Today's reading from 'Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England' and Wales by Henry Sebastian Bowden of the Oratory.
Alexander Crow was a York shoemaker who became a servant at the seminary at Rheims, and for his virtues and diligence was admitted as a student. Finally he was ordained a priest. He arrived on the English Mission in 1584 and after nearly two years' ministry was arrested at South Duffield, where he had gone to baptize a child, and sentenced at York. On the night before his execution he was seen by a fellow prisoner who shared his cell to be as it were wrestling in agony with some unseen foe, whilst he prayed continuously. At length he broke out with joy into Laudate Dominun de Coelis, and sank exhausted on his bed. He said he had been assailed by "a most ugly monster", who assured him that his soul was lost anyway, and urged him to take his life at once and not wait for the gallows. He was in the greatest distress, till two figures, whom he believed to be Our Lady and Saint John the Evangelist, appeared and put the creature to flight. Yet on the gallows the Evil One made a final assault, and flung him off the ladder. Though the fall was from a height, he rose unhurt, and smilingly told the onlookers that it was not as they thought: he had not tried to kill himself but had won the victory. Thus he went to God, at York on 30th November 1587.
"Thou shalt walk upon the asp and the basilisk, and shalt trample under foot the lion and the dragon." - Ps. 90, 13.
|Saint Alexander Briant, another missionary priest, stands at the gallows|
© 2013 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Saint Alexander Briant' 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 our Saints and English Martyrs.