Feast of St. Henry Morse (February 1)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Vatican Flag

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT HENRY MORSE (1595-1645)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

The English-born St. Henry Morse converted to Roman Catholicism at Douai, France, in 1614.  Upon his return to England to settle an inheritance, authorities arrested him and imprisoned him for four years.  Freed in 1618, Morse returned to Douai, where he studied for the priesthood.  Ordained in Rome in 1623, the saint returned to England one year later.  Authorities arrested and imprisoned him again.  He became a Jesuit during this second incarceration.  Liberated after three years, the saint relocated to Flanders, where he functioned as a chaplain to English soldiers serving in the army of King Philip IV of Spain.  Morse returned to England in 1633.  He worked undercover for years under the pseudonym of Cuthbert Claxton and ministered to plague victims in 1636-1637.  The saint’s missionary efforts proved quite successful, but authorities arrested him for being a priest and exiled him again in 1641.  The saint returned again for the last time in 1643.  He fulfilled his priestly vocation successfully for eighteen months, until authorities arrested him yet again, convicted him of being a Roman Catholic priest, and sentenced him to execution by hanging, drawing, and quartering.  He became a martyr on February 1, 1645.

May we never equate holding a religious conviction with committing treason.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 1, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST FROM NICHOLAS FERRAR, ANGLICAN DEACON

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHARLES DE FOUCAULD, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT

THE FEAST OF SAINT EDMUND CAMPION, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT ELIGIUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

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Gracious God,

in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of Saint Henry Morse,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives

to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,

now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Revised on November 26, 2016

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