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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Saint MARGARET CLITHEROE, laywoman, 1586


WIFE of John Clitheroe, sometime Sheriff of York she was thirty years of age and already married when a growing dissatisfaction with the Protestant religion led her, after due inquiry, to embrace the Faith. During the following twelve years of her Catholic life her house was a refuge for priests, whom she received at her own peril and unknown to her husband . With this help she brought up her children in the faith and her eldest son for the priesthood. She managed to hear Mass almost daily, communicated twice a week, and fasted rigorously. For her persistent recusancy she was repeatedly cast into prison, even for two years together and more, but her sufferings only increased her fervour. " Were it not" she said, " for her husband and child she would rather stay there always, apart from the world with God" Still, when at liberty she was most attentive to the care of her house, and with her servant took part herself in the humblest menial work. She was exposed to much ill-usage even from Catholics, who misjudged and censured her, but her constancy and patience never failed. Her husband said she had only two faults, fasting too much and refusing to go to Church.

Her children rose up and called her blessed :her husband and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches : thou hast surpassed them all.    Proverbs xxxi.28-29

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