laughed, but B. Thomas 
proved missing. He had gone quietly back to 
the Fleet. He never would answer when heretics 
said Grace at table, and for this he was once set 
in the stocks. He not only recited his office 
regularly, but said Mass daily in his room in the 
prison. He wrote to Burghley urging him to 
repent and submit to the Pope, and to persuade 
the Lady Elizabeth to do so likewise. In his 
interview with Burghley, Woodhouse would call 
him only Mr. Cecil, and explained that he did 
so because she who gave him titles was deposed. 
He said though he might say Mass in Cecil s 
house, Cecil must not attend unless he were re 
conciled. Simple and fearless on the scaffold, he 
called on the people and the Queen to repent 
and ask pardon of God. He suffered, London, 
June 13, 1573. 

" And his communication is with the simple." 
PROV. iii. 32. 

177 M 

June 14 

B. JOHN RIGBY, L., 1600 

THOUGH of gentle birth, he was obliged through 
poverty to take service, and at times went to 
the Protestant Church. Repenting however 
he was reconciled, and, leading an exemplary 
life, was the means of converting many others, 
amongst the rest his aged father. He was 
arrested for refusing to go to church and for 
being reconciled. In his defence he said that 
his reconciliation was lawful, for the Book of 
Common Prayer says, in the Visitation of the 
Sick, that a man burthened in his conscience 
should make his confession to a minister, and 
by this humble confession crave pardon from 
sin and reconciliation from the hands of the 
minister. Again, " I was never reconciled from 
any obedience to my Princess, for I obey her 
still, nor to any religion, for though I sometimes 
went to church, from fear of temporal punish 
ment and against my will, I was never other 
than a Catholic and needed not reconciliation. 
However, if it be treason to be reconciled to 
God by him who has the authority, God s Will 
be done. And if going to church would alone 
pardon me, I would not have your Lordship 
think that, having thus risen (as I hope) many 
steps towards Heaven, I now will let my foot 
slip, and fall into the bottomless pit of Hell." 

" Meditate not how you shall answer, for I 
will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all 
your adversaries shall not be able to resist and 
gainsay." LUKE xxi. 14, 15. 

June 15 


FATHER FENWICK on the scaffold, addressing 
the crowd, declared his innocence, and ex 
pressed the hope that Christian charity would 
not let his hearers think that by this last act of 
his life he would cast away his soul by sealing 
up his last breath with a damnable lie. Then 
he joined his companions in their private devo 
tions. At their close the five stood up Thomas 
Whitebread, William Harcourt, John Gavan, 
John Fenwick, Antony Turner with the ropes 
round their necks, when there came a horseman 
in full speed from Whitehall, crying, " A pardon ! 
a pardon ! " With difficulty he made his way 
through the crowd to the Sheriff, who was under 
the gallows to see the execution carried out. By 
the terms of the pardon the King granted them 
their lives, which by their own treason they had 
forfeited, from his own inclination to clemency, 
on condition of their acknowledging the con 
spiracy and laying open what they knew thereof. 
They all thanked His Majesty for his inclination 
of mercy towards them, but they knew of no 
conspiracy, much less were guilty of any, and 
could not therefore accept any pardon on these 
conditions. And so all five together won their 
crown, Tyburn, June 20, 1679. 

"Then Jesus said, Begone, Satan, for it is 
written, the Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and 
Him only shalt thou serve." MATT. iv. 10. 

June i 6 

Ven. JOHN SOUTHWORTH, Pr., 1654 

" I CONFESS I am a great sinner : against God 
I have offended, but I am innocent of any sin 
against man. I mean the Commonwealth and 
present Government. How justly then I die, 
let them look to who have condemned me. It 
is sufficient for me that it is God s Will ! I 
plead not for myself (I came hither to suffer), 
but for you poor persecuted Catholics whom I 
leave behind me. Heretofore liberty of con 
science was pretended as a cause of war, and it 
was held reasonable that all the nation should 
enjoy it who behaved as obedient and true 
subjects. This being so, why should their 
conscientious acting and governing themselves 
according to the faith of their ancestors involve 
them more than all the rest in universal guilt ? 
which conscientiousness is the very reason that 
clears others and renders them innocent. It 
has pleased God to take the sword out of the 
King s hand and put it in the Protector s. Let 
him remember that he is to administer in 
differently and without exception of persons. 
For there is no exception of persons with God, 
whom we ought to resemble. If Catholics 
rebel, let them suffer, but not the guiltless, 
unless conscience be their guilt." 

" I will judge thee according to thy ways, and 
I will set all thy abominations against thee." 
EZECH. vii. 3. 

1 80 

June 17 

Yen. JOHN SOUTHWORTH, Pr., 1654 
" 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 I shall supply 
with my blood, the last drop of which I would 
willingly spend for my faith. Neither my 
intent in coming to England, nor practice in 
England, was to act anything against the 
secular government. Hither was I 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 com 
mand 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 pre 
decessor St. Peter, gave power to send others 
to propagate His faith." 

"As the Father hath sent Me, 1 also send 
you." JOHN xx. 21. 


June i 8 

Ven. JOHN SOUTHWORTH, Pr. } 1654 

"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 : may I die for 
Christ s law, which no human law, by whom 
soever made, ought to withstand or contradict. 
The law of Christ commanded me to obey 
these superiors and this Church, saying who 
ever hears them hears Christ 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, and 
learnt that the sum of the only true Christian 
profession is to die. This lesson I have hereto 
fore in my life desired to learn : this lesson I 
come here to put in practice by dying, being 
taught it by our Blessed Saviour, both by pre 
cept and example. Himself said, He that 
will be My disciple, let him take up his cross 
and follow Me. Himself exemplary practised 
what He 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 up to follow my dear Saviour. 
My faith is my crime ; the performance of my 
duty the cause of my condemnation." 

" Looking on Jesus the author and finisher 
of our faith, who having joy set before Him, 
endured the cross." HEB. xii. 2. 

June 19 

f B. SEBASTIAN NEWDIGATE, Carthusian, 1535 
WARNED by his sister, Jane Dormer, Duchess 
of Feria, of the dangers of his life as a courtier, 
"What would you say," he replied, "if you next 
heard of me as. a monk?" "I should be less 
surprised," she said, " to see thee hung." She 
saw both. To Charterhouse he went, and from 
a gay courtier became a model religious. Im 
prisoned for refusing the oath of Supremacy, he 
was visited, both in the Marshalsea and the 
Tower, by Henry VIII, who endeavoured by 
promises and threats to shake the martyr s 
resolve. Sebastian replied: "In court I served 
your Majesty loyally and faithfully, and so con 
tinue still your humble servant, although kept 
in this prison and bonds. But in matters that 
belong to the doctrine of the Catholic Church 
and the salvation of my poor soul, your Majesty 
must excuse me." The King replied: "Art 
thou wiser and holier than all the ecclesiastics 
and seculars of my kingdom ? " He answered : 
" I may not judge of others, nor do I esteem 
myself wise or holy, being far short in either, 
only this, I assure myself that the faith and 
doctrine I profess is no new thing, but always 
among the faithful held for Christian and 
Catholic. We must obey God rather than 
man." He suffered at Tyburn, June 19, 1535, 
with BB. Middlemore and Exmew. 

" Put not your trust in princes : in the chil 
dren of men, in whom there is no salvation." 
Ps. cxlv. 2. 

June 20 

f B. THOMAS WHITEBREAD, S.J., 1679, on 
the Scaffold 

" I SUPPOSE it is expected that I should speak 
something to the matter I am condemned for 
and brought hither to suffer ; it is no less than 
plotting His Majesty s death and altering the 
government of the Church and State. You all 
know, or ought to know, I am to make my 
appearance before the face of Almighty God, and 
with all imaginable certainty and evidence to re 
ceive a final judgment on all the thoughts, words, 
and actions of my whole life. As then I hope for 
mercy from His Divine Majesty, I declare to 
you here present and to the whole world that I 
am innocent of the charge against me as when 
I was born. Further, I renounce from my heart 
all manner of pardons, absolutions, dispensa 
tions for swearing, which some impute to us as 
part of our doctrine and practice, but is a thing 
so unlawful that no power on earth could 
authorise me or anybody so to do. I forgive 
my accusers and pray for their repentance, 
otherwise they will find they have done to 
themselves more wrong than to me, though 
that has been much. May God ever bless His 
Majesty. I commit my soul into my Redeemer s 

" Wherefore putting away lying, speak ye the 
truth every man with his neighbour ; for we are 
members one of another." EPH. iv. 25. 

June 21 

fVen. JOHN RIGBY, L., 1600 

AT the next assizes he again refused to 
go to church, and the judge ordered his feet 
to be put in irons. A strong pair of shackles, 
which the confessor kissed and blessed with 
the sign of the cross, were then riveted on 
his legs. The next day as he stood at the 
Sessions house the irons fell off his legs on to 
the ground, at which he smiled and begged the 
keeper to rivet them on faster. The keeper did 
so with all care, but again they fell. Then he 
called again to the keeper to make them secure : 
"For I esteem them," he said, "jewels too 
precious to be lost." But the keeper s man, 
being much amazed, refused to put them on 
again, so another was ordered to do so. Then 
Mr. Rigby, remembering that a Catholic maid 
called Mercy had that morning told him that in 
the night she saw in her dream his irons fall off 
his legs, said to his keeper, " Now the maid s 
dream is found to be true." He added he hoped 
it was a token that the bands of his mortality 
would shortly be loosed, and so it proved. He 
won his crown, June 21, 1600, St. Thomas 
Waterings, London. 

" Thou hast broken my bonds : I will sacrifice 
to Thee a sacrifice of praise." Ps. cxv. 16. 

June 22 

f B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B., 1535 

WHEN he was come to the foot of the scaffold, 
they that carried him offered to help him up the 
stairs, but said he : " Nay, masters, seeing I am 
come so far let me alone, and ye shall see me 
shift for myself well enough," and he mounted 
without any help, so lively that they that knew 
his weakness marvelled. As he was ascending, 
the south-east sun shined very bright in his face, 
whereupon he said to himself these words, lift 
ing up his hands : " Come ye to Him and be 
enlightened, and your faces shall not be con 
founded." On the executioner kneeling for his 
forgiveness, as the custom was, he replied, 
" With all my heart, and I trust thou shalt see 
me overcome this storm lustily." Then was 
his gown and tippet taken from him, and he 
stood in his doublet and hose, in the sight of 
all the people, and showed a long, lean, and 
slender body, nothing but skin and bone, a 
mere death s-head ; and therefore monstrous 
was it thought that the King should put such 
a man to death. Though so weak, in a loud 
clear voice he asked prayers of Christian people 
that he might die steadfast in the Catholic faith, 
and himself prayed for the King, then after some 
secret prayers his head was severed, June 22. 

" In his heart he hath disposed to ascend by 
steps in the vale of tears." Ps. Ixxxiii. 6. 

June 23 

B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B., 1535 

TAKING a little New Testament in his hand, he 
made a cross on his forehead and went out of 
his prison with the lieutenant, being so weak 
that he was scant able to go down the stairs ; 
wherefore he was carried on a chair to the 
Tower Gate, with a great number of weapons 
about him, to be delivered to the Sheriffs for 
execution. While waiting for the Sheriffs he 
rose out of his chair, and, standing on his feet, 
leaned his shoulder to the wall, and, lifting his 
eyes up towards heaven, he opened his little 
book in his hand and said : " O Lord, this is 
the last time that ever I shall open this book. 
Let some comfortable place now chance unto 
me whereby I, Thy poor servant, may glorify 
Thee in this my last hour" ; and with that, 
looking into the book, the first thing that came 
to his sight were these words : " This is ever 
lasting life, that they may know Thee, the only 
true. God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast 
sent. I have glorified Thee upon earth, I have 
finished the work that Thou gavest me to do." 
And with that he shut the book together, and 
said, " Here is even learning enough for me to 
my life s end." 

"Thy knowledge is become wonderful to 
me." PS. cxxxviii. 6. 


June 24 

B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B., 1535 

AFTER he was waked he called his man to help 
him up. But first of all he commanded him to 
take away the shirt of hair (which accustomably 
he wore on his back), and to convey it privily 
out of the house, and instead thereof to lay him 
forth a clean white shirt and all the best apparel 
he had, as cleanly brushed as might be. And 
as he was arraying himself his man demanded 
why he was specially careful of his apparel that 
day, when he must put off all again in two hours 
and lose it. "What of that?" said he ; "dost 
thou not mark that this is our wedding-day, 
and that it behoveth us, therefore, to use more 
cleanliness for solemnity of the marriage ? " 
About nine of the clock the lieutenant came. 
Thus said he to his man, " Reach me my furred 
tippet to put about my neck." " Oh, my lord," 
quoth the lieutenant, " why be so careful for 
your health with not above one hour to live." 
" I think no otherwise," said this blessed Father ; 
"but yet, in the meantime, I will keep myself as 
well as I can till the very time of my execution, 
by such means as God provides." 

" But thou hast a few names in Sardis which 
have not denied their garments ; and they 
shall walk with me in white, because they are 
worthy." APOC. iii. 4. 


June 25 

B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B., 1535 

THE Lieutenant of the Tower came at 5 A.M., 
and woke the Bishop from his sleep to signify to 
him that the King s pleasure was that he should 
suffer death that forenoon. " Well," quoth this 
blessed Father, "if this be your errand, you 
bring me no great news, for I have long time 
looked for this message. And I most humbly 
thank the King s Majesty that it pleaseth him 
to rid me from all this worldly business, and I 
thank you also for your tidings. But, I pray 
you, Mr. Lieutenant, when is mine hour that I 
must go hence?" "Your hour," said the lieu 
tenant, " must be nine of the clock." " And what 
hour is it now?" said he. "It is now about, 
five," said the lieutenant. " Well, then," said he, 
" let me, by your patience, sleep an hour or two, 
for I have slept very little this night, not for any 
fear of death, I thank God, but by reason of my 
great weakness." " The King s further pleasure 
is," said the lieutenant, " that you say nothing to 
belittle him before the people." " Good," replied 
the Bishop, and so falling again to rest he slept 
soundly two hours and more. 

"Thou shalt rest, and thy sleep shall be 
sweet." PROV. iii. 24. 


June 26 

B. JOHN FISHER, Card. B., 1535 

THE day after his burial, the head being some 
what parboiled in hot water was pricked upon 
a pole and set on high upon London Bridge, 
among the rest of the holy Carthusians heads 
that suffered death before him. This head, 
after it had stood up the space of fourteen days 
upon the Bridge, could not be perceived to 
waste or consume, neither for the weather, 
which was then very hot, neither for the par 
boiling in hot water, but grew daily fresher and 
fresher, so that in his lifetime he never looked 
so well. For his cheek being beautified by a 
comely red, the face looked as if it had be 
holden the people passing by, and would have 
spoke to them, which many took for a miracle. 
. . . Whereupon the people coming daily to see 
this strange sight, the passage over the Bridge 
was so stopped with their going and coming 
that almost neither cart nor horse could pass ; 
and therefore at the end of fourteen days the 
executioner was commanded to throw down 
the head in the night-time into the river Thames, 
and in the place thereof was set the head of the 
most blessed and constant martyr, Sir Thomas 
More, who suffered his passion on the 6th day 
of July next following. 

"No word could overcome him, and after 
death his body prophesied." ECCLUS. xlviii. 14. 

June 27 


ON May 29, 1537, the ten remaining Car 
thusians who remained firm were sent to New 
gate and chained, standing with their hands 
tied behind them to posts of the prison, and so 
left to perish. Their life was prolonged for a 
short time by a holy woman, Margaret Clement. 
As Margaret Giggs, she had been brought up 
by B. Thomas More with his daughter Mar 
garet, and had married John Clement, a doctor, 
who formerly acted as tutor in the family. By 
bribes and entreaties, she prevailed on the 
gaoler to let her visit the prison, and, disguised 
as a milkmaid with a pail upon her head full of 
meat, she put food into the prisoners mouths, 
they being tied and not able to stir and help 
themselves, and afterwards cleaned out their 
filthy prison. The King, on learning that they 
were not yet dead, ordered a stricter watch 
to be kept, but Margaret contrived to let them 
down food from the roof by uncovering the 
tiles. They could feed themselves but little, 
and Margaret s visits being forbidden, the 
martyrs languished and pined away one after 
another, what with the stink, want of food, and 
other miseries which they there endured. On 
her death-bed Margaret was rewarded by a 
vision of the martyrs calling her to join them. 

" I was hungry and you gave me to eat." 
MATT. xxv. 35. 


June 28 

f Ven. JOHN SOUTHWORTH, Pr., 1654 

BORN of an ancient Lancashire family, he re 
turned from Douay to his own county in 1619, 
and after eight years of successful missionary 
labours was arrested and condemned at Lan 
caster. He was, however, reprieved, sent to 
London, and his sentence commuted to banish 
ment by petition of the Queen. He contrived, 
however, to work on in London, and with 
such success that the sub-curate of St. Mar 
garet s, Westminster, petitioned the Archbishop 
of Canterbury against him as a " dangerous 
seducer, visiting the plague-stricken, the sick, 
and the dying, by distributing alms, feeing the 
watchmen, making many perverts." " Divers 
of these," he says, "frequent the Mass at 
Denmark House, and three of them watched 
all night with William Stiles till he died, and 
then went to Mass. A most wicked proceeding if 
it should not be remedied." On this he was 
apprehended, but the judges were loath to 
sentence him, being an old man of seventy-two 
years, and urged him to plead not guilty. He 
refused, for to him the denial of his priesthood 
would be the denial of his faith. The recorder 
who pronounced his sentence was so flooded 
with tears that he could scarcely speak. Father 
South worth was taken to Tyburn, June 28, 1654, 
with five coiners, and gave his soul to God, for 
whom he died. 

" He stirreth up the people, teaching through 
all Judea." LUKE xxiii. 5. 

June 29 


IT is a small relief 

To say I was thy child, 
If, as an ill-deserving foe, 

From grace I am exiled. 

I was, I had, I could 
All words importing want ; 

They are but dust of dead supplies, 
Where needful helps are scant. 

Once to have been in bliss 

That hardly can return, 
Doth but bewray from whence I fell, 

And wherefore now I mourn. 

All thoughts of passed hopes 
Increase my present cross ; 

Like ruins of decayed joys, 
They still upbraid my loss. 

mild and mighty Lord ! 
Amend that is amiss ; 

My sin, my sore, Thy love my salve, 
Thy cure my comfort is. 

Confirm Thy former deed, 
Reform that is defiled ; 

1 was, I am, I will remain 

Thy charge, Thy choice, Thy child. 
193 N 

June 30 

f Yen. PHILIP POWEL, O.S.B., 1646 

To the judge s question on which day he would 
die, he answered pleasantly, " It is not an easy 
question or soon compassed to be provided to 
die well. We have all much to answer for, and 
myself not the least share; therefore, my Lord, 
consider what time your Lordship would allot to 
yourself, and appoint that to me." The proffer 
being twice repeated, he answered he could by 
no means be an allotter of his own death, so the 
judge promised he should have sufficient notice. 
In the prison his courtesy and cheerfulness so 
won the hearts of his fellow-prisoners that 
twenty-nine gentlemen, all Protestants, save six 
whom he converted, drew up a certificate of his 
innocent and virtuous behaviour. His cheerful 
ness increased day by day as he drew nearer 
Heaven. When the officer brought the date fixed 
for his death he joyfully said, " Welcome what 
ever comes, God s Name be praised." On the 
scaffold he said, "You are come to see a sad 
spectacle, but to me it is not. It is the happiest 
day and greatest joy that ever befell me, for I 
am condemned to die as a Catholic priest and 
a Benedictine monk, a dignity and honour for 
which I give God thanks." He suffered June 
30, 1646. 

"Who is the man that desireth life: who 
loveth to see good days?" Ps. xxxiii. 13. 

July i 

f Archbishop OLIVER PLUNKET, 1681 

OF a noble Irish family, he went to Rome, lived 
for many years with the priests of San Girolamo 
della Caritk, and was appointed by Clement IX 
to the see of Armagh. There he found himself 
obliged to pass censures on certain scandalous 
livers in his flock, among them priests and re 
ligious. In revenge they took advantage of the 
Oates Plot to denounce the Archbishop as con 
spiring to raise 70,000 Irish, with the help of 
French troops, to destroy the Protestant religion. 
In his defence he said he lived in a little thatched 
house with one servant on 60 a year and never 
had thought of such a design. Still with the 
direct evidence against him he was condemned. 
In Newgate his life was one of continual prayer ; 
he fasted usually three or four days a week on 
bread only. His favourite devotion was sen 
tences from Holy Scripture, the Divine Officeand 
the Missal, and he dwelt on these under the Holy 
Spirit s guidance. Outwardly there appeared 
no sign of anguish or fear, but a sweet and holy 
recollection, a gentle courtesy, an unfailing 
cheerfulness, devoting his fitness for the sacrifice 
and ripeness for Heaven. His very presence 
kindled in men s hearts a desire to suffer for 

"The fruits of the Spirit are charity, joy, 
peace." GAL. v. 22. 


July 2 

f Ven. MONFORD SCOTT, Pr., 1591 

BORN in Norfolk, he arrived on the English 
Mission from Douay 1577. "He was a man," 
we are told, "of wonderful meekness and of 
so great abstinence that his diet on common 
days was bread and water, and but little more 
on Sundays and holidays. So addicted also 
was he to prayer that he often spent whole days 
and nights in this exercise, insomuch that his 
knees were grown hard by the assiduity of his 
devotions, as it is related of St. James. One of 
the bystanders perceiving this when the martyr s 
body was being quartered said aloud, I should 
be glad to see any one of our ministers with 
their knees as much hardened by constant 
prayer as we see this man s knees are. And 
so great and so general was the veneration 
this holy priest had acquired that Topcliffe, the 
noted persecutor, loudly boasted that the Queen 
and kingdom were highly obliged to him for 
having brought to the gallows a priest so devout 
and mortified." Father Scott was prosecuted 
and condemned solely on account of his priestly 
character. He suffered with wonderful con 
stancy, and no less modesty and spiritual joy, 
to the great edification of the spectators, and the 
admiration even of the greatest enemies of his 
faith and profession, Tyburn, July 2, 1591. 

" By all prayer and supplication praying at all 
times in the Spirit." EPH. vi. 18. 

July 3 

Ven. THOMAS MAXFIELD, Pr., 1616 
OF an ancient Staffordshire family, he arrived in 
England from Douay in 1615, and was arrested 
in London when making" his thanksgiving after 
Mass. On attempting his escape from the Gate 
house, Westminster, he was recaptured, thrust 
into a subterranean dungeon, and put in stocks, 
so that he could neither stand nor lie down, 
while helplessly attacked by swarms of venomous 
insects. On the fourth day he was dragged out 
more dead than alive and forced to walk to 
Newgate, where he was confined with the 
common felons, two of whom he converted. 
On the eve of his martyrdom his saintly bearing 
and fortitude filled with joy and veneration his 
Catholic visitors, and the Blessed Sacrament 
was exposed day and night in the Spanish 
Ambassador s chapel on his behalf. On July i, 
the day of his execution, to draw away the 
crowd, a woman was burnt at Smithfield, but 
to no purpose. A multitude on horse and foot 
accompanied the martyr through the crowded 
streets, the Catholics, Spaniards and English, 
openly showing their reverence, with bare heads 
begging his blessing. Tyburn gallows was 
found to be beautifully decorated with garlands 
and wreaths, and the ground covered with sweet- 
smelling herbs and greens, and amidst these 
emblems of his triumph the martyr won his 
crown, July I, 1616. 

" As a tree planted by the running water bring 
ing forth its fruit in due season." Ps. i. 3. 

July 4 


f Ven. JOHN CORNELIUS, S.J., 1594 

HE said Mass every day at five o clock in the 
morning, and never without tears. At the read 
ing of the Passion in Holy Week again he wept 
exceedingly. He was sometimes in an ecstasy 
when praying, and was found once on his knees, 
his hands crossed on his breast, and his eyes 
raised to Heaven, so absorbed in God that it 
was doubtful whether he was alive or dead. 
He always wore a rough hair-shirt, used frequent 
disciplines, and for many years fasted four days 
a week. He gave to the poor all that came to 
his hands, committing the care of himself to 
God s providence. He preached twice a week, 
gave catechetical instructions for almost an 
hour, and read some pious lessons for about 
half-an-hour in the evening to those aspiring to 
perfection. The mortification of his senses and 
his recollection in God were so great that for 
three whole years that he lodged in a room, 
the windows of which looked upon the Parish 
Church, he had never observed it, nor did he 
know whether the house in which he lived was 
leaded or tiled. Upon several occasions his 
face was illuminated with a heavenly light. He 
suffered at Dorchester, July 4, 1594. 

" But thou, O man of God . . . pursue 
justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mild 
ness."! TIM. vi. 11. 


July 5 


f Ven. GEORGE NICOLS, Pr., 1589 

BORN at Oxford, he was ordained at Rheims, 
and sent on the Mission, 1583. Oxford was the 
chief scene of his labours, and they bore fruit 
in abundance. Amongst the souls he won to 
God was that of a noted highwayman under 
sentence of death in Oxford Castle. Through 
the conversation of his Catholic fellow-prisoners 
he became thoroughly contrite, and longed to 
be able to make his confession. On the very 
morning of his execution Father Nicols came 
to the jail with a crowd of other persons, and, 
passing for a kinsman and acquaintance of the 
prisoner, after mutual salutations took him 
aside, heard his confession, for which he had 
carefully prepared the night before, and gave 
him Absolution. The prisoner, now wonder 
fully comforted, declared himself a Catholic, 
was deaf to all the persuasions of the minister 
to return to Protestantism, and suffered joy 
fully professing the faith. Father Nicols and 
Father Yaxley, his companion, were sent up to 
London with legs tied under the horses bellies, 
being insulted all along the route. An Oxford 
undergraduate, who from compassion attended 
them on their journey, was confined for some 
time in Bedlam as insane. The priests were 
sent back to Oxford, and executed July i, 1589. 

" So the last shall be first and the first last, 
for many are called but few chosen." MATT. 
xx. 1 6. 


July 6 

t B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

BEING now brought to the scaffold, it seemed 
to him so weak that he said merrily to Mr. 
Lieutenant, " I pray you, sir, see me safe up, 
and for my coming down let me shift for my 
self." Forbidden to speak to the crowd around, 
he desired all the people to pray for him, and 
to bear witness with him that he there died 
in and for the faith of the Holy Catholic Church, 
a faithful servant both of God and the King. 
After saying the Miserere on his knees, he 
kissed the executioner and asked his forgive 
ness, saying, "Thou wilt do me this day a 
greater benefit than ever any mortal man can 
be able to give me. Pluck up thy spirit, man, 
and be not afraid to do thy office. My neck is 
very short ; take heed therefore that thou strike 
not awry for saving thy honesty." Then cover 
ing his eyes and laying his head upon the 
block, he removed aside his beard, saying that 
that had never committed any treason. So 
with great alacrity and spiritual joy he received 
the fatal blow. And then he found those words 
true which he had often spoken, that a man 
may lose his head and have no harm ; yea, I 
say, unspeakable good and everlasting happi 

"He that shall lose his life for Me shall find 
it." MATT. x. 39. 


July 7 


PANIONS, 1591 

FATHER DICCONSON was born in Lincoln, and 
though apparently as a youth he attended the 
Protestant Church, he must have been early 
reconciled, for he returned from Rheims as a 
priest to England in 1583. After being im 
prisoned and exiled, he was finally arrested at 
Winchester, and executed July J, 1591. The 
devotion with which he inspired his flock was 
seen in the case of Ralph Milner, his fellow- 
martyr, and in that of the seven maiden gentle 
women who were condemned with him. The 
judge, thinking they would be sufficiently terri 
fied by the sentence of death, gave them a 
reprieve and ordered them back to prison. At 
this they all burst into tears, and begged that 
the sentence of death pronounced against them 
might be carried out, and that they might die 
with their ghostly father. They were accom 
plices in his supposed guilt, and should there 
fore share his punishment, adding that they 
trusted to God, who, having enabled them to 
profess their faith, would strengthen them to 
die for the same cause. The judge, indignant 
at this demonstration, told Father Dicconson 
that their blood should be exacted at his hands. 
" Yes, my lord, so Pilate turned his fault on the 
Jews. May our blood not be exacted from you." 
The maidens remained martyrs in will. 

" Thy Name is as oil poured out, therefore 
young maidens have loved Thee." CANT. i. 2. 

July 8 



RICHARD LE FORT, for having saved the Con 
queror s life at the Battle of Hastings by the 
shelter of his strong shield, " Fort Escu," is 
regarded as the founder of the Fortescue house, 
whose motto is " Forte scutum salus Ducum" 
" A strong shield the safety of leaders." Adrian, 
born about 1476, in 1499 married Anne Stonor, 
heiress of Stonor Park. He served in the 
French campaign of 1513 with Henry VIII, 
then a youth, when the French were routed at 
the Battle of the Spurs, and became attached 
to Henry s Court. He served again in France 
in 1523, and in 1533 assisted at the Coronation 
of Anne Boleyn, his first cousin, for the Pope 
had not yet declared Catherine s marriage valid. 
But the oath of Supremacy in 1535 opened his 
eyes to Henry s pretensions. Though a soldier 
and a courtier, he had always been true to his 
faith. In 1533 he had been admitted a Knight 
of St. John of Jerusalem, and in 1534 became 
a Dominican Tertiary. He unhesitatingly re 
fused the oath, was arrested, attaindered, and 
beheaded on Tower Hill, July 8, 1539, and the 
Knights of his Order have always revered him 
as a martyr, and his picture is in the Church of 
St. John, Valetta, with the martyr s palm. 

" His truth shall compass thee as a shield : 
thou shalt not fear the terror of the night." 
Ps. xc. 5. 


July 9 


Ven. RALPH MILNER, L., 1591 

THOUGH born before the changes in religion, 
he was not constant to his faith from the first, 
but submitted, like the rest of his neighbours, 
to the different alterations in belief that were 
imposed by law. The contrast, however, be 
tween the self-indulgence of Protestants, especi 
ally that of the recently-intruded ministers and 
the more devoted lives of Catholics, affected 
him deeply. He therefore applied to a priest 
for instruction, and on the very day of his 
reconciliation was arrested and thrown into 
prison. Winning his gaoler s confidence, he 
was often allowed to leave prison on parole, 
and all the time thus given, though he was a 
very illiterate man, he spent in looking up 
lapsed Catholics and persuading them to be 
reconciled, and when they were sufficiently 
prepared he would conduct the priests to them 
to complete his good work. His thirst for souls 
never slackened, and when the priest of those 
parts was worn out and had to be replaced, 
Ralph undertook to supply his successor with 
ill necessaries, though he was himself very 
Door. Being asked if he would have Father 
Roger Dicconson for his priest, " With all my 
-icart," answered Ralph ; " I would be glad to 
ive and die with that good man above all 
Dthers." And this afterwards took place. 

" Andrew findeth his brother Simon . . . and 
le brought him to Jesus." JOHN i. 41, 42. 

July 10 

B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

"THAT which happened about Sir Thomas 
winding-sheet was reported as a miracle by 
my Aunt Roper, Mrs. Clement, and Dorothy 
Colley, Mr. Harris, his wife. Thus it was : 
his daughter Margaret having distributed all 
her money to the poor, for her father s soul, 
when she came to bury his body at the Tower 
she had forgotten to bring a sheet ; and there 
was not a penny of money left amongst them 
all : wherefore Mrs. Harris, her maid, went to 
the next draper s shop, and agreeing upon the 
price, made as though she would look for some 
money in her purse, and then try whether they 
would trust her or no ; and she found in her 
purse the same sum for which they had agreed 
upon, not one penny over or under, though she 
knew before certainly that she had not one coin 
about her. This the same Dorothy affirmed 
constantly to Dr. Stapleton when they both 
lived at Douay in Flanders in Queen Eliza 
beth s reign. His shirt, wherein he suffered, all 
embrued with his blood, was kept very care 
fully by Dr. Clement s wife, also living beyond 
the seas, as also his shirt of hair." 

" And Joseph, buying fine linen, and taking 
Him, wrapped Him in the fine linen, and laid 
Him in a sepulchre." MARK xv. 46. 

July ii 

Ven. RALPH MILNER, L., 1591 

HE was hanged at the Bar, Southampton, for 
being in the company of Mr. Dicconson, whom 
he had served with zeal and piety, as has already 
been related (July 7), such being by the present 
statute felony. He refused to go to Church, 
because, he said, being born in the reign of 
Henry VIII, he would live and die in that faith 
in which he was christened. At the gallows 
again, his pardon being offered him if he would 
go to Church, he answered, "No, no, I will 
hang," and so reached his hand to the ladder 
and went up. A Justice of the Peace told him 
that he should have care of his wife and chil 
dren, but he answered that he hoped to do them 
as much good where he went as if he were with 
them. Having the halter about his neck, his 
son asked his blessing, which he gave him in 
this following manner : " I pray God send thee 
no worse end than thy father," and so he was 
cast off the ladder. Before, a Justice said to 
this man, " Thou art worse than any Seminary 
priest ; " and he answered, " You say truly, for I 
shall never be so good as they." He suffered 
July 7, 1591. 

" He that loveth father or mother more than 
Me is not worthy of Me." MATT. x. 37. 


July 12 

+ Ven. JOHN BUCKLEY, O.S.F., 1598 

THE prison of the Marshalsea was the first field 
of his priestly labours. In confinement there 
were many so-called Protestants, who, if not 
apostates, were at least the children of Catholics, 
and in their affections more easily reconciled. 
There were also Catholics of all ranks and 
classes, separated from their families, some per 
haps racked and tortured, all suffering scarcely 
less from the filth and foul air of the dungeons. 
The rich were drained by exorbitant charges, 
the poor subjected to unauthorised barbarities 
by mercenary gaolers. Among these Father 
Buckley found ample work, consoling the de 
jected, upholding the weak, raising the fallen. 
From the Marshalsea he was transferred to 
Wisbeach, and after three years confinement 
there, whether banished or by making his escape, 
he went to Rome. There he was enrolled as a 
Franciscan ; but in 1593, after three years apos 
tolic work in England, he was again put in 
prison, where, as before, he did incalculable 
good, and was made Provincial of his Order. 
In 1598 he was arraigned and condemned for 
having, as a priest, returned to England against 
the Statute. He suffered at St. Thomas 
Waterings, Southwark, July 12, 1598. 

" For I long to see you ... to strengthen 
you ; that is to say, that I may be comforted to 
gether in you, by that which is common to us 
both, your faith and mine." ROM. i. n, 12. 

July 13 


f Ven. THOMAS TUNSTAL, Pr., 1616 

OF an old Lancashire family he returned from 
Douay to the English Mission in 1610, and soon 
falling into the hands of the persecutors, spent 
four or five years in different prisons, the last 
of which was Wisbeach. From this prison he 
made his escape by letting himself down by a 
rope, and took shelter in a friend s house near 
Lynn, Norfolk. His hands being much galled 
and wounded by the friction of the rope, and 
having no proper remedies, he applied to a 
charitable lady, Lady 1 Estrange, who was skilled 
in surgery and did much service to the poor. 
She received him kindly, dressed his wounds, 
and promised him her best assistance. She 
could not, however, forbear describing to her 
husband (a Justice of the Peace), Sir Hammond 
1 Estrange, her new strange patient. The Jus 
tice immediately cried out that he was the 
priest escaped from Wisbeach, and must be 
seized. The lady on her knees begged her hus 
band to forget what she had said, adding that 
she would be unhappy all her life if the priest 
suffered through her. He, however, was appre 
hended, and, in spite of her repeated entreaties, 
was condemned and executed at Norwich, 
thanking Sir Hammond for being chiefly instru 
mental in bringing him to his end. 

"And as he was sitting in the place of judgment 
his wife sent to him saying : Have thou nothing 
to do with that just man." MATT, xxvii. 19. 


July 14 


IN spite of the penal statute forbidding Catholics 
to follow the law, he had risen to eminence in 
that profession, while at the same time he was 
known as a zealous Catholic. For this reason 
he was impeached by Gates as a ringleader in 
his pretended plot. He defended himself with 
great ability, proved an alibi against Gates 
statement as to where he lodged for the plot, 
but all in vain ; he was condemned, and drawn 
to Tyburn, July 14, 1679. I n his printed speech 
he declares his allegiance to the King, his 
innocency of the plot, and the sinfulness of 
treason. He then continued : " I take it to be 
clear that my religion alone is the cause for 
which I am accused and condemned. I have 
had not only a pardon, but also great advan 
tages as to preferments and estates offered me 
in case I would forsake my religion, own myself 
guilty, and charge others with the same crime. 
By God s grace, I have chosen rather this death 
than charge others against the truth." Great 
as an exponent of human law, he was greater 
still in sealing with his blood his adhesion to 
the eternal law of God. With the words " Into 
Thy hands I commend my spirit," he went to 
his reward. 

"Thy justice is justice for ever, and Thy law 
is the truth." Ps. cxviii. 142. 

July 15 


B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

His keenest trial arose from the endeavour of 
his beloved daughter to persuade him to take 
the oath, as she had done herself. She urged 
that he was more to the King than any man in 
England, and therefore ought to obey him in 
what was not evidently repugnant to God s law. 
That in favour of the oath were all the learned 
men of England, and nearly all the bishops 
and doctors, save Fisher. More answered that 
he condemned no one for taking the oath, " for 
some may do it upon temporal hopes, or fear of 
great losses, for which I will never think any 
have taken it ; for I imagine that nobody is so 
frail and fearful as myself. Some may hope 
that God will not impute it unto them for a sin, 
because they do it by constraint. Some may 
hope to do penance presently after, and others 
are of opinion that God is not offended with our 
mouth, so our heart be pure ; but as for my part 
I dare not jeopardy myself upon these vain 
hopes." As to the numbers against him, he 
had on his side many more in other parts of 
Christendom, and all the doctors of the Church. 

" He that is not with Me is against Me : and 
he that gathereth not with Me scattereth." 
MATT. xii. 30. 

209 o 

July 1 6 

f Ven. JOHN SUGAR, Pr., 1604 
OF a good Staffordshire family, and Merton 
College, Oxford, though he refused the oath of 
Supremacy, he officiated as a minister at Cank, 
in his own county, and preached against the 
Pope and the Catholic faith. At length his 
eyes were opened to the truth ; he forsook all 
worldly hopes, was reconciled, ordained, and 
sent on the English Mission, 1601. His special 
work was among the poorer Catholics in the 
Midland counties, travelling on foot from place 
to place, ministering to their needs. Appre 
hended and sentenced at Warwick, at the 
gallows he replied to the minister that his faith 
was that of his mother, the Catholic Church, 
and asked him in return who converted Eng 
land? The minister was unable to reply. "Sugar 
said : " The successor of St. Peter, Pope Eleu- 
therius, who sent Damianus and Fugatius, two 
learned and godly men, by whom Lucius, King 
of Britain, and his subjects received the true 
faith ; but this new religion," he said, " crept into 
this country in the time of Henry VIII." As 
the rope was put round his neck he blessed it, 
saying, " My true birth in this world began 
with the sign of the cross, and with that sign 
I leave it again." He suffered at Warwick, 
July 1 6. 

" You are fellow-citizens with the saints . . . 
built upon the foundation of the apostles and 
prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief 
corner-stone." EPH. ii. 19, 20. 


July 17 


HE was apprehended by his cousin, Clement 
Grissold, for being in company with a priest, 
V. Sugar, and refused to escape, both for his 
love of the martyr and his own zeal to suffer. 
At the Assizes at Warwick he was repeatedly 
offered his liberty if he would promise to go to 
church, but each time absolutely refused. On 
the morning of his execution he spent one hour 
in prayer, and begged all the Catholics to say 
a Pater and Ave in honour of God and St. 
Catherine, his patroness, Virgin, and Martyr, 
for fortitude in his passion. To a Catholic 
woman in tears, he said, "This is no place for 
weeping, for you must come into the Bride 
groom s chamber, not with tears, but with 
rejoicing." As he walked to the gallows he 
was bid not to follow V. Sugar, who was being 
drawn through the mud j but he said, " I have 
not thus far followed him to leave him for a little 
mire." Although so timorous by nature that he 
would swoon at the sight of blood, he gazed 
unmoved at the quartering of V. Sugar s body, 
and, taking the halter with which he was to be 
hung, dipped it in V. Sugar s blood, and gave 
God thanks that he was to die with him. He 
suffered at Warwick, July 16. 

" For I am ready not only to be bound, but to 
die also in Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord 
Jesus." ACTS xxi. 13. 


July 1 8 

Ven. WILLIAM DAVIES, Pr., 1593 

BORN of an old family in Carnarvonshire, he 
studied at Rheims, was ordained, and sent en 
the English Mission in 1585. He laboured in 
his own county, and brought many lost sheep 
back to the fold. On March 20, 1592, while 
endeavouring to procure a passage for four young 
men to Ireland, who were going to Valladolid to 
study for the priesthood, he and his companions 
were arrested and hurried off to Beaumaris. 
Having confessed himself a priest, he was separ 
ated from his companions and cast into a fetid 
dungeon, but after a month he was allowed more 
liberty, and was constantly consulted by the 
Catholics for miles round. At the assizes he 
was condemned to death, and his companions 
found guilty of felony. After being removed to 
various prisons he was brought to Beaumaris, 
and the day of his execution fixed. He was, 
however, so beloved that no one could be found 
to act as hangman or to supply the materials 
required ; at length, by the hands of strangers, 
he suffered, July 27, 1593. The youngest of his 
four companions was entrusted to a schoolmaster 
to be whipped into conformity with the estab 
lished religion. The boy, however, was whipped 
in vain, and at length escaped to Ireland, when, 
with a schoolfellow he had converted, he found 
his way to Valladolid. 

"He walked in the steps of his father." 
2 PARAL. xxxiv. 2. 


July 19 

t Ven. ANTHONY BROOKBY, O.S.F., 1537 

AMONG the 200 Observants cast into prison by 
Henry VIII was Father Brookby, Professor of 
Divinity in Magdalen College, Oxford. He was 
very learned in Greek and Hebrew, and was 
distinguished as an eloquent preacher. One 
day as he was preaching in the Church of St. 
Laurence in London, he inveighed strongly 
against the King s late proceedings. He was 
consequently taken up by His Majesty s express 
commands, and was thrown into a loathsome 
dungeon. Here he was placed on the rack in 
order to induce him to retract his words. But 
he bore all the tortures with wonderful courage 
and constancy, and, far from yielding a single 
point, he only expressed an ardent desire to 
suffer yet more cruel torments for the love of 
God. So unusually barbarous was his racking 
that every joint in his body was dislocated, and 
he could not move or even raise his hand to 
his mouth. For twenty-five days a devout old 
woman charitably waited on him and fed him. 
At the end of that time an executioner came to 
him, by the King s command, and as he lay in 
bed strangled him with the rope which he wore 
as a girdle. He suffered, July 19, 1537. 

" And the bones that have been humbled shall 
rejoice." Ps. 1. 10. 


July 20 

"DEAR COUNTRYMEN, I am here to be exe 
cuted, neither for theft, murder, nor for anything 
against the law of God, nor any fact or doctrine 
inconsistent with monarchy or civil government. 
I suppose several now present heard my trial at 
last assizes and can testify that nothing was laid 
to my charge but priesthood ; and I am sure you 
will find that priesthood is neither against the 
law of God, nor civil government, for no priest, 
no religion, St. Paul tells us (Heb. vii. and 
xii.). The priesthood then being changed, re 
ligion is changed, and consequently, the priest 
hood being abolished, the law and religion are 
quite gone. Nor let it be said that the law of 
this land makes priests deriving their authority 
from Rome traitors, for if that be so what be 
comes of all the clergymen of the Church of 
England ? The first Protestant bishops had 
their ordination from those of Rome or none 
at all. As the first Christians suffered as traitors 
by the national laws, so do the priests of the 
Roman Church here now ; but neither in Chris 
tianity nor in the Roman Catholic faith is there 
any point inconsistent with civil loyalty. I 
have been a faithful subject, but a grievous 
sinner against God, and I pray for His mercy." 

"And the others were made many priests, 
because by reason of death they were not suf 
fered to continue : but this, for that He continueth 
for ever, hath an everlasting priesthood." HEB. 
vii. 23, 24. 


July 21 


PANIONS, 1592 

IN his second imprisonment at Beaumaris, he 
was allowed considerable liberty, as the gaolers 
knew he would not attempt to escape, and were 
won by the courage and patience he had already 
displayed. Thus favoured, he formed with his 
young companions a kind of religious com 
munity observing the following rule of life : 
They all rose at 4 A.M. for one hour s medita 
tion, followed by daily Mass, and the " O Sacrum 
Convivium" being sung together. Then came 
reading, study, and prayer, and after their meals 
half-an-hour of the Imitation of Christ, fol 
lowed by instructions from Ven. Davies on the 
matter read, or on the lives of saints or Catholic 
devotions. In the afternoon they recited to 
gether the Litanies of the Blessed Virgin, re 
sumed their studies and said the rosary. Each 
evening Ven. Davies treated with those who 
visited him on the concerns of their souls. At 
night they recited together the Litanies of the 
Saints, made their examination of conscience, 
and so went to rest. Twice in the week they 
confessed, and they communicated on all Sun 
days and holidays, and thus they spent the last 
six months before Father Davies martyrdom, 

" And they walked in the midst of the flame 
praising God and blessing the Lord." DAN. 
iii: 24. 


July 22 

f Ven. PHILIP EVANS, S.J., 1679 

BORN in Monmouthshire, educated at St. 
Omer s, he entered the Society, and laboured for 
four years with great fruit on the English Mis 
sion. On the breaking out of the Gates Plot per 
secution, he was urged to fly, but chose rather 
to risk his life amidst his flock. Apprehended, 
he was condemned at Cardiff with Mr. John 
Lloyd, a secular priest, who was his companion 
to the end. The execution was so long deferred 
that it was thought they would not suffer, and 
they were allowed considerable liberty. One 
day when Father Evans was out of doors en 
gaged in some recreation, the gaoler brought 
him the news that he was to be executed on the 
morrow, and must return to prison. " Why so 
much haste?" said Father Evans; "let me 
finish my game first." And so he did, and then 
returned to prison, and felt he could scarce 
contain himself for joy, and taking his harp, 
for he was a musician, he made it tell his soul s 
happiness. His irons were so firmly riveted 
that their removal lasted an hour and caused 
great pain, but his patience was never disturbed. 
On the scaffold he declared his innocence, and 
with a bright and cheerful countenance went to 
his reward. He was but thirty- four years of 
age, and had spent fourteen in the Society. 

" My heart is ready, O God, my heart is 

ready : I will sing and will give praise." PS. 
cvii. 2. 


July 23 

Yen. RICHARD SYMPSON, Pr., 1588 

FROM the Protestant ministry he became a 
priest. After being several times imprisoned, 
he was finally condemned at York, 1588. Hav 
ing a reprieve, he appears to have given some 
semblance of conformity, but was reclaimed by 
his fellow-prisoners, VV. Garlick and Ludlam, 
and on July 24 martyred with them, as an eye 
witness and poet thus describes : 

When Garlick did the ladder kiss, 

And Sympson after hie, 
Methought that there St. Andrew was 

Desirous for to die. 

When Ludlam looked smilingly 

And joyful did remain, 
It seemed St. Stephen was standing by 

For to be stoned again. 

And what if Sympson seemed to yield 

For doubt and dread to die, 
He rose again and won the field, 

And died more constantly. 

His watching, fast, and shirt of hair, 
His speech and death and all, 

Do record give, do witness bear, 
He wailed his former fall. 

" To him that shall overcome I will give to 
sit with Me on My throne." APOC. iii. 21. 

July 24 

f Ven. JOHN BOST, Pr., 1594 

OF a good Cumberland family, he was held 
in great esteem by the Protestant Bishop of 
Durham, Sir Tobie Matthew, for his high char 
acter and scholarship. But he gave up all hope 
of preferment, was reconciled to the Church, 
and began his work as a priest in the English 
Mission in 1581. He was so successful in his 
labours that the Earl of Huntington, the bigoted 
Lord President of the North, was most intent 
on his capture. This, one Francis Ecclesfield, 
an apostate Catholic, promised to effect ; but 
Father Bost several times, though narrowly, 
eluded his grasp. At length, to make sure of 
his game, the traitor presented himself to the 
priest as a penitent in the house of Mr. Claxton, 
and went to Confession and Communion. He 
then went straight from the Sacred Mysteries 
and brought in the pursuivants. Even then the 
priest was so well concealed that he could not 
be found till, by making breaches in the wall, 
the prey was discovered. Father Bost was 
sent to London, and there so cruelly racked that 
he could only move stooping on a stick. He 
was in the end sent back to Durham, and there 
hanged, July 24, 1594. As his heart was being 
torn out he cried out thrice, " Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, 
forgive them." 

"And after the morsel, Satan entered into 
him." JOHN xiii. 27. 


July 25 

f Ven. JOHN INGRAM, Pr., 1594 

A CONVERT, expelled for recusancy from New 
College, Oxford, he was apprehended as a priest 
in the North, and was cruelly racked to extort 
from him the names of Catholics. But his lips 
were sealed, and Topcliffe, enraged, called him 
a monster for his taciturnity. Before his 
execution at Newcastle he wrote to his fellow- 
prisoners, thanking his benefactors, and assur 
ing them that, though pained in body, his spirit 
was in no distress. " Although I have laboured," 
he says, "in the vineyard, I doubt not, if God 
will strengthen me through your and my 
patron s prayers, I shall purchase for our Baby- 
Ionic soil more favour by my death. The blood 
of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church. To 
those who have offered a thousand crowns for 
my life, as my Lord Chamberlain imparted, I 
return a thousand thanks and make the return 
of my bloody sacrifice for their oblation. To 
all my spiritual children I send greeting, and 
pray God for their constancy in the true way 
of salvation. My casual friends I salute and 
desire their conversion. I love them most 
entirely, but my Creator in a far higher degree. 
God protect you all and bless you to suffer for 
justice sake. In visceribus Christi," July 25, 

"As dying, and behold we live." 2 COR. vi. 9. 

July 26 


A PROTESTANT reader in the Bishopric of 
Durham, he paid a visit to a Catholic gentleman 
imprisoned for recusancy, who pressed him on 
the question of his authority to preach. Con 
vinced of the absurdity of making a woman the 
head of the Church, against the words of St. 
Paul, he publicly professed from the pulpit his 
conviction that he was no true minister, and 
would no longer officiate in that Church. Upon 
this he was arrested, and, after a year s imprison 
ment in Durham gaol, was brought to the bar 
with FF. Bost and Ingram. At first, through 
fear of death, he promised the judges to con 
form, on which Father Bost, looking at him, 
said, " George Swallowell, what hast thou 
done?" and he, horrified, begged in return to 
have his word back. Cautioned that death 
would be the consequence, he boldly said that 
he "professed the same faith as the two priests, 
and would die their death." With that Father 
Bost looked at him again and said, " Hold thee 
there, Swallowell, and my soul for thine," and 
with these words laid his hand on his head. 
Then the Lord President said. "Away with 
Bost, for he is reconciling him." Swallowell 
won his crown with great constancy, Darling 
ton, July 26. 

" A brother that is helped by a brother is like 
a strong city." PROV. xviii. 19. 

July 27 

f Ven. ROBERT SUTTON, Pr., 1587 

USURPER of the office of parish priest in Lutter- 
worth, Warwickshire, he was converted by his 
younger brother to the Catholic faith. In order 
the better to satisfy God and his parishioners, 
before quitting a place he had held so many 
years unjustly, he brought them all together to 
speak to them. He began by begging their 
pardon with great sorrow for having been so 
long not only a blind guide, but their leader into 
pitfalls and noxious errors, and declared there 
was no hope of salvation outside the Roman 
Church. He then came down from the pulpit, 
threw off his gown, being already booted, rode 
to London, and crossed to Rheims. Returning 
as a priest, he laboured strenuously, was seized 
and condemned. The night before his passion 
some Catholic fellow-prisoners heard him in 
conversation with others. Knowing that he was 
in strict solitary confinement, and fearing that 
his life was secretly attempted, they examined 
the door of his cell, which they found securely 
shut, and, looking through the window, they saw 
him enveloped in light and praying. The next 
morning on leaving his cell he asked their 
prayers to God, "from Whom," he said, " I have 
received greater consolation than I deserved." 
And so he finished his course, Stafford, July 27, 

" I heard a Voice from Heaven saying to me, 
* Write : Blessed are the dead who die in the 
Lord. " APOC. xiv. 13. 

July 28 

Ven. WILLIAM WARD, O.S.F., 1641 

HE was the first martyr under the persecution, 
renewed in spite of his promises, by Charles I. 
Born a Protestant, of a good Westmorland 
family, educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, 
he became a Catholic travelling abroad. On 
his return he practised his religion so openly 
that he was in prison at different times for 
nearly ten years. He entered Douay, was 
ordained priest 1608, and embarked for Eng 
land. A contrary wind, however, drove him to 
Scotland, where, as a suspected priest, he was 
kept in an underground dungeon, in total dark 
ness, for three years. Set free, he returned to 
England, and for thirty years, twenty of which 
were spent in prison, in spite of continuous 
suffering from a corrosive fistula and chronic 
toothache, he toiled for souls. He never 
preached, but holy conversation and the Sacra 
ment of Penance were the weapons of his 
Apostolate, and the harvest reaped was abun 
dant. When over eighty years of age, he was 
sentenced for saying Mass. He had a true 
Franciscan devotion to our Blessed Lady, and 
had always kept the Feast of her mother St. 
Anne with great solemnity, and he was now 
granted to die on that day. In the morning he 
said Mass, and going forth with joy won his 

" Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her 
works praise her in the gates." PROV. xxxi. 31. 

July 29 

Ven. WILLIAM WARD, O.S.F., 1641 

"BEHOLD the heart of a traitor!" cried the 
hangman, with the martyr s heart still pal 
pitating in his hand, and threw it into the fire. 
Eager to obtain a relic, Count Egmont, a pious 
Catholic then in England, sent his servant 
with his handkerchief to dip it in the martyr s 
blood. Others, however, had been before him 
and not a drop remained. Searching in the 
ashes the servant found a heap of flesh singed 
with the fiery coals, and hastily wrapped the 
whole mass in his handkerchief. An attempt 
being now made to seize him, he fled across 
Hyde Park ; but as his pursuers gained he pre 
tended to stumble, and hid his treasure in a 
bush as he fell. Taken before the magistrates, 
he was released through the Count s interest. 
The next day he returned and found his trea 
sure, which proved to be the martyr s heart. 
As with St. Laurence, the divine fire within 
was stronger than the outward earthly flame. 
The hot coals adhering to the flesh had not 
burned the handkerchief, and the heart itself 
remained fifteen days incorrupt, when the 
Count had it embalmed, and took it to Paris 
with the relics of fourteen other martyrs whose 
executions he had witnessed, and on July 26, 
1650, he signed and sealed the formal deed of 
authentication now in the archives of Lille. 

"And there came in my heart as a burning 
fire shut up in my bones." JER. xx. 9. 

July 30 

f B. THOMAS ABEL, Pr., 1540 

QUEEN CATHERINE S confidential chaplain, 
and one of her defenders in the divorce case, 
he had languished some six years in prison, 
hoping for the end. The news of B. Forest s 
"greater combat" had doubtless reached his 
cell, but, far from intimidating him, served both 
to intensify his longing for the crown and at 
the same time to strengthen his patience in 
awaiting God s will. At last, in 1540, he, 
Richard Featherston, and Edward Powel, 
priests, and co-defenders with him of Queen 
Catherine in the divorce, were attainted for 
denying the King s supremacy and adhering 
to the Pope s, and on July 30 they were led out 
to execution. In grim mockery three Pro 
testants Barnes, Garret, and Jerome who 
were attainted for heresy, were made to suffer 
with them, a Catholic and a Protestant being 
coupled together on each hurdle. On arriving 
at Smithfield the three Catholics were hanged, 
drawn, and quartered, and the three Protestants 
were burnt. A Frenchman who stood by, on 
beholding the strange exhibition of capricious 
cruelty, said to a friend in Latin : " They have 
quaint ways of managing things in England 
those who are for the Pope are hanged, and 
those who are against him are burned." 

" Wait on God with patience ; join thyself to 
God and endure, that thy life may be increased 
in the latter end." ECCLUS. ii. 3. 

July 31 


t B. EVERARD HANSE, Pr., 1581 
BORN of Protestant parents in Northampton 
shire, he received heretical Orders and was 
presented to a rich living. His preaching was 
much admired, and he was carried away by his 
success. Meantime his brother William, having 
been reconciled, went to Rheims, and in 1579 
returned to England as a priest. He tried in 
vain to open Everard s eyes to the truth, but a 
dangerous illness placed all things in a new 
light, and William had the consolation of re 
ceiving his brother into the Church. Everard 
lost no time in entering the seminary at Rheims, 
and in 1581 was sent as a priest on the English 
Mission. He was visiting some prisoners in 
the Marshalsea when the gaoler noticed the 
foreign make of his boots, and took him before 
a magistrate. He confessed himself a priest, 
and only three months after his arrival in 
England he was imprisoned in Newgate. On 
his trial he publicly defended the Pope s 
spiritual supremacy, and frankly confessed that 
he wished all believed the Catholic faith, as 
he did himself. That was enough. He was 
sentenced to death, and on the scaffold he 
appeared bright and untroubled as ever. When 
his heart was thrown into the fire, it leapt re 
peatedly, as if marking God s approval of his 
constancy. He suffered at Tyburn, July 31. 

" How beautiful are the feet of those that 
preach the gospel of peace, that bring glad 
tidings of good things." ROM. x. 15. 

August i 

JOHN THOMAS, L., 1593 

HE was condemned, together with Bird, but, 
horrified at the sentence of death, promised the 
judge he would go to Church. The judge could 
not recall the sentence given, so countermanded 
his execution till the Queen s pardon should 
arrive. On his return to prison, helped pro 
bably by Bird s exhortations, he conquered the 
fear of death by the fear of Hell, and sent word 
at once to the judge that he repented of his 
cowardice, and would do nothing contrary to his 
duty as a Catholic. The judge said, " Is he in 
such a hurry for the gallows ? Let him not be 
afraid ; if he persists we can hang him at the 
next assizes." Yet he appeared at the gallows 
with the other criminals, carrying his winding- 
sheet, and said to the Sheriff he had been con 
demned and had come to die. But the Sheriff 
said that, though he would meet his wishes with 
the greatest pleasure, were it in his power, he 
could not do so, as his name was not on the list. 
So Thomas retired, lamenting his sin and his 
past life, for he had been a Calvinist minister ; 
but God did not fail him, and, purged by a long 
penance, with a large increase of merits, in the 
August following he obtained what he desired, 
at Bardich, Winchester. 

" And the Lord turning looked on Peter . . . 
and Peter going out wept bitterly." LUKE xxii. 
61, 62. 


August 2 

Ven. THOMAS WHITAKER, Pr., 1646 
His father was master of a noted free-school in 
Burnley, Lancashire, and Thomas, showing pro 
mise, was sent to the English College, Valla- 
dolid, at the charge of a neighbouring Catholic 
family, Townley of Townley. He entered on 
the English Mission in 1638, and gained many 
souls, facing bravely all dangers, notwithstand 
ing his naturally timorous disposition. Being 
urged, on the road to Lancaster, to effect his 
escape from the room in which he was con 
fined, he stripped himself, and, forgetting to 
throw out his clothes before him, the passage 
gained he found himself free, but naked. After 
wandering some miles in this strange condition, 
he providentially met with a Catholic, who gave 
him shelter and clothing. Again arrested, he 
was cruelly beaten and cast into Lancaster gaol. 
There for three years his life was spent in con 
tinual prayer to God to strengthen him for the 
combat, and in ministering to the two priests, 
Father Bramberand Father Woodcock, O.S.B., 
his seniors, who were his fellow-prisoners. His 
trial and sentence were quickly despatched as 
he had confessed himself a priest. At the place 
of execution his anguish of soul was evident, but 
grace triumphed over nature. He absolutely 
refused a proffered pardon, and with Father 
Bramber and Father Woodcock, O.S.B., he 
won his crown, Lancaster, August 7. 

" Perfect charity casteth out fear." i JOHN 
iv. 1 8. 


August 3 


t Ven. THOMAS BELCHIAM, O.S.F., 1538 

VERY learned and a great preacher, at the age 
of twenty-eight he distinguished himself by his 
bold opposition to the tyranny of Henry VIII. 
In his book on the text, "They that wear soft 
clothing are in King s houses," he denounced 
the vices of the court and the avarice of the 
pliant clergy, and was therefore cast into prison. 
There, while being slowly starved to death, he 
was subjected to every sort of torture, but 
triumphed over all. Mere skin and bone, when 
at the point of expiring he commended his soul 
to God in the words, "In Thee, O Lord, have I 
put my trust ; let me never be confounded." As 
he expired the gaol shook as if with an earth 
quake, and the keepers were terrified. The 
King himself was startled by this supernatural 
warning, and ordered him a decent burial, and 
on reading Father Belchiam s book he burst out 
weeping and deploring bitterly his own misery. 
The good impression, however, soon faded out, 
and he commanded the book to be burnt. But 
the King s jester, William Summer, daft from 
his birth, ran through the King s court exclaim 
ing, " The plain dealing of one beggar baffles 
the King s anger." 

" And the king was struck sad ; yet because 
of his oath and for them that sat with him at 
table ... he sent and beheaded John in 
prison." MATT. xiv. 9, 10. 

August 4 



BORN in Yorkshire of parents great sufferers for 
the faith, he returned from Douay to the English 
Mission, June 1630. He laboured in his native 
county and converted hundreds from sin and 
heresy. With all his active work he led the life 
of a solitary in a hut on Blackamoor, which is 
thus described by a contemporary : 

Nor spared they Father Posket s blood, 
A reverend priest, devout and good, 
Whose spotless life in length was spun 
To eighty years and three times one. 
Sweet his behaviour, grave his speech, 
He did by good example teach. . 
His love right bent, his will resigned, 
Serene his look and calm his mind ; 
His sanctity to that degree 
As Angels live, so -lived he. 

A thatched cottage was the cell 
Where this contemplative did dwell, 
Two miles from Mulgrave Castle t stood, 
Sheltered by snow-drifts, not by wood. 
Tho there he lived to that great age 
It was a dismal hermitage, 
But God placed there the Saint s abode 
For Blackamoor s greater good. 

" You are dead and your life is hid with Christ 
in God." COL. iii. 3. 


August 5 


HUNTED about during the Gates persecution, he 
was at last arrested and condemned, not as a 
plotter, but for high treason as a priest. On the 
eve of his martyrdom at York came, with other 
visitors, Mrs. Charles Fairfax and Mrs. Meynel 
of Kilvington in great grief at taking leave of 
him. But the Confessor, bright and cheerful, 
laid his right hand on one and his left on the 
other and said, " Be of good heart, you shall both 
be delivered of sons, and they will be both saved." 
The two ladies gave birth to sons, who were 
baptized and died in infancy. In his weary 
hunted life he prayed as follows : 

And thus, dear Lord, I fly about 
In weak and weary case ; 
And, like a dove in Noe s Ark, 
I find no resting-place. 

My wearied limbs, sweet Jesus, mark ; 
And when Thou thinkest best, 
Stretch forth Thy hand out of the ark 
And take me to Thy breast. 

The new Mission of Pickering is a memorial 
of the Martyr s ministry. 

" Who will give me wings like a dove, and I 
will fly and be at rest." Ps. liv. 7. 

August 6 


Ven. JOHN WOODCOCK, O.S.F., 1646 

ON hearing his sentence s he was filled with 
inexpressible joy and exclaimed, "Praise be 
to God ; God be thanked." FF. Bamber and 
Reding, two secular priests, were condemned at 
the same time. The following night Father 
Woodcock spent in prayer and joyful contem 
plation. At the dawn of day, August 7th, he and 
his two companions were led out in the usual way 
to execution. An immense and noisy crowd fol 
lowed them with abuse and insult. The Catholics 
who were present were greatly edified and con 
soled, and not a few Protestants were astonished 
at their constancy. Father Woodcock was the 
first to mount the ladder. After he had said a 
few words on the Catholic and Roman faith he 
was cast off, but by some accident, or through the 
carelessness of the executioner, the rope broke 
and he fell to the ground. He was stunned for 
a moment, but quickly recovered himself and 
rose to his feet unhurt. At the Sheriff s order he 
mounted the ladder again, and, after being thus 
hanged a second time, he was cut down and 
butchered alive. As the executioner s hand was 
within his body, " Jesus " broke from his lips. 

" Thy dead men shall live, my slain shall rise 
again : awake and give praise, ye that dwell in 
the dust : for thy dew is the dew of the light: 
and the land of the giants thou shalt pull down 
into ruin." ISA. xxvi. 19. 

August 7 

t Ven. EDWARD B AMBER, Pr., 1646 
BORN at the Moor, the ancient place of his 
family in Lancashire, he made his studies at 
Valladolid, and returned to England a priest. 
The brief memoirs of his life speak of his inde 
fatigable labours in saving souls, his unwearied 
diligence in instructing Catholics and convert 
ing Protestants, the good he did in times and 
places of the greatest danger, and the courage 
he displayed as above the strength of man. 
He was apprehended during the Civil War, and 
was kept thereafter in Lancaster Castle for three 
years without trial. At length the Sessions were 
re-opened, and, on the worthless evidence of 
two apostates, he was sentenced. On August 7th 
he and two fellow-priests were drawn to the 
place of execution, and one Croft, a wretched 
felon, was brought to die with them. Father 
Bamber used all his efforts to save the man s 
soul, promising him, if he would only repent, 
declare himself a Catholic, and publicly confess 
some of his more public sins, he would absolve 
him. In spite of the threats and clamours of 
the officials and minister, the prisoner openly 
declared he died a Catholic, publicly confessed 
some of his most scandalous crimes, and was 
publicly absolved by Father Bamber. The 
priest and the penitent then sealed their pro 
fession with their blood. 

" Confess your sins one to another." JAS. 
v. 1 6. 


August 8 

t B. JOHN FELTON, L., 1570 
As a cruel persecutor of the faith she had 
sworn to defend, Elizabeth was excommuni 
cated and deposed by St. Pius V, February 24, 
1570, and the Bull of excommunication was 
found on May 25, the Feast of Corpus Christi, 
on the gates of the Bishop of London s palace, 
where it had been placed by John Felton, a 
brave and zealous Catholic gentleman. After 
this act he refused to fly, trusting, he said, to 
God s grace for whatever might happen, and 
when the escort arrived for his arrest, he volun 
tarily surrendered himself. Both at his appre 
hension and his trial, he openly acknowledged 
having posted up the Bull, and said that, as he 
held the Pope to be the Vicar of Christ, what 
came from him ought to be duly venerated. 
Notwithstanding this public confession, he was 
three times racked in the vain hope of extract 
ing from him admission, compromising others. 
In his satin doublet, on the day of his martyr 
dom, as he faced the crowd, calm and un 
moved, he looked indeed a royal champion, 
and he told the people that he died for the 
Catholic faith. His last words on being dis 
embowelled were "Jesus, Jesus." He sent the 
Queen, from the scaffold, a ring worth ^400, 
showing he bore her personally no ill-will. 
He suffered, St. Paul s Churchyard, London, 
August 8. 

" Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will 
build My Church." MATT. xvi. 18. 

August 9 


f Ven. THOMAS PALASOR, Pr., 1600 

A YORKSHIRE man by birth, he was appre 
hended as a priest in the house of Mr. John 
Norton in that county, with his host and Mr. 
John Talbot, and all three were confined in 
Durham gaol. There at dinner some broth 
was set before Mr. Palasor, and, on his pre 
paring to taste it, the bone of mutton in the dish 
ran blood in the form of crosses, and of O s in 
the broth. He therefore abstained from taking 
it. The maid, noticing this, carried the broth 
back to her mistress, who spiced it over and 
sent it by the same maid to Mr. Talbot and 
Mr. Norton, when the same phenomenon was 
repeated. The maid, by name Mary Day, see 
ing this, came to Palasor, confessed that the 
broth had been poisoned by the malice of her 
mistress, the gaoler s wife, and on her knees 
begged his forgiveness, and asked him to make 
her one of his faith. She was instructed and 
reconciled, and became servant to a Catholic 
gentlewoman, Eleanor Forcer, who bore testi 
mony to the above occurrence. Palasor was 
condemned to death for returning to England 
as a priest, contrary to the statute, and Mr. 
Norton and Mr. Talbot received the same 
sentence for harbouring and assisting him, and 
all three together were executed at Durham. 

"They shall take up serpents, and, if they 
shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt 
them." MARK xvi. 18. 


August 10 

Ven. JOHN WOODCOCK, O.S.F., 1646 

BORN in Lancashire of a Protestant father r 
through his mother, a pious Catholic, he was 
educated at St. Omer s and the English College, 
Rome. There he conceived the desire for a 
higher penitential life, and found admission 
with the Capuchins in Paris. " 1 have put on 
the habit, 1 praise sweet Jesus, almost three 
months," he wrote ; but his joy was short. Owing 
to the opposition of his relatives in England to 
his entering religion, and his weak health, in 
spite of his extraordinary piety he was dismissed 
the Order. He felt these reasons to be in 
sufficient, and his aim never slackened to be 
a religious, and, further, to go on the English 
Mission. Eventually, after many difficulties, 
through the advocacy of his old friend Father 
William Anderton, a Recollect, he obtained 
admission into that Order. His illnesses were 
now frequent and grave, and he was sent to 
Spa for the waters. There he met with the 
Commissary General of his Order, and obtained 
at last leave to sail to England. H e had scarcely 
landed when he was apprehended, and, owing 
to the Civil War, remained for two years in 
Lancaster gaol, till he was sentenced and exe 
cuted, and his perseverance was rewarded. 

" One thing I do : forgetting the things that 
are behind, I press forward to the mark, to the 
prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ 
Jesus." PHIL. iii. 13, 14. 

August 1 1 


To the leaders of the Rising, the Earls of 
Westmorland and Northumberland, who sought 
his advice, the Pope replied as follows : " Our 
Lord Jesus Christ has inspired you with this 
resolution (which is worthy of your zeal for the 
Catholic faith) to endeavour, by delivering your 
selves and your kingdom from a woman s 
passion, to restore it to its ancient obedience 
to the Holy Roman See. And if in maintain 
ing the Catholic faith and authority of this Holy 
See your blood should be shed, it is far better 
to pass quickly to Eternal life than to live on 
in shame and ignominy to the loss of your souls, 
subject to a feeble woman s passion. For think 
not, beloved sons in Christ, that those Bishops 
or other leading Catholics of your country whom 
you mention have made an unhappy end ; who 
for their refusal to give up their confession of 
the Catholic faith have been either cast into 
prison or unjustly visited with other penalties. 
For their constancy, which has been encouraged 
by the example (still, as we believe, effective) of 
the B. Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, can 
be praised by none as much as it deserves. 
Imitate this constancy yourselves. Be brave 
and firm in your resolve, and abandon not your 
undertaking through fear or threat of danger." 

"Behold, He shall neither slumber nor sleep 
that keepeth Israel." Ps. cxx. 4. 

August 12 

B. THOMAS PERCY, L., 1572 
THE freedom to practise their religion, which 
Catholics had regained under Mary, was 
rudely swept .away by Elizabeth. By the Act 
of Supremacy the authority of the Pope was 
abolished, and his jurisdiction transferred to 
the Crown. By the Act of Uniformity the Holy 
Sacrifice of the Mass was prohibited, and in all 
churches the Protestant Book of Common Prayer 
was alone to be used. Transgression of the 
above Acts incurred for the first offence for 
feiture of property, for the second perpetual 
imprisonment, for the third death. Thus the 
sanctuaries revered for ages became empty 
sepulchres. The Royal Arms were substituted 
for the Crucifix, the images of Our Lady and the 
Saints were torn down, and the innumerable 
altars overturned and desecrated. Non-attend 
ance at the Protestant Church was punishable 
with a fine ; the exercise of any priestly office 
with imprisonment if repeated, with death. 
This sacrilegious usurpation of religious autho 
rity by the Crown, the privation of the Sacra 
ments even at the hour of death, the absolute 
hopelessness of obtaining any constitutional 
redress, led to the Northern Rising, in which 
B. Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, 
laid down his life for the faith. 

"And behold our sanctuary and our beauty 
and our glory is laid waste, and the Gentiles 
have defiled them. To what end, then, should 
we live any longer?" i MACH. ii. 12. 

August 13 

B. THOMAS PERCY, L., 1572 

THE first act of B. Thomas with his companions 
and followers on entering Durham was to seize 
the Cathedral and purge it of every heretical 
token. The Communion table was broken up, 
the Protestant Bible and Book of Common 
Prayer were burnt. The Catholic revival spread 
far and wide with marvellous speed. Altars 
were erected, holy water-stoups replaced, and 
everything prepared for the Holy Sacrifice. 
On Sunday, St. Andrew s Day 1569, the first 
High Mass was sung, the whole official choir 
assisting in the thronged Cathedral, and the 
reconciliation of Durham to the Church was 
crowned on December 4, then the second Sun 
day in Advent, by the priest F. Holmes bearing 
special faculties from Rome. Mounting the 
pulpit after preaching on the state of heresy 
and schism in the religion established by law, 
he exhorted his hearers to submit once more 
to the Holy See and to kneel down in proof 
thereof. He then publicly absolved the pros 
trate crowd from their censure, and reconciled 
them to the Catholic Church. Holy Mass was 
then offered in reparation and thanksgiving. 

"In the same day wherein the heathen had 
defiled it was it dedicated anew with canticles 
and harps and lutes and cymbals. And all the 
people fell upon their faces and adored and 
blessed up to Heaven Him that had prospered 
them. 53 i MACH. iv. 54, 55. 

August 14 

YEN. HUGH GREEN, Pr., 1642 

BORN in London, and a convert from Cam 
bridge, he was arrested in attempting to leave 
England, in consequence of Charles I s banish 
ment of priests, and sentenced after five months 
imprisonment. Dame Willoughby, an eye-wit 
ness, says, that "his devotion on his way to 
death was most edifying. He was taken from 
the hurdle and kept on the hill at some distance 
from the scaffold until three poor women were 
hanged. Two of them had sent him word the 
night before that they would die in his faith. 
This comforted him much, for he had done his 
utmost to speak with them, but failed. They 
therefore sent again to desire him that when 
they had made a confession of their sinful lives 
at the foot of the gallows, on their making the 
sign he should absolve them. This with great 
joy |in his heart, and much benefit (as it is 
hoped) on theirs, was performed. They then 
turned their faces towards us, and throwing forth 
their arms cried out to him, God be with you, 
sir, and so died. But the third woman turned 
from us towards the press of people, her face or 
speech never tending towards us." 

" The Spirit breatheth where He will." JOHN 


August 15 

Yen. HUGH GREEN, Pr., 1642, on the 

" THERE be four principal things which all men 
ought to remember : death, judgment, Heaven 
and Hell. Death is a horror to nature, but that 
which followeth is much more terrible, viz. judg 
ment, if we die not as we ought ; and as we dis 
pose ourselves to good or evil in this life, so 
shall the measure of our punishment or glory 
succeed. I am here condemned to die for my 
religion and for being a priest : we know there 
must be priests, for God, foretelling of the Church 
by the prophets, saith, Thou art a priest for 
ever after the order of Melchisedech (Ps. cix.). 
1 And from the rising of the sun unto the going 
down thereof, there shall be a clean sacrifice 
offered in My Name (Mai. i.). Now -four 
things are to be considered : a God, a sacrifice, 
a priest, a man : such am I, and therefore I 
must die. Wherefore do we receive holy unc 
tion and are made priests but to offer sacrifice 
to God ? But I am condemned for being or 
dained by the See of Rome. St. Paul saith, 
the Romans have the Catholic faith and gives 
God thanks that their faith and his were one, of 
which Catholic faith I am." 

" In all thy works remember thy last end and 
thou shalt never sin." EcCLUS. vii. 40. 

August 1 6 


Ven. HUGH GREEN, Pr., 1642, on the 

"THERE be four things more: one God, one 
faith, one baptism, one Church. That there is 
one God we all acknowledge, in whom, from 
whom, and by whom all things remain and have 
their being. That there is one faith appears 
by Christ s praying that St. Peter s faith (He 
said not faiths) should never fail ; and He pro 
mised to be with it to the end of the world. 
That there is one baptism : we are all cleansed 
by the laver of water in the Word. That there 
is one Church, holy and sanctified : doth not 
St. Paul say that it is a glorious Church without 
spot or wrinkle or any such thing ? Now the 
marks of this Church are sanctity, unity, anti 
quity, universality, .which all of us in all points 
of faith believe. But some will say we are fallen 
off from this Church of Rome, but in what 
pope s time, in what prince s reign, or what are 
the errors, none can discover. No, this holy 
Church of Christ did never err. By the law I am 
now to die for being a priest. Judge you, can 
these new laws overthrow the authority of God s 
Church ? Nevertheless, I forgive you, and pray 
God for all." 

"That they may be one, as we also are 
one." JOHN xvii. 22. 

241 Q 

August 17 
Ven. THOMAS HOLFORD, Pr., 1588 
THE son of a Protestant minister in Cheshire, 
he was reconciled by Father Davis, and ordained, 
and his life as a priest seems to have been a 
fulfilment of the Gospel precept of flight under 
persecution. " He was first searched for," says 
Father Davis, "in the house where I lay, on 
All Souls Day, but escaped. Again, after being 
nearly taken in the search for Babington, he 
repaired again to a house where I was staying, 
but we escaped to a hay-barn, through a secret 
place at the foot of the stairs. He then laboured 
for souls in his own county, Cheshire, was ap 
prehended, sent to London, and lodged in an 
inn at Holborn. Then, rising early, he managed 
to pass the pursuivants, who had drunk hard 
and were asleep. On Holborn Viaduct he met 
a Catholic gentleman, who, seeing him half- 
dressed, thought him a madman. Pulling off 
his yellow stocking and white boot-hose, he 
walked barefoot by unfrequented paths till he 
arrived, late at night, at a house where I lay, 
about eight miles from London. He had eaten 
nothing, and his feet were bleeding and torn 
with briars and thorns. My hosts and their 
daughters tended him and put him to bed. 
The next year he was apprehended, and 
executed, August 28, at Clerkenwell." 

" They wandered about in sheep-skins and 
goat-skins, being in want, distressed, afflicted, 
of whom the world was not worthy." HEB. xi. 
37, 38. 

4 242 

August 1 8 



A NATIVE of Herefordshire, very learned and 
a noted Greek scholar, he began his priestly 
labours in England about 1594, and during 
sixteen years won many souls to the Church. 
Apprehended on Easter Day, in the house of 
Mrs. Winefride Scroope, near Hereford, he 
acknowledged to the Protestant Bishop that he 
was a priest, and added that he supposed that 
this would riot be against him with the Bishop, 
whose special concern it was to maintain the 
sacerdotal dignity. " For, my Lord, either you 
must admit yourself to be a priest, or I can 
prove you to be no Bishop." The Bishop insisted 
that Christ was the only sacrificing priest of the 
New Testament, in that sense of the word, which 
is not common to all Christians, and hoped thus 
to free himself from being a priest. On which 
the Martyr replied, " Make that good, I pray 
you, my Lord, for so you will prove that I am 
no more a priest than other men, and con 
sequently no traitor or offender against your 
law"; on which one, Holkins, to cover the 
Bishop s disgrace, said that the King himself 
had said that these kind of men were so 
numerous that he should never have done if he 
put them all to death. 

" But this (Jesus) for that He continueth for 
ever hath an everlasting priesthood." ROM. 
vii. 24. 


August 19 

f Ven. HUGH GREEN, Pr., 1642 

" AFTER he was cut down he came to his per 
fect senses," writes Dame Willoughby, "and 
sat upright. Then the people pulled him down 
by the rope which was about his neck ; then 
did the butcher cut him open, and turned the 
flap upon his breast, which the holy man feeling 
put his hand upon his bowels, and looking on 
his bloody hand laid it down by his side, and 
lifting up his right hand crossed himself, saying 
three times, Jesu, Jesu, Jesu mercy ! The 
which, although unworthy, I am a witness of, 
for my hand was on his forehead, and many 
Protestants heard him and took great notice of 
it ; for all the Catholics were pressed away by 
the unruly multitude except myself, who never 
left him until his head was severed from his 
body. Whilst he was thus calling upon Jesus, 
the butcher did pull a piece of his liver out 
instead of his heart, then with his knife raked 
on the body of the blessed martyr, who even 
then called on Jesus, and his forehead sweat, 
then it was cold, presently again burned ; his 
eyes, nose, and mouth ran with with blood and 
water. His patience was admirable, though his 
inward groans gave signs of those lamentable 
torments which for more than half-an-hour he 

" My eyes have failed with weeping, my 
bowels are troubled, my liver is poured out upon 
the earth." LAM. ii. n. 

August 20 

B. THOMAS PERCY, L., 1572 

A GALLANT sight must have been the men of 
the Rising on the march. Nobles, knights with 
their tenants equipped for war, labourers and 
peasants unarmed but stout of heart, all wearing 
the Red Cross, their Standard the Five Sacred 
Wounds ; its bearer, the grey-haired Richard 
Norton, late High Sheriff of Yorkshire. Among 
their chaplains, B. Thomas Plumtree, and head 
ing the force the Earl and his brave-hearted 
Countess. They advanced as far south as 
Clifford Moor, near Wetherby, but their divided 
counsels and want of supplies forced them to 
retire, and at the advice of the Earl, anxious to 
avoid useless bloodshed, they dispersed. The 
cold-blooded revenge of Elizabeth displayed at 
once her avarice and cruelty. The gentlemen 
and yeomen were allowed to escape with a 
fine, but the peasants were hung by hundreds. 
The Earl fled to Scotland, and, consenting to 
meet an envoy from the Regent, was treacher 
ously captured and confined in Lochleven. 
Thence after two years and a half imprisonment 
he was handed over to Elizabeth, who thirsted 
for his blood, for ^2000. He was conveyed to 
York, where, after refusing to save his life by 
apostasy, he won his crown, August 22, 1572. 

"But they appointed him thirty pieces of 
silver, and from thenceforth he sought oppor 
tunity to betray Him." MATT. xxvi. 16. 

August 21 

B. THOMAS PERCY, L., 1572 

TORN from his friends and followers, from his 
wife and his four little girls, and betrayed into 
the hands of a declared enemy, B. Thomas in 
his captivity at Lochleven had indeed " sunk 
into deep waters among them that hated him " 
(Ps. Ixviii.). But he found strength from above 
in his continual fasts and watchings and pious 
meditations, and proved himself a true champion 
of the faith. His Calvinist keeper, the Lord of 
Lochleven, brought many of his sect to try and 
persuade him, by cunning argument and speeches 
or by threats and promises, to embrace their 
errors, but he could never be persuaded to 
depart in the smallest matter from the Com 
munion of the Catholic Church. When, as 
often happened, meat was brought to him on 
days which Catholics observe as a fast, he con 
tented himself with bread alone ; and by his 
example moved some of those attending on 
him to repent of their apostasy. The fortitude 
he thus acquired found a witness in Lord 
Hunsdon, who reported " that he is readier to 
talk of hawks and hounds than anything else, 
though very sorrowful and fearing for his life." 

"Eleazer, one of the chief of the scribes, 
was pressed to eat swine s flesh. But he, 
choosing rather a most glorious death than a 
hateful life, went forward voluntarily to the 
torment." 2 MACH. vi. 18, 19. 

AugUSt 22 

t B. WILLIAM LACY, Pr., 1 582 

DRIVEN from York, where he held a high 
judicial post, hunted from place to place, penni 
less through fines for recusancy, as an aged 
widower he was ordained priest at Rome. At 
Loreto, on his way to England, he wrote, " I 
wish to take my leave of you once more with 
this letter, as I do not know whether it may be 
the last. We arrived on Tuesday at this holy 
house, where my companions and I served the 
Lord in his own home, and at the shrine of His 
most holy Mother. At this we all experienced 
an extraordinary consolation, though indeed we 
felt much spiritual joy throughout the journey. 
I am particularly charmed with the devotion 
and zeal of my companions, and with the holy 
communings in which we pass our days. In 
deed, it seems to me that I take my part with 
them in that sweet harmony. I frequently ex 
claim in my heart, Is Saul also amongst the 
prophets? and I remind myself of the disciples 
words : Was not our hearts burning when He 
spoke with us upon the way? " On being sen 
tenced, the aged confessor said, " It is only 
paying the common debt a little sooner ; we will 
go into the house of the Lord." He suffered at 
York, August 22, 1582. 

"This is no other but the house of God and 
the gate of Heaven." GEN. xxviii. 17. 

August 23 

Ven. JOHN KEMBLE, Pr., 1679 

HE was eighty years old, and had toiled on the 
Mission for fifty-four years, when he was taken 
at Pembridge Castle, Herefordshire, by Captain 
Scudamore. Though warned of his coming 
seizure, he said, "As he had but a few years to 
live he would gain by suffering for the faith, 
and therefore would not abscond. He was com 
mitted to Hereford gaol, ordered up to London, 
and thence back to Hereford. In this last 
journey he suffered terribly from a painful 
malady, which necessitated him riding side 
ways. In prison he was frequently visited by 
Captain Scudamore s children, and he gave 
them many good things, their father being, he 
said, his best friend. On the scaffold he said, 
" It will be expected I should say something ; 
but as I am an old man it cannot be much. 
Not having any concern in the plot, neither 
believing there is any, I die only for the old 
Roman Catholic religion, which first made 
England Christian, and whosoever would be 
saved must die therein. I beg pardon of all 
I have offended, and forgive those that have 
caused my death." From the local tradition 
that he smoked on his long walk to the gallows, 
the last pipe of the evening has been called 
the " Kemble pipe." 

" Old age is a crown of dignity when it is 
found in the ways of justice." PROV. xvi. 31. 

August 24 

Ven. JOHN WALL, O.S.F., 1679 

ON hearing his sentence he made a bow, and 
said aloud, " Thanks be to God. God save the 
King ! I beseech God to bless your Lordship 
and all this honourable bench." The judge 
answered, " You have spoken very well. I do 
not intend that you should die, at least not for 
the present, until I know the King s further 
pleasure." Father Wall writes : " I was not, 
I thank God for it, troubled with any disturbing 
thoughts, either against the judge for his sen 
tence, or the jury that gave in such a verdict, or 
against any of the witnesses ; for I was then of 
the same mind, as by God s grace I ever shall 
be, esteeming them all the best friends to me, 
in all they did or said, that ever I had in my 
life. And I was, I thank God, so present with 
myself whilst the judge pronounced the sentence 
that without any concern for anything in this 
world I did actually at the same time offer 
myself and the world to God." After five 
months delay he was executed at Worcester, 
and was much rejoiced at being, as he was, the 
first martyr in that city. He had been arrested 
on the Gates Plot after twenty-two years on the 
Mission, and was offered his life if he would 

"He was offered, because it was His own 
will." ISA. liii. 7. 


August 25 

Ven. CHARLES BAKER, S.J., 1679 

BORN of Protestant parents in Monmouthshire, 
he was reconciled at the age of nineteen, when a 
law student in London. Ordained at the Eng 
lish College, Rome, he entered the Society, and 
was sent on the English Mission in 1648. For 
thirty-one years he toiled for souls, fearless in 
dangers, patient in suffering, till his apprehen 
sion, November 19, 1678. While in the hands 
of his captors he was summoned to a dying priest, 
Father Ignatius Price, who was sinking from 
hunger and cold and the hardships of a hunted 
life, but he could only send him his best wishes 
for eternity, and after three days Father Price 
died. At Monmouth Father Baker, in spite of 
a brilliant defence, was condemned and sent up 
to London, where Lord Shaftesbury suggested 
to him to save his life and improve his fortune 
by revealing something of the plot or conforming 
in religion ; but he refused, for of the plot he 
knew nothing, and to conform would be against 
his conscience. On the scaffold he forgave his 
persecutors, and to the Catholics he said : " Fear 
God, honour the King. Be firm in your faith ; 
bear patiently persecutions, always remember 
ing St. Peter s words, that reproach borne not for 
any evil thing, but for Christ s sake, is a bless 
ing." He suffered at Usk, August 27, 1679. 

" If you be reproached for the name of Christ 
you shall be blessed : for that which is the 
honour of God resteth on you." I PET. iv. 14. 

August 26 


HE was absent on an Embassy in France on 
Elizabeth s accession. On April 2, 1559, he con 
cluded the treaty of Cateau Cambresis, and on 
his return to England he at once joined the 
other Bishops in opposition to the Bill of Royal 
Supremacy. He refused the oath and was de 
posed July 5, 1559, was committed to the Tower 
June 3, 1560, and endured there the miseries of 
close and separate confinement until September 
1563, when the plague was raging. Elizabeth 
was then at Windsor Castle, and there was set 
up, Stowe writes, in the market-place of Windsor 
a new gallows to hang up all such as came there 
from London, so that no person might come from 
London upon pain of hanging without judgment. 
With this panic at Court the Protestant Bishops 
were naturally uneasy at receiving orders to 
house the illustrious prisoners from the town. 
Thirlby was allotted to Parker, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and wrote to him cheerfully that he 
was an unbidden guest, who, according to the 
proverb, " wotteth not where to sit," and that he 
doubted how to travel without danger because of 
the plague. Yet " need maketh the old wife trot." 
Dr. Thirlby remained unshaken in Parker s 
custody for seven years, when, stricken by grave 
illness, he was released by death. 

"According to the multitude of the sorrows of 
my heart thy comforts have given joy to my 
soul." PS. xciii. 19. 


August 27 

f Ven. ROGER CADWALLADOR, Pr., 1610 

WHEN he was near his crown he wrote, " Com 
fort yourselves, my friends, in this that I die in 
an assurance of salvation ; which, if you truly 
love me as you ought to do, should please you 
better than to have me alive a little while among 
you for your content, and then to die with great 
uncertainty either to be saved or damned. If 
this manner of death be shameful, yet not more 
than my Saviour s was : if it be painful, yet not 
more than was His. Only have you care to per 
severe in God s true faith and charity, and then 
we shall meet again to our greater comfort that 
shall never end." On the morning of his exe 
cution, having spent some five hours in prayer, 
he took some broth and claret, to make himself 
strong, he said, like Bishop Fisher, to suffer for 
God, and dressed himself in a new suit of clothes 
as his wedding garment. On the scaffold, asked 
to give his opinion as to the oath, he replied that 
his opinion mattered little ; they should regard 
rather the sentiments of the Church, for his 
swearing would neither diminish the Pope s 
authority nor increase the King s. His con 
stancy under the terrible butchery which at 
tended his end confirmed the faith of the 
Herefordshire Catholics. 

" But let none of you suffer as a murderer or 
a thief . . . but if as a Christian let him not be 
ashamed, but let him glorify God in His Name." 
i PET. iv. 15, 1 6. 


August 28 


HE was sentenced at Lancaster for being a 
priest, a Jesuit, and a persuader of religion, 
and the judge ordered that he was to be hung 
at noon, when most men would be at dinner ; 
but as it fell out the whole place of execution 
was covered with great multitudes of people of 
all sorts, ages, sexes, and religions, expecting 
the end of the tragedy. As he was carried 
through the castle yard, Father Southworth, 
his fellow-prisoner under reprieve, appeared at 
the prison window and received his absolution. 
He was then bound on the hurdle, with his 
head towards the horse s tail, "for greater 
ignominy." Most of his friends were pre 
vented to approach him, and the executioner 
went before the horse and hurdle with a club 
in his hand in a kind of barbarous triumph. 
On the scaffold he refused to save his life by 
taking the oath, professed that he died for the 
Catholic faith, and prayed for the conversion of 
England. His last words, as he was cast off 
the. ladder, were " Bone Jesu." Divers Pro 
testants, beholders of this bloody spectacle, 
wished their souls with his. Others wished 
they had never come there. Others said it was 
a barbarous act to use men so for their religion.. 

"And all the multitude of them that were 
come together to that sight, and saw the things 
that were done, returned striking their breasts." 
LUKE xxiii. 48. 


August 29 


A CONVICTED recusant, he was ploughing his 
field when one Dewhurst came to serve him 
with a warrant. Herst fled, and Dewhurst, 
following in pursuit, received a blow from 
Herst s maid, and afterwards in the heat of 
the pursuit fell and broke his leg. From that 
wound in the leg he died, yet Herst, who had 
never been within thirty yards of him, was 
charged with his death. Herst s pardon was 
offered him if he would take the oath, but he 
refused, and he declined also to go to church, 
so he was trailed there by his legs and much 
hurt. In the church he stopped his ears, not 
to hear false doctrine, and, on returning, said, 
" They have tortured my body, but, thank God, 
they have not hurt my soul." At his trial at 
Lancaster, though his innocence of Dewhurst s 
death was evident, the judge told the jury that 
he was a recusant, had resisted the Bishop s 
authority, and that they must find it murder for 
an example, which was done. At the gallows 
he said to the hangman, who was bungling with 
the rope, " Tom, I think I must come and help 
you." Then, after repeating the holy names of 
Jesus and Mary, he passed to immortality, 
Lancaster, August 29. 

" Cursed shalt thou be upon the earth, which 
hath opened her mouth and received the blood 
of thy brother at thy hand." GEN. iv. n, 12. 

August 30 

t Ven. MARGARET WARD, 1588 
WILLIAM WATSON, -a secular priest, being 
apprehended, through force of torment went 
to the Protestant Church once. Struck with 
remorse in the midst of the Protestant congre 
gation, he repaired the scandal he had there 
given by recanting his conformity, and declaring 
that theirs was not the service of God, but was 
in truth the service of the devil. For this he 
was again imprisoned, and was continually plied 
with threats and promises to urge him to go 
again to church. The Catholics feared for his 
constancy, but dared not, for their own safety, 
approach him, till a gentlewoman, Margaret 
Ward, determined to make the attempt. Dis 
guised and carrying a basket of provisions, she 
for a month visited the prison, being always 
closely searched. At length she managed to 
convey him a cord, and with this he effected his 
escape ; but in his haste and danger he left the 
cord hanging from the window of his prison. 
Margaret, being his only visitor, was therefore 
apprehended, hung up by the hands, and cruelly 
scourged. On her trial she admitted her part 
in the prisoner s escape, and rejoiced " in hav 
ing delivered an innocent lamb from the hands 
of bloody wolves." Offered her pardon if she 
would go to church, she refused, and was 
executed, showing to the end great constancy, 
August 30, Tyburn. 

" I was in prison, and you visited me." 
MATT. xxv. 36. 


August 31 

Ven. THOMAS FEI.TON, L., 1588 

A MARTYR himself and the son of a martyr, his 
father having suffered for putting up St. Pius V s 
Bull of excommunication, he was apprehended 
as a suspected Papist for the third time, though 
but a layman, when only twenty years of age. 
Tortured in the " Little Ease," starved, hanged up 
by the hands till the blood sprang from his finger 
ends, he remained steadfast. Upon a Sunday 
he was violently taken by certain officers and 
carried betwixt two, fast bound in a chair, into 
the chapel at Bridewell to their service. He, 
having his hands at first at liberty, stopped his 
ears with his fingers that he might not hear 
what the minister said. Then they bound down 
his hands also to the chair ; but being set down 
to the ground, bound in the manner aforesaid, 
he stamped with his feet, and made that noise 
with his mouth, shouting and hallowing, and cry 
ing oftentimes, "Jesus, Jesus," that the minis 
ter s voice could not be heard. Asked by the 
judge if he acknowledged the Queen s supre 
macy, he made answer that " he had read divers 
chronicles, but never read that God ordained a 
woman should be supreme head of the Church." 
For this speech he was condemned, and hung 
the next day near Hounslow, Middlesex. 

" Depart from the tents of these wicked men, 
and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be involved 
in their sins." NUM. xvi. 26. 

September I 

Yen. JOHN GOODMAN, Pr., 1645 

OF Bangor, Wales, and Oxford University, he 
became a Protestant minister, but being dis 
satisfied with the religion was received into the 
Church abroad, and returned as a priest on the 
English Mission. His zeal for souls was soon 
well known, and in 1635 and again in 1639 he 
was apprehended, but each time discharged. In 
1640 he was again taken, and tried, and con 
demned. Charles I, however, interfered, and 
changed the death sentence into that of per 
petual banishment, or imprisonment, on the 
ground that none had been condemned foi 
merely being a priest, nor had Goodman been 
before condemned for perverting the people in 
their belief. To this message of the King the 
Lords and Commons replied by a vehement 
remonstrance, urging the sentence of death to 
be carried out. Charles made answer that, 
being pressed by both Houses, he would leave 
the case to their decision, and so washed his 
hands of the matter. Goodman, however, 
petitioned the King that, since the suspension 
of his execution caused such discontent, the 
law might take its course. In consequence, 
apparently, of this magnanimity, he was allowed 
to linger in prison, and died in Newgate 1645. 

" And he said, Take me up and cast me into 
the sea, and the sea shall be calm to you ; for I 
know that for my sake this great tempest is 
upon you." JONAS i. 12. 

257 R 

September 2 

B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

WHEN his wife came to see him she reproached 
him roundly for preferring to stay among the 
rats and mice in a close, filthy prison, when he 
might be enjoying his liberty, the goodwill of the 
King, and the company of his family in his " right 
fair" house at Chelsea. " I muse what a God s 
name you mean here still thus fondly to tarry," 
she cried. Sir Thomas said cheerfully, " I pray 
thee, good Mistress Alice, tell me one thing : is 
not this house as near Heaven as mine own?" 
" Tilly vally, tilly vally," quoth she, in her homely 
fashion. " Bone Deus, man, will this gear never 
be left ? " " Well, then," quoth he, " I see not why 
I should much joy in my house, when, if I arose 
after being seven years dead, the new owner 
would bid me get out of doors, or why should I 
like a house so soon forgetful of his master ? 
How long do you think we may live and enjoy 
it ? " " Some twenty years," said she. " Truly," 
replied he, "if you had said some thousand 
years it had been somewhat ; and yet he were a 
bad merchant that would risk Eternity for a 
thousand years ; how much the rather, if we are 
not sure to enjoy it one clay to an end." 

"One day with the Lord is as a thousand 
years, and a thousand years as one day." 
2 PET. iii. 8. 


September 3 


"ALTHOUGH human nature is terrified by the 
intensity of tortures, yet our faith demands and 
requires us to bear them. I said, My foot is 
moved because Thou hast turned away Thy face 
from me. Thou turnest away Thy face from 
me, and I became troubled ; troubled, I say, 
because the pain of the tortures which I desire 
is prolonged, and at the same time I am 
humbled ; humbled, and not raised up, because 
not drawn to my Saviour ; not drawn, because 
I am burdened with the weight of my sins, 
burdened and not refreshed by Him. What, 
then, profits my condemnation, if there be 
longer to wait ? Wherefore, I ask ? Because 
you have not availingly implored the mercy of 
God. For I know how much the prayer of the 
just man weighs before God. Because with 
the Lord there is mercy, and with Him plentiful 
redemption. In Thee have our fathers hoped; 
they have hoped, and Thou hast delivered them 
for the sake of David, Thy servant. Why, then, 
is there not an end put to these tortures ? I 
have now suffered seven and thirty days, and I 
find no rest. But my hope is that we shall die 
together by the same punishment." 

"How long, O Lord, wilt Thou forget me 
unto the end?" Ps. xii. I. 

September 4 


"COUNT not your tortures, my son, for that is 
to add pain to pain; but rather, as St. Paul 
says, Reckon the sufferings of this time not 
worthy to be compared with the glory to come. 
To which may well be added what the Prophet 
says to our Lord : * For a thousand years in 
Thy sight are as yesterday which is past. If 
you bear patiently the tortures that are inflicted 
on you, doubt not of your reward. O blessed 
and thrice happy reward which God gives to 
those who fear Him ; hence we pray, Lord, 
reward Thy servant. But only on the con 
dition, I have kept Thy words. If, therefore, 
there is a reward for keeping the words of the 
Lord, keep them, my son. But you will ask, 
How long? To the end! For our Saviour 
says, He that shall endure unto the end, he 
shall be saved. Therefore, neither the tortures 
of thirty-seven days, nor of a thousand years, 
but the last end will crown your combat. Think 
you, my son, that we shall run together, and 
drink of the same chalice ? A greater combat 
awaits for me ; but for you lighter sufferings 
remain. Whatever they be, act manfully, our 
Lord supporting you. Farewell." 

"He that shall endure to the end, he shall 
be saved." MARK xiii. 13. 

September 5 

Bishop BONNER OF LONDON, 1569 

HE was a native of Worcestershire, educated at 
Broadgates Hall, Oxford, became chaplain to 
Henry VIII, was very zealous in promoting the 
divorce, and behaved, as he tells us himself, 
insolently to the Pope. He accepted the 
Bishopric of London from the King, and was 
consecrated April 4, 1540, but never received 
the necessary Bull from Rome. For refusing 
to accept Edward VI s changes in religion he 
was deposed and imprisoned. He was set free 
by Mary, and canonically reinstated. Under 
Elizabeth he was the first to whom the oath 
was proffered, and had the honour of being the 
first to refuse it. He was specially detested by 
the Protestants on account of his supposed 
severity to heretics, but Mr. Gairdner expressly 
states that to the prisoners in his hands he was 
kind, gentle, and considerate, and always strove 
by gentle suasion to reconcile them to the 
Church before handing them over to the civil 
power. When ordered by the Council to re 
move the service of the Mass and the Divine 
office from St. Paul s, the one church where 
the Catholic rites still existed, he replied, " I 
possess three things soul, body, and property. 
Of the two last you can dispose at your pleasure." 

" Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, 
and strengthen me with a perfect spirit." Ps. 
1. 14. 


September 6 


Ven. EDWARD BARLOW, O.S.B., 1641 

HE was beginning to recover from his illness, 
but was still very weak, when he was appre 
hended on Easter Day 1641. A neighbouring 
minister proposed to his congregation that, in 
stead of their service, they should show their 
zeal by capturing the noted popish priest, whom 
they would surely now find in the midst of his 
flock, but would lose when church time was over. 
Some four hundred went therefore with clubs 
and swords, the parson marching at their head 
in his surplice. Father Barlow had finished 
Mass, and was making a discourse to his people 
on the subject of patience, when the house was 
found to be surrounded by armed men. He 
refused to hide himself in any of the secret 
places provided in the house for that purpose, 
or leave his sheep, as he said, to the mercy of 
the wolves. He exhorted them to constancy, and 
reminded them that these light and momentary 
tribulations worked an eternal weight of glory, 
and telling them that he was ready to offer all 
things for Christ, he bid them open the door. 
The mob rushed in, shouting, "Where is Barlow? 
he is the man we want," and laying hands on 
him they secured him and let the rest go, upon 
giving caution for their appearance. He suf 
fered at Lancaster, September 10, 1641. 

" For Christ our Pasch is sacrificed." I COR. 
v. 7. 


September 7 

f B. JOHN DUCKETT, Pr., 1644 

OF an old Yorkshire family, he entered Douay 
and was so much addicted, the Diary says, to 
mental prayer, that while he was yet a student 
he was known to pass whole nights in those 
heavenly communications. Being both humble 
anddiscreet, before going on the English Mission 
he conferred at Paris with some very spiritual 
persons on his way of prayer, of which they 
approved, though what passed between his soul 
and God was so sublime that they owned it 
was above their comprehensions. For further 
security against delusions, to which contempla- 
tives are often exposed, he placed himself under 
the direction of the Prior of the Carthusians at 
Newport, and spent two months in preparing 
himself by spiritual exercises for the conversion 
of souls. His mission was in the diocese of 
Durham, where he had been about a year when 
he was arrested, tried, and condemned. On hear 
ing his sentence his countenance, which was 
naturally pale, became in a manner angelical, 
and his cheeks a beautiful colour, which con 
tinued till death. That this expression of out 
ward joy proceeded from his heart, we learn 
from his letters. " Ever since I was a priest," 
he writes, " I did much fear to live, but nothing 
fear to die." 

" This is my rest for ever and ever ; here will 
I dwell, for I have chosen it." Ps. cxxxi. 14. 

September 8 

Yen. RALPH CORBY, S.J., and Yen. JOHN 
DUCKETT, Pr., 1644 

RALPH CORBY, alias Darlington, was born near 
Dublin of English parents, natives of Durham, 
who had gone over to Ireland for the free exer 
cise of their religion. The piety of the family 
is sufficiently attested by the fact that both 
parents and children entered into religion : the 
father and his three sons into the Society of 
Jesus, the mother and her daughters into the 
Order of St. Benedict. After twelve years hard 
work, notwithstanding continuous ill-health, 
among the poorer Catholics in Durham, he was 
arrested and sent up to London with Father 
Duckett. They were escorted from West 
minster to Newgate by a company of Parlia 
ment soldiers, with a captain at their head, 
beating drums and firing off their muskets 
through the crowded streets, as if they had 
been the enemy s generals taken in war as in 
the old Roman battles. In prison the life of 
one of them could have been saved by an ex 
change made for a prisoner in the hand of the 
Emperor of Germany. The offer was first made 
to Father Corby, who declined it on the ground 
that Father Duckett, being younger, could do 
more work than himself ; but he in his turn re 
fused it with thanks, as Father Corby s life, on 
account of his experience, was of greater value. 

" Behold what manner of charity the Father 
hath bestowed upon us." i JOHN iii. i. 

September 9 

VV. CORBY, S.J., DUCKETT, Pr., 1644 

HAVING each refused to be spared at the cost 
of the other s life, they were sentenced to death, 
and returned with joy to prison, there to wait. V. 
Corby wrote : " For that holy and happy Saturday 
(September 7), which is the vigil of her glorious 
Nativity, by whose holy intercession I hope to 
be born again to a new and everlasting life." 
Their last day and the whole ensuing night was 
spent in prayer, fasting, watching, and in spiritual 
conferences with those who came to confess and 
to hear their last Mass. Amongst these were 
the Duchess of Guise and the French envoy. 
Father Corby in his last Mass appeared to be 
overwhelmed with an agony of sadness and 
fear. At length the cloud passed, and his joy 
returned. They went out to suffer with their 
tonsures shaved, the one in his Jesuit s habit, 
the other in his priest s cassock. At the gallows 
Father Duckett made no speech, but told an 
heretical minister that he had not come hither 
to be taught his religion, but to die for it. 
After a short discourse from Father Corby, the 
two confessors turned to each other. Together 
they had been arrested, supported each other 
by their mutual courage and self-sacrifice, and 
with a last most loving embrace they together 
received their eternal crown. 

" Salute one another in a holy kiss ; all the 
saints salute you." 2 COR. xiii. 12. 

September 10 


HE held, besides his sees at Elizabeth s acces 
sion, the important secular office of President of 
the Council of Wales. From this he was re 
moved by the Queen in furtherance of her plan 
of depriving all Catholics of positions of trust. 
On his refusal to consecrate Parker, and again 
to take the oath of Supremacy, he was sent to 
the Tower, June 18, 1560. There he remained 
till the plague broke out in 1563, when he was 
quartered on Nicolas Bullingham, Bishop in 
trusive of Lincoln. He died in charge of Dr. 
Carew, Dean of Exeter, who at Elizabeth s 
coronation had sung the Mass without elevating 
either the Sacred Host or chalice. Bishops in 
charge of these Protestant dignitaries were to 
be kept in safe custody, to have their diet alone 
in their chamber, and that in no superfluity. 
They -were to see only their attendant, never to 
take the air save accompanied with his cus 
todian. They were to have sound books lent 
to them, and be persuaded to hear sermons, and 
attend the Protestant services. Thus deprived 
of Mass, the Sacrament, Catholic books, or the 
sight of a Catholic, wearied by heretical argu 
ments, and worn by the continual pressure of 
their heretical keepers, the confessors bore 
witness till death. 

"We would not have you ignorant, brethren, 
of our tribulation. We were pressed out of 
measure, so that we were weary even of life." 
2 COR. i. 8. 


September 1 1 



SCRIVELSBY COURT, Lincolnshire, the home of 
the Dymokes, was one of the centres of the 
Rising in that county. The "articles of griev 
ance " devised by the insurgents were drawn up 
by the Dymokes. Robert had so far conformed 
as to a ttend the Protestant service, while he 
harboured a priest, B. Kirkman, in his house 
disguised as a schoolmaster to his sons. This 
act of hospitality, with the risks it involved, 
seems to have procured for him the grace of 
complete conversion. On July 24, 1580, Robert 
and his wife, Lady Bridget, were indicted for 
hearing Mass and for non-attendance at the Pro 
testant service. Though helplessly paralysed, 
he was carried to Lincoln, and in a miserable 
prison there fell dangerously ill. Even when 
dying he was not left in peace. " They come," 
writes Father Persons, " when he is wrestling 
with the pangs of death. Even then the 
ministers do not permit him to die, as he desires, 
a Catholic death. They urge him to pray such 
sorry prayers of their own making as in health 
he contemned, in sickness with open voice he 
rejected, and now dumb and half dead, by his 
countenance, by signs and tokens, and by gesture 
of his body, he did utterly contemn and abhor." 

" Who by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought 
justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths 
of lions." HEB. xi. 33. 


September 12 



ABOVE all things love God with all thy heart. 

Desire His honour more than the health of 
thine own soul. 

Take heed with all diligence to purge and 
cleanse thy mind with oft Confession, and raise 
thy desire or lust from earthly things. 

Be you houseled (Holy Communion) with 
entire devotion. 

Repute not thyself better than any other 
person, be they never so great sinners, but 
rather judge and esteem yourself most simplest. 

Judge the best. 

Use much silence, but when thou needs must 

Delight not in familiarity of persons unknown 
to thee. 

Be solitary as much as is convenient with 
thine estate. 

Banish from thee all judging and detraction, 
and especially from thy tongue. 

Pray often. 

Also enforce thee to set thy house at quietness. 

Resort to God every hour. 

Advance not thy words or deeds by any pride. 

Be not too much familiar, but show a serious 
and prudent countenance with gentleness. 

Show before all people a good example of 

"The Wisdom from above is first chaste. "- 
JAS. iii. 17. 


September 13 


BE not partial for favour, lucre, or malice, but 
according to truth, equity, justice, and reason. 

Be pitiful to poor folk and help them to thy 
power, for then thou shalt greatly please God. 

Give fair language to all persons, and espe 
cially to the poor and needy. 

Also be diligent in giving of alms. 

In prosperity be meek of heart, and in adver 
sity patient. 

And pray continually to God that you may 
do what is His pleasure. 

Also apply diligently the co-operations of the 
Holy Ghost whatever thou hast therein to do. 

Pray for perseverance. 

Continue in dread, and ever have God before 
thine eyes. 

Renew every day thy good purpose. 

What thou hast to do, do it diligently. 

Stablish thyself always in well-doing. 

If by chance you fall into sin, despair not, 
and if you keep these precepts, the Holy Ghost 
will strengthen thee in all other things neces 
sary, and thus doing you shall be with Christ 
in Heaven, to whom be glory, laud, honour, and 
praise everlasting. 

" She conducted the just through the right 
ways and showed him the kingdom of God, 
and gave him the knowledge of holy things." 
WlS. x. 10. 


September 14 

Yen. EDWARD BARLOW, O.S.B., 1641 

HE began his labours in his native county 
Lancashire, aged thirty, about 1615. There he 
boarded with an honest country farmer, which 
he preferred to living with great families, though 
desired by many, that the poor might always 
have access to him night or day. To them he 
devoted his labours and imparted alms, spiritual 
and temporal, according to his ability. He would 
never have a servant till forced by sickness ; 
never would have a horse, but made his pastoral 
visits always on foot. His apparel was mean ; 
neither would he ever wear a sword or carry a 
watch. He allowed himself no manner of play 
or pastime, and avoided all superfluous talk or 
conversation. He was never idle, but was 
always either praying, studying, preaching, ad 
ministering the Sacraments, or sometimes as 
a diversion painting pictures of Christ or His 
Blessed Mother, whose beads he recited daily. 
He set free many possessed persons ; he had 
great talent in composing differences and re 
conciling those at variance, and was consulted 
as an oracle by the neighbouring Catholics in 
all their difficulties. He feared no dangers, and 
when God s honour or the salvation of souls 
called him forth, would face his enemies even 
at noonday, and pass through them unhurt. 

" Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be 
an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God." 
ROM. i. i. 


September 15 


Yen. EDWARD BARLOW, O.S.B., 1641 

ON the eves before the principal festivals of the 
year, whilst Father Barlow was in health, the 
Catholics resorted to him from distant places 
and passed the night, after the manner of the 
primitive Church, in watching, prayer, and 
spiritual colloquies, whilst, for his part, he was 
employed almost all the night hearing confes 
sions. On the next day he treated them all with 
a dinner, when he and some of the more honour 
able of his flock served them that were poor, and 
waited upon them, and then dined off their 
leavings. When he sent them home he gave 
each of them a groat in alms, and when all had 
dined he distributed what remained to the poor 
of the parish. His zeal had made him as well 
known in all that neighbourhood as the very 
parson of the parish. Some reprehended him 
forgoing about so publicly ; to whom he replied, 
" Let them fear that have anything to lose, which 
they are unwilling to part with." This was in 
deed not his case, as he had set his heart upon 
nothing in this world, and was even desirous to 
lay down his life for God s cause. Nor could he 
be persuaded to retire further from danger, de 
siring, were it God s will, to shed his blood at 

" And the multitude of believers had but one 
heart and one soul ... all things were common 
unto them." ACTS iv. 32. 

September 1 6 

Ven. EDWARD BARLOW, O.S.B., 1641 

SOME months before his last apprehension, for 
he was several times a prisoner, he heard that 
some persons, dear to him as his own soul, were 
bent upon doing something very wicked, and 
which was like to be the ruin of many souls. 
The news of this scandal so strongly on a sudden 
affected him that he was seized with a fit of dead 
palsy, which deprived him of the use of one side 
and put his life in danger. What added very 
much to his cross was the fear lest his poor 
children whom he had begotten in Christ should 
now be left destitute of spiritual assistance. 
Moreover, he had the additional affliction that, 
while his convulsions and pains seemed to have 
brought him to death s door, no priest could be 
found to administer the Holy Sacraments to him. 
In this anguish God was pleased to comfort him, 
and he made an act of complete conformity to 
God s will, preferring that entire resignation to 
the use of the Sacraments or to martyrdom itself. 
While in these dispositions a Jesuit father 
arrived to assist him, as he himself had twelve 
years before exercised the same charity to B. 
Arrowsmith when in prison, at which time that 
confessor of Christ had foretold that he must be 
the next to follow. 

"Who is weak and I am not weak? who is 
scandalised and I am not on fire?" 2 COR.xi.29. 


September 1 7 

Yen. EDWARD BARLOW, O.S.B., 1641 

HE was led to Lancaster gaol amidst a jeering 
mob, but was so weak that he had to be held on 
the horse s back. In prison he wonderfully re 
covered his health, and refused every offer of 
escape or of petitions for his life. At his trial, 
after four months imprisonment, the judge asked 
him what he thought of the laws by which priests 
were put to death. " All laws," he answered, 
" made against Catholics on account of their 
religion are unjust and impious, and that especi 
ally which condemns priests to suffer as traitors 
merely because they are Roman that is, true 
priests. For there are no other priests but the 
Roman, and if they be destroyed, what must 
become of the Divine law when none remain 
to preach God s law and administer the Sacra 
ments ? And if, my Lord, in consequence of so 
unjust a law, you condemn me to die, you would 
send me to Heaven and yourself to Hell." He 
was sentenced, and brought out to suffer on 
Friday, September 10, carrying a wooden cross 
which he had made. He told the ministers who 
pestered him that he had something else to do 
than to hearken to their fooleries, and saying 
the Miserere he went to Heaven, September 10, 

" But I chose Jerusalem that my name might 
be there, and I chose David to set him over my 
people." 2 PARAL. vi. 6. 

273 s 

September 18 
Ven. RICHARD HERST, L., 1628 

HE wrote before his death three letters to his 
confessor. The first is as follows : " I received 
your letter with news of death, at which I am 
not much dismayed, I thank my Lord and 
Saviour ; the more malicious my enemies the 
greater my comfort, for I do constantly believe 
that my religion is the cause of their malice, 
and my greatest desire is to offer my blood in 
so good a cause. And although my flesh be 
timorous and fearful, I yet find great comfort in 
spirit, in casting myself upon my sweet Saviour 
with a most fervent love, when I consider what 
He hath done and suffered for me ; and I had 
rather die a thousand deaths than possess a 
kingdom and live in mortal sin ; for there is 
nothing so hateful to me as sin, and that only 
for the love of my Saviour. I do most con 
stantly believe that He hath afflicted me to save 
me, and I trust I shall die truly humbled, for 
the which I desire your good prayers, that I 
may persevere to the end ; for of myself I can 
do nothing without His grace." He left behind 
him six little children, and his wife with child. 

" Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou know- 
est that I love Thee." JOHN xxi. 17. 


September 19 

Ven. RICHARD HERST, L., 1628 

THIS is his last letter to his confessor when 
about to suffer : " Now I take my last leave ; 
now I am dying, and am as willing to die as 
ever I was to live, I thank my Lord and Saviour, 
who I trust will never fail me. I have comfort 
in Christ Jesus and His Blessed Mother, my 
good angel, and all the blessed Saints, and in 
the valiant and triumphant martyr, B. Arrow- 
smith, who is gone before me. How I have been 
used you will hear, and likewise what I had 
offered me if I would have taken the oath. I 
hope my friends will truly understand that my 
greatest desire is to suffer, and I would I had 
as many lives to offer as I have committed sins. 
Now, dear Sir, prepare yourself also to suffer, 
and animate your ghostly children in suffering. 
Once again, I desire you to say and to procure 
some Masses for my sinful soul, and if it please 
God to receive me into His kingdom, I shall not 
be unmindful of you and of all my good friends. 
I pray you remember my poor children, and 
encourage my friends about my debts which my 
chief worldly care is to satisfy. Once again, 
adieu. I desire to be dissolved, and to be with 
Christ Jesus." 

"He sent twelve thousand drachms of silver 
for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, 
thinking well and religiously concerning the 
Resurrection." 2 MACH. xii. 43. 

September 20 

Ven. JOHN DUCKETT, Pr., 1644 

HE was taken, in company with two Catholic 
laymen, as he was going to baptize two children 
on the Feast of the Visitation, July 2. His 
captors, the Parliament soldiers, carried him 
before a committee of the Sequestrators at 
Sunderland. He declined to answer as to his 
priesthood and demanded proof, but was com 
mitted to prison by reason of the Holy oils and 
books found on him. Again examined, and 
again refusing to inculpate himself, he was 
threatened with lighted matches placed between 
his fingers to make him confess what he was. 
This availing nothing he was sent back to 
prison. After an hour he was again called, and 
found his two companions on the point of being 
shipped and sent away, merely because he 
would not confess who he was. " Seeing this," 
he says, " and also fearing that the Catholics of 
the neighbourhood who knew me might suffer, 
and especially those with whom I lived, I con 
fessed myself to free them and the country." 
His self-sacrifice was successful, and seemed an 
inspiration from Heaven. No more inquiry was 
made after his friends, but Father Duckett was 
sent up to London in company with Father 
Corby, a Jesuit, who was taken in these parts as 
he was going up to the altar to say Mass. 

"If therefore ye seek Me, let these go their 
way." JOHN xviii. 8. 


September 21 



His family were great sufferers for the faith. 
His maternal grandfather, Mr. Nicholas Gerard, 
being unable to move with the gout, was carried 
to the Protestant Church and placed close to 
the minister, but he sang Psalms in Latin so 
loud that the minister was inaudible, and he 
had to be removed. His parents and their 
household were driven, tied two and two, to Lan 
caster gaol, the four youngest children, of which 
Edmund was one, being left homeless and un 
clad until some charitable neighbours took com 
passion on them. After some years, to ease 
his now widowed mother of her burden, a 
venerable priest took charge of Edmund. As 
the boy went to school, about a mile distant, 
his daily practice was to recite with his com 
panions the little hours of Our Lady s 
Office, and on his way back the Vespers and 
Compline. After his return home he would 
withdraw to his oratory and there perform his 
customary devotions of the Jesus Psalter, the 
Seven Psalms, &c., and so engaging were his 
temper and manners that he won the affection 
of even the Protestant schoolmaster. His 
priestly studies, though often interrupted by his 
bad health, were completed at Douay, whence 
he went on the English Mission, 1613. 

" When he was yet a boy he began to seek 
the God of his father David." 2 PARAL. xxxiv-3. 

September 22 



HE is described as being, like St. Paul, of mean 
presence, but of great innocency of life, and so 
zealous, witty, and fervent that his eagerness 
to dispute with heretics, had he not been re 
strained, would have brought him too soon 
into danger of death. A Protestant gentleman, 
thinking from his appearance he might be 
easily befooled, tried to jest upon him, but his 
retorts were so sharp that the gentleman swore 
that where he thought he had met a mere 
simpleton he had found a foolish scholar or a 
learned fool. He had such great power in free 
ing possessed persons, during his fifteen years 
of priestly labour, first as a secular then as a 
Jesuit, that at his last trial the judge pleaded 
for his death as too dangerous a seducer to 
be set at liberty. Dr. Bridgman, Bishop of 
Chester, before whom he was once brought at 
supper-time in Lent, excused himself for eating 
flesh, as being dispensed on account of weak 
ness. " But who dispenses your lusty ministers 
there, who have no such need, and all eat 
flesh?" As divers ministers together attacked 
him, he said to the Bishop, " Turn all your dogs 
at once against me, and let us have a loose 

" Now I, Paul, beseech you by the mildness 
and modesty of Christ, who in presence indeed 
am lowly among you but being absent am bold 
towards you." 2 COR. x. i. 

September 23 

Yen. JOHN WALL, O.S.F., 1679 

BORN of a Lancashire gentleman s family, he 
received the habit of St. Francis at Douay in 
1651, being then thirty-two years of age. He 
entered on the English Mission, 1656, and 
laboured successfully for twelve years. At the 
breaking out of the Gates Plot he was appre 
hended, and, refusing to take the oath of 
allegiance, was imprisoned in Worcester gaol. 
Of his sentiments then he writes: "Imprison 
ment in these times, when none can send to 
their friends or their friends come to them, is 
the best means to teach us how to put our con 
fidence in God alone in all things, and then 
He will make His promise good that all 
things shall be added unto us (Luke xii. 31), 
which chapter, if every one would read and 
made good use of, a prison would be better 
than a palace, and a confinement for religion 
and a good conscience sake more pleasant 
than all the liberties the world could afford. As 
for my own part, God give me His grace and 
all faithful Christians their prayers ; I am 
happy enough. We all ought to follow the 
narrow way, though there be many difficulties 
in it. It is an easy thing to run the blind way 
of liberty, but God deliver us from all broad, 
sweet ways." 

" How narrow is the gate and straight the 
way that leadeth to life, and few there are that 
find it." MATT. vii. 14. 

September 24 


B. EVERARD HANSE, Pr., 1581 

" BROTHER, I pray you be careful of my parents, 
see them instructed in the way of truth, so that 
you be careful for your own state also. Give 
thanks to God for all that He hath sent. Cast 
not yourself into danger wilfully, but pray God, 
when occasion is offered, to take it with patience. 
The comforts at the present time are unspeak 
able, the dignity too high for a sinner, but God 
is merciful. Bestow my things you find ungiven 
away on my poor kinsfolk. A pair of pantoffles 
I leave with M. N. for my mother. Twenty 
shillings I would have you bestow on them for 
me, if you can make so much conveniently ; 
some I have left with M. N. I owe ten shillings 
and two shillings. I pray you see it paid. 
M. N. will let you understand how and to whom. 
If you want money to discharge it, send to my 
friends, you know where and to whom. * Summa 
Conciliorum, I pray you restore to M. B. : the 
other books, you know to whom. Have me 
commended to my friends. Let them think I 
will not forget them. The day and the hour of 
my birth is at hand, and my Master saith, 
Tolle crucem tuam et sequere Me. Vale in 

" Well done, thou good and faith fifl servant, be 
cause thou hast been faithful over a few things, 
I will place thee over many things. Enter thou 
into the joy of thy Lord." MATT. xxv. 23. 

September 25 

Ven. OLIVER PLUNKET, Archbishop, on the 
Scaffold, 1 68 1 

" I WAS brought to the bar here after six months 
imprisonment for a crime for which before I was 
arraigned in Ireland; a fact almost without 
precedent in five hundred years. Five weeks 
were allowed me to bring over my records and 
witnesses, which, owing to many difficulties, 
was insufficient. I asked for five days more. 
This was refused, and I was exposed, with my 
hands tied, as it were, to these merciless per 
jurers. You see what position I am in, and 
you have heard the protestations of my inno- 
cency, and I hope you will believe the words 
of a dying man. In support of my credit I 
assure you that I was offered my life if I would 
accuse other conspirators, but as I know of none 
I could not. I admit that I endeavoured to 
establish a proper discipline among the clergy 
according to my duty, and you see how I am 
rewarded. By false oaths they have brought 
me to this untimely death. But this wicked 
act, being a defect of person, ought not to reflect 
on the Order of St. Francis or on the Roman 
Catholic clergy. There was a Judas among the 
Apostles, and a Nicholas among the seven 
deacons, and as St. Stephen, the holy deacon, 
prayed for his enemies, so do I." And so he 
went to his reward. 

" Them that sin reprove before all, that the 
rest may have fear." i TIM. iv. 20. 

September 26 

Ven. OLIVER PLUNKET, Archbishop, 1681 
AFTER his condemnation, he wrote to Father 
Corker, his fellow-prisoner, as follows : " I am 
obliged to you for the favour and charity of the 
zoth, and for all your former benevolences ; and 
whereas I cannot in this country remunerate 
you., with God s grace I hope to be grateful in 
that kingdom which is properly our country. 
And truly God gave me, though unworthy of 
it, that grace to have * fortem animum mortis 
terrore carentem, a courage fearless of death. 
I have many sins to answer for before the 
Supreme Judge of the High Bench, where no 
false witnesses can have audience. But as for 
the bench yesterday, I am not guilty of any 
crime there objected to me. I would I could be 
so clear at the bench of the All-powerful. Ut 
ut sit, there is one comfort that He cannot be 
deceived, because He is omniscious, and knows 
all secrets, even of hearts, and cannot deceive 
because all goodness, so that I may be sure of 
a fair trial, and will get time sufficient to call 
witnesses ; nay, the Judge will bring them in 
a moment if there be need of any. You and 
your comrade s prayers will be powerful ad 
vocates at that trial. Here none are admitted 
for your affectionate friend, 


" But there is no other God but Thou who 
hast care of all, that Thou shouldst show that 
Thou dost not give judgment unjustly." 
WlS. xii. 13. 


September 27 

t Bishop WATSON, OF LINCOLN, 1584 

A BRILLIANT scholar, master of St. John s 
College, Cambridge, he took the oath of Supre 
macy under Henry VIII, but maintained in all 
other points the Catholic faith, and for preach 
ing in its defence was imprisoned for a time by 
the Protector Somerset, together with Bishop 
Goodman, whose chaplain he was. By order 
of Mary he preached before her at Paul s 
Cross, and refuted the contradictions of the 
new teaching. Promoted Dean of Durham and 
Bishop of Lincoln, he was imprisoned by Eliza 
beth for contempt and contumacy, and began 
a long course of suffering either in public or 
private custody. He writes to Cecil, October 6, 
1578, that two infirmities drove him to crave for 
succour blindness and lameness. He had lost 
one of his eyes, and the other was so weak he 
could scarce see the meat on the table. His 
lameness was due to sciatica in both his thighs. 
His last confinement was at Wisbeach, where 
he used all his influence, in the strife then 
prevailing, to promote peace and charity, and 
with great success. He died September 27, 
1584, having proved by twenty years of bonds 
his repentance for his early fall. 

" I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same 
thing, and that there be no schisms among you." 
i COR. i. 10. 


September 28 

Ven. JOHN WOODCOCK, O.S.F., 1646 

"THE more conscious I am that it is better to 
be poor in the House of the Lord than to abide 
in the tabernacles of sinners, so much the more 
the conviction of my soul still unaccomplished 
grows stronger in the day and night, and the 
former direction of my conscience, disturbed in 
spite of myself from its original seat and form, 
incessantly solicits and urges me on ; so that 
the desire for its reformation, no less than that 
sudden fall " (he had withdrawn as a postulant) 
" which threw both it and my whole being into 
confusion, inflames my soul. Wherefore, my 
dear Father William, I beseech you by our old 
friendship, which in this misfortune intercedes 
for me with- you, to take pity on my miserable 
state, and apply yourself to obtain my pardon 
and the favour of my restoration. This is my 
desire, this I ask, this I wait for, for this I sigh 
and groan, and I desire it for no other motive 
than the pure love of God and His glory. 
That which you saw me previously desire 
lightly, strive now for Christ s sake to obtain 
for me more efficaciously. This will be my 
greatest happiness, and nothing whatever can 
add thereto. Farewell." 

"The prayer of him that humbleth himself 
shall pierce the clouds." ECCLUS. xxxv. 21. 

September 29 

t Ven. WILLIAM SPENSER, Pr., 1589 

BORN in the Craven district of York, he was 
educated by his maternal uncle, Horn, a Marian 
priest, at his benefice near Chipping Norton. 
He then entered Trinity College, Oxford, and 
became Fellow and Master of Arts in 1580. 
There, though outwardly conforming, he showed 
such zeal for the faith as to embitter the heretics 
and to win many youths by his instructions in 
Catholic doctrine. After two years thus living 
with a troubled conscience, he sought peace by 
leaving Oxford for Rheims, and in 1584 returned 
as a priest to England. His first care was the 
conversion of his parents, whom he contrived 
after much difficulty to meet in a field disguised 
as a labourer, with the result that they were 
both reconciled. His uncle also by his influ 
ence resigned his benefice, which he had only 
held by tampering with heresy, and found a 
home in a Catholic household. He now devoted 
himself to the Catholic prisoners at York, and 
managed to secure a hiding-place with them in 
the Castle. After labouring with much fruit, he 
was arrested when on a journey and suffered 
with great constancy at York, September 27, 
1589, thus washing out with his blood the 
heretical stains of his youth. 

" Honour thy father and forget not the groan- 
ings of thy mother, and make a return to them as 
they have done for thee." ECCLUS. vii. 29, 30. 

September 30 



As they had failed in their arguments, they 
turned to scoffing, and mocked him for having 
no tonsure, wearing a beard, and dressing as a 
layman with a silk point to his hose. Then, as 
he refused the oath of allegiance, the Bishop 
commanded him to be heavily shackled, and to 
wear besides a great bolt. This, by reason of 
his sickness, was removed, but he was sent on 
foot from Hereford to Leominster, still wearing 
his shackles, though, owing to his extreme 
weakness, a boy was allowed to accompany 
him holding up their links by a string. After 
his condemnation to death, for some months 
before his martyrdom he was chained every 
night to his bed-post by an iron chain. One 
day the keeper led him to an obscure and 
loathsome place, and left him there chained to 
a post, unable to move more than two yards ; 
at last the keeper s wife, moved with compas 
sion, in her husband s absence let him loose. 
In his sickness in prison he was subject to 
ill-usage and slanders, yet nothing daunted his 
courage or cheerfulness, and to a friend he said, 
shaking his shackles as he lay prostrate, "Hear, 
O Lord ! these are my little bells." 

" He clothed him with a robe of glory, and 
encompassed him with many little bells of gold, 
that a noise might be heard in the temple for 
a memorial to the children of his people." 
ECCLUS. xlv. 9, 10, ii. 


October i 

t Ven. JOHN ROBINSON, Pr., 1588 

BORN at Fernsby, Yorkshire, he lived for some 
time in the world in the married state, but on 
becoming a widower he went over to Rheims, 
was ordained, and sent on the Mission. He 
was a man of great simplicity and sincerity, 
and he used to say that " if he could not dis 
pute for the faith as well as some of the others, 
he could die for it as well as the best." He 
was apprehended in the very port where he 
landed, and cast into the Clink prison. His 
fellow-prisoners, in respect to his age and pro 
bity, called him "Father," and he in return 
styled them his "bairns," and when they were 
sent off to be executed in different parts of the 
Kingdom, the good old man lamented for days 
exceedingly, until at last the warrant for his own 
execution arrived. To the bearer of the war 
rant he gave all his money, and on his knees 
gave God thanks. He was sent to suffer at 
Ipswich, a long journey taken on foot, but he 
refused to put on boots, as he said, " These feet 
of mine have never worn them, and they can 
well travel now without them, for they will be 
well repaid." He was executed October I, 

" Behold a true Israelite, in whom there is no 
guile." JOHN i. 47. 


October 2 

B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

" SINCE I am condemned, and God knows how, 
I wish to speak freely of your statute for the 
discharge of my conscience. For the seven 
years that I have studied the matter, I have 
not read in any approved doctor of the Church 
that a temporal lord could or ought to be head 
of the spirituality. For one bishop of your 
opinion, I have a hundred saints of mine ; and 
for one Parliament of yours, and God knows of 
what kind, I have all the General Councils for 
1000 years ; and for one kingdom, I have all 
the kingdoms of Christendom. I say further, 
that your statute is ill made, because you have 
sworn never to do anything against the Church, 
which through all Christendom is one and un 
divided, and you have no authority, without the 
common consent of all Christians, to make a 
law or Act of Parliament or Council against 
the union of Christendom. The true reason 
for my condemnation is my unwillingness to 
consent to the King s second marriage ; but I 
hope, in the Divine goodness and mercy, that 
as St. Paul and St. Stephen, whom he perse 
cuted, are now friends in Paradise, so we, 
though differing here, shall be united hereafter. 
I pray God to protect the King and to give 
him good counsel." 

" Every kingdom divided against itself shall 
be made desolate, and every city or house divided 
against itself shall not stand." MATT. xii. 25. 

October 3 

Yen. PHILIP POWEL, O.S.B., 1646 

OF a good Welsh family, he was trained for fhe 
law in London under Father Augustine Baker, 
then a famous lawyer in the Temple, who be 
came a Benedictine monk. Powel followed his 
example and entered the same order, and in 
1622 was sent on the English Mission. He 
laboured for some twenty years in Devon, till 
this county was so overrun with Parliament 
soldiers that the only safe place for Catholics 
was with Goring s army, and Powel accom 
panied it till the force was disbanded. He 
was arrested when on a vessel bound for Wales. 
In his defence at King s Bench he pleaded that 
Henry VIII made a statute of qualification of all 
statutes, and that the reason of Queen Eliza 
beth s statute against priests was her fears and 
jealousies of the Queen of Scots and the Span 
iards, with both of whom priests were believed 
to have relations. This was, however, a time 
of civil war, when the King s person was absent, 
and could not, therefore, be the object of a plot. 
Hence, both the person and the cause being 
taken away, this latter statute might receive the 
benefit of mitigation. He added that he was 
not guilty according to the letter of Elizabeth s 
statute, being taken not in England but at sea. 
He was, however, hanged, Tyburn, June 30. 

"And all that heard Him were astonished at 
His wisdom and answers." LUKE ii. 47. 
289 T 

October 4 


" IT was not our death that ever we feared, but 
we knew that we were not lords of our own 
lives, and therefore, for want of answer, would 
not be guilty of our own deaths. The only 
thing that we have now to say is, that if our 
religion do make us traitors, we are worthy to 
be condemned, but otherwise are and have 
been as true subjects as ever the Queen had. 
In condemning us you condemn all your own 
ancestors all the ancient priests, bishops, and 
kings all what was once the glory of England, 
the island of Saints, and the most devoted child 
of the See of Peter. For what have we taught, 
however you may qualify it with the odious 
name of treason, that they did not uniformly 
teach ? To be condemned with these old lights 
not of England only, but of the world by 
their degenerate descendants is both gladness 
and glory to us. God lives : posterity will live : 
their judgment is not so liable to corruption as 
that of those who are now going to sentence us 
to death." "Never," says Fitzherbert, "was 
Campion s face more noble ; his conduct had 
been calm and dignified, and his arguments 
pointed and conclusive ; but in this last speech 
he surpassed himself." 

"And after this the judgment." HEB. ix. 37. 

October 5 

Ven. WILLIAM HARTLEY, Pr., 1588 

BORN in the diocese of Lichfield and brought 
up a Protestant, he became Chaplain and Fellow 
of St. John s College, Oxford, but was removed 
from that part by Tobie Matthew, the president, 
on suspicion of his Catholic tendencies. He 
then went to Rheims, was reconciled, ordained, 
and returned to the English Mission in 1580. 
Within a twelvemonth of his arrival he was 
arrested, in the house of Lady Stonor, and im 
prisoned in the Tower. In 1585, after five 
years imprisonment, he, with some twenty other 
priests, was sent into banishment, but his zeal 
for souls drove him back to England, though he 
knew death awaited him. He laboured again 
amidst good report and evil report, the heretics 
having pretended that he had apostatised, and 
he converted, amongst others, a Captain Cripps, 
a well-known personage at that time, who sub 
sequently entered the service of the King of 
Spain. Father Hartley was carried to execution 
with John Hewitt, who was hanged at Mile s 
End Green, with Robert Sutton, who suffered at 
Clerkenwell, and was himself finally executed 
at Shoreditch, having refused to ask for the 
Queen s forgiveness, since his priesthood had 
been his only offence. His mother was present 
at his passion, and rejoiced exceedingly that she 
had brought forth a son to glorify God by such 
a death. 

"There stood by the cross of Jesus His 
mother." JOHN xix. 25. 

October 6 

OF an old Suffolk family, possessed of a large 
fortune, a Puritan by profession, he followed 
in his youth the life of a gay cavalier. Going 
abroad, however, his eyes were opened to the 
faith, and he was reconciled by Father Parsons 
at Rome. Returning to England, he devoted 
himself to the services of the missionary priests, 
and formed for this purpose, with Lord Henry 
Howard, Lord Oxford, Mr. Southwell, Lord 
Paget, and other young men, a " Catholic As 
sociation," which was solemnly blessed by 
Gregory XIII, April 14, 1580. The members 
promised to imitate the lives of the Apostles, 
and to devote themselves wholly to the salvation 
of souls and the conversion of heretics. They 
were to be content with the necessaries of their 
state, and to bestow all the rest for the good of 
the Catholic cause. They supplied the priests 
with altar requisites, with horses, and various 
changes of apparel, and disguised themselves 
as grooms or servants and escorted the priests 
through the country from house to house. To 
Gilbert is due the first idea of the frescoes of the 
English martyrs in the English College, Rome. 
He was admitted to the Society of Jesus on his 

" And the multitude of believers had but one 
heart and one soul, neither did any one say that 
aught of the things he possessed was his own, but 
all things were common unto them." ACTS 
iv. 32. 


October 7 

Bishop BONNER OF LONDON, 1569 

SUMMONED by the Council and requested to 
resign, with the assurance of a good pension if 
he would do so, he replied that he preferred 
death. "How then," they asked, "will you 
live?" "Nothing indeed remains to me ; but I 
hope in God, who will not fail me, and in my 
friends, the more that I may be able to gain 
my livelihood by teaching children, which pro 
fession I did not disdain to exercise although 
I was a bishop. And should no one be found 
willing to accept my teaching, I am a doctor 
of law and will resume the study of what I 
have forgotten, and will thus gain my bread. 
And should this not succeed, I know how to 
labour with my hands in gardens and orchards, 
as planting, grafting, sowing, etc. as well as any 
gardener in the Kingdom. And should this also 
be insufficient, I desire no other grace, favour, 
or privilege from Her Majesty than what she 
grants to the mendicants who go through 
London from door to door begging, that I may 
do the like if necessary." When the Council 
heard this, his final denunciation, they said, 
"We have nothing more to do with you at 
present. Her Majesty then will provide herself 
with another bishop." 

" Hath not God chosen the poor in this world, 
rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which 
God hath promised to them that love him?" 

JAS. ii. 5. 


October 8 

f Ven. RICHARD DIBDALE, Pr., 1586 

BORN in Worcestershire, ordained at Rheims, 
he began his labours in the English Mission in 
1 584. He was specially renowned as an exorcist. 
At Sir George Peckham s, Denham, near Ux- 
bridge, and other places, by the virtue and 
power which Christ has bequeathed to the 
ministers of His Church, the martyr showed 
his mastery over evil spirits. They were forced 
to leave the bodies of the possessed, and to 
bring from their mouths pieces of metal and 
other things which could never have entered a 
human body. In obedience to the prayers and 
exorcisms of the Church, they declared, to their 
own confusion, the virtue of the sign of the 
Cross, holy water, and relics, both of the ancient 
saints and of those suffering in England in those 
days for the Catholic faith. These manifesta 
tions were slighted indeed by some incredulous 
and hard-hearted heretics ; yet others who were 
not so biassed by passion, but more reasonable, 
were convinced by what they saw, and there 
upon renounced their errors. Father Dibdale 
was condemned to die for his priestly character 
and functions, and accordingly was, together 
with BB. Lowe and Adams, driven to Tyburn, 
and there hanged, drawn, and quartered, 
Octobers, -1586. 

" He gave them power over unclean spirits to 
cast them out." MATT. x. i. 

October 9 


" WHO has now cast you into prison, or who can 
do so without the permission of Divine Provi 
dence ? Whose cause is it that you have taken 
upon you to defend but that of Christ Himself? 
Whose soldiers are you but Christ s ? Whose is 
the Standard under which you serve Christ but 
the Holy Spirit ? Who is the Captain of your 
warfare but Christ ? Who is it that will pay you 
the reward of veteran soldiers but Christ ? Who 
is it that will crown you as conquerors but 
Christ ? Who is it that will unite you to those 
holy men of God who have waged these battles 
before you but Christ? Who is it that will 
bring you to the glorious palms of the martyrs 
but Christ? Who is He by whose help and 
blessing you hope to obtain for your possession 
the bliss of eternal glory, together with blessed 
Lacey, Kirkman, Thompson, and Hart, and your 
other fathers of happy memory, but Christ ? Be 
brave and faithful, then, and let no torments, 
crosses, or afflictions lead you to fail in courage. 
If the Lord Mayor should commit you to yet 
closer custody, Christ your Captain will grant 
you to roam far and wide in His royal palace of 

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little 
lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, 
crowned with glory and honour." HEB. ii. 9. 

October 10 


"IF the judges and commissioners have seized 
unjustly your goods, Christ your King will grant 
you to receive in this world a hundred-fold for 
every farthing you have lost, and in the world 
to come eternal life and bliss that shall never 
know an end. If wicked gaolers use force and 
cruelty, continually annoy and torment, fre* 
quently examine and persecute you, let not all 
these things cause you the least trouble of mind 
or make you remiss in the divine service. You 
will see that Christ will visit you the more 
quickly, that He will give you greater consola 
tions day by day, and will make His throne in 
your hearts with the more frequency and the 
more pleasure. Therefore be of good cheer, 
beloved, clap with your hands, yea, let every 
member of your bodies exult with joy, in that 
you have a cause so noble, Christ for your 
Captain, the Holy Ghost for your Comforter, 
and for your advocates and defenders the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, the Angels, the Holy Apostles, 
the Martyrs, the Confessors, the Virgins, the 
blood of your fathers so freshly spilt which cries 
aloud to Heaven to obtain for you perseverance 
to the end." 

" For it became Him who had brought many 
children into glory to perfect the Author of their 
salvation by His Passion." HEB. ii. 10. 

October 1 1 


"IF you go on as you have begun, before many 
years," he said to the Sheriff, " the law will make 
it treason to believe in Jesus Christ. You must 
hate Him greatly since you cannot bear to behold 
the Statue and image which is a memorial of 
His Passion and our Redemption, and which 
the most praiseworthy piety of your forefathers 
erected at great cost." Hereupon those who 
stood around cried out, " Where in the Scripture 
did Christ order an image of Himself to be 
made ? " Bullaker replied : " The precise words 
do not occur, yet the natural law, to which the 
Divine law is never opposed, approves of the 
practice. Reason teaches and experience proves 
that an injury done to a statue is done to Him 
whose person it represents. To make the thing 
clearer, if any one insulted, trampled underfoot, 
or broke to pieces the statue of the King, would 
you not say that he was guilty of treason ? And if 
it be so, ask yourselves, I entreat you, how much 
greater a crime it must be to injure and abuse 
the statue of Jesus Christ our Saviour, the King 
of kings, as you have lately done." 

" Whom He foreknew, He also predestinated 
to be made conformable to the image of His 
Son." ROM. viii. 29. 


October 12 


t Ven. THOMAS BULLAKER, O.S.F., 1642 

SON of a well-known Catholic physician at 
Chichester, he was sent to St. Omer s, and 
thence entered the Franciscan Order in Spain. 
He first offered himself for the Mission in the 
West Indies, but England ^being pointed out as 
a richer field for his labours, thither he went. 
On landing at Plymouth he was arrested and 
imprisoned, and his sufferings then endured 
affected his health for the remainder of his 
life. As nothing could be proved against him, 
he was discharged, and for eleven years 
laboured in the country. The heroic sufferings 
of Father Ward enkindled in him, however, a 
holy envy, and he obtained leave to remove to 
London. He chose that part of the city where 
he was most in peril, but his hope for martyrdom 
was constantly deferred. Pursuivants came to 
his house, but would not take him, though he 
declared himself a priest. The next day they 
returned, and, though his Breviary was on the 
table, they left without arresting him. Deem 
ing himself unworthy of the crown, he re 
doubled his prayers and tears, and was arrested 
on Sunday, September 11, 1642, at the begin 
ning of his Mass, and to his great joy was 
executed at Tyburn, October 12, 1642. 

" I am come to cast fire on the earth, and 
what will I but that it be enkindled ? " LUKE 
xii. 49. 


October 13 



"!N the year 1642," he writes, "on September 
1 1, which fell on a Sunday, it pleased the Most 
High and Mighty God to put an end to my 
sufferings, and give me, His most unworthy 
servant, the consolation and hope that what I 
have so long desired and prayed for would 
shortly come to pass. Blessed be His Holy 
Name for all eternity. After having finished 
the Divine office on the morning of this Day, in 
order that I might better offer the unbloody 
Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of our Lord 
Jesus Christ to God, I recollected myself as 
was fitting and as best I could, and I prayed 
His Divine Majesty of His Infinite Goodness 
to grant me for love of Him to exchange life, 
and, knowing my own unworthiness, of His 
overflowing and Infinite Goodness to make up 
for my poverty. After having prayed thus with 
the greatest fervour that God granted me, I 
rose, and having washed my hands and said 
the Litany of the Blessed Virgin as usual, I 
began the Mass. But lo, as I was intoning the 
Gloria in Excelsis, the apostate pursuivant 
Wadsworth came into the room, laid hands on 
me at the Altar, and took me to the Sheriff." 

" Father, glorify Thy Name. A voice came 
from Heaven, I have glorified it and will 
glorify it again." JOHN xii. 28. 

October 14 


" THE Commissioners said, looking at my vest 
ments before them, that they were of inferior 
quality. I replied, they were yet too precious 
for their present possessors. 3 Though the 
vestments are poor, said the President, they 
are used for a most splendid idolatry. * What 
idolatry ? I asked. * Is it not idolatry, he said, 
to worship bread as God? I replied, We 
never adore bread and wine in the tremendous 
sacrifice of the Mass, but we adore our Lord 
Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread 
and wine, and offer to Him the worship that is 
due to Him according to the opinion and 
practice of the Universal Church from the days 
of the Apostles to those of Martin Luther. 
To this he said nothing. Meanwhile it 
happened that in turning over the vestments 
and other things one of them discovered an 
altar-stone ; and noticing on it the Sign of 
Christ s Cross he looked at it thoughtfully, and 
at last exclaimed that he had found the mark 
of the beast. I could scarcely help laughing at 
the gross ignorance and simplicity of the man. 
Turning to him I said, As such intimacy 
exists between you and the beast, I beg you to 
tell me plainly what is his name. 3 " 

" How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 
JOHN vi. 53. 


October 15 


" THE President now asked me how I had dared 
to break and repudiate the laws of the country. 
I answered with the Apostles (Acts iv.), Judge 
you if it be just in the sight of God to obey you 
rather than God. Sir William Cawley, my old 
school-fellow, said, You know, Mr. Bullaker, it 
is said, " Fear God, and honour the King." 
I know it, said I, and I know also that the 
Parliament which made it treason to be a priest 
did also by law establish the government of the 
Church by bishops, the Common Prayer, and 
ceremonies ; all which in this present Parlia 
ment you oppose. True, said he; but why 
may we not amend what is ill ordered before ? 
This, said I, is what you attempt, but know 
for certain that a Parliament will come, and that 
the very next Parliament that shall sit, in which 
that religion which you now pretend to estab 
lish (viz. presbytery) will be rejected and thrown 
out. He answered that I should never see 
that day. I replied, I know that the time of 
my dissolution is at hand, but what I have 
foretold will certainly happen. " It did so, for 
after the Rump was dissolved, there was no 
legal Parliament till the Restoration. 

"The lame walk, the lepers are cleansed . . . 
and blessed is he that shall not be scandalised 
in Me." MATT. xi. 5, 6. 

October 16 

t WILLIAM, Cardinal ALLEN, 1594 
BORN at Rossall Hall, Lancashire, he went to 
Oriel College, Oxford, and in Mary s reign be 
came Canon of York. On Elizabeth s accession 
he repaired to London, then returned to his home 
in Lancashire to strengthen the faith of the 
Catholics, and his zeal brought his life into 
danger, and he was forced to fly abroad. There, 
first in the Seminary at Douay and later in the 
English College at Rome, he laid the founda 
tions of those training grounds for priests, who 
for two centuries kept the faith in this country 
and furnished such an illustrious band of mar 
tyrs and confessors. " Douay," he wrote, a few 
months before his death, "is as dear to me 
as my own life, and which hath next to God 
been the beginning and ground of all the 
good and salvation which is wrought in Eng 
land." Created Cardinal by Sixtus V, he became 
the natural protector of the afflicted English 
Catholics, and by his writings and influence 
powerfully aided their cause. Dying, he said 
that the greatest pain he suffered was to see 
that after by God s help he had induced so 
many to endure imprisonment, persecution, 
and martyrdom in England, he had deserved 
by his sins to end his life on that bed. Rome, 
October 16. 

" For if you have ten thousand instructors in 
Christ yet not many fathers. For in Christ 
Jesus by the gospel I have begotten you." 
I COR. iv. 15. 


October 17 


Cardinal ALLEN, 1594 

" NEVER teach nor defend the lawfulness of com 
municating with the Protestants in their prayers, 
or services, or conventicles where they meet to 
minister their untrue sacraments ; for this is 
contrary to the practice of the Church and the 
holy fathers of all ages, who never communi 
cated nor allowed in any Catholic person to 
pray together with Arians, Donatists, or what 
other soever. Neither is it a positive law of the 
Church, and therefore dispensable on occasions, 
but it is forbidden by God s Eternal Law, as by 
many evident arguments I could convince, and 
it hath been largely proved in sundry treatises 
in our own tongue, and we have practised it 
from the beginning of our miseries. And lest 
any of my brethren should distrust my judg 
ment, or be not satisfied by the proofs adduced, 
or myself be beguiled therein in my own con 
ceit, I have not only taken the opinion of learned 
divines here, but, to make sure, I have asked 
the judgment of His Holiness (Clement VIII) 
thereon. And he expressly said that participa 
tion in prayers with Protestants, or going to 
their services was neither lawful nor dispen 

" And their speech spreadeth like a canker. 
Let every one depart from iniquity who nameth 
the Name of the Lord." 2 TIM. ii. 17, 20. 

October 18 

Cardinal ALLEN, 1594 

IN his defence of the Seminary Priests he wrote 
thus : " First and foremost for the clergy, it is 
wholly distrained and destroyed, as the world 
knoweth. The Chief Prelates, Bishops, and 
others, all spoiled of their dignities and liveli 
hoods, thrust into prisons, forced into banish 
ment, till by manifold and long miseries they be 
almost all wasted and worn away. These, then, 
so many, so notable, and so worthy, for whom 
God, nature, and their place of birth do challenge 
a part of that so much prized prosperity, feel 
none of it ; but for mere conscience and con 
fession of the truth, which their holy predeces 
sors laid and left with them in deposition, have 
lost their terrene lot, and either are dead or 
have passed so many years in misery, as those 
other good fellows, their intruders, have lived in 
joy and felicity ; who, indeed, are filii hominum 
qui nubunt et nubuntur/ that is, certain fleshly 
companions, unordered apostates, and contemp 
tible ministers, who entering into the right and 
room of others, provided not for them, do think 
all fair weather in England, and have good 
cause to like the luck of these late years, which 
maketh true men mourners, while these thieves 
be merry." 

"They have changed my delightful portion 
into a desolate wilderness. They have laid it 
waste, and it hath mourned for me." JER. xii. 

10, II. 


October 19 

t Ven. PHILIP HOWARD, L., 1595 

AFTER his condemnation he rose at 5 A.M., and 
spent four or five hours every morning and three 
or four in the afternoon in prayer, so that his 
knees grew very hard and black. He fasted 
thrice a week, and on the Vigils of the great 
Feasts he had neither meat nor drink. In his 
spare time, besides a little physical exercise, he 
used his remarkable intellectual gifts in trans 
lating spiritual works. To the poor he gave 
much of his scanty allowance, and he intended, 
if ever it were possible, to restore all Church 
lands in his possession, to make his two houses 
monasteries, and himself to enter religion. 
Through his rigid confinement his body wasted 
while his soul waxed strong, till one day, at 
dinner, he was seized with a dysentery, which 
consumed him to skin and bone. The Queen 
refused his petition for a priest or for his wife 
and children to visit him, though this latter she 
had promised, but she sent word that, if he 
would go to church once, all would be granted, 
his honour and estates restored, and the fulness 
of her favour. He refused her offer, and after 
elex r en years imprisonment gave back his soul 
to God. He inscribed on his cell, "The more 
of suffering for Christ in this life, the more of 
glory with Christ in the next." 

" The sufferings of this life are not worthy to 
be compared with the glory to come." ROM. 
viii. 18. 

305 U 

October 20 

Yen. PHILIP HOWARD, L., 1595 

Married at the age of twelve to Ann, eldest 
daughter of Lord Dacres, when fifteen he went 
to Cambridge, and thence to Court, where he 
enjoyed the special favour of Elizabeth, giving 
himself wholly to the vices and follies of her 
corrupt circle. To win her smile he squandered 
his estates by lavish entertainments at Kening 
Hall and Norwich, cruelly neglected his wife, 
and abandoned the practice and profession of 
his religion. His conscience was first awakened 
by hearing B. Edmund Campion dispute with 
the Protestant minister at the Tower, and he 
resolved to go abroad and be reconciled. The 
Queen, however, suspecting his design, had him 
apprehended when embarking at Hull, and sent 
him back to London. There she ordered him to 
prepare a great banquet at Arundel House, which 
she herself attended. But yesterday his grate 
ful guest, she again ordered his arrest, and he 
was severely examined, but was released, as 
nothing could be proved against him. He made 
use of his freedom to be reconciled, and began 
henceforth a blameless religious life, was re 
united in closest affection with his wife, who was 
also now a Catholic, and intensified thereby the 
hatred of the Queen. 

"But she, being instructed before by her 
mother, said, Give me now in a dish the head of 
John the Baptist." MATT. xiv. 8. 

October 21 

Ven. PHILIP HOWARD, L., 1595 

PHILIP S life as a recusant, which he now was, 
made his residence in England even more peril 
ous, and he determined to seek safety abroad. 
He had, however, scarcely embarked when his 
vessel was stopped by order of the Council, and 
he was taken prisoner. For leaving the King 
dom without the Queen s leave and for being 
reconciled to the Church, he was fined ^1000, 
and sentenced to prison during the Queen s 
pleasure. At first, in the Tower, he had con 
siderable liberty, and with his fellow Catholics 
contrived to have Mass ; but on the falsified 
charge of having prayed for the success of the 
Armada, he was tried for high treason and con 
demned to death. The sentence was not carried 
out, but he was subjected instead to a series 
of hardships and sufferings, the joint product 
of feminine malice and despotic power. For 
several years a keeper, specially appointed by 
the Queen, never left his presence, heard his 
every word, and constantly by false reports 
further increased the Queen s wrath. His room 
was dark and exhaled a pestilential stench. He 
was slandered to his wife as unfaithful to her 
and intemperate, nor was he ever allowed to see 
her. She herself was reduced to poverty. 

" Let them bear witness that he hath blas 
phemed God and the King, and then carry him 
out and stone him, and so let him die." 
3 KINGS xxi. 10. 


October 22 


" NOT only the original law of nature written in 
all children s hearts, and derived from the breast 
of their mother, is a continual solicitude urging 
me on your behalf, but the sovereign decree 
enacted by the Father in Heaven, ratified by 
the Son, and daily repeated by the instinct of 
the Holy Ghost, bindeth every child in the due 
of Christianity to tender the state and welfare 
of his parents, and is a motive that alloweth no 
excuse, but it reverently presseth to the per 
formance of duty. Nature by grace is not 
abolished nor destroyed, but perfected ; neither 
are the impressions razed nor annulled, but 
suited to the ends of grace and nature. And if 
the affections be so forcible that even in Hell, 
where rancour and despite and all feelings of 
nature are overwhelmed by malice, they moved 
the rich glutton, by experience of his own mis 
eries, to have compassion of his kindred, how 
much more in the Church of God, where grace 
quickeneth charity, and natural good inclina 
tions are abetted by supernatural gifts, ought 
the like piety to prevail. It is then a continual 
cross to me that, whereas my endeavours have 
reclaimed many from the brink of perdition, I 
have been unable to employ them where they 
are most due." 

"He that feareth the Lord honoureth his 
parents and will serve them as his master." 
ECCLUS. iii. 8. 


October 23 


" Now, therefore, to join issue and to come to 
the principal drift of my discourse, most humbly 
and earnestly I am to beseech you that, both in 
respect of the honour of God, of our duty to 
His Church, the comfort of your children, and 
the redress of your own soul, you would seriously 
consider the peril you stand in, and weigh your 
self in a Christian balance. Take heed in time 
that the words written of old against Balthazar, 
and interpreted by the youth Daniel, be not 
verified in you. Remember the exposition, 
You have been weighed in the balance and 
found wanting. Remember that you are in the 
balance, that the date of your pilgrimage is 
well-nigh expired, and that it now behoveth 
you to look forward to your country. The 
young may die quickly, but the old cannot live 
long. Be not careless though our loving Lord 
bear long. His patience in so long expecting 
is only to lend us respite to repent, by no means 
to enlarge our leisure to sin. Be not of those 
who would fain pass from the diet of Dives to 
the crown of Lazarus, from the servitude of 
Satan to the freedom of the Saints." 

" Take heed to thyself."! TIM. iv. 16. 

October 24 


" WHAT will be your thoughts when, stripped of 
your mortal body and turned forth out of the 
service and house-room of this world, you are 
forced to enter uncouth and strange paths, and 
with unknown and ugly company to be carried 
before a most severe Judge, carrying in your own 
conscience your judgment written and a perfect 
register of all your misdeeds, when you shall see 
Him prepared to pass the sentence upon you, 
against whom you have transgressed? He is 
to be the umpire, whom by so many offences 
you have made your enemy. Then, not only 
the devils but even the angels will plead against 
you, and yourself, in spite of your will, be your 
own sharpest impeacher. What would you do 
in those dreadful exigencies when you saw the 
ghastly dungeon and huge gulf of hell breaking 
out with most fearful flames ? Would you not 
then think a whole life too little to do penance 
for so many iniquities ? Devote, then, the small 
remnant of your days to making atonement 
with God. Wrestle no longer against the 
struggles of your conscience. Embrace His 
mercy before the time of rigour, and return to 
the Church lest He debar you His kingdom." 

" Thou hast sealed my offences, as it were, in 
a bag." JOB xiv. 17. 


October 25 


"GOD Himself saith of such as I am, though 
most unworthy, He that heareth you heareth 
Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me. 
I exhort you, therefore, as the Vicegerent of 
God, and I numbly request you, as a dutiful 
child, that you would surrender your assent, and 
yield your soul a happy captive to God s merci 
ful inspirations, proceeding from an infinite love, 
and tending to your assured good. I have ex 
pressed not only my own, but the earnest desire 
of your other children, whose humble wishes 
are here written with this pen. For it fills with 
grief all our hearts to see our dearest father, 
to whom nature hath bound and your merits 
fastened our affections, dismembered from the 
Body to which we are united, to be in hazard 
of a further and more grievous separation. O 
good sir, shall so many of your branches enjoy 
the quickening life of God s grace, bring forth 
the flowers and fruits of salvation, and you that 
are the root of us be barren and fruitless. May 
we be linked as near in spirit as in nature, and, 
so living in the compass of our Church, enjoy 
in Heaven your most blessed company." 

" Until we all meet into the unity of faith, 
and the knowlege of the Son of God, unto a 
perfect man." EPH. iv. 13. 

October 26 


"THE world, dear daughter, grows here in 
prison insipid and its pleasures bitter as gall, 
its shows and delights empty and worthless. 
There is only one true joy, one object, and that 
is Christ. My greatest pleasure and comfort 
now is in conversing with Him. Short is the 
time thus employed, sweet and delightful. The 
words He speaks to me so elevate my spirit 
and change my fleshly affections that my prison 
seems but a paradise, and the privation of all 
earthly comfort a heavenly joy. But why didst 
Thou not suffer me to relish these sweetnesses 
sooner? Wretch as I am ! it was my un- 
worthiness (still as great as ever) that has kept 
me from such an honour ; my vicious pro 
pensities that have prevented my attaining to 
the blessing of these crosses ; my iniquities and 
sins that have delayed my promotion to the 
happiness of this solitude. These jewels of so 
great a price, all these riches the great God has 
been pleased to confer upon me here in my 
prison, all which I acknowledge as His gift, 
attributing nothing to myself. To Him, there 
fore, be all honour and praise and glory for so 
unspeakable a benefit bestowed upon his poor, 
wretched, and altogether unworthy servant." 

"According to the multitude of the sorrows 
of my heart, Thy comforts have given joy to my 
soul." Ps. xciii. 19. 


October 27 


AFTER his racking he swooned away, so that 
they were fain to sprinkle cold water on his face 
to revive him, but they relieved no part of his 
pain. And here Norton, because they could get 
nothing out of him, asked him whether the 
Queen were Supreme Head of the Church of 
England or not ? To this he said : " I am a 
Catholic, and I believe in this as a Catholic 
should do." "Why," said Norton, "they say 
the Pope is ?" " And so say I," answered Mr. 
Briant. Here also the lieutenant used racking 
and reviling words, and bobbed him under the 
chin, and slapped him on the cheek in an un 
charitable manner, and all the commissioners 
rose up and went away, giving commandment 
to leave him so all night. And when they saw 
he was nothing moved they willed he should be 
taken from the torment, and sent him again to 
(the dungeon) Walesboure ; where, not able to 
move hand or foot or any part of his body, he 
lay in his clothes fifteen days together, without 
bedding, in great pain and anguish. 

" My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and 
my tongue hath cleaved to my jaws, and Thou 
hast brought me down unto the dust of death." 
Ps. xxi. 1 6. 

3 3 

October 28 


FROM his prison he wrote as follows, begging 
for admission to the Society of Jesus : " Yet 
now while I am by the appointment of God de 
prived of liberty, so as I cannot any longer em 
ploy myself, my spirit waxeth fervent hot, and 
at the last I have made a vow and promise to 
God. I will within the one year next follow 
ing assign myself wholly to the Fathers of the 
Society, and, if God inspires their hearts to admit 
me, will gladly and thoroughly surrender my 
will to His service, and in all obedience under 
them. This vow was to me a passing great joy 
in the midst of my tribulations, and I verily hope 
this came from God, for thus it was. The day 
I was first tormented on the rack while I was 
calling upon the most Holy Name of Jesus and 
upon the Blessed Virgin Mary (for I was in 
saying the Rosary), my mind was cheerfully dis 
posed to endure those torments which even then 
I most certainly looked for. The prayers ended, 
my former thought returned, and I put forth my 
vow freely and boldly with the conditions afore 
said, which act methinketh God did approve ; 
for in all my torments He did stand by me com 
forting me." 

" But be zealous for the better gifts. And I 
show unto you a yet more excellent way." 
I COR. xii. 31. 


October 29 

Yen. HENRY HEATH, O.S.F., 1643 

AFTER his conversion he was admitted to 
Douay, and thence entered the Franciscan 
Order. In religious observance he was a model 
to all and rose to the highest posts in his Order. 
He made three rules for himself : (i) Willingly 
to suffer the loss of all right and authority, of 
good name and personal convenience, for God s 
sake. (2) Willingly to be the servant of every 
creature, with crosses and afflictions as reward. 
(3) To live as absolutely dead to the defects of 
others that he might constantly lament his own. 
Hd^slept on the bare ground, wore a hair-shirt, 
and an iron chain round his neck, took frequent 
disciplines to blood, and after Matins and till 
Meditation in Choir continued most of the night 
in prayer. Praying with the arms outstretched 
was a favourite devotion of the Friars Minor, 
and this was one of the means by which he pre 
pared himself to shed his blood for the Crucified. 
By it he obtained many favours. Once when 
attacked by a contagious disorder, of which 
many of the Friars had died, he remained on 
his knees with his arms outstretched till they 
fell through weakness, but at the same moment 
he was restored to health. 

"And when Moses lifted up his hands Israel 
overcame." EXOD. xvii. n. 

October 30 

f Yen. JOHN SLADE, L,, 1583 

ON Wednesday, 30th October, John Slade, a 
schoolmaster, was drawn from the prison at 
Winchester to the market-place for his execu* 
tion. Being taken off the hurdle, he knelt down 
by the gallows and made the sign of the Cross 
on the posts. Questioned on the Queen s spiritual 
supremacy, he replied, "The Supremacy hath 
and doth belong to the Pope by right from 
Peter, and the Pope hath received it as by 
Divine providence. Therefore we must not 
give those things belonging to God to any other 
than Him alone. And because I will not do 
otherwise, I may say with the three children 
in the fiery oven, and the first of the widow s 
seven sons in the Machabees : " Parati sumus 
mori magis quam patrias Dei leges praevari- 
cari" (2 Mach. vii. 2). Again pressed by the 
Protestant chaplain on the same subject, Slade 
said, " Sir, you are very busy in words : if the 
Pope hath excommunicated the Queen, I think 
he hath done no more than he may or than he 
ought to do. I will acknowledge no other head 
of the Church, but only the Pope, and her 
Majesty hath only that authority in temporal 
causes that he allows her." On this the people 
cried, " Away with the traitor ! Hang him ! 
hang him ! " 

"But they cried again, saying, Crucify 
Him, crucify Him." LUKE xxiii. 21. 

October 3 1 

Yen. HENRY HEATH, O.S.F., 1643 

AFTER nineteen years at Douay, the news of 
his brothers martyred in England urged him to 
petition to be sent there also. "When I re 
member," he wrote to his superior, " their un 
conquerable fortitude, their constancy in the 
faith, their recklessness of flesh and blood, I am 
overwhelmed with shame that, while they fight, 
I remain at home in idleness and peace. Alas, 
my dearest Sir, I await only a command from 
you ; nothing else detains me. This my petition 
is not new or unheard of, or aught else than 
what stones and plants and other inanimate 
things by a natural inclination covet and pursue, 
for, verily, all things of their own accord tend 
towards the centre and end for which they 
were created. I confess, indeed, that I am 
both wholly unfit and unworthy to exercise the 
Apostolic office, or to receive reproaches and 
insults for the Name of Jesus. But strength is 
made perfect in weakness, and God chooses 
the foolish to confound the wise. Moreover, I 
am convinced that I am no less bound than 
others to serve Jesus Christ and to suffer for 
Him. May our most gracious Lord inspire you 
to hasten your consent, and I shall remain to 
all eternity your poor son, "P. M." 

* Lo, here am I, send me." ISA. vi. 8. 

November I 


BEFORE my face the picture hangs 
That daily should me put in mind 

Of those cold names and bitter pangs 
That shortly I am like to find : 

But yet, alas ! full little I 

Do think hereon that I must die. 

I often look upon a face, 

Most ugly, grisly, bare and thin ; 

I often view the hollow place 
Where eyes and nose had sometime been ; 

I see the bones across that lie, 

Yet little think that I must die. 

My ancestors are turned to clay, 
And many of my mates are gone ; 

My youngers daily drop away, 
And can I think to scape alone ? 

No, no, I know that I must die, 

And yet my life amend not I. 

If none can scape Death s dreadful dart, 
If rich and poor his beck .obey ; 

If strong, if wise, if all do smart, 
Then I to scape shall have no way. 

Oh ! grant me grace, O God, that I 

My life may mend, sith I must die. 

November 2 

t Ven. JOHN BODEY, L., 1583 

ON Saturday, November 2nd, he was drawn to 
the gallows, and being laid on the hurdle, he 
said thus, " O sweet bed, the happiest bed that 
ever man laid on ! Thou art welcome to me." 
When the hangman put the halter about his 
neck, he kissed it and said, " O blessed chain, 
the sweetest chain and richest that ever came 
about any man s neck ! " And so kissing it, he 
suffered the hangman to put it about his neck. 
Being told that he was dying for high treason, 
he replied, " I have been sufficiently condemned, 
for I have been convicted twice. You make the 
hearing of a blessed Mass, or the saying of an 
Ave Maria, treason, but I have committed 
none, though I am punished for treason." In 
reply to the Sheriff he said, " I must needs ask 
her Majesty s forgiveness, for I have offended 
her many ways, as in using unlawful games, 
excess in apparel, and in other offences to her 
laws ; but in this matter you shall pardon me. 
And for the people, as they and I am different 
in religion, I will not have them pray for me, 
but I pray God to preserve her Majesty." At 
length, saying " Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesu," he 
was put beside the ladder. 

"And they could not drink the waters of 
Mara because they were bitter . . . but he cried 
to the Lord, and He shewed him a tree, which, 
when he had cast into the waters, they were 
turned into sweetness." EXOD. xv. 23, 25. 

November 3 

Ven. JOHN BODEY, L., 1583 

EXPELLED from New College, Oxford, with 
John Slade and confined in Winchester gaol, 
they distinguished themselves by their edifying 
lives and zeal for souls. They were offered 
means of escape, but declined them, and one or 
two of the keepers were converted by them to 
the Catholic faith. At the bar they pleaded the 
cause of Catholic religion, with answers so appo 
site and a zeal so fervent, that they recalled the 
large part of Hampshire from frequenting the 
Protestant churches. Not only many gentle 
men of position, but even the country folk, re 
turned to the faith from all sides. Bodey, as 
trustworthy Catholics relate, saw in a dream, 
the night before his death, two bulls attacking 
him very furiously but without at all hurting 
him, at which he was much astonished. The 
next day two hangmen came down from London 
to execute him, and as they walked on either 
side of him he chanced to ask their names, and 
as they one after the other answered that they 
were called Bull, he at .once, remembering his 
dream, said, " Blessed be God ; you are those 
two bulls who gave me such trouble last night 
in my dream, and yet did me no harm." He 
then joyfully composed himself for death. 

" And the Lord said to Paul in the night by 
vision, Do not fear." ACTS xviii. 9. 

November 4 

Ven. JOHN CORNELIUS, S.J., 1594 
HE was born of Irish parents at Bodmin in 
Cornwall, and on account of his rare abilities he 
was sent to Oxford by Sir John Arundel. Pre 
ferring the old religion, he left the University, 
was ordained in Rome, and was chosen to make 
a Latin oration in the Pope s Chapel on St. 
Stephen s Day. He was noted for his sanctity, 
zeal for souls, power as a preacher, and his 
dominion as an exorcist over evil spirits, and 
for a singular vision granted him. John Lord 
Stourton, though a Catholic at heart, had out 
wardly conformed, and had died unreconciled, 
but with great desire for the Sacraments and 
extraordinary marks of repentance. When 
Cornelius was saying Mass for the repose of his 
soul at the memento for the dead, he excited 
the wonder of all present by remaining appar 
ently transfixed by some apparition on the 
Gospel side of the altar. At the conclusion of 
the Mass he explained that the soul of the said 
Lord Stourton, then in Purgatory, had appeared 
to him desiring his prayers, and begging him 
to request his mother to have Masses said for 
his soul. The vision was also seen by Brother 
Patrick Salmon, S.J. Father Cornelius was 
apprehended in Lady Arundel s house, and was 
executed with Brother Salmon and others at 
Dorchester, July 4, 1594. 

" It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought 
to pray for the dead that they may be loosed 
from their sins." 2 MACH. xii. 46. 

321 X 

November 5 


BORN in Middlesex, converted when a boy of 
fourteen, he became a Jesuit priest and a cele 
brated preacher. On Sunday, November 5, 
1623, he was preaching at Hunsdon House, the 
French Ambassador s, formerly a Dominican 
priory, on the merciless servant, to a congrega 
tion of some three hundred persons assembled in 
the upper room. He enlarged ( i ) on man s debt 
to God, and the account to be rendered : (2) God s 
mercy in remitting the debt ; (3) man s hardness 
of heart towards God and his brethren. After 
the sermon had proceeded about half-an-hour, 
the floor suddenly gave way, and the congrega 
tion was precipitated through the second floor, 
twenty-four feet to the ground, and lay crowded 
and buried beneath a mass of boards, beams, 
and human bodies. Nearly eighty persons 
perished, of high and low condition. Among 
the victims was Father Whittington, S.J., who 
was said to have converted a hundred and fifty 
persons that year. The Puritans regarded the 
catastrophe as a judgment of God on the Papist 
idolaters. The Catholics, on the other hand, 
consoled themselves with the assured hope of 
the salvation of the dead, who, many of them 
that morning, had confessed and communicated. 

" Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, 
when He cometh, shall find watching." LUKE 
xii. 37. 


November 6 


THE following letter was written by Father 
Cornelius, half-an-hour before he was called out 
to suffer, to his ghostly child Dorothy, the eldest 
daughter of Lady Arundel, who had vowed to 
enter the Order of St. Bridget : 

" * He that loveth his life in this world shall 
lose it ; and he that hateth it shall find it. If 
I find it by the grace and infinite mercy of God 
(though very unworthy and miserable), with 
exceeding great satisfaction and never-ending 
pleasure, I shall remember you. In the mean 
time, whilst the soul remains in this body, pray 
you for me ; for I have a great confidence that 
we shall see one another in Heaven, if you keep 
inviolable the word you have given first to God 
and then to St. Bridget. I heartily commend you 
to my poor mother, and the promise of your vow, 
concerning which I have written to you three 
or four times, and wonder you have taken no 
notice of it. The devil is always on the watch ; 
be you also watchful. Signify your will to me 
that I may carry with me your resolution to 
St. Bridget. I do not forget those whom I do 
not name. God be your keeper. Yours, John, 
who is going to die for a moment that he may 
live for ever." 

"When thou hast made a vow to the Lord 
thy God, thou shalt not delay to pay it ; because 
the Lord thy God will require it." DEUT. 
xxiii. 21. 


November 7 

Ven. EDMUND GENINGS, Pr., 1591 

PAGE in the family of Mr. Sherwood, a Catholic 
gentleman, he was converted, ordained priest 
at Rheims, and, when only twenty-three years 
old, landed in England. His first desire was to 
convert his family in Litchfield, but finding that 
all were dead except a brother, who had gone 
to London, thither he went himself. After a 
month s fruitless search he was about returning 
to the country when, walking by St. Paul s, an 
unaccountable fear came over him, and, looking 
round, seeing only a youth in a brown cloak, he 
went on to say Mass. On his way home the 
same strange feeling returned, and finding the 
same youth behind him, felt sure this was his 
brother John. He accosted him, told him he 
was a kinsman, and asked him what had be 
come of his brother Edmund, without revealing 
himself as a priest. The youth replied that he 
had gone to the Pope, was become a traitor 
to God and his country, and if he returned 
would certainly be hung. Finding him hope 
lessly bigoted, he left him, promising on his 
return to confide to him an important matter. 
The matter was indeed important. John was 
converted by Edmund s martyrdom, and, as a 
Franciscan friar, renewed the life of his Order 
in England. 

" My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor my 
ways your ways, saith the Lord." ISA. Iv. 8. 

November 8 

B. EDWARD POWEL, Pr., 1540 

BORN in Wales, educated at Oxford, Fellow 
of Oriel College, 1495, Rector of Bleadon in 
the diocese of Wells, Prebendary of Salisbury 
Cathedral, and Vicar of St. Mary s, RedclifTe, 
Bristol, he held a plurality of benefices by licence 
of Leo X. He was in high repute, especially for 
a treatise against the heresies of Luther, and 
was recommended to Henry VIII, then a zeal 
ous Catholic, by the university as " a chief and 
brilliant gem." He was celebrated also as a 
preacher, notably for his sermon against Latimer 
and for that against the Divorce, in which he 
declared that for a king to put away his first 
wife and take a second without the dispensa 
tion of the Church was an open sin infecting 
the people as did King David with his adultery. 
This was his undoing. He was cast into Dor 
chester gaol, and so cruelly fettered that he could 
not lie down. Removed to the Tower, he was 
condemned with B. Fisher and others in 1534 
for refusing the oath, and was executed with 
BB. Abel and Fetherston and three apostate 
Zwinglian priests, Barnes, Gerard, and Jerome, 
July 30, 1540. Against Barnes, in a pamphlet 
still extant, he defended Catholics against the 
charge of disloyalty, and declared that sedition 
and rebellion were unknown in the ancient faith, 
but were the offspring of heresy alone. 

" Let every soul be subject to higher powers, 
for there is no power but from God." ROM.xiii. I. 


November 9 

f Ven. GEORGE NAPPIER, Pr., 1610 

" BEING at supper, I (his friend, a layman) said 
unto him : Mr. Nappier, if it be God s holy 
will that you should suffer, I do wish that it 
might be to-morrow, Friday, for our Saviour 
did eat the Paschal lamb with His disciples 
the Thursday night and suffered Friday follow 
ing. He answered, very sweetly, Welcome, 
by God s grace ; pray you all that I may be 
constant. 3 The next morning the keeper s wife 
begged me to tell him that he was to die be 
tween one and two in the afternoon, for she 
could not bear to take the news herself. On 
hearing the message he seemed much rejoiced, 
and asked if he might say Mass. I prepared all 
things, and surely methought he did celebrate 
that day as reverently in all his actions and 
with as much sweet behaviour as ever I saw 
him. At the end he prayed some hours and 
then declined my offer of some drink, for he 
said that, hoping to meet His Saviour, he would 
have a sumptuous banquet shortly. Then I 
put him on a fair shirt which I had warmed at 
the fire and a white waistcoat. He then went 
out to surfer, and beat his breast thrice as his 
soul flew to God." 

" With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch 
with you before I suffer." LUKE xxii. 15. 

November 10 

Yen. GEORGE N APPIER, Pr., 1610 

BORN at Oxford, as a student at Douay he 
showed his charity by voluntarily nursing two 
of his fellow-students with the plague, and took 
the contagion himself. He laboured with great 
success on the English Mission for seven years, 
till in 1610 he was apprehended and brought 
before the justice, who ordered the constable 
to search him. Mr. Nappier had his pyx with 
him containing two consecrated Hosts, and was 
in the greatest fear lest the Blessed Sacrament 
should fall into heretics hands and be ex 
posed to some profane or sacrilegious treatment. 
The search was most strict, and even his 
shoes were pulled off in the presence of the 
justice that nothing might escape them. And 
whereas, while searching his pocket the con 
stable, as the priest felt himself, had his hands 
many times both upon the pyx and a small 
reliquary, yet neither of them were discovered, 
to the great surprise and no less joy of the good 
man. They only found his Breviary, his holy 
oils, and a needle-case, thread and thimble. 
The justice, Sir Francis Evers, said he was 
but a poor priest, "and I verily believe," he 
added," no great statesman," and ordered the 
constable to take him into custodv. 

" But He (Jesus) passing through the midst 
of them went His way." LUKE iv. 30. 

November 1 1 


" GENTLEMEN, this is a short passage to eter 
nity : my time is now short, and I have not much 
to speak. I was brought hither charged with 
no other crime than being a priest. I willingly 
confess that I am a priest, a Catholic, and, as 
you call it, a Jesuit. This is the crime for which 
I die ; for this alone I was condemned ; and 
for propagating the Catholic faith which is 
spread through the whole world, taught through 
all ages from Christ s time, and will be taught 
for all ages to come. For this cause I most 
willingly sacrifice my life, and would die a thou 
sand times for the same if it were necessary, and 
I look upon it as my greatest happiness that rny 
most good God has chosen me, most unworthy, 
to this blessed lot, the lot of the Saints. This 
is a grace, for which so unworthy a sinner could 
scarce have wished, much less hoped for. And 
now I beg most humbly and as fervently as I 
can of God to expel from you that are Protes 
tants the darkness of error and enlighten you 
with His truth. And you who are Catholics 
pray for me and with me up to the end, and in 
Heaven I will do as much for you." 

" Giving thanks to God the Father who hath 
made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the 
Saints in light/ COLOS. i. 12. 

November 12 



" You cry up the Christian world, the assemblies 
of Bishops, the guardians of the deposit, that is, 
the Ancient Faith ; these you commend to the 
people as the interpreters of Scripture ; most 
rightly do you ridicule and refute the impudent 
figment of certain thieves and robbers. Now, 
what do you say? Here you have the most 
celebrated Fathers, Legates, Prelates, Car 
dinals, Bishops, Deputies, Doctors, of divers 
nations, of mature age, rare wisdom, princely 
dignity, wonderful learning. All these, whilst 
you live as you are living, anathematise you, 
hiss you out, excommunicate you, abjure you. 
What reason can you urge? Especially now 
you have declared war against your colleagues. 
Why do you not make full submission, without 
any exception, to the discipline of these Fathers ? 
Once more consult your heart, my poor old friend. 
Show again those excellent gifts which of late 
have been smothered in the mud of dishonesty. 
Give yourself to your mother who begot you to 
Christ, nourished you, consecrated yoij; acknow 
ledge how cruel and undutiful you have been ; 
let confession be the salve of your sins. You 
have one foot in the grave ; you must die, per 
haps directly, certainly in a very short time, and 
stand before that tribunal where you will hear 
Give an account of thy stewardship. " 

" Give an account of thy stewardship, for now 
thou canst be steward no longer." LUKE xvi. 2. 

November 13 


Ven. JOHN ALMOND, Pr., 1612 

THE minister answered that if a man should 
determine to kill the King, the Pope would for 
give him that sin. He denied, and said that the 
Pope neither would nor could do it, but if a man 
had committed a sin, after hearty repentance, 
contrition, and satisfaction, c. At which word 
satisfaction, the minister took exception again, 
and asked him what satisfaction would be made 
for killing of a king. He answered that every 
venial sin was great, and no satisfaction was 
sufficient for it without the Death and Passion 
of our Saviour. " Neither is His Death and 
Passion sufficient without repentance and con 
trition of heart. But if any man has committed 
a sin and was truly penitent, the Pope both 
might and would forgive him. And so for the 
killing of a king, if a madman killed a king, and 
was heartily sorry and repentant for it, God 
forbid that you and I should then deny that his sin 
might be forgiven him." Then asking him how 
he thought of it, the minister answered that he 
must confess that if any man had committed a 
sin and were truly repentant for it, he held his 
sin might be forgiven him. But although it 
were true doctrine, yet it was dangerous to speak 
before a community. 

" A contrite and humble heart, O God, Thou 
wilt not despise." Ps. 1. 19. 

November 14 


ABBOT of Reading Abbey, famous for the relic 
of St. James the Greater, he was a favourite of 
Henry VIII, who used to call him his own 
abbot. He was both learned and pious, and 
maintained strict religious discipline in his 
house; but he, like Abbot Whiting, compromised 
himself by supporting the King in his petition 
for the Divorce, and in accepting, at least out 
wardly, the doctrine of the Royal Supremacy. 
His reparation also was generous and complete. 
He was indicted and condemned for rejecting 
that very oath of Royal Supremacy to which 
before he had consented. From the Tower he 
was sent back to Reading and led out to suffer 
at his abbey gate. On the scaffold he spoke 
out boldly, professed his fidelity to the Holy See, 
which he declared to be the common faith of 
those who had the best right to define the true 
teaching of the English Church. In the Tower 
a fellow-prisoner with the Abbot Faringdon was 
a blind harper named William Moore. He was 
a staunch Catholic, and travelled about from 
Abbey to Abbey encouraging the imprisoned 
monks and bearing letters from house to house, 
and doubtless finding means of sending their 
letters to Rome, to the Pope, and Cardinals. 

" Our heart is sorrowful ... for Mount Sion 
because it is destroyed, but Thou, O Lord, wilt 
remain for ever." LAM. v. 18, 19. 

November 15 


HE was the sixty-first and last Abbot of Glas- 
tonbury, the most ancient and famous of the 
great English Benedictine houses. In rank he 
stood next to the Abbot of St. Albans, was a 
peer of Parliament and lord, or rather the ad 
ministrator, of vast estates. He ruled his hun 
dred monks with singular prudence, and his 
large revenues were spent for the relief of the 
poor and works of charity. He trained some 
three hundred youths in a solid and Christian 
education, and when the visitors of Henry VIII 
arrived at Glastonbury they found only a Re 
ligious House of Strict Observance and could 
discover no scandal to report. But the King s 
greed was set on the Abbey wealth, and it was 
not to be withstood. The Abbot at first sub 
mitted to take the oath of Supremacy, whether 
with or without some saving clause is uncertain, 
but when he saw that the King demanded 
nothing less than the surrender of his Abbey, 
he stood firm and was attaindered. He was 
first ordered to London, and there proving 
deaf to the King s persuasions, he was given 
leave to return home, but to his surprise was 
tried for high treason at Wells, and hung on Tor 

" Upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, I have 
appointed watchmen all the day and all the 
night : they shall never hold their peace." 
ISA. Ixii. 6. 


November 16 


OF the family of Osbaldeston of Blackburn, 
Lancashire, he was educated at Douay, was 
sent on the English Mission in 1589, and after 
some years of priestly toil was arrested, as he 
himself thus describes : " I was apprehended 
at Fowlerton by Mr. Thomas Clark, the 
apostate priest, upon St. Jerome s Day, at 
night, a thing much to my comfort, for that I 
had such a special patron to commend myself 
to, and such a stout companion under Christ ; 
and besides, it pleased God, much to my com 
fort, to let this sign of His love fall unto me that 
day ; for His great goodness called me to the 
priesthood, and upon St. Jerome s Day I said 
my first Mass (and consecrated the blessed 
Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and received 
Him), and ever since have honoured St. Jerome. 
That morning before I came here I made my 
prayer to blessed St. Jerome, and in his merits I 
offered myself to God to direct me according to 
His will and pleasure, that I might walk aright 
in my vocation, and follow St. Jerome as long as 
God should see it expedient for His Church ; that 
I might never refuse to labour or murmur at 
any pain or travail, and that if I fell into the 
persecutor s hands, He would protect me to the 
end." He suffered at York, November 16, 

" To me Thy friends are exceedingly honour 
able." Ps. cxxxviii. 17. 

November 17 



HE was born in Yorkshire, educated at Cam 
bridge, a Biblical scholar of repute, and Pro 
fessor of Hebrew in the University of Paris. 
He was of such constancy of mind, Sander 
writes, in his persecution that he always went 
with joy to any questionings, and returned still 
happier; but on his deposition he was sitting 
both sick and sorrowful in his chains when he 
heard a voice saying to him, " Be of good cour 
age, for thou shalt suffer martyrdom." He re 
lated this occurrence without, however, saying 
what kind of martyrdom he would endure. But 
it was thus. He suffered such excruciating tor 
ment from the stone for six days, that to the 
bystanders, among whom were the Bishop of 
Chester and the Dean of St. Paul s, the pain 
seemed quite unbearable. Yet he did not com 
plain, but lifting his eyes at one time to Heaven 
and at another time resting them on the Cru 
cifix, he invoked the name of Jesus to the last 
moment of his life. He was deposed June 21, 
1559, and died five months later, November 18, 
1559. His gaoler was Grindal, a virulent apos 
tate priest, made Protestant Bishop of London. 
But he had the consolation of receiving the 
Last Sacraments from his fellow-prisoners, the 
above-named Bishop and Dean. 

"Arise, arise, put on thy strength, O Zion . . . 
from henceforth the uncircumcised and unclean 
shall no more pass through thee." ISA. lii. i. 

November 18 

IN December 1579 Cardinal Allen wrote 
Campion : " My father, brother, son, Edmund 
Campion, for to you I must use every expression 
of the tenderest ties of love since the General 
of your Order, who to you is Christ Himself, 
calls you from Prague to Rome, and thence to 
our own England ; since your brethren after the 
flesh call you I, who am so closely connected 
with them, with you, and with our common 
country, both in the world and in the Lord, 
must not keep silence, when I should be first to 
desire you, to call you, to cry to you. Make all 
haste and come, my dearest Campion." On 
receiving the command, he heard it in silence, 
blushed, and said, "Indeed, the Fathers seem 
to suspect something about me. I hope their 
suspicions may be true. God s will be done, 
not mine." The suspicions to which Campion 
referred had already found vent : the night 
before a simple father, James Gall, a Silesian, 
reputed to have ecstasies, wrote over B. Ed 
mund s cell, "P. Edmundus Campianus Martyr." 
The writer when discovered was punished for his 
infringement of discipline, but he declared that 
he felt obliged to do it. Another father had 
previously painted a garland of roses and lilies 
on the waU of Campion s room, above where his 

head rested. 

" Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son 
of Man shall be betrayed to the chief priests 
and scribes, and they shall condemn him to 
death." MATT. xx. 18. 

November 19 



"IN common matters we often see witnesses 
impeached, and if at any time their credit be little, 
it ought then to be less when they swear against 
life. Call, I pray you, to your remembrance 
how faintly some have deposed, how coldly 
others, how untruly the rest ; especially two who 
have testified most. What truth may you ex 
pect from their mouths ? the one hath confessed 
himself a murderer, the other well known as a de 
testable atheist a profane heathen a destroyer 
of two men already. On your consciences, would 
you believe them they that have betrayed both 
God and man, nay, that have left nothing to 
swear by, neither religion nor honesty ? Though 
you would believe them, can you ? I know your 
wisdom is greater, your consciences uprighter ; 
esteem of them as they be. Examine the other 
two, you shall find neither of them precisely 
to affirm that we, or any of us, have practised 
aught that might be prejudicial to this estate or 
dangerous to this commonwealth. God give 
you grace to weigh our causes aright, and have 
respect to your own consciences ; and so I will 
keep the jury no longer. I commit the rest to 
God, and our convictions to your good discre 

" Many bore false witness against Him, and 
their witness did not agree." MATT. xxv. 56. 

November 20 


ERASMUS described him as a man of most 
exquisite judgment both in Greek and Latin 
literature, but at the same time of incredible 
modesty and of sweet and joyful manner. B. 
Thomas More, who had been educated with him, 
declared that " the world scarce contained any 
one of greater learning, prudence, or goodness. 
Yet he failed where More stood firm, and under 
Henry VIII took the oath of Supremacy, and 
defended himself to Pole on the ground that the 
Pope s supremacy was not so certain a matter 
as to die for. Pole replied, " Your friends 
Fisher and More were of not so vile a mind as 
not to know why they died. God send you a 
livelier spirit in His honour." He atoned, how 
ever, for his weakness under Edward VI by 
his opposition to the new Protestantism, and 
was sent to the Tower. Restored to his See of 
Durham under Mary, and strengthened and 
pardoned by the blessing of Christ s vicar, he 
ardently repaired the havoc caused by schism 
in his diocese. Summoned by Elizabeth to take 
the oath, he refused, and on his arrival in London, 
after a week s journey, was deposed, and died 
imprisoned under Clark at the age of eighty- 
five, November 18, 1559, 

" To depart from iniquity pleaseth the Lord, 
and to depart from injustice is an entreaty for 
sin." ECCLUS. xxxv. 8. - 

337 V 

November 21 


" WHILE the jury considered of their verdict, 
there then happened a thing, which all the 
Catholics of the time regarded as a miracle. 
Judge Ayliffe was sitting to keep the place, 
when the other judges retired. While the 
jury consulted about the condemnation of 
Father Campion and his company, the judge, 
pulling off his glove, found all his hand 
and his seal of arms bloody, without any 
token of wrong, pricking, or hurt ; and being 
dismayed therewith, wiping, it went not away, 
but still returned ; he showed it to the gentlemen 
who sat before him, who can be witnesses of it 
till this day, and have some of them upon their 
faith and credit avouched it to be true. The 
portent indeed spoke the truth, for the divers 
wise and well-learned lawyers and others, con 
jecturing and conferring one with another what 
should be the verdict, they all .agreed that, 
whatever might be concluded as to some of 
the rest, it was impossible to condemn Father 
Campion. But it was Father Campion that 
especially was designed to die, and for his sake 
the rest ; and therefore no defence could serve : 
and the poor jury did that which they under 
stood was looked for attheir hands, and brought 
them in all guilty," 

" The Lord detesteth hands that shed inno 
cent blood/ PROV. vi. 16, 17. 

November 22 



HE thus describes the condition of his fellow 
Catholics, priests and laity : " As yet we are 
alive and well, being unworthy, it seems, of 
prisons. We have oftener sent than received 
letters from your parts, though they are not 
sent without difficulty, and some we know 
have been lost. The condition of Catholic 
recusants here is the same as usual, deplorable 
and full of fears and dangers, more especially 
since our adversaries have looked for wars. 
As many of ours as are in chains rejoice 
and are comforted in their prisons ; and they 
that are at liberty set not their hearts upon it 
nor expect it to be of long continuance. All, 
by the great goodness and mercy of God, arm 
themselves to suffer anything that can come, 
how hard soever it may be, as it shall please 
our Lord, for whose greater glory and the sal 
vation of their souls they are more concerned 
than for any temporal losses. A little while 
ago they apprehended two priests, who have 
suffered such cruel usages in the prison of Bride 
well as can scarce be believed. What was given 
them to eat was so little in quantity, and withal 
most filthy and nauseous. 3 

"Then said I, Behold I come to do Thy will, 
O my God." Ps. xxxix. 7, 9. 


November 23 

t Bishop PATE OF WORCESTER, 1565 

HE was the nephew of Longland, the Courtier 
Bishop of Lincoln, confessor to Henry VIII, 
and was made by him Canon and Archdeacon 
of his Cathedral, even before taking his degree 
at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Through 
his uncle s influence he was sent as Ambassador 
to Charles V in Spain. Recalled to England 
in 1537, he accepted the Royal Supremacy, and 
in 1540 returned as Ambassador to Charles. 
Though his desire to please the King led him 
into schism, Henry secretly mistrusted him, and 
recalled him to England. Pate fled to Rome, 
and was attaindered. In Rome he was fully 
reconciled to the Church, and nominated to 
the See of Worcester by Paul III in 1541, and 
assisted as one of two English bishops at the 
Council of Trent. On Mary s accession he re 
turned to England, and took possession of his 
See. Under Elizabeth he voted in the first 
Parliament against every anti-Catholic measure, 
and made reparation for his previous fall by 
refusing to take the oath. He was imprisoned 
in the Tower, and then for a year and a half 
placed under the custody of Jewel, September 
1563, at Salisbury, and finally recommitted to 
the Tower, where he died of his sufferings after 
six years confinement, November 23, 1565. 

" Because I was silent my bones grew old, 
whilst I cried out all the day long. I have 
acknowledged my sin to Thee." Ps, xxxi. 3, 5. 

November 24 

B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

" Now when he had remained in the Tower 
little more than a month, my wife, longing to see 
her father, by her earnest suit at length got 
leave to go unto him. At whose coming, after 
the Seven Psalms and Litany said (which when 
soever she came unto him, ere he fell in talk of 
any worldly matter he used accustomably to say 
with her), among other communications he said 
unto her, I believe, Meg, that they have put me 
here ween that they have done me a high dis 
pleasure ; but I assure thee, on my faith, mine 
own good daughter, if it had not been for my 
wife and ye that be my children, I would not 
have failed long ere this to have closed myself 
in as strait a room, and straiter too. But since 
I have come hither without mine own desert, 
I trust that God of His goodness will discharge 
me of my care, and with His gracious help 
supply my lack among you. I find no cause, 
I thank God, Meg, to reckon myself in worse 
case here than at home, . for methinks God 
maketh me a wanton, and setteth me on His 
lap, and dandleth me. 3 " 

" I will allure her and lead her into the 

wilderness, and I will speak, to her heart. 
OSEE ii. 14. 


November 25 

B. THOMAS MORE, L., 1535 

His daughter awaited his return to the Tower 
on the entrance by the wharf. As soon as she 
saw him, after his blessing upon her knees 
reverently received, she, hasting towards him, 
without consideration or care of herself, pressing 
in amongst the midst of the throng and company 
of the guard, that with halberds and bills went 
round about him, hastily ran to him, and there 
openly, in sight of them, embraced him, took 
him about the neck and kissed him. Who, 
well liking her most natural and dear daughterly 
affection towards him, gave her his fatherly 
blessing and many godly words of comfort be 
sides. She was not able to say any words but 
"Oh, my father! Oh, my father!" "Take 
patience, Margaret," he said, "and do not 
grieve ; God has willed it so. For many years 
didst thou know the secret of my heart." From 
whom after she was departed, like one that had 
forgotten herself, being all ravished with the 
entire love of her father, having respect neither 
to herself nor to the press of people, suddenly 
turned back, ran to him as before, and divers 
times kissed him lovingly, till at last she was 
fain to depart, the beholding whereof made those 
present for very sorrow to weep and mourn. 

"Going, they went and wept, casting their 
seeds ; but coming, they shall come with joyful- 
ness carrying their sheaves." Ps. cxxv. 6, 7. 

November 26 

f Yen. MARMADUKE BOWES, L., 1585 

A YORKSHIRE gentleman, believing in his heart 
the Catholic faith, from fear of losing goods 
and liberty he would at times conform and go 
to the Protestant Church. Thus he led for 
long a miserable life, inwardly a Catholic, yet 
outwardly professing those very heresies which 
his soul detested. Notwithstanding, however, 
his schismatical dissembling, one grace he had, 
he never would close his doors to a priest what 
ever the cost might be, doubtless believing that 
by such works of mercy he might himself find 
in the end mercy at God s hands. And so it 
proved. A young Catholic who had been 
schoolmaster to his children apostatised under 
torture, and became a fanatical informer bent 
upon the destruction of Catholics. He then 
accused Mr. Bowes of harbouring priests con 
trary to the statute, and both Mr. Bowes and 
his wife were imprisoned at York, but were 
released under bond of reappearance. At the 
next Assizes, on the evidence of the school 
master alone, Mr. Bowes was condemned, and 
in the three days before his execution he was 
reconciled to the Church and suffered boldly, 
professing his faith, and desiring that his 
death might be accepted in some measure in 
satisfaction for his profession of schism. 

" This day is salvation come to this house." 
LUKE xix. 9. 


November 27 


GEORGE ERRINGTON, Gentleman, William 
Knight and William Gibson, Yeomen, were in 
prison at York Castle for recusancy. Confined 
there also, for some misdemeanour, was a Pro 
testant minister, who, to reinstate himself in 
the favour of his superiors, took the follow 
ing treacherous course. He professed to the 
Catholic prisoners his sincere repentance for his 
previous life, and his desire of embracing the 
Catholic faith. They believed him sincere, and 
directed him when he was set free to Mr. 
Abbott, a zealous convert, who endeavoured to 
procure a priest to reconcile him, and took him 
to Squire Stapelton s house for this purpose, but 
in vain. The minister, having now evidence 
enough to bring them within the law, accused 
them to the magistrate, and thus displayed his 
zeal for the Protestant religion. They were all 
arraigned for high treason in persuading the 
minister to be reconciled to the Church of 
Rome. At the bar they confessed " that they 
had, according to their capacity, explained to 
the traitor the Catholic faith, but had used no 
other persuasion." Upon this they were found 
guilty, and suffered with joy, November 29. 

"Beware of false prophets who come to you 
in sheep s clothing, but inwardly they are 
ravening wolves." MATT. vii. 15. 

November 2.8 


BORN in or near York, he was a devout 
Catholic, and was deprived of a pension which 
he had, owing to his fidelity to the old religion. 
With the desire of consecrating his life to God 
he went over to Rheims in the summer of 1580, 
but fell so ill that his life was despaired of. He, 
however, begged Dr. Allen to allow him to be 
ordained without delay, as he believed God in 
tended to employ him on the English Mission. 
A dispensation was therefore obtained from 
Rome, and he received all the Sacred Orders 
within twelve days, in May 1581, though he was 
so ill that he could scarcely stand. He re 
gained sufficient strength to proceed to England, 
but was arrested in the city of York, August 1 1, 
1 582, after scarcely a year s apostolate. He 
confessed that he was a priest, and refused the 
oath of Supremacy or to fight against the Pope. 
He was led to the Castle prison in double 
irons on November 25, was tried and con 
demned, and on November 28 suffered at York 
Tyburn. In her visits to his grave and that of 
the other martyrs under the gallows, Margaret 
Clitheroe found strength for her own passion. 

" And she rendered to the just the wages of 
their labours and conducted them in a wonder 
ful way, and was to them for a covert by day 
and for the light of the stars by night." 
WISDOM x. 17. 


November 29 


f B. CUTHBERT MAYNE, Pr., 1577 

WHEN Protestant chaplain at St. John s Col 
lege, Oxford, he was nearly arrested on account 
of an intercepted letter from Douay urging him 
to go there. After an interval of three years he 
arrived there in 1573, and in 1576 was welcomed 
as a priest in Mr. Tregian s house in Cornwall, 
where he passed as his steward. On June 8, 
1577, High Sheriff Stone surrounded the house 
with some hundred men, and in seizing the 
martyr struck his hand against something hard, 
and asked him if he wore a coat of mail. On 
tearing open his clothes an Agnus Dei was dis 
covered hanging from his neck in a case of silver 
and crystal. In his indictment the fourth article 
charged him with having brought into the King 
dom a vain and superstitious thing called an 
Agnus Dei, blessed, as they say, by the Bishop 
of Rome, and having delivered the same to Mr. 
Francis Tregian. There was no proof in support 
of any of the charges against him, but he was 
nevertheless sentenced to death. After five 
months imprisonment amongst the lowest crimi 
nals, he suffered at Launceston, November 29, 
1 577. On the eve of his execution a bright light 
filled his cell, as a harbinger of the Proto- 
martyr of Douay on receiving his crown. 

"The first fruits to God and the Lamb." 
APOC. xiv. 4. 


November 30 

t Ven. ALEXANDER CROWE, Pr., 1587 

A BOOTMAKER in York, he became a servant at 
the Seminary at Rheims, and for his virtues and 
diligence was admitted as a student, and finally 
ordained priest. He arrived on the English 
Mission in 1584, and after nearly two years 
labour was arrested at South Duffteld, where he 
had gone to baptize a child, and sentenced at 
York. On the night before his execution he was 
seen by a Catholic fellow-prisoner who shared 
his cell to be wrestling as it were in agony with 
some unseen foe, whilst he prayed continuously. 
At length he broke out with joy into the " Lau- 
date Dominum," and sank, exhausted on his 
plank bed. He said he had been assailed by 
the Evil One in a monstrous form, who assured 
him that his soul was lost, and urged him to 
take his life at once and not wait for the gallows. 
He was in the greatest strait when Our Lady 
and St. John the Evangelist appeared and put 
Satan to flight. Yet on the gallows the Evil 
One made a last final assault, and flung him off 
the ladder. Though the fall was from a great 
height, the martyr rose unhurt, and, smiling, re 
mounted the ladder and won his crown, 1587. 

"Thou shalt walk upon the asp and the basi 
lisk, and tread under foot the lion and the 
dragon." Ps. xc. 13. 


December I 

f B. EDMUND CAMPION, S.J., 1581 

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 ! " After kneeling in 
prayer he was strapped on the hurdle, Sherwin 
and Briant being together bound on a second 
hurdle. They were dragged at the horses tails 
through the gutter and filth, followed by an in 
sulting crowd of ministers and rabble. Still 
some Catholics were consoled by a word from 
him, and one gentleman, like Veronica on 
another Via Dolorosa, most courteously wiped 
his face all spattered with mire and filth. Pass 
ing under the arch of Newgate, whereon still 
stood an image of Our Lady, Campion raised 
himself and saluted the Queen of Heaven, whom 
he hoped so soon to see. 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 con 
fess 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 pro 
fessing his loyalty to the Queen he went to his 

" We are made a spectacle to the world, to 
angels and to men." i COR. iv. 9. 

December 2 

B. JOHN BECHE, O.S.B., 1539 

HE was Abbot of Colchester, and, like his 
brethren of Glastonbury and Reading, took the 
oath of Supremacy on it being tendered him in 
1534 ; but he had a great devotion to Cardinal 
Fisher and Sir Thomas More, and they stood 
him in good cause at the end. When called 
upon to surrender the Abbey, he refused, denied 
the King s right to take it, and asserted his 
loyalty to the Holy See, and for this speech he 
was committed to the Tower. At his trial in 
November 1534 he endeavoured to explain away 
what he had said, re-asserted the King s supre 
macy, and made a piteous appeal for mercy. But 
however lamentable his defection, he atoned for 
it fully by shedding his blood for the faith. He 
was sent down to Colchester and tried there by 
a special commission on the former charges. 
He was condemned, and suffered at Colchester, 
December i, 1539. On his pectoral cross, still 
preserved, is inscribed : " May the Passion of 
our Lord Jesus Christ bring us out of sorrow and 
sadness. This sign of the Cross shall be in the 
Heavens when our Lord shall come to judgment. 
Behold, O man, the Redeemer suffered for thee. 
He that will come after Me let him take up his 
cross and follow Me." 

" Turn again, O God of hosts, look down from 
heaven and see and visit this vineyard . . . which 
Thy right hand hath planted." Ps. Ixxix. 15, 16. 

December 3 


WHEN he went to Westminster Hall to be con 
demned he made a cross of such wood as he 
could get, apparently a small wooden trencher, 
and upon it he drew with charcoal a figure of our 
Lord. This rough crucifix he carried with him 
openly. He made shift also to shave his crown 
because he would signify to the prating ministers 
which scoffed and mocked him that he was not 
ashamed of his Holy Orders, nor yet that he 
would blush at his religion. When then the 
ministers reproached him and bade him cast his 
crucifix away, he answered : " Never will I do so, 
for I am a soldier of the Cross, nor will I hence 
forth desert this standard until death." Another 
stretched forward and snatched the cross from 
his hands, upon which he said : " You may tear 
it from my hands, but you cannot take it from 
my heart. Nay, I shall die for Him who first 
died on it for me." On the scaffold, with his fair 
and honest face beaming with joy, he expressed 
his great happiness in being made worthy to 
die for the faith, and in company with Edmund 
Campion whom he heartily revered. As the 
words of the Miserere were on his lips the cart 
was drawn away. 

" God forbid that I should glory save in the 
Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the 
world is crucified to me and I to the world." 
GAL. vi. 14. 


December 4 



" WHETHER this that I say be miraculous or no, 
God knoweth. But true it is, and thereof my 
conscience is a witness before God. And this I 
say that in the end of the tortures, though my 
hands and feet were violently racked, and my 
adversaries fulfilled their wicked lust in practising 
their cruel tyranny on my body, yet notwith 
standing, I was without sense or feeling, well-nigh 
of grief and pain ; and not so only, but as it were 
comforted, eased, and refreshed of grievousness 
of the tortures bypast. I continued still with 
perfect and present senses in quietness of heart 
and tranquillity of mind; which thing, when the 
commissioners did see, they departed, and in 
going forth of the door they gave orders to rack 
me again the next day following after the same 
sort. Now when I heard them say so, it gave 
me, in my mind, by-and-by, and I did verily be 
lieve and trust that, with the help of God, I 
should be able to bear and suffer it patiently. 
In the meantime (as well as I could) I did muse 
and meditate upon the most bitter Passion of our 
Saviour, and how full of innumerable pains it was." 

" For He woundeth and He cureth. He 
striketh and His hands shall heal." JOB v. 18. 


December 5 

f Ven. JOHN ALMOND, Pr., 1612 

ON the scaffold he flung some seven or eight 
pounds in silver, with his beads, his points, and 
his discipline, for those to get them who would, 
and gave to the hangman an angel, not to spare 
him, but to treat him as he should. He had 
come hither, he said, to shed his blood for his 
Saviour s sake, who had shed His blood for 
his sins. In which respect he wished that every 
drop that he would shed might be a thousand ; 
that he might have St. Lawrence s gridiron to be 
broiled on, St. Peter s cross to be hanged on, 
St. Stephen s stones to be stoned with, to be ript, 
ript, ript, and ript again. Then, being in his 
shirt, he kneeled down, and often repeating " In 
manus tuas, Domine, &c." " Into Thy hands, 
O Lord, I commend my spirit " he waited till 
the hangman was ready without any sign of 
fear; but, ever smiling, he protested he died 
chaste, but not through his own ability or worthi 
ness, but by Christ s special grace, and that he 
ever hated those carnal sins, for which the 
Catholic religion had been slandered. At last, 
the cart was drawn away, and with the words 
" Jesu, Jesu/ his soul flew to Him for whom he 
Shed his blood, Tyburn, December 5, 1612. 

" Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people 
by His own blood, suffered without the Gate." 
HEB. xiii. 12. 


December 6 
Yen. JOHN ALMOND, Pr., 1612 
ST. PHILIP S zeal for the faith made him wish 
to go to the Indies to shed his blood for his 
Master, but as his Indies were to be in Rome he 
had a great love for those who were granted the 
privilege denied to himself. Thus when he met 
the students of the English College he would 
salute them with the words, "Salvete Flores, 
Martyrum," and one by one the students used to 
repair to St. Philip s room to receive the holy old 
man s blessing before starting on their mission. 
It is said that the only student who did not 
receive St. Philip s blessing failed to win his 
crown, and St. Philip s sons inherited his de 
votion to the future martyrs. In 1602 Father 
John Almond, a native of Allerton, near Liver 
pool, as a student having completed his seven 
years course of philosophy and theology, made 
his public disputation under the patronage of 
Cardinal Baronius, and when it was over, that 
man of holy memory, as though foreseeing the 
still more glorious defence of the faith he was 
going to make before English persecutors, em 
braced him many times, and kissed his tonsure 
and that blessed brow which was so soon to be en 
circled with the martyr s crown. Cardinal Tarugi, 
who was also present, paid him like homage. 

"These were purchased from among men, 
the first fruits of God and to the Lamb, and in 
their mouth there was found no lie, for they are 
without spot before the throne of God." APOC. 
xiv. 4, 5. 

353 z 

December 7 


Ven. JOHN ALMOND, Pr., 1612 

AT the scaffold one of the preachers urged that 
the Catholic Church taught that good works 
justified faith. Almond answered that faith and 
good works justified together. The minister 
said that faith alone justified. He asked what 
faith an infant could have ere he had the use 
of reason ? The minister left that question and 
reason and talked of something else. On the 
scaffold, kneeling down, he humbly begged 
God s mercy, not doubting that, many as his 
sins were, Christ, by His death and the shed 
ding of His blood, would remit and pardon, and 
that He would now accept his willingness to 
shed his blood for His greater glory. " What," 
said a minister, " can you match and compare 
Christ s bloodshedding with yours? Cannot 
Christ by Himself work your salvation ? " " You 
mistake me," replied the martyr ; " my sins, 
though venial, deserve Christ s wrath and punish 
ment. It is His death alone, and the shedding 
of His blood alone, that is not only efficient 
but also sufficient to save us all. I have not 
much more to say, one hour overtaketh another, 
and though never so long at last cometh death, 
and yet not death, for death is the gate of life 
unto us, whereby we enter into life everlasting, 
and life is death to those who do not provide for 

"Faith without works is death." JAS. ii. 20. 

December 8 

B. RALPH SHERWIN, Pr., 1581 

A NATIVE of Rodesby, Derbyshire, as a fellow 
of Exeter College, Oxford, he was accounted as 
an acute philosopher and an excellent Greek 
and Hebrew scholar. But grace called him to 
yet higher distinction. He became a Catholic, 
entered the English College, Rome, and returned 
a priest to England in August 1580. After 
some months 5 ,, zealous work he was apprehended 
while preaching in Mr. Roscarrock s house, 
and imprisoned, first in the Marshalsea and then 
in the Tower. He was there nearly a year, and 
in divers conferences with ministers won the 
admiration of his audience. After his first 
racking he was set out in great snow, and Mr. 
Roscarrock was kept in a dark corner hard by 
to hear his pitiful groans. After his second 
racking he lay five days and nights without food 
and in silence. All this time he slept, as he 
thought, before our Saviour on the Cross, and 
on coming round found himself free from pain. 
Tortures unavailing, the Bishops of Canterbury 
and London offered him the second Bishopric 
in England if he would but go to St. Paul s 
Church. After B. Campion was executed, the 
hangman took hold of Sherwin with his hand 
all bloody to terrify him, but the martyr rever 
ently kissed the martyr s blood, and then shed 
his own, December i, 1581. 

"When He shall give His beloved sleep." 
PS. cxxvi. 2. 


December 9 
Ven. JOHN MASON, L., 1591 
HE had been servant to Mr. Owen of Oxford 
shire, who was condemned at the bar as an 
aider and abettor of priests, and was himself 
first indicted for knowing and not revealing a 
seminary priest, but pleaded successfully that 
the three days allowed for such denunciations 
had not expired. He was then charged for 
abetting a priest to escape. On Topcliffe trying 
to enter the room where Father Genings was 
saying Mass, Mason seized him and thrust him 
downstairs, falling with him, and Topcliffe met 
with a broken head. This much the young 
man confessed. On this charge Mason was 
condemned, and executed the morrow after. 
Asked if he were not sorry for the fact, he re 
plied, " No ; if it were to do again, I would resist 
the wicked, that they should not have God s 
priests, yea, although I were to be punished with 
twenty deaths." There suffered with him a 
fellow-servant, Robert Sydney Hodgson, who, 
finding himself unpinioned, on the belief that he 
had recanted, boldly declared that, although he 
had asked Her Majesty s pardon, he would not 
have the judge think that he would deny his 
faith, for that he would rather die twenty times 
first. They were suffered to hang till they were 
dead, and together they won their crowns. 
Tyburn, December 10, 1591. 

"And one of them that stood by, drawing a 
sword, struck a servant of the High Priest, and 
cut off his ear." MARK xiv. 47. 


December 10 

f Ven. EUSTACE WHITE, Pr., 1591 

HE was born at Louth, Lincolnshire, and his 
conversion so much offended his father, an 
earnest Protestant, that he laid his curse upon 
him ; but God turned the curse to a blessing, and 
Eustace White became a priest and entered on 
the English Mission, October 1588. He was 
apprehended at Blandford, and having confessed 
himself a priest, a certain minister, one Dr. 
Houel, a tall man, reputed of great learning, was 
sent for to dispute with him, but was ignomi- 
niously vanquished, as he failed to disprove a 
certain text which White affirmed to be in the 
Bible. At the Bridewell, London, he was once 
hung by TopclifFe in iron manacles for eight 
hours together ; but though the torment caused 
the sweat from his body to wet the ground 
beneath, nothing could be extracted from him 
of the least prejudice to Catholics. Under the 
extremity of his passion he cried out, " Lord, 
more pain if Thou pleasest, and more patience." 
To his torturer he said, " I am not angry at you 
for all this, but shall pray to God for your welfare 
and salvation." Topclifte replied in a passion 
that he wanted not the prayers of heretics, and 
would have him hung at the next session. Then 
said the martyr, " I will pray for you at the 
gallows, for you have great need of prayers." 
He suffered at Tyburn, December 10, 1591. 

"And His sweat became as drops of blood 
running down to the ground." LUKE xxii. 44. 

December 1 1 

f Ven. ARTHUR BELL, O.S.F., 1643 

BORN of a good Catholic Worcestershire family, 
he was educated first at St. Omer s, then at 
Valladolid. He asked for admission into the 
Order of St. Francis in the Province of the Im 
maculate Conception, and took the habit at the 
Convent of Segovia, August 9, 1618. He was 
distinguished by a rare union of learning with a 
sweet, joyous, and ardent temper, and an over 
flowing sympathy with his fellow-creatures which 
drew them like a magnet to his side. From his 
earliest years he had a special devotion to Our 
Blessed Lady. He bound himself by vow to 
recite her office daily, and was in the habit of 
saying it alternately in Latin, Hebrew, Greek, 
Spanish, French, Flemish, and English. He 
was successively Guardian of his Order and 
Professor of Hebrew at Douay, first Provincial 
in Scotland, and then laboured on the English 
Mission. Our Lady s protection was manifested 
throughout his life. He was professed on the 
Feast of her Nativity, September 8, 1619. On 
the same Feast, 1634, he was sent on the Eng 
lish Mission, and his death sentence, for which 
he had prayed her twenty years, and had recited 
daily the Psalm xxxv., Dixit injustus, was pro 
nounced on the Feast of her Immaculate Con 
ception, 1643. 

"Blessed is the man that heareth Me, and 
that watcheth daily at My gates, and waiteth at 
the posts of My doors." PROV. viii. 34. 

December 12 

t Ven. THOMAS HOLLAND, S.J., 1642 
BORN in Lancashire, he was educated at St. 
Omer s, where he was repeatedly, on account of 
his piety, elected prefect of the Sodality of Our 
Blessed Lady. Thence he was sent to Valla- 
dolid, and was chosen to make a Latin oration 
at Madrid before Charles Prince of Wales 
(Charles I), on occasion of a marriage then pro 
posed with the Infanta Maria. Returning to 
Flanders, he entered the Society of Jesus, and 
was sent on the English Mission to London, 
1634. He was then in very bad health, and his 
illness was increased by the close confinement 
imposed upon him by the unremitting house- 
searching of the pursuivants. Yet, notwith 
standing the vigilance of his enemies and his 
own infirmities, through the various disguises he 
adopted, so as to be unrecognisable even by his 
friends, his perfect knowledge of French, Fle 
mish, and Spanish languages enabling him to 
assume any character, he reaped during two 
years labour a rich harvest of souls. At length 
in 1642 he was apprehended on suspicion and 
sentenced. In prison his holy counsel and deep 
spiritual wisdom sanctified the throngs, English 
and foreign, who came for his last words. He 
said Mass and administered the Sacraments up 
to the day of his execution at Tyburn, Decem 
ber 12, 1642. 

" I became all things to all men that I might 
save all." i COR. ix. 22. 

December 13 

Ven. EDMUND GENINGS, Pr., 1591 

HE was executed with Ven. Wells opposite the 
latter s house in Gray s Inn, where he had said 
Mass. On the scaffold, in answer to Topcliffe s 
gibes, he professed his loyalty to his dear 
anointed Queen, and declared that being a 
priest and saying Mass in noways made him a 
traitor. Of these things he acknowledged him 
self guilty, and rejoiced in having done such 
good deeds, and with God s help would do them 
again at the risk of a thousand lives. Topcliffe, 
angered at this speech, bade them turn the 
ladder and cut the rope, so that the holy priest 
stood scarcely stunned on his feet, till the hang 
man tripped him up, and quartered him while 
living. After he was dismembered he cried out 
in agony, " It smarts ! " To which Mr. Wells 
replied, " Alas, sweet soul, thy pain is great, but 
almost past ; pray for me now, most holy Saint, 
that mine may come." After Father Genings 
was ripped up and his bowels cast into the fire, 
the blessed martyr, his heart being in the exe 
cutioner s hands, uttered these words, " Sancte 
Gregori, ora pro me," at which the hangman 
swore a most wicked oath : " Zounds, his heart 
is in my hand, and yet Gregory is in his mouth. 
O egregious Papist." 

" And the smoke of the incense of the prayers 
of the Saints ascended up before God by the 
hand of an angel." APOC. viii. 4. 

December 14 

Yen. EDMUND GENINGS, Pr., 1591 

ON December 4, 1591, Father Genings and his 
companions were brought upon their trial, and a 
jury was empanelled to find them all guilty, yet 
nothing could any prove against them but that 
one of them had said Mass in Mr. Well s house, 
and that one of them had heard the said Mass. 
Many bitter words and scoffs were used by the 
judges and others on -the bench, particularly to 
Father Genings, because he was very young and 
had angered them with disputes. And the more 
to make him a scoff to the people, they vested 
him not now in his priestly garments (in which 
they had before carried him through the streets), 
but in a ridiculous fool s coat which they had 
found in Mr. Well s house. On his return to 
Newgate, Topcliffe, Justice Young, and others 
called on him and offered him life, liberty, a 
benefice, and promotion if he would go to church 
and renounce his religion. But finding him 
constant and resolute they were highly offended, 
and thrust him into a dark hole, where he could 
not even see his hands nor get up or down 
without risk to his neck. Here he remained in 
prayer and contemplation without any food till 
the hour of his death. 

" And Herod with his army set Him at nought 
and mocked Him, putting on Him a white 
garment, and sent Him back to Pilate." LUKE 
xxiii. ii. 

December 15 

Ven. EDMUND GENINGS, Pr., 1591 

" THEN the Protestant Bishop of London began, 
You are greatly abused by those whom you 
call your Superiors. Think now of my counsel, 
which is to help yourselves, and to acknowledge 
your fault and error ; then doubtless I dare 
promise you from the Queen s Majesty sure 
pardon. You miserable men do what in you is, 
to kill yourselves, which is a damnable thing, 
unless you now repent. 5 On this Mr. Genings 
began to smile, and said that, though young, he 
thought he could answer the Bishop s allegation. 
Peace, said the Bishop, I see you are all 
wilful. Here I acquit myself before all this 
audience, that I have given you sound counsel. 
At the latter day, when you and I shall all stand 
before the Judge, this my word now shall con 
demn you, and with that the old dissembler 
wept, as it seemed, and wiped his eyes, trickling 
down with tears, every one as big as a millstone. 
Almighty God pardon your obstinacy. I may 
not stay to hear the just sentence of blood pro 
nounced against you, because it is not according 
to my profession ; which said, he presently 
departed from the Bench. Many silly people 
commended his great charity and tender heart, 
as I heard them speak." 

" And they went not into the hall, that they 
might not be defiled, but that they might eat the 
Pasch." JOHN xviii. 28. 

December 16 

Ven. SWITHIN WELLS, L., 1591 

His father was renowned in Hampshire as a 
confessor for the faith, and Swithin himself 
kindly, pleasant, courteous, generous, brave, a 
leader in every kind of field and manly sport 
was an example of a Catholic country gentleman. 
Much of his diversions he gave up, however, to 
train youths in the faith and learning, who thus 
became staunch Catholics. Apprehended and 
condemned for having had Mass said in his 
house, he was led out to die with his wife, sen 
tenced for the same offence. She was however 
remanded, and after ten years in Newgate of 
fasting, watching, and prayer, she died in 1602. 
On Swithin s way to the scaffold, which was 
erected opposite his own door, meeting an old 
friend he said : " Farewell all hawking and hunt 
ing and old pastimes ; I am now going a better 
way." The butchery of Father Genings be 
fore his eyes only hastened his own desire to 
die. " Despatch," said he ; " Mr. Topcliffe, des 
patch ; are you not ashamed to let an old man 
stand here so long in his shirt in the cold. I 
pray God make you of a Saul a Paul, of a perse 
cutor a Catholic professor." And in such-like 
speeches, full of Christian charity, piety, and 
courage, he happily ended his course, December 
10, 1591. 

" He began to be mighty on the earth, and he 
was a stout hunter before the Lord." GEN. x. 
8, 9. 


December 17 

Ven. SWITHIN WELLS, L., 1591 

" I HAVE been long in durance and endured 
much, but the future reward makes pain seem 
pleasure. And truly now the solitariness causes 
me not grief, but rather joy, for thereby I can 
better prepare myself for that happy end for 
which I was created and placed here by God. 
I am also sure that however few I see yet I am 
not deserted, for whose companion is Christ is 
never alone. When I pray I talk with God ; 
when I read He talketh to me. Thus, though I 
am bound and chained with gyves, yet am I loose 
and unbound towards God, and it is better, I 
deem, to have the body bound than the soul in 
bondage. I am threatened, Lord, with danger 
of death ; but if it be no worse I will not wish 
it better. God send me the grace, and then I 
-weigh not what flesh and blood can do to me. 
These answered many anxious and dangerous 
questions, but I trust with good advisement, not 
offending my conscience. What will become 
of it God knows best, to whose protection I 
commit you. From gaol and chains to the 
Kingdom. Thine to life s end." (Letter from 

" So then, brethren, we are not children of the 
bondwoman, but of the free, by the freedom 
whereby Christ has made us free." GAL. iv. 31. 

December 18 

Ven. JOHN ROBERTS, O.S.E., 1610 

FINDING himself about to be hung in company 
with eight traitors and criminals, he blessed 
them and spoke : u Here we are all going to 
die, nor have we any hope of escape ; but if you 
die in that religion now professed and estab 
lished in this country, without any doubt you 
will be condemned to the eternal fire of Hell. 
For the love then of our Blessed Saviour I 
earnestly pray you to return from the evil path, 
so that we may all die in one and the same true 
faith, and to show this say with me the follow 
ing words : I believe in the Holy Catholic 
Church, and I desire to die a member of that 
Church. I repent and am sorry for having led 
so wicked a life, and that I have grievously 
offended my sweet and merciful Saviour. If 
you say these words truly and from your hearts, 
I will absolve you, and then my soul for yours." 
At these words one of the poor wretches was so 
affected that he burst into tears. The Father 
then exhorted him specially and prayed silently 
to God for him, then again spoke to him in 
a low voice. In the end the poor creature 
publicly professed that he died a Catholic. 

"This day thou shalt be with Me in Para 
dise." LUKE xxiv. 43. 


December 19 
Ven. JOHN ROBERTS, O.S.B., 1610 

LUISA DE CARVAJAL, a noble Spanish lady, came 
to London to minister to Catholics suffering for 
the faith. She visited the prisoners, stood by 
the scaffold to cheer the dying, and buried the 
dead all this amid the hootings of the rabble 
dogging her footsteps. On one occasion she 
obtained leave to prepare a supper for Fathers 
Roberts and Somers on the eve of their mar 
tyrdom, and for their fellow-prisoners. The 
feast is thus described : " They then sat down to 
supper twenty prisoners for conscience sake, 
twenty confessors of the faith Luisa de Car- 
vajal presiding at the head of the table. The 
meal was a devout and a joyful one heavenly 
the refreshment ministered to the guests, great 
the fervour and spiritual delight which our 
Lord bestowed on His valiant soldiers, giving 
them that peace which passeth all understand 
ing. Scarcely any one thought of eating. In 
the course of the evening Father Roberts asked 
her, " Do you not think I may be causing dis- 
edification by my great glee ? Would it not be 
better to retire into a corner and give myself 
up to prayer?" "No, certainly not," Luisa 
answered. " You cannot be better employed 
than by letting them all see with what cheerful 
courage you are about to die for Christ." 

" The Master saith to thee : Where is the 
guest-chamber, where I may eat the Pasch with 
My disciples? 3 LUKE xxii. n. 

December 20 


Yen. JOHN ROBERTS, O.S.B., 1610 

" I DO not deceive Her Majesty s subjects, but 
try to lead back to the right path those poor 
wandering souls whom you and your foolish and 
ignorant ministers have led astray,, and infected 
with a thousand deceits and heresies. If I 
deceive, then were our ancestors deceived by 
blessed Saint Augustine, the Apostle of the 
English, who was sent here by the Pope of 
Rome, St. Gregory the Great, and who converted 
this country from error to the Christian and 
Roman Catholic faith. This same faith which 
he professed, I now teach. Nay, I am of the 
same religious order, and have been professed 
of the same rule as St. Augustine, and I am 
sent here by the same Apostolic See that sent 
him before me. I must speak as my mission 
is from Heaven : Go ye and teach all nations, 
baptizing them, and teaching them to observe 
all things whatsoever I have commanded you 
(Matt, xxviii. 19). Your ministers do not teach 
as Christ commands ; they do not administer 
the Sacrament of Penance or of Extreme 
Unction. I do, and withal I teach obedience 
to princes as a matter of conscience, against 
the false doctrine of Luther and his companions. 
All this I can prove to you. " 

"Going, therefore, teach ye all nations." 
MATT, xxviii. 19. 


December 21 

Ven. JOHN ROBERTS, O.S.B., 1610 

To the Protestant Bishop of London he said, 
" Can you name a single instance of a Catholic 
Bishop being seated, as you are, among secular 
judges in a capital case? You would have done 
much better to remain in your place, reproving 
the dissolute conduct of your clergy, than to 
come and sit on this Bench, while matters of 
life and death are being decided. These twelve 
men, who have to give a verdict in this case, are 
ignorant persons, unable to discern or judge of the 
difference between the priesthood and treason. 
You strive to do an impossible thing when you 
wish to make it appear that to be a priest is to 
be a traitor. That would make Christ Himself 
a traitor, and all His Apostles, St. Augustine 
also, the Apostle of England, and all the priests 
and bishops who have succeeded him to this day, 
would also be esteemed traitors, and you would 
condemn them if they were brought before you. 
I therefore say that it is impossible that being 
a priest should make me a traitor. If a priest 
commit treason, I am not so ignorant as not to 
know that the man is a traitor, but not by reason 
of his being a priest, or in consequence of 
exercising his priestly office." 

"We have found this man perverting our 
nation and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, 
and saying that he is Christ the King."- 
LUKE xxiii, 2. 


December 22 

Yen. JOHN ROBERTS, O.S.B., 1610 

"I ACKNOWLEDGED then, as I do now, that I 
am a priest and a monk of the Holy Order of St. 
Benedict, as were also SS. Augustine, Lawrence, 
Paulinus, Mellitus, and Justus ; and as these 
monks converted our country from unbelief, so 
I have done what little I could to liberate it 
from heresy. I leave it to you, Mr. Recorder, 
and the rest of you to judge whether this is high 
treason. But suppose I had really offended 
against the State and were worthy of death, 
I ought not even then to be judged by you, noi 
by this Court, nor by these twelve men, they 
not being men of my condition or quality, since 
it has been Decreed by the Councils of the 
Church and the Popes, the vicars of Christ on 
earth, that priests should not be brought before 
secular judges ; but if their crimes are great and 
merit death, that they must be first examined 
and found guilty by the ecclesiastical judges, 
and be degraded by them, then they can be 
handed over to the secular arm to be dealt with 
as the laws of God and man decree. This 
being the case, I do not see, Mr. Recorder, 
that you are competent to pronounce sentence 
against me." 

" Concerning the ministers of the house of 
this God, you have no authority to impose toll 
or tribute or custom upon them." I ESDRAS 
vii. 24. 

369 2 A 

December 23 


THEN the Lord Wray began saying, that many 
things had been well urged against the priests 
by them of the Bench ; as that they were men 
who took part with Spaniards, who, by all like 
lihood, would kill the Queen, if they possibly 
could : " But I, at this present, am to pronounce 
sentence against you, for that, against the statute 
made in this behalf, you have been made priests 
by authority from the See of Rome, and have 
returned into this country to exercise your 
priestly functions, as you term them, and have 
confessed, wherefore you are found guilty of 
high treason. And, therefore, you shall return 
to the place from whence you came, and thence 
be drawn," &c. Which words were no sooner 
heard, but the catchpoles, who guarded the 
prisoners at the bar, began every one to catch, 
some a hat, some a cloak, others the ruffs and 
handkerchiefs, which the condemned persons 
had. When one of the priests exclaimed, 
" Besides our priesthood, we are freemen born, 
and yet in the sight of you, judges of the land, 
we are thus despoiled and bared, even before 
we be dead." On which Wray ordered their 
hats and cloaks to be restored. 

" The tribune also was afraid after he under 
stood that Paul was a Roman citizen, and 
because he had bound him." ACTS xxii. 29. 

December 24 

f GEORGE MUSCOT, Pr., 1645 

"AFTER labours beyond number endured in 
England for the Catholic faith, with great profit 
to souls, here resteth the very Reverend George 
Muscot, an English priest. Having suffered the 
miseries of a prison for above twenty years, he 
was condemned to death for that faith. The 
hurdle was waiting for him at the prison gate, 
when, at the intercession of the Queen of Eng 
land, he was reprieved. Promoted by the 
Sovereign Pontiff to the Presidency of the Eng 
lish College at Douay, by his government he 
gave new life to its discipline, and in four years, 
and in the hardest times, increased its temporal 
estate by 20,000 florins. At length he himself 
being increased in merit, reduced by sufferings 
and infirmities, gave his poor body to the 
earth, his rich soul to heaven, and the good 
odour of his example to all priests. He died, 
aged sixty-five, the fortieth year of his priest 
hood, the fifth of his Presidency, on the Vigil of 
the Nativity of our Lord. On that same day, 
heretofore, he had been thrown into a filthy dun 
geon amongst felons and kept there three days, 
but his stay bore sweet fruit. Out of ten male 
factors condemned to die, nine were reconciled 
to the Catholic faith. May he rest in peace." 

"He chose him out of all men living to offer 
sacrifice to God, incense, and a good savour, 
for a memorial to make reconciliation for His 
people." ECCLUS. xlv. 20. 

December 25 



As I in hoary winter s night stood shivering in 

the snow, 
Surprised I was with sudden heat, which made 

my heart to glow ; 
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire 

was near, 
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air 

appear ; 
Who, scorched with excessive heat such floods 

of tears did shed, 
As though His floods should quench His flames 

which with His tears were bred ; 
" Alas ! " quoth He, " but newly born in fiery 

heats I fry, 
Yet none approach to warm their hearts, or feel 

my fire, but I ! 
My faultless breast the furnace is ; the fuel 

wounding thorns ; 
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes 

shames and scorns ; 
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the 

The metal in this furnace wrought are men s 

defiled souls ; 
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to 

their good, 
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my 

With this He vanished out of sight and swiftly 

shrank away, 
And straight I called unto mind that it was 

Christmas Day. 


December 26 


FATHER PERSONS, being regarded as a most 
active and dangerous leader of Catholics, was 
ever an object of the pursuivant s search, but 
though they never succeeded in his capture, 
many richer prizes were secured in his stead. 
Amongst- these was taken, in the house adjoin 
ing Persons London lodgings, a young man, 
some twenty-seven years of age, of exceeding 
gentle manners and a countenance of striking 
beauty, by name Alexander Briant. After 
three years at Baliol and Hart Hall, Oxford, he 
was reconciled and entered Douay, and on 
August 3, 1579, started as a priest on the 
English Mission. He laboured first in his own 
county, Somersetshire, where he reconciled 
Persons father to the Church, and thence re 
paired to London and took lodgings next to 
Persons, his closest and dearest friend. On 
his arrest, April 28, 1581, he was confined in 
the Counter, and in that revolting prison, in 
order to extract from him Persons whereabouts, 
was for two days and nights entirely deprived 
of food and drink. He then contrived to get 
some hard cheese and broken bread with a pint 
of beer, but this caused an agonising thirst. 
After six days in the Counter nothing had been 
gained from him, and sharper methods were 
resolved on. 

"With thy comeliness and beauty set out, 
proceed prosperously and reign." Ps. xliv. 5. 

December 27 



AFTER almost dying of thirst at the Counter, 
he was transferred to the Tower, with directions 
to Norton, the rack-master, to put him to the 
tortures to wring from him by the pain and 
terror thereof the knowledge of such things as 
shall appertain. As he would neither confess 
where he had seen F. Persons, how he was 
maintained, where he had said Mass, or whose 
confessions he had heard, needles were thrust 
under his nails the torture of pricking often 
applied to witches. He bore them all un 
moved, and with a constant mind and pleasant 
countenance said the Psalm Miserere, desir 
ing God to forgive his tormentors. Whereat 
Dr. Hammond stamped and stared as if beside 
himself, saying, " What a thing is this ! 
If a man were not settled in his religion, 
this were enough to convert him. 3 He was 
now removed into a pit twenty feet deep 
without light, whence after eight days he was 
drawn out and taken to the rack chamber. 
There he was rent and torn upon the rack till 
his body was disjointed, and the next day, 
though his body was one sore, his senses dead, 
and his blood congealed, he was brought to the 
torture again and racked yet more severely ; but 
he resolved to die rather than hurt any living 
creature by word of his. 

" They have dug my hands and feet, they 
have numbered all my bones." Ps. xxi. 17. 

December 28 

B. RALPH SHERWIN, Pr., 1581 

" TRUTH it is, I hoped ere this, casting off this 
body of death, to have kissed the glorified 
wounds of my sweet Saviour, sitting in the 
throne of His Father s own glory, which desire 
hath so quieted my mind that neither the 
sharpness of death hath much terrified me 
nor the shortness of life much troubled me. My 
sins are great, I confess, but I flee to God s 
mercy : my negligences are without number, I 
grant, but I appeal to my Redeemer s clemency: 
I have no boldness but in His blood ; His bitter 
passion is my only consolation. It is comfortable 
that the prophet hath recorded that He hath 
written us in His hands. Oh ! that He would 
vouchsafe to write Himself in our hearts ; how 
joyful would we then appear before the tribunal 
seat of His Father s glory : the dignity whereof, 
when I think of, my flesh quaketh, not sustain 
ing, by reason of mortal infirmity, the presence 
of my Creator s majesty. Our Lord perfect us 
to that end whereunto we were created, that, 
leaving this world, we may live in Him, and of 
Him, world without end. It is thought that, 
upon Monday or Tuesday next, we shall be 
passible : God grant us humility that we, 
following His. footsteps, may obtain the victory." 

" Behold, I have graven thee in my hands : thy 
walls are always before my eyes." ISA. xlix. 16. 

December 29 


f Ven. WILLIAM, Viscount STAFFORD, 1680 

THE second son of Thomas, Earl of Arundel, and 
uncle to Thomas and Henry, Dukes of Norfolk, 
he married Mary, heiress to Henry, Lord Staf 
ford, and succeeded to her title. During the 
Civil War he suffered much for his loyalty to 
the King, but always bore himself with the 
courage and constancy proper to his birth, his 
loyalty, and his faith. After the Restoration he 
lived in peace and happiness with his wife and 
children till his sixty-sixth year, when he was 
accused by Gates as being a party to the plot. 
Although he heard of the impending charge, 
knowing his own innocency, he made no change 
in his manner of life, and so was arrested. After 
two years in the Tower he was brought on his 
trial before the House of Peers. For four days 
the prosecuting lawyers assailed him, yet by 
the mere force of his integrity he exposed the 
falsehood of his accusers. Nevertheless he was 
condemned by fifty-five peers against thirty-one. 
He was recommended to put on his cloak on 
his way to the scaffold, to which he assented, 
" Lest," he said, " I shake from cold, but never 
from fear." So proceeding he won his crown. 

"For our glory is this, the testimony of our 
conscience, that in simplicity of heart and not 
in carnal wisdom we have converted in this 
world." 2 COR. i. 12. 


December 30 

Ven. JOHN ALMOND, Pr., 1612 

DR. KING, Protestant Bishop of London, the 
supposed principal agent in Almond s death, 
instead of reaping any joy from the execution 
of this good priest, is said to have been ever 
after a man of sorrows, and to have died in 
communion with the Church which he had thus 
cruelly persecuted. In the preface of a book, 
published in his name after his death, and 
called, "The Bishop of London s Legacy," he 
is introduced thus addressing himself to our 
martyr : " O happy Almond, in thy blood, even 
in thy blood, did I wash my hands : it was I 
that did further thy death. Be thou, O blessed 
saint, who now seest and hearest me (Quid non 
videt, qui videntem omnia videt ? What does 
he not see, who sees Him that sees all things ?), 
be thou, I say, out of thy seraphical charity, as 
propitious to pray for the remitting of that 
crying sin as I am ready to acknowledge the 
sin ; and let thy blood (guilty of no other 
treason than in not being a traitor to Christ 
and His Church), not resemble the blood of 
Abel, which cried for revenge against his brother, 
but rather the blood of Christ, which prayed for 
pardon of His crucifiers." 

" I have sinned in betraying innocent blood." 
MATT, xxvii. 4. 


December 31 

THE Archbishop of York, whose office it was 
to crown Elizabeth (the Metropolitan being 
dead), declined to do so, and Bishop Oglethorpe 
at length performed the ceremony in the most 
solemn manner. Elizabeth then took the usual 
oath of Christian princes prescribed by tradi 
tion and law to defend the Catholic .faith and 
to guard the rights and immunities of the 
Church, hoping thus to secure unquestioned her 
possession of the throne ; but throughout the 
function she displayed her contempt of the 
faith. At the anointing she expressed her ab 
horrence in her own choice language, saying, 
" The oil is stinking." At the Mass she forbade 
the Bishop to elevate the Host, and on his re 
fusal to obey her command, her chaplain per 
formed a mutilated rite. Although the Bishop 
had only crowned Elizabeth in the hope of thus 
preventing an open schism, when he saw the 
ruin she brought on religion he never ceased 
to bewail his act. He defended the faith boldly 
in the Westminster Conference, and was fined 
in consequence by the Council. In spite of 
threats and promises, he refused to take the 
oath of Supremacy, and was deposed, and after 
months of physical suffering and heart-broken 
contrition, he died in prison in charge ofGrindal, 
the Protestant Bishop of London, December 31. 

" Lord, my desire is before Thee and my 
groaning is not hid from Thee. For in Thee, 
O Lord, have I hoped." Ps. xxxvii. 10, 16. 


Abel, B. Thomas, 224, 

259, 260 
Allen, Cardinal, 302, 303, 

Almond, Yen. John, 330, 

35 2 . 353. 354. 377 
Anderton, Ven. Robert, 

128, 132, 133 

Arrowsmith, Ven. Ed 
mund, 253, 272, 275, 
277, 278 

Aske, Sir Robert, 22 
Atkinson, Ven. Thomas, 


Baker, Ven. Charles, 250 
Bamber, Ven. Edward, 

227, 232 

Barkwcrth.Ven. Mark, 70 
Barlow, Ven. Edward, 

262, 270-273 
Bayne, Bishop, 334 
Beche, B. John, 349 
Belchiam, Ven. Thomas, 

Bell, Ven. Arthur, 40, 358 

Bell, Ven. James, 123 
Bird, Ven. James, 77 
Blundell, W. (Poet), 13, 

14, 117, 118 

Blundell, W. (The Cava 
lier), 157, 158, 170 
Bodey , Ven. John , 3 19 , 320 
Bonner, Bishop, 261, 293 
Bost, Ven. John, 218, 220 
Bourne, Bishop, 266 
Bowes, Ven. Marmaduke, 

Briant, B. Alexander, 313, 

314, 348, 35. 35 1 . 373. 

Brookby, Ven. Antony, 


Buckley, Ven. John, 206 
Bullaker, Ven. Thomas, 

297, 298-301 

Cadwallador, Ven. Roger, 

243, 252, 286 
Campion, B. Edmund, 

28-32, 163, 167, 290, 

306, 329, 335, 336, 338, 

348, 35. 355 


Catherine of Aragon, 

Queen, 151, 155 
Clement, Margaret, 191 
Clitheroe, B. Margaret, 

97. 98, 99. 167, 345 
Colman, Father, 74 
Corby, Ven. Ralph, 264, 

265, 276 
Cornelius, Ven. John, 198, 

321, 3 2 3 
Cottam, B. Thomas, 140, 

141, 160 
Crowe, Ven. Alexander, 


Dalby, Ven. Robert, 88 
Davies, Ven. William, 212, 

2I 5 
Derwentwater, James Earl 

of, 67 
Dibdale, Ven. Richard, 

Dicconson, Ven. Roger, 

20 1 

Drury, Robert (S. J.), 322 
Drury, Ven. Robert, 69 
Duckett, Ven. James, 122 
Duckett, Ven. John, 263, 

264, 265, 276 
Dymoke, Robert, 267 

Eleven Marian Bishops, 

Errington, Ven. George, 


Evans, Ven. Philip, 216 
Exmew, B. William, 183 


Farringdon, B. Hugh, 331 
Feckenham, Abbot, 15, 


Felton, B. John, 233 
Felton, Ven. Thomas, 256 
Fenn, Ven. James, 56, 

Filbie, B. William, 163 
Fisher, B. John, 27, 51, 

52, 53, 72, 126, 127, 

186-190, 209 
Five Jesuit Martyrs, 179 
Ford, B. Thomas, 159, 

161, 163 
Forest, B. John, 146, 147, 

155, 259, 260, 325 
Fortescue, B. Adrian, 202, 

268, 269 

Garlick, Ven. Nicholas, 


Garnet, Henry (S. J.), 136 
Genings, Ven. Edmund, 

247. 324. S 6 ^. 36i, 362, 

363- 370 

Genings, Father John, 18 
Gervase, Ven. George, 

114, 115 

Gilbert, George (S. J.), 292 
Goldwell, Bishop, 107 
Goodman, Ven. John, 257 
Gray, Father John, 169 
Green, Ven. Hugh, 239, 

240, 241, 244 
Green, Ven. John, 257 
Grissold, B. Robert, "211 
Grove, Ven. John, 36 




Haile, B. John, 137 
Hambley, Ven. John, 96 

Jessop, John, 94 
Johnson, B. Robert, 153 

Hanse, B. Everard, 225, 



Harcourt, B. William, 

173, 179 

Kemble, Ven. John, 248 

Hart, B. William, 80, 81, 

Kirby, B. Luke, 149, 164 

82, 84, 85, 87, 89, 100, 

IOI, IO2, 103, 295 

Hartley, Ven. William, 



Lacy, B. William, 247, 

Haydock, Ven. George, 
54. 55. 5 8 

Langhorne, Ven. Richard, 

Heath, Archbishop, 106 


Heath, Ven. Henry, 78, 

Larke, B. John, 79 

92, 103, 112, 113, 119, 

Lawrence, B. Robert, 138 

120, 121, 315, 317 

Line, Ven. Anne, 71, 131 

Herst, Ven. Richard, 254, 
274, 275 

Lloyd, Ven. William, 26 
Lcckwood, Ven. John, 116 

Hewett, Ven. John, 76 

Ludlam, Ven. Robert, 217 

Holford, B. Thomas, 242 

Holland, Ven. Thomas, 



Horner, Ven. Nicholas, 

Marsden, Ven. William, 


128, 132 

Houghton, B. John, 135, 

Mason, Ven. John, 356 


Maxfield, Ven. Thomas, 

Howard, Ven. Philip, 305, 


306, 307 

Maxwell, Ven. Thomas, 

Humphrey, B. Lawrence, 



Mayne, B. Cuthbert, 50, 

Hutton, Mary, 150 


Middlemore, B. Humph 


rey, 183 
Milner, Ven. Ralph, 201, 

Ingleby, Ven. Francis, 170 
Ingram, Ven. John, 219, 

203, 205 
More, B. Thomas, 38, 62, 
63, 68, 75, 79. 86, 165, 

Ireland, Ven. William, 36 

172, 190, I9L 200, 204, 



209, 258, 288, 337, 341, 

Morgan, Ven. Edward, 

Morse, Ven. Henry, 44, 

45. 59, 60 

Munden, Ven. John, 58 
Muscot, George, Father, 



Nappier, Ven. George, 

326, 327 
Nelson, B. John, 46, 47, 

Newdigate, B. Sebastian, 


Newport, B. Richard, 143 
Nichols, Ven. George, 199 
Nutter, Ven. John, 57, 58 

Oglethorpe, Bishop, 378 
Oldcorne, Ven. Edward, 

in, 136 

Osbaldestone, Ven. Ed 
ward, 333 

Page, Ven. Francis, 130, 


Payne, B. John, 105 
Palasor, Ven. Thomas, 


Pate, Bishop, 340 
Pattenson, Ven. William, 

Percy, B. Thomas, 237, 

238, 245, 246 


Percy, Sir Thomas, 23 
Peto, Father, 43 
Pibush, Ven. John, 61 
Pickering, B, Thomas, 142 
Pikes, Ven. William, 95 
Pilchard, Ven. Thomas, 


Pius, S., letter of, 236 
Plessington, Ven. William, 


Plumtree, B. Thomas, 16 
Plunket, Ven. Oliver, 195, 

281, 282 

Pole, B. Margaret, 151 
Poole, Bishop, 168 
Postgate, Ven. Nicholas, 

229, 230 
Pounde, Thomas (S. J.), 


Powel, B. Edward, 325 
Powel, Ven. Philip, 194, 

Powell, Margaret, 49 

Reynolds, Ven. Thomas, 

Reynolds, B. Richard, 

134, 139 
Richardson, B. Lawrence, 


Rigby, B. John, 178, 185 
Roberts, Ven. John, 365- 


Robinson, Ven. John, 287 
Rochester, B. John, 144 
Roe, Ven. Bartholomew, 

Rowsam, Ven. Stephen, 


Scot, Ven. William, 143, 

T 54 

Scott, Ven. Monford, 196 
Shert, B. John, 159 
Sherwin, B. Ralph, 42, 

348, 355. 375 

Sherwood, B. Thomas, 50 
Slade, Ven. John, 316 
Southwell, Ven. Robert, 

64, 65, 66, 176, 193, 

308-311, 318, 339, 372 
Southworth, Ven. John, 

180, 181, 182, 192 
Spenser, Ven. William, 


Stafford, Viscount, 376 
Stone, B. John, 145 
Storey, B. John, 165, 166 
Stransham, Ven. Edward, 

4 1 
Sugar, Ven. John, 210, 


Sutton, Ven. Robert, 221 
Swallowell, Ven. George, 

Sympson, Ven, Richard, 


Thirkell, B. Richard, 148, 
162, 171, 295, 296, 312 
Thirlby, Bishop, 251 
Thomas, John, 226 
Thompson, B. James, 295 

Thulis, Ven. John, 90 
Tichborne, Ven. Thomas 

Tunstall, Bishop, 337 

Tunstal, Ven. Thomas, 

Turner, Ven. Antony, 179 


Wall, Ven: John, 249, 279 
Walpole, Ven. Henry, 108, 

109, no 

Wai worth, B. John, 144 
Ward, Ven. William, 222, 

223, 298 

Ward, Ven. Margaret, 255 
Waterson, Ven. Edward, 


Watkinson, Ven. Robert, 


Watson, Bishop, 283 
Webster, B. Augustine, 

Wells, Ven. Swithin, 360, 

361, 363. 364 
Whitaker, Ven. Thomas, 


White, Bishop, 24, 25 
White, Ven. Eustace, 357 
Whitebread.Ven. Thomas, 

174, 175, 179, 184 
Whiting, B. Richard, 332 
Woodcock, Ven. John, 

231, 235, 284 
| Woodfen, Ven. Nicholas, 

\ VVoodhouse, B. Thomas, 

Wrenno, Ven. Roger, 90, 

Wright, Peter (S.J.).Ven., 
152, 328 

; Yaxley, Ven. Richard, 199 


Abbeys, suppressed: West 
minster, 15; Reading, 
Bi ; Glastonbury, 332 ; 
)lchester, 349 
Absolved from afar, 239 
Abstinence, the Friday, 

246; Lent, 278 
Achab, punishment of, 43 
Age, old, dignity of, 248 ; 

fruitful, 116 

Angel, the guardian, 96 
Authority of Pope or 
Queen, 32, 115 


Babe, the burning, 372 
Balaam s ass, 16 
Blackfriars collapse, 322 
Bonds for Christ, 80, 81 ; 

loosened, 33 ; chains 

falling off, 83 
Books, good, 122 
Brethren, false, 105, 218, 

330 c 

Calumny, patience under, 
156 281 

Cardinal s hat, the, 72 
Challenge refused, a, 158 
Champion, of the Pope, 

233 ; of England, 267 
Chancellor, Lord, mendi 
cant, a, 86 
Cheerfulness in dying, 122, 


Church, notes of, 241; 
unity of, 288 ; rights of, 

Cloister, a violated, 144 
Compromise, no, 209 
Confession, seal of, 136, 

a public, 232 
Conscience, a puritan s, 

180; good, 376 
Contrition, 88, 330, 378 
Controversy, 148, 161, 164, 

210, 214, 288 

Cross, love of the, 163; 
image of, 297; cross 
and the crown, 350 


Death, cheerfulness in, 
122,142; image of, 318; 
learning to die, 74 ; 
385 2 B 


pressed to, 99 ; readi 
ness for, 216 ; shadow 
of, 61, 62; waiting for, 
224, 259 

Depression, 130 

Discipline, the, 75, 198 

Ease, Little, 256 
Easter offering, the 262 
End and Means, 173 
Enemies, forgiveness of, 

1 60 
England, apostate, 304; 

champion of ,267 ; prayer 

for, 120 


Faith, the oldest, 26; 
grounds for, 44 ; and 
loyalty, 69, 325 ; and 
works, 354 ; more pre 
cious than life, 67 

Fear, holy, 140 ; natural, 
overcome, 227 

Fetters unloosed, 83, 185 ; 
wisdom learnt in, 312 

Filial reverence, 77, 101, 
102, 103, 308, 309, 310, 
3n. 342 


Gall to drink, 47 
Ghost, Holy, Mass of, 138 
Grave, a Catholic s, 94 
Gregory, S. , devotion to, 


Hair shirt, 41, 75, 141, 198, 
204, 217 

Heart, a burning, 223 
Heaven, glimpse of, 91 ; 

our home, 311 
Heresy, Divine vengeance 

on, 40; hatred of, 25; 

heretical services, 303 
Heretics, charges of, 68 
Honey from the rock, 65 
Hungry, feeding the, 191 
Hunter, a mighty, 363 
Hypocrite, a royal, 55 

Jerome, S., devotion to, 

Jesus, dulcismemoria, 103; 

looking on, 182 
Joan, Pope, 133 
Judge, bleeding hands of, 

338 ; the one, 70, 310, 



Knighthood, conversion 

by, 21 

Lady, Our B., 78, 92, 

113, 172 ; office of, 358 
Lapsed, the repentant, 123, 

261, 337, 340 
Last things, the four, 240 
Law, practice of, 35 
Learning to die, 74 
Life, the hidden, 229, 230, 

263; a hunted, 242 
Loreto, holy house of, 247 


Malchus, ear of, 356 
Mara, Waters of, 319 
Martyrdom, fruit of, 95 



219 ; privileges of, 200 ; 
in will, 201; zeal for, 
211, 249; pledge of 
salvation, 252; thirst 
for, 317 

Martyrs, shrines of, 345 ; 
Flores Martyrum, 353 

Mass, of thanksgiving, 45 ; 
arrested at, 49 ; daily, 
75 ; and martyrdom, 
162 ; High Mass Dur 
ham Cathedral, 238 ; 
Last Gloria, 299; for 
the dead, 321 ; the last, 

Ministers, tormenting, 114; 
wolves in sheep s cloth 
ing, 344 

Missioner, motives of, 89 

Mother s sacrifice, a, 291 


Needles, torture of, 374 
Nun, letter to, 112, 323 

Gates, plot of, 36, 142, 
175, 184, 199, 208 

Penal Laws, boon of, 170 
Penitent and martyr, 88 
People, voice of the, 316 
Perjury, victims of, 36 
Persecutor and penitent, 


Perseverance, 235, 260 
Piety, filial, 100, 101, 102 
Pilgrimage of Grace, 22, 



Plague-stricken, devotion 

to, 59 

Plot, Gates , see Gates 
Poison detected, 234 
Poor, charity to the, 59 
Pope, England s debt to, 

82 ; champion of, 233 
Possessed, Our Lady of 

Ipswich, 172 
" Possum us," 174 
Poverty, 86, 121, 293 
Prayer in suffering, 29 ; 
with tears, 51 ; in Latin, 
J53I without ceasing, 
196 ; for the dead, 275 
Preaching, power of, 16, 
228; commission to, 181, 

Priests, harrowing, 71 ; 
devotion to, 124, 255 ; 
dignity of, 167 ; a priest 
in need, 22 ; the eternal 
priesthood, 243 ; no 
priest no religion, 214 ; 
Romans the only priests, 
275 ; not traitors, 368 
Princes, no trust in, 55, 183 
Protestant services, 256 
Puritan, conscience of a, 


Reformer, a talk with a, 42 
Relics, devotion to, 150 
Reparation, 165, 166, 217, 


Sacraments, devotion to, 
27 ; Blessed Sacrament, 
48, 169, 300; undis 
covered, 327 


Scandal, avoidance of, 


Scavenger s daughter, 164 
Scruples cured, 34 
Shod for the Gospel, 

Silver, thirty pieces of, 


Simplicity, 177, 178 
Sinners, a friend of, 56; 

patience with, 57, 61 ; 

zeal for, 368 
Sleep, a martyr s, 189 ; of 

the just, 355 
Solitude, with God, 341 
Sorrow, forbidden, 48; 

turned to joy, 54 
Stand fast, 85 
Stones of Israel, 52 
Supper, the Last, 366 

Time, and Eternity, 258 
Torment, painless, 351 
Tradition, witness of, 134 
Trust, true to a, 50 
Tyburn in Gala, 197 

Vestments of salvation, 80 
Visions, Heavenly, 73, 320 
Voices, Heavenly, 221 


Winefride, S. , devotion to, 



Zaccheus, house of, 342 


Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON &* Co, 
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