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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

+ Blessed THOMAS ABEL, Priest, 1540


QUEEN CATHERINE'S confidential chaplain, and one of her defenders in the divorce case, he had languished some six years in prison, hoping for the end. The news of B. Forest's "greater combat" had doubtless reached his cell, but, far from intimidating him, served both to intensify his longing for the crown and at the same time to strengthen his patience in awaiting God's will. At last, in 1540, he, Richard Featherston, and Edward Powel, priests, and co-defenders with him of Queen Catherine in the divorce, were attainted for denying the King's supremacy and adhering to the Pope's, and on July 30 they were led out to execution. In grim mockery three Protestants—Barnes, Garret, and Jerome—who were attainted for heresy, were made to suffer with them, a Catholic and a Protestant being coupled together on each hurdle. On arriving at Smithfield the three Catholics were hanged, drawn, and quartered, and the three Protestants were burnt. A Frenchman who stood by, on beholding the strange exhibition of capricious cruelty, said to a friend in Latin : "They have quaint ways of managing things in England— those who are for the Pope are hanged, and those who are against him are burned."

"Wait on God with patience ; join thyself to God and endure, that thy life may be increased in the latter end."—ECCLUS. ii. 3

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