Monday, 31 January 2011

A Mass of Thanksgiving..........1645

Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs
Wesminster Cathedral, London

February 1st, 1645 and Father Henry Morse SJ faces the day of his execution. His first act of the day is to celebrate an early Mass, a Votive Mass of the Holy Trinity which he dedicates in thanksgiving to Almighty God for granting him, this great favour; that of being brutally martyred by being hanged until semi conscious, cut down, his stomach slit open and his intestines removed and then his heart and lungs to be plucked from his body. Finally, his body to be butchered into four quarters and put on display for the common man to gawp at.
Before the Mass in prison, Fr Morse recited the Litanies of Our Lady and of all the Saints, as was the custom, for the cause of the conversion of England.
After Mass he exhorted those present to hold true to the Faith and then he rested for an hour before saying the Canonical Hours and making his farewell tour of the jail to give cheerful farewells to his fellow prisoners.
At last, as his hour arrived he threw himself to his knees and prayed fervently:
"Come, my sweetest Jesus that I may now be inseperably united to Thee in time and eternity: welcome ropes, hurdles, gibbets, knives, and butchery, welcome for the love of Jesus my Saviour".
He was then tied to a sledge and drawn by four horses to Tyburn.

To be continued.......................

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