Feast of St. Nicholas Owen, St. Thomas Garnet, Blessed Mark Barkworth, Blessed Edward Oldcorne, and Blessed Ralph Ashley (March 27)   Leave a comment

Above:  English Flag

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT NICHOLAS OWEN (DIED 1606)

Roman Catholic Martyr

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BLESSED EDWARD OLDCORNE (DIED 1606)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

His feast transferred from April 7

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BLESSED RALPH ASHLEY (DIED 1606)

Roman Catholic Martyr

His feast transferred from April 7

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT THOMAS GARNET (DIED 1608)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

His feast transferred from June 23

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BLESSED MARK BARKWORTH (1572-1601)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

Being a Roman Catholic in England used to be quite risky, especially if one were a priest.  This danger increased greatly after the foiled Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which a few Roman Catholics conspired to blow up the Houses of Parliament.  They failed, of course, but their plans convinced many Englishmen to think of all Roman Catholics as at least potential traitors and terrorists.  Most of the saints of this post died in that context.

St. Nicholas Owen (died 1606) became a Jesuit lay brother in 1580.  The Oxford-born carpenter used his skills to build hiding places for Jesuit priests in England.  Authorities arrested the saint in 1594 with Father John Gerard.  Owen refused to name any colleagues despite torture.  Freed because a wealthy Roman Catholic ransomed him, Owen helped Father Gerard escape from the Tower of London in 1597.  Gerard escaped to Europe.  Authorities rearrested Owen in 1606 with two Jesuit priests, Father Henry Garnet and Blessed Edward Oldcorne, and a Jesuit lay brother, Blessed Ralph Ashley.  Owen died of torture on March 2, 1606.

St. Thomas Garnet (died 1608), born at Southwark, England, studied at St. Omer’s in France and at the English Jesuit college at Valladolid, Spain.  He arrived in Spain in 1596 and became a priest there.  In 1599 his uncle, Father Henry Garnet, English Superior for the Jesuits, admitted Thomas to the Society of Jesus.  That same year, Thomas began his English mission with Blessed Mark Barkworth.

Blessed Mark Barkworth (1572-1601), born in Lincolnshire, England, attended and graduated from Oxford University.  He converted to Roman Catholicism at Douai, France, and studied for the priesthood at Valladolid, Spain, where he became a priest in 1599.  English authorities arrested him in 1601 after some former students betrayed him.  He died on February 27, 1601, with St. Anne Line and St. Roger Filcock.  The Roman Catholic Church beatified him in 1929.

St. Thomas Garnet worked in Warwick, England, for seven years, until his arrest in 1606.  That same year, authorities arrested Uncle Henry, who knew some of the people involved in the Gunpowder Plot yet was not part of the conspiracy.  The senior Garnet met his cruel fate (hanging, drawing, and quartering) on May 3, 1606.  The junior Garnet suffered imprisonment and torture then deportation to Flanders.  He returned to England in 1607, late in the year.  Six weeks after his arrival, authorities arrested him and charged him with treason.  He died by the usual gruesome method on June 23, 1608.  The Roman Catholic Church canonized him in 1970.

Blessed Edward Oldcorne (died 1606), born at York, England, studied at Rheims and Rome.  Ordained at Rome in 1587, he became a Jesuit that year.  Two years later Oldcorne began his English mission, which lasted for seventeen years, during which he helped many people convert or revert.  One Humphrey Littleton, who was involved in the Gunpowder Plot, allegedly falsely that Oldcorne and Blessed Ralph Ashley (died 1606) were also involved.  The court convicted Oldcorne and Ashley.  Littleton then admitted that he had lied, but the execution of Oldcorne and Ashley occurred on schedule, with Littleton dying with them.  The Roman Catholic Church beatified Oldcorne and Ashley in 1929.

National security, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 18, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF MARC BOEGNER, ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY SAYERS, NOVELIST

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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 Nicholas Owen,

Blessed Edward Oldcorne,

Blessed Ralph Ashley,

Saint Thomas Garnet,

and Blessed Mark Barkworth,

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

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Revised on December 24, 2016

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: