|Catherine, Queen of England, writes to her confessor|
Imagine that the Catholic world is turning in on itself, that government is inflicting ever more secular solutions and ignoring the one true Church in favour of heresy and apostasy.
Well, we are back in the 16th century and Henry VIII's protestantisation of England and Wales is just in its early stages; yet to come is the removal of the Latin Mass and the imposition of a weak and feeble parody in its place....no, we really are still in the 16th century.
A noblewoman writes to her confessor who is suffering torture and pain in jail where he has been thrown because of his adherence to the Faith and to the foundation stone of the Faith, the Latin Mass.
He awaits news of his impending execution.
The noblewoman is none other than Catherine of Aragon of Spain but much loved by the men and women of her adopted country.
And her priest? Blessed John Forest, Franciscan and martyr.
Here is her letter of love and compassion - tomorrow, Deo volente, I shall post Father Forest's reply:-
My venerated Father,
You who have been accustomed to advise others in doubtful cases know best what advice to give to yourself; and with your piety and learning you know without doubt, and even desire if need be for the name of Christ to undergo death and refuse nothing in such a cause.
Be brave, then, and courageous, for if in these torments you have some pain to bear you will receive an eternal reward, which if anyone were to be ready to lose both you and I would count him to be mad.
But, alas, you leave me, your daughter, born to you in the Wounds of Christ, for a time at least you leave me in the greatest sorrow, for I am losing in you the man who has taught me the most in divine things.
If I may freely say my wish, I had rather go before you through a thousand torments than follow you after a time.
Yet I trust in the Lord that I shall see you not very long hence, when I shall be taken to the calm life of the blessed.
Farewell, my honoured Father, commend me always to God, now and from your place in Heaven.
Your most sorrowful daughter,