Above: The Flag of England
SAINT JOHN PLESSINGTON (CIRCA 1637-1679)
Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
Having written against the practice of professing Christians martyring each other, I permit the saint’s life to speak for itself.
St. John Plessington (circa 1637-1679) studied at St. Omer’s Monastery in France then at the English seminary at Valladolid, Spain. Ordained a priest at Segovia, Spain, in 1662, the saint returned to his homeland the following year. Until 1670 he lived under aliases and worked in the Cheshire area. Then he became a tutor to the children of one Mr. Massey at Puddington Hall near Chester. The end came in 1679, after an arrest on trumped-up charges of having participated in a plot (an imaginary one!) to assassinate King Charles II. The saint’s real crime was to be a Roman Catholic priest.
On the gallows the saint made a historically accurate statement:
But I know it will be said that a priest ordained by authority from the See of Rome is, by the law of the nation, to die as a traitor. But if that be so, what must become of all the clergymen of The Church of England? For the first Protestant bishops had their ordination from those of the Church of Rome, or not at all, as appears by their own writers so that ordination comes derivatively from those not living.
I argue with the “Protestant” description, unless one considers any Christian who is neither Orthodox nor Roman Catholic to be Protestant. But I, as an Episcopalian, am neither fish nor fowl. I am more Catholic than Protestant without being Roman Catholic. And I am more Protestant than Catholic without belonging to a communion descended from the era of the Protestant Reformation on the European mainland. Anglicanism, with its Elizabethan origin, is the Via Media in Western Christianity. And I acknowledge the historical connection to Roman Catholicism.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JUNE 18, 2012 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINTS DELPHINUS OF BORDEAUX, AMANDUS OF BORDEAUX, SEVERINUS OF BORDEAUX, VENERIUS OF MILAN, AND CHROMATIUS OF AQUILEIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS
THE FEAST OF ANSON DODGE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST
THE FEAST OF BERNARD MIZEKI, ANGLICAN CATECHIST AND MARTYR
THE FEAST OF VERNARD ELLER, CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN THEOLOGIAN
Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Saint John Plessington
triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:
Grant us, who now remember him with thanksgiving,
to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,
that we may receive with him the crown of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12
Psalm 116 or 116:1-8
—Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 714