Friday, 21 January 2011

They joked as they made their way towards Tyburn and death

Father Thomas Reynolds and Father Bartholomew Roe OSB. Two of our greatest martyrs went together to their execution in front of the mob at Tyburn (now Marble Arch in London).
Both were converts with Fr Reynolds coming from Oxford and Fr Roe from Cambridge. Fr Reynolds ministered for an amazing fifty or so years in England and suffered many trials and reprieved sentences of execution. Finally, the day came when no reprieve was forthcoming and he received his sentence of death. By then he was very infirm from all his sufferings but he prayed earnestly for God's grace to meet his execution with dignity.

Fr Roe became a Benedictine at Dieulwart, Lorraine and then undertook a great many daring escapades on the English Mission. When caught he received imprisonment lasting seventeen years during which time he was twice given crude surgery for unknown conditions.

Marble Arch today, site of the Tyburn Tree
 Fr Reynolds was already tied to the hurdle when Fr Roe was led out. Lying down by his side Fr Roe felt his friends pulse and jokingly asked him how he was. "In good heart" replied Fr Reynolds and praised God for giving him such a cheerful companion.
Their way to Tyburn (along Tyburn Road, now Oxford Street) is described as "a triumphal procession" as they were mobbed by Catholics who threw themselves on their knees begging blessings and kissing the hands and the clothing of the two heroes.

They both gained their crowns on January 21st 1641 - ORA PRO NOBIS!

1 comment:

  1. Thank God for them and all Catholic Martyrs.

    No 'nuancing'!