Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The last words of a Saint

The date: 1st February 1645 - the place Tyburn, London - the event: the execution of Fr Henry Morse SJ

" I am come hither to die for my religion, for that religion which is professed by the Catholic Roman Church, founded by Christ, established by the Apostles, propagated through all ages by a hierarchy always visible to this day, grounded on the testimonies of Holy Scriptures, upheld by the authority of Fathers and Councils, out of which in fine, there can be no hopes of salvation. Time was when I was a Protestant being then a student of the law in the Inns and Court in town, till, being suspicious of the truth of my religion, I went abroad into Flanders, and upon full conviction renounced my former errors, and was reconciled to the Church of Rome, the mistres of all Churches. Upon my return to England I was committed to prison for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, and banished.
After seven years I returned to England as a priest, and devoted myself to the poor and the plague-stricken".
"No self glorification here" interrupted the Sherriff.
"I will glory only in God" continued the martyr, "Who has pleased to allow me to seal the Catholic faith with my blood, and I pray that my death may atone for the sins of this nation, for which end and in testimony of the one true Catholic Faith confirmed by miracles now as ever, I willing die"

Within a minute he had the noose placed around his neck and, a few minutes after that, the process of drawing and quartering took place.


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