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Thursday, August 28, 2014

+ Venerable Edmund Arrowsmith, SJ, 1628


HE was sentenced at Lancaster for being a priest, a Jesuit, and a persuader of religion, and the judge ordered that he was to be hung at noon, when most men would be at dinner ; but as it fell out the whole place of execution was covered with great multitudes of people of all sorts, ages, sexes, and religions, expecting the end of the tragedy. As he was carried through the castle yard, Father Southworth, his fellow-prisoner under reprieve, appeared at the prison window and received his absolution. He was then bound on the hurdle, with his head towards the horse's tail, " for greater ignominy." Most of his friends were prevented to approach him, and the executioner went before the horse and hurdle with a club in his hand in a kind of barbarous triumph. On the scaffold he refused to save his life by taking the oath, professed that he died for the Catholic faith, and prayed for the conversion of England. His last words, as he was cast off the ladder, were "Bone jesu." Divers Protestants, beholders of this bloody spectacle, wished their souls with his. Others wished they had never come there. Others said it was a barbarous act to use men so for their religion.

"And all the multitude of them that were come together to that sight, and saw the things that were done, returned striking their breasts." —LUKE xxiii. 48.

See also Arrowsmith House.

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