Visit the Bookshop

Saturday, January 11, 2014



IN October 1536, from the Scottish Borders to the Humber, the good staunch Catholics of the North flocked to the banners of the Pilgrimage of Grace. Second in command under Aske, leading the vanguard of six thousand men under the banner of St. Cuthbert, rode Sir Thomas Percy, brother of the Earl of Northumberland. They marched, some forty thousand strong, into Yorkshire, and Henry quailed before the pilgrims, though his forces were large. By deceitfully promising the redress of their grievances he cajoled them into dispersing and returning home. But in the next spring, on their re-assembling, he despatched more numerous troops to the Duke of Norfolk (The Third Duke, Thomas), his lieutenant, who succeeded in securing their leaders. Sir Thomas, though he surrendered, was taken to Westminster, tried, and hanged with, amongst other supposed leaders, the Abbot of Jervaulx and the Dominican Friar John Pickering of York Priory. They suffered "because, as false traitors, they conspired to deprive the King of his royal dignity, viz. of being on earth the Supreme Head of the Church in England." Thus, though not among the Beatified, they died for the faith.

"For whom do you stay? I will not obey the commandment of the King, but the commandment of God which was given by Moses." —2 MACH. vii. 30.


Friday, January 10, 2014



HE was of an old Yorkshire family, and was the chief leader in the Pilgrimage of Grace, as he had been in the Lincolnshire rising. The following is his proclamation, October 1536: "Simple and evil-disposed persons being of the King's Council have incensed his Grace with many inductions contrary to the faith of God, the honour of the King, and the weal of the Realm. They intend to destroy the Church in England and her ministers ; they have robbed and spoiled, and further they intend to rob and spoil, the whole body of this realm. We have now taken this Pilgrimage for the preservation of Christ's Church, of the Realm, of the King : to the intent of making petition to the King for the reformation of that which is amiss, and for the punishment of heretics and subverters of the laws; and neither for money, malice, nor displeasure of any person, but such as be unworthy to remain about the King. Come with us, Lords, Knights, Masters, Kinsmen, and friends ! If ye fight against us and defeat, ye will but put both us and you into bondage for ever; if we overcome you, ye shall be at your will. We will fight and die against all who shall be about to stop us in this pilgrimage, and God shall judge between us."

"What wouldest thou ask of us ? We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of God received from our fathers." 2 MACH.vii. 2.


Composed by Sir Robert Aske
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

+ Venerable EDWARD WATERSON, Priest, 1593



HE was born in London and brought up in the Protestant religion. In company with certain merchants he traveled to Turkey to see the East, and there a rich Turk, taking a fancy to him, offered him his daughter in marriage if he would renounce Christianity. Waterson, however, refused the proposal with horror, and taking Rome on his way homewards was instructed and reconciled to the Church. He was then admitted as a student at Rheims, and though he had but little learning, his zeal mastered all difficulties, and he was ordained priest in Mid-Lent 1592 and sent to England. Shortly after his arrival he was apprehended and condemned on account of his priesthood. Catholic eye-witnesses relate that, as he was being drawn to his execution, the hurdle suddenly stood still, and the officers in vain flogged the horses to move it. Fresh animals were secured, but they broke the traces, and the hurdle remained fixed. Waterson had therefore to be led on foot to the gallows; there the ladder shook violently of itself till the martyr by the sign of the Cross made it still, and ascending won his crown.

" And when the ass saw the angel standing she fell under the feet of the rider, who, being angry, beat her sides more vehemently with a staff."—NUM. xxii. 27.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Father JOHN GENINGS, O.S.F., died 1660


THE news of his brother's martyrdom in December 1591 caused John Genings joy rather than sorrow, since he deemed it an escape from all Edmund's arguments and persuasions in favour of the Catholic religion, being himself strongly against the faith. But about ten days after his brother's execution, having spent all that day in sport and jollity, being weary with play, he returned home. There his heart felt heavy, and he began to weigh how idly he had passed the day. His brother's death came before him, and how he had abandoned all worldly pleasures, and for the sake of religion alone endured intolerable torments. Then the contrast of their two lives —the one mortified, fearing sin, the other spent in self-indulgence and in every kind of vice. Struck with remorse, he wept bitterly and besought God to show him the truth. In an instant joy filled his heart with a tender reverence for the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, of whom he had scarcely heard. He longed now to be of his brother's faith, and gloried in his eternal happiness. He left England secretly, was made priest at Douay, became a Franciscan, and the first Provincial of the renewed English Province.

" I will arise and go to my Father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee."—LUKE XV. 8. 18

Sunday, January 05, 2014




SPEECH in the House of Lords : " My good Lords, when in Queen Mary's days your honour do know right well how the people of this realm did live in order and under law. There was no spoiling of Churches, pulling down of Altars, and most blasphemous treading down of The Sacrament under their feet, and hanging up the knave of clubs in the place thereof. There was no knocking or cutting of the face and legs of the Crucifix, and of the image of Christ. There was no open flesh-eating or shambles-keeping in the Lent and days prohibited. The subjects of this realm, and especially such as were of the honourable council in Queen Mary's days, knew the way to Church or Chapel, and to begin their daily work by calling for help and grace by humble prayer. But now since the coming of our most sovereign and dear lady Queen Elizabeth, by the only preachers and scaffold-players of this new religion all things are changed and turned upside down. Obedience is gone, humility and meekness clean abolished, virtuous, chaste, and straight living abandoned."

" Her priests have despised my law and have defiled my sanctuaries. Her princes in the midst of her are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood and destroy souls."—EZEK. xxii. 26, 27.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Blessed THOMAS PLUMTREE, Priest, 1572



BORN in the Diocese of Lincoln, a scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1546, he was made Rector of Stubton in his native county. He resigned his benefice on the change of religion under Elizabeth, and became a schoolmaster at Lincoln, but was obliged to resign the post on account of his faith. But it is as chief chaplain and priest of the army of the Northern Rising that he won the martyr's palm. His voice seems to have been like the Baptist's and to have stirred high and low alike. His call to abandon heresy and to rally to the standard of the faith ran through the northern counties, and hundreds came in response to his summons. He appears to have been celebrant of the Mass in Durham Cathedral immediately preceding F. Holmes' sermon and the public Absolution which followed. On his capture after the failure of the Rising, he was singled out as a notable example of the priests who had officiated. On the gibbet in the market-place at Durham 

he was offered his life if he would embrace heresy, but he refused, and dying to this world received eternal life from Christ. He suffered January 4 1572, and was buried in the market-place.

Wherein I labour even unto bands, but the word of God is not bound.—2 TIM. ii. 9.

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.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Squire William BLUNDELL, 1600


THE time hath been men would live chaste, And so could maid that vows had past; The time is now that gift has gone, New gospellers such gifts have none.

Sweet Jesu, with thy mother mild, Sweet Virgin mother, with thy child ; Angels and Saints of each degree Redress our country's misery.

The time hath been that Saints could see, Could hear and help our misery ; The time is now that fiends alone Have leave to range—saints must be gone.

The time hath been fear made us quake To sin, lest God should us forsake ; The time is now the vilest knave Is sure (he'll say) God will him save.

The time hath been to fast and pray, And do alms deeds was thought the way ; The time is now, men say indeed, Such stuff with God hath little meed.

The time hath been, within this land, One's word as good as was his bond ; The time is now, all men may see, New faiths have killed old honesty.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Squire William BLUNDELL, 1600


THE time hath been we had one faith, And strode aright one ancient path ; The time is now that each man may See new Religions coin'd each day.

Sweet Jesu, with thy mother mild. Sweet Virgin mother, with thy child, Angels and Saints of each degree, Redress our country's misery.

The time hath been priests did accord In exposition of God's word; The time is now, like shipman's hose, It's turn'd by each fond preacher's glose.

The time hath been that sheep obeyed Their pastors, doing as they said ; The time is now that sheep will preach, And th' ancient pastors seem to teach.

The time hath been the prelate's door Was seldom shut against the poor; The time is now, so wives go fine, They take not thought the beggar kine.

The time hath been men did believe God's sacraments his grace did give ; The time is now men say they are Uncertain signs and tokens bare.

Crosby Hall, Lancashire, home of William Blundell

Popular Posts