Monday, 18 June 2012

What's it to be...become a monk or be hanged?

Well, it turned out to be both in the case of another of our great martyrs, Blessed Sebastian Newdigate.

Born in the County of Middlesex he was a son of a nobleman and enjoyed the privileges of court and, in particular, the friendship of King Henry VII - a dangerous occupation if ever was.

After his wife had died prematurely, Sebastian decided to enter a monastery and remarked to his sister, Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria: "what would you say if you next heard of me as a monk?"

She responded: "I should be less surprised to see thee hung"

She lived to see both.
Not a judge of others
but obedient to God

Sebastian Newdigate, entered the London Charterhouse and sought the life of a monk but, when asked to sign the Oath of Supremacy, he refused and Henry had him cast first into Marshalsea Prison and then the Tower of London.

He remained firm in the face of Henry's promises and threats and when the King asked him if he was more learned than all the ecclesiatics put together he replied:

"I may not judge of others, nor do I esteem myself wise or holy, being far short in either, only this,  I assure myself that the faith and doctrine I profess is no new thing, but always among the faithful held for Christians and Catholic. We must obey God rather than man."

 He gained his martyr's crown at Tyburn on 19th June 1535 along with BB.  Middlemore and Exmew

  Martyrs of England and Wales - ORA PRO NOBIS


  1. Not to judge others--oh! how noble!
    To be obedient to God:
    Of course, there are lots of "Thou shalt not's" in this obedience. Also many "Thou SHALT's"?

    Make a decision, and live by it...not so difficult, but to STAND for what is right--in the face of death--that's MAJOR LEAGUE stuff!

    Don't know how I got here (your blog) but it IS a good read, good reminder, for my perfectly-tuned 'forgetter!--grin!


  2. Steve E - you are most welcome, thanks for your comment.

  3. Blessed Sebastian, ora pro nos.

    Thanks, Richard.

    -- Mack in Texas