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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Venerable JOHN WALL, Franciscan, 1679


With Blessed John Jones

ON hearing his sentence he made a bow, and said aloud, " Thanks be to God. God save the King. I beseech God to bless your Lordship and all this honourable bench." The judge answered, " You have spoken very well. I do not intend that you should die, at least not for the present, until I know the King's further pleasure." Father Wall writes : " I was not, I thank God for it, troubled with any disturbing thoughts, either against the judge for his sentence, or the jury that gave in such a verdict, or against any of the witnesses; for I was then of the same mind, as by God's grace I ever shall be, esteeming them all the best friends to me, in all they did or said, that ever I had in my life. And I was, I thank God, so present with myself whilst the judge pronounced the sentence that without any concern for anything in this world I did actually at the same time offer myself and the world to God." After five months' delay he was executed at Worcester, and was much rejoiced at being, as he was, the first martyr in that city. He had been arrested on the Oates Plot after twenty-two years on the Mission, and was offered his life if he would apostatise.

"He was offered, because it was His own will."—ISA. liii. 7.

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