The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Year: A(I). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: White.
|Other saints: The English Martyrs|
On 4 May 1535, at Tyburn in London, there died three Carthusian monks, the first of many martyrs of the English Reformation. Of these martyrs, forty-two have been canonized, and a further 242 have been declared Blessed; but the true number of those who died on the scaffold, perished in prison, or were tortured or persecuted for their faith cannot now be reckoned. The persecution lasted a hundred and fifty years and left a permanent mark on English culture: to this day Catholics continue to suffer certain minor disabilities under English law.
The martyrs celebrated today came from every walk of life. There were rich and poor; married and single; men and women. They are remembered for the example they gave of constancy in their faith and courage in the face of persecution. See the article in Wikipedia
, which explains the context of their martyrdom and why it was deemed necessary.
From 2001, there are also celebrated on this day the forty martyrs of England and Wales who were canonized on 25 October 1970 and formerly celebrated on that day. They include Saints Cuthbert Mayne, John Houghton, Edmund Campion, and Richard Gwynn, as well as Saints John Roberts and Ambrose Barlow from the Benedictine monastery of St Gregory at Douay (now at Downside Abbey in Somerset),
See the comprehensive article in Wikipedia
, which has links to the biographies of each saint.
St John Houghton (c. 1486-1535)
St Robert Lawrence (?-1535)
St Richard Reynolds (?-1535)
St Augustine Webster (?-1535)
John Houghton was born around 1486, he was probably educated at Cambridge, but cannot be identified among surviving records. Similarly, no certain records can be found of his ordination. He joined the London Charterhouse in 1515, became abbot of the Charterhouse of Beauvale in Nottinghamshire in 1531 and in November of that year, was elected Prior of the London house. In 1534, he asked that he and his house be exempted from the oaths required under the new Act of Succession, which resulted in his being arrested along with the bursar, and taken to the Tower of London. However, by the end of May, they had been persuaded that the oath was consistent with their Catholicism, if the clause “as far as the law of Christ allows” were to be added, and they returned to the Charterhouse, where (in the presence of a large armed force) the whole community made the required professions. In the following year the community was called upon to make the new oath as prescribed by the 1534 Act of Supremacy, which recognised Henry as the head of the Church in England. Again, Houghton, this time accompanied by the heads of the other two English Carthusian houses (Robert Lawrence, prior for some years of the Beauvale Charterhouse, and Augustine Webster, prior of another Charterhouse, at Axholme), pleaded for an exemption, but were this time arrested by Thomas Cromwell.
They were called before a special commission in April 1534, and sentenced to death, along with Richard Reynolds, a Brigittine monk from Syon Abbey. They were all hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on May 4, 1535. The three priors were taken to Tyburn in their habits. From his prison cell in the Tower, Thomas More saw them being drawn to Tyburn on hurdles and exclaimed to his daughter Meg: “Look, Meg,” he said, “these blessed Fathers be now as cheerfully going to their deaths as bridegrooms to their marriage.” In the Chapter House of the Carthusian Priory of Parkminster in England, there is a painting depicting the martyrdom of the three priors.
|Other saints: Blessed Marie-Léonie Paradis (1840 - 1912)|
She was born in Quebec and became a nun with the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1857. In 1880 she founded the Little Sisters of the Holy Family, devoted to serving and caring for the clergy by looking after their households.
See also a brief history
of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family.
|Other saints: Saint Conleth (- 519)|
He was an Irish hermit and metalworker who was persuaded by St Brigid to act as priest for her monastic community in Kildare, and he became the first Bishop of Kildare in around 490. In 519 he set out on pilgrimage to Rome but was attacked by wolves in the forests of Leinster and died on 4 May 519. See the article in Wikipedia
|Other saints: The Beatified Martyrs of England and Wales|
4 May (where celebrated)
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries innumerable men and women from England and Wales suffered persecution for the ancient faith of their country. Many gave their lives for the supremacy of the Pope, the unity of the Church, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Of these martyrs, forty-two have now been canonized. Some one hundred and sixty others have been declared Blessed, and their common celebration is kept on this day. The following have connections with Wales:
William Davies (b. in North Wales, probably Croes yn Eirias, Denbighshire, date uncertain; executed at Beaumaris Castle, 27 July 1593) was a Welsh Roman Catholic priest. There is a chapel in Anglesey built as a memorial to him.
Charles Mahoney (Mahony; alias Meehan) (b. after 1639; executed at Ruthin, Denbighshire, 12 August 1679) was an Irish Franciscan.
Richard Flower (or Lloyd), a Welsh layman, aged 22, executed at Tyburn, 1588.
Humphrey Pritchard, a Welsh serving man arrested with Thomas Belson in Oxford 1589, and executed there.
Roger Cadwallador (b. at Stretton Sugwas, near Hereford, in 1568; executed at Leominster, 27 August 1610) was an English Roman Catholic priest.
Nicholas Wheeler, seminary priest from Herefordshire, executed at Tyburn 1586, aged 36.
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 Corinthians 12:13 ©|
In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Titus 3:5,7 ©|
God saved us by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.
|Afternoon reading (None)||(Colossians 1:12-14) ©|
We thank the Father who has made it possible for us to share in the saints’ inheritance of light. He has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves. In him, we gain our freedom and the forgiveness of our sins.