Friday 16 December 2016

MORE AND HIS DAUGHTER - Saint Thomas More and Margaret Roper - English Martyr, December thoughts

'Saint Thomas More' film
© 2011 Mary's Dowry Productions

THOMAS MORE'S son-in-law, William Roper, shares with us a meeting in the Tower of London between Saint Thomas More and Margaret, Thomas's beloved daughter. He wrote:
"Now, when he had remained in the Tower a 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 whensoever she came to him, ere he fell in talk of any worldly matters he used accustomably to say with her), among other communications he said to her, 'I believe, Meg, that they have put me here ween that they have done me a high displeasure; but I assure thee on my faith, my own good daughter, if it had not been for my wife and you that be my children, whom I account the chief part of my charge, I would not have failed long ere this to have closed myself in as strait a room, and straiter too.
'Saint Thomas More, his wife and daughter, praying in the Tower'
Screenshot © 2011 Mary's Dowry Productions

But since I am 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 in my own house, for methinks God maketh me a wanton, and setteth me on his lap and dandleth me.'
Saint Thomas More in the Tower
Screenshot © 2011 Mary's Dowry Productions

After his trial at Westminster, More's 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, hastening towards him without consideration or care of herself, pressing in among the throng and company of the guard, that with halberds and bills were round about him, hastily ran to him, and there openly in sight of them all, embraced him about the neck and kissed him.
Margaret runs to her father on the way to the Tower
Screenshot © 2011 Mary's Dowry Productions
Who, well liking her most natural and dear daughterly affection towards him, gave her his fatherly blessing and many good words of comfort besides. From whom after she was departed she, not satisfied with the former sight of him, and like one that had forgotten herself, being all ravished with the entire love of her dear father, having no respect neither to herself nor to the press of people, suddenly turned back, ran to him as before, and divers times kissed him most lovingly, till at last with a full heavy heart she was fain to depart from him: the beholding whereof was to many of them that were present so lamentable that it made them for very sorrow to mourn and weep."
Returning to the Tower of London
© 2011 Mary's Dowry Productions

Readings from
Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales
by Henry Sebastien Bowden
"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." - Ps. 125, 5.
Saint Thomas More and his daughter, Margaret
Screenshot © 2011 Mary's Dowry Productions

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Tuesday 6 December 2016

BLOOD FOR BLOOD, St. John Almond, Secular priest, Tyburn gallows, London, December 5th 1612

Screenshot © 2008 Mary's Dowry Productions
'Saint Edmund Campion - Jesuit Martyr'

ON the scaffold, Saint John Almond emptied his pockets of money and other things, which he threw among the crowd, except for a gold piece which he gave to the hangman, "not to spare him, but to treat him as he should". He had come hither, Saint John Almond said, to shed his blood for our 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 ripped, ripped, ripped and ripped again! Then he kneeled down, and often repeating "Into Thy hands O Lord I commend my spirit", he waited till the hangman was ready without any sign of fear.
The hangman and the Martyr's heart
© 2010 St. Edmund Gennings DVD
Ever smiling, Saint John Almond protested that he died CHASTE, not through his own ability or worthiness but by Christ's special GRACE - this for the benefit of a doctor of divinity who was present and had declared the thing impossible. At last the cart was drawn away, and with the words "Jesu, Jesus," Saint John Almond's soul went to Him for Whom he shed his blood, at Tyburn on 5th December 1612.
"Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His own Blood, suffered without the gate."
- Heb. 13, 12.
Reading from
The Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales
5th December
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Sunday 4 December 2016

KEEPER OF THE VINEYARD - Blessed John Beche, Abbot of Colchester, Tyburn Martyr 1st December

Reading for 4th December
Mementoes of the Martyrs and Confessors of England and Wales
Screenshot of St. John Houghton from our DVD 'Saint John Houghton'
© 2015 Mary's Dowry Productions
Also Martyred at Tyburn
ABBOT BECHE was a friend of Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More and in repute as a devoted monk; but like his brethren of Glastonbury and Reading he took the oath of supremacy on it being tendered to him in 1534.
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: for this he was committed to the Tower. Later he endeavoured to explain away what he had said, asserted the king's supremacy against the pope's "usurped authority," and made a piteous appeal for mercy. But however lamentable this defection, he atoned for it by shedding his blood in the event. He was sent down to Colchester and tried there by a special commission, and he appears to have acknowledged the charges made against him.
He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Colchester on 1st December 1539.
©2015 Mary's Dowry Productions
Screenshot from 'Saint Robert Southwell' DVD
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 judgement. Behold, O man, the Redeemer suffered for thee. He that will come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me."
Blessed John Beche was the last Abbot of Colchester Abbey.
For films about the Martyrs of Tyburn and other Catholic Saints: