This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Monday 4 May 2015

4th May, Martyrs of England and Wales

SS John Fisher, Thomas More, and Companions

The Martyrs of England and Wales were executed for treason and related offences between 1535 and 1692. Legislation of the 16th century made treasonable refusing to assent to the royal supremacy over the Church that had been asserted by Henry VIII, or being (or harbouring) a Catholic priest. The standard penalty for all those convicted of treason at the time was execution by being hanged, drawn and quartered. It was also illegal to say Mass or to being objects of Catholic devotion into the realm.

This day in originally honoured those 54 martyrs recognised as blessed on 29 December 1886. Their martyrdom was represented, with the sanction of Pope Gregory XIII, on the walls of the Church of the English College in Rome.

Other groups of martyrs are:
Nine martyrs recognised as blessed on 13 May 1895;
136 martyrs beatified on 15 December 1929;
40 martyrs canonized on 25 October 1970;
85 martyrs beatified on 22 November 1987;
18 Carthusian Martyrs.

Deus, venerunt gentes in hereditatem tuam; polluerunt templum sanctum tuum: posuerunt Jerusalem in pomorum custodiam. Alleluja, alleluja. * Posuerunt morticina servorum tuorum escas volatilibus coeli: carnes sanctorum tuorum bestiis terrae.
O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance, they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a garner of fruit. Alleluia, alleluia. * The dead bodies of Thy servants have they given to be meat for the fowls of the air: the flesh of Thy saints for the beasts of the earth.
(Psalm 78, from the Introit of Mass)

O God, who didst raise up thy blessed Martyrs, the bishop John, Thomas, and their companions, out of every rank among the English, to be defenders of the true faith and of the Holy See, grant throught their merits and prayers that by professing the same faith we may all become and remain one, even as Thy son prayed.

40 of these Blessed Martyrs were canonized by Paul VI in October 1970. Ironically, the Traditional Latin Mass, for the saying of which many of these martyrs were arrested and paid the ultimate price, had just been suppressed by the authority of the Holy See (to which these martyrs were equally devoted).

The 40 canonized martyrs:
Saint John Almond
Saint Edmund Arrowsmith
Saint Ambrose Barlow
Saint John Boste
Saint Alexander Briant
Saint Edmund Campion
Saint Margaret Clitherow
Saint Philip Evans
Saint Thomas Garnet
Saint Edmund Gennings
Saint Richard Gwyn
Saint John Houghton
Saint Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel
Saint John Jones
Saint John Kemble
Saint Luke Kirby
Saint Robert Lawrence
Saint David Lewis
Saint Anne Line
Saint John Lloyd
Saint Cuthbert Mayne
Saint Henry Morse
Saint Nicholas Owen
Saint John Payne
Saint Polydore Plasden
Saint John Plessington
Saint Richard Reynolds
Saint John Rigby
Saint John Roberts
Saint Alban Roe
Saint Ralph Sherwin
Saint John Southworth
Saint Robert Southwell
Saint John Stone
Saint John Wall
Saint Henry Walpole
Saint Margaret Ward
Saint Augustine Webster
Saint Swithun Wells
Saint Eustace White

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

"The Mass the Martyrs died for"

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