Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Martyr, Bl George Nappier -
Today is the anniversary of the execution of Fr George Nappier (1610) (modern spelling has it as Napier). This is the date in my ancient martyrology but, of course, Archbishop Longley blessed a memorial plaque to this great Oxford martyr on 23rd October. We can draw inspiration from remembering the soul of this priest who was constant till the last.
Here is an extract from the notes of a layman who attended Bl Nappier in his final hours...
"Being at supper, I (his friend) said unto him: 'Mr Nappier, if it be God's holy will that you should suffer, I do wish that it might be tomorrow, Friday, for Our Saviour did eat the Paschal Lamb with his disciples the Thursday night and suffered Friday following'.
He answered, very sweetly: 'welcome to God's grace: I pray you all that I may be constant'.
The next morning the keeper's wife begged me to tell him that he was to die between one and two in the afternoon, for she could not bear to take the news herself. On hearing the message he seemed much rejoiced, and asked if he might say Mass. I prepared all things, and surely methought he did celebrate that day as reverently in all his actions and with as much sweet behaviour as ever I saw him. At the end he prayed some hours and then declined my offer of some drink for he said that, hoping to meet his Saviour, he would have a sumptuous banquet shortly. Then I put him on a fair shirt which I had warmed at the fire and a white waistcoat. He then went out to suffer, and beat his breast thrice as his soul flew to God".
Bl George Nappier - ora pro nobis