A WELSH MONK
Saint John Roberts - Benedictine Monk
JOHN ROBETRS, an outstanding Benedictine martyr, was born in a remote mountain parish of Merioneth in 1577 and was brought up nominally a Protestant. He was at Oxford for a short time, sharing rooms with the man who was to be the well-known Dom Leander Jones, and he himself was soon formally reconciled with the Church. He became a monk in Spain, and took an active part in the foundation of that community of English monks at Douay that is now St Gregory's, Downside. In England, Father Roberts was repeatedly arrested, imprisoned, released and exiled, and particularly distinguished himself by his work among the plague-stricken in London.
|Saint Henry Morse, a fellow English Martyr, also worked among the plague-stricken of London|
© 2014 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Saint Henry Morse: Priest of the Plague' DVD
John Roberts was taken up for the last time on Advent Sunday 1610, and arraigned for his priesthood. He told the court: "I acknowledge that I am a priest and a monk of the holy Order of St Benedict, as were also St Augustine, St Lawrence, St Paulinus, St Mellitus and St 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." With Father Roberts was sentence Bd Thomas Somers, from Westmorland, also for his priesthood.
"For behold he that formeth the mountains..., he that maketh the morning mist and walketh upon the high places of the earth - the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name." - Amos 4, 13.
Reading for 17th December
Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales
by Henry Sebastian Bowden of the Oratory
We have not yet produced our own film telling the life of Saint John Roberts but for other films about the English Martyrs: