Saturday 30 May 2015

Saint Henry Morse, English Martyr, Priest of the Plague, a film of his life and mission, Catholic Saint, Mother Teresa, missionary

Like Mother Teresa, Saint Henry Morse went among the most forgotten of society during a troubled time in England's history.
Saint Henry Morse was a priest who loved God and those around him very deeply. His joy and kindness radiated from him, affecting those especially in most need. He was known as the priest of the plague due to his missions among the sick and suffering people of England. Even though he contracted the illness himself, he was cured from the plague through prayer and continued his mission of love and service. He has left us a beautiful story of faith very relevant today.

Saint Henry Morse sits at the bedside of a sick woman
© 2014 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Saint Henry Morse: Priest of the Plague'

In 2014, Mary's Dowry Productions filmed key moments from the life of Saint Henry Morse, who is one of the English Martyrs and an English Catholic Saint. We were able to recreate scenes from his life and present them prayerfully and silently beneath a narrative that is informative and devotional. Our film about Saint Henry Morse offers a prayerful and contemplative journey with Saint Henry Morse into England's Catholic past.

Saint Henry Morse prays in prison
© 2014 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Saint Henry Morse: Priest of the Plague', DVD

In 2007 Mary’s Dowry productions created a new form of film media to present the lives of the saints. Mary’s Dowry Productions recreates stunning silent visuals, informative, devotional narration, and original contemplative music that touches your spirit to draw you into a spiritual encounter with the saint. Watch with your spiritual eye, listen with your spiritual ear. Our films seek to offer a window into the lives of our saints. Using your spiritual senses we invite you to shut out the world, sit prayerfully and peacefully and go on a journey of faith, history and prayer with this inspiring Elizabethan Saint.
Available on DVD through Mary's Dowry Productions.

Born a Protestant in 1595 at his mothers house at Brome in the English county of Suffolk, Henry Morse converted to Roman Catholicism and attended the The English College, Douay on 5 June 1614. After various journeys he was ordained at Rome and left for the English Catholic Mission on 19 June 1624. He was admitted to the Society of Jesus at Heaton where he was arrested and then imprisoned for three years in York Castle. He completed his novitiate under his fellow prisoner, Father John Robinson, and took simple vows as a Jesuit. After three years in prison he was banished from the country and served as a missionary to the English regiments in the Low Countries.
Returning to England at the end of 1633 he laboured in London, and in 1636 is reported to have received about ninety Protestant families into the Church. He himself contracted the plague but recovered. Arrested 27 February 1636, he was imprisoned in Newgate.

Saint Henry Morse
© 2014 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Saint Henry Morse: Priest of the Plague' DVD

 On 22 April he was brought to the bar charged with being a priest and having withdrawn the king's subjects from their faith and allegiance. He was found guilty on the first count, not guilty on the second, and sentence was deferred. On 23 April he made his solemn profession of the three vows to Father Edward Lusher. He was released on bail for 10,000 florins, 20 June 1637, at the insistence of Queen Henriette Maria. In order to free his sureties he voluntarily went into exile when the royal proclamation was issued ordering all priests to leave the country before 7 April 1641, and became chaplain to Gage's English regiment in the service of Spain.
In 1643 he returned to England; arrested after about a year and a half he was imprisoned at Durham and Newcastle, and sent by sea to London. On 30 January he was again brought to the bar and condemned on his previous conviction. On the day of his execution his hurdle was drawn by four horses and the French ambassador attended with all his suite, as also did Lois, Count of Egmont and the Portuguese Ambassador. Morse was allowed to hang until he was dead. At the quartering the footmen of the French Ambassador and of the Count of Egmont dipped their handkerchiefs into the martyr's blood.
Venerated from 8 December 1929, and beatified 15 December 1929 he was made one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales in 1970.
In 2012, a Catholic church dedicated to St. Henry Morse was built on Shelfanger Road in Diss, replacing the church of the Most Holy Trinity.

No comments: