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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Blessed JOHN MASON, layman, 1591


He had been servant to Mr. Owen of Oxford- hire, who was condemned at the bar as an aider and abettor of priests, and was himself first indicted for knowing and not revealing a seminary priest, but pleaded successfully that the three days allowed for such denunciations had not expired. He was then charged for abetting a priest to escape. On Topcliffe trying to enter the room where Father Gennings
was saying Mass, Mason seized him and thrust him downstairs, falling with him, and Topcliffe met with a broken head. This much the young man confessed. On this charge Mason was condemned, and executed the morrow after. Asked if he were not sorry for the fact, he re- plied, “No; if it were to do again, I would resist the wicked, that they should not have God’s priests, yea, although I were to be punished with twenty deaths.” There suffered with him a fellow-servant, Robert Sydney Hodgson, who, finding himself unpinioned, on the belief that he had recanted, boldly declared that, although he had asked Her Majesty’s pardon, he would not have the judge think that he would deny his faith, for that he would rather die twenty times first. They were suffered to hang tili they were dead, and together they won their crowns.— Tyburn, December 10, 1591.

“ And one of them that stood by, drawing a sword, struck a servant of the High Priest, and cut off his ear.”—MARK xiv. 47.

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