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Friday, January 03, 2014



JOHN HOWMAN was born at Feckenham in Worcestershire, and is known by the name of his birthplace. As a Benedictine monk he became chaplain to Bishop Bonner, and was imprisoned in the reign of Edward VI for his defence of the Faith. Under Mary he became Dean of St. Paul's, and, later, Abbot of the restored Abbey of Westminster. In spite of its late dissolution, he received the Queen on- St.Thomas' Eve, December 20, 1556, with twenty-eight other monks, all men of mature age, the youngest being upwards of forty, and all pious and learned. Some three years later, when he met Elizabeth for the opening of her first Parliament at the Abbey door, he in his pontifical robes and his monks in procession with their lighted candles, the Queen cried out, " Away with these lights ! We see very well." The Litany was sung in English, and Dr. Cox, a married priest and bitter heretic, preached against the Catholic religion and the monks, and urged the Queen to destroy them- The Abbot then knew that his fate was sealed. On July 12, 1559, Feckenham and his monks were ejected for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy. He was imprisoned, and died at Wisbeach, 1585. His abbey was destroyed, but the stones live.

" Be ye also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God-"—1 PETER ii. 5.

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