Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

Last updated

Forty Martyrs of England and Wales
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.jpg
Died1535–1679, England and Wales
Venerated in Catholic Church
(England and Wales)
Canonized 25 October 1970, Vatican City, by Pope Paul VI
Feast 4 May (England) 25 October (Wales)
Notable martyrs Edmund Campion, S.J.

The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales [1] are a group of Catholic, lay and religious, men and women, executed between 1535 and 1679 for treason and related offences under various laws enacted by Parliament during the English Reformation. The individuals listed range from Carthusian monks who in 1535 declined to accept Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy, to seminary priests who were caught up in the alleged Popish Plot against Charles II in 1679. Many were sentenced to death at show trials, or with no trial at all.

Contents

Background

The first wave of executions came with the reign of King Henry VIII and involved persons who did not support the 1534 Act of Supremacy and dissolution of the monasteries. [2] Carthusian John Houghton and Bridgettine Richard Reynolds died at this time.

In 1570 Pope Pius V, in support of various rebellions in England and Ireland, excommunicated Queen Elizabeth, absolving her Catholic subjects of their allegiance to her. The crown responded with more rigorous enforcement of various penal laws already enacted and passed new ones. 13 Eliz. c.1 made it high treason to affirm that the queen ought not to enjoy the Crown, or to declare her to be a heretic. "An act against Jesuits, seminary priests, and such other like disobedient persons", (27 Eliz.1, c. 2), the statute under which most of the English martyrs suffered, made it high treason for any Jesuit or any seminary priest to be in England at all, and a felony for any one to harbor or aid them. [3] All but six of the forty had been hanged, drawn and quartered, many of them at Tyburn. [4]

The martyrs

Canonization process

Following beatifications between 1886 and 1929, there were already numerous martyrs from England and Wales recognised with the rank of Blessed. The bishops of the province identified a list of 40 further names; reasons given for the choice of those particular names include a spread of social status, religious rank, geographical spread and the pre-existence of popular devotion. The list of names was submitted to Rome in December 1960. In the case of a martyr, a miracle is not required. For a martyr, the Pope has only to make a declaration of martyrdom, which is a certification that the Venerable died voluntarily as a witness of the Faith or in an act of heroic charity for others.

The Archbishop of Westminster, then Cardinal William Godfrey, sent a description of 24 seemingly miraculous cases to the Sacred Congregation. Out of 20 candidate cases for recognition as answered prayers, the alleged cure of a young mother from a malignant tumor was selected as the clearest case. In light of the fact that Thomas More and John Fisher, belonging to the same group of Martyrs, had been canonized with a dispensation from miracles, Pope Paul VI, after discussions with the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints, considered that it was possible to proceed with the Canonization on the basis of one miracle. [5]

Pope Paul VI granted permission for the whole group of 40 names to be recognised as saints on the strength of this one miracle. The canonization ceremony took place in Rome on 25 October 1970. [6] [7]

Liturgical feast day

In England, these martyrs were formerly commemorated within the Catholic Church by a feast day on 25 October, which is also the feast of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, but they are now celebrated together with all the 284 canonized or beatified martyrs of the English Reformation on 4 May. [8]

In Wales, the Catholic Church keeps 25 October as the feast of the Six Welsh Martyrs and their companions. The Welsh Martyrs are the priests Philip Evans and John Lloyd, John Jones, David Lewis, John Roberts, and the teacher Richard Gwyn. [9] The companions are the 34 English Martyrs listed above. Wales continues to keep 4 May as a separate feast for the beatified martyrs of England and Wales. [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

Saint Richard Reynolds, O.Ss.S was an English Brigittine monk executed in London for refusing the Oath of Supremacy to King Henry VIII of England. He was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970, among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Augustine Webster English martyr

Saint Augustine Webster was an English Catholic martyr. He was the prior of Our Lady of Melwood, a Carthusian house at Epworth, on the Isle of Axholme, in north Lincolnshire, in 1531. His feast day is 4 May.

John Houghton (martyr) English Carthusian hermit and Catholic martyr

Saint John Houghton, O.Cart., was a Carthusian hermit and Catholic priest and the first English Catholic martyr to die as a result of the Act of Supremacy by King Henry VIII of England. He was also the first member of his order to die as a martyr. He is among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Alexander Briant Jesuit martyr

Saint Alexander Briant was an English Jesuit and martyr, executed at Tyburn.

Saints Philip Evans and John Lloyd were Welsh Roman Catholic priests. They are among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

John Jones, also known as John Buckley, John Griffith, Godfrey Maurice, or Griffith Jones was a Franciscan friar, Roman Catholic priest, and martyr. He was born at Clynnog Fawr, Caernarfonshire (Gwynedd), Wales, and was executed 12 July 1598 at Southwark, England. He is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Saint John Kemble was an English Roman Catholic martyr. He was one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

William Exmew Carthusian monk and martyr

William Exmew was an English Catholic priest and Carthusian hermit. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn and is honored as a martyr by the Catholic Church. Exmew and his brother Carthusian martyrs were beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 9 December 1886.

Carthusian Martyrs of London group of humans

The Carthusian Martyrs of London were the monks of the London Charterhouse, the monastery of the Carthusian Order in central London, who were put to death by the English state in a period lasting from the 4 May 1535 till the 20 September 1537. The method of execution was hanging, disembowelling while still alive and then quartering. Others were imprisoned and left to starve to death. The group also includes two monks who were brought to that house from the Charterhouses of Beauvale and Axholme and similarly dealt with. The total was 18 men, all of whom have been formally recognized by the Catholic Church as martyrs.

The Douai Martyrs is a name applied by the Roman Catholic Church to 158 Catholic priests trained in the English College at Douai, France, who were executed by the English state between 1577 and 1680.

John Stone was an English Augustinian friar who was executed, probably in December 1539; he was canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI. He was a doctor of theology from Canterbury.

Irish Catholic Martyrs Irish Catholic men and women martyed by English monarch.

Irish Catholic Martyrs were dozens of people who have been sanctified in varying degrees for dying for their Roman Catholic faith between 1537 and 1714 in Ireland. The canonisation of Oliver Plunkett in 1975 brought an awareness of the other men and women who died for the Catholic faith in the 16th and 17th centuries. On 22 September 1992 Pope John Paul II proclaimed a representative group from Ireland as martyrs and beatified them. "Martyr" was originally a Greek word meaning "witness". In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter, speaking to those in Jerusalem at Pentecost, claimed he and all the apostles were "martyrs", that is, witnesses, in this case to Jesus's resurrection. Later the word came to mean a person who followed the example of Christ and gave up their lives rather than deny their faith.

Robert Lawrence (martyr) English Carthusian martyr

St. Robert Lawrence was one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn for declining to sign the Oath of Supremacy. His feast day is 4 May.

David Lewis (Jesuit priest) English Jesuit Catholic priest and martyr

David Lewis was a Jesuit Catholic priest and martyr who was also known as Charles Baker. Lewis was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales and is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church.

Eighty-five martyrs of England and Wales group of men who were executed on charges of treason

The Eighty-five Martyrs of England and Wales, also known as George Hatdock and Forty-one Companion Martyrs, are a group of men who were executed on charges of treason and related offences in the Kingdom of England between 1584 and 1679. Of the eighty-five, seventy-five were executed under Jesuits, etc. Act 1584.

Carthusian Martyrs Members of the Carthusian monastic order who were persecuted and killed for adherence to Catholiscm during the Protestant Reformation

The Carthusian martyrs are those members of the Carthusian monastic order who have been persecuted and killed because of their Christian faith and their adherence to the Catholic religion. As an enclosed order the Carthusians do not, on principle, put forward causes for their members, though causes have been promoted by others on their behalf.

During the English reformation a number of men were executed at Lancaster in England as a consequence of their Catholic faith. They are commonly referred to as the Lancaster Martyrs and are commemorated locally by the Lancaster Martyrs Memorial Stone which may be found close to the centre of Lancaster city.

Blessed John Haile was an elderly secular priest who was vicar of Isleworth Middlesex in the early 16th century; his significance in history, like that of many of the English martyrs, begins only with the events which led to his death.

Nine Martyrs of England and Wales, also known as Hugh Faringdon and Eight Companion Martyrs are a group of clergy and laypersons who were executed on charges of treason and related offences in the Kingdom of England. Eight of these occurred in 1539, during the reign of King Henry VIII, and one other in 1572. They are considered martyrs in the Roman Catholic Church and were beatified on 13 May 1895 by Pope Leo XIII.

References

  1. Connor, Charles Patrick (2003). Defenders of the Faith in Word and Deed. Ignatius Press. ISBN   978-0-89870-968-1.
  2. Duffy, Patrick. "The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales", Catholic Ireland, 25 October 2012
  3. Burton, Edwin, Edward D'Alton, and Jarvis Kelley. "Penal Laws." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 3 February 2019PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. Atherstone, A. (2011). The Canonisation of the Forty English Martyrs: An Ecumenical Dilemma. Recusant History, 30(4), 573-587. doi:10.1017/S0034193200013194
  5. Molinari S.J.,, Paolo. "Canonization of Forty English and Welsh Martyrs", L'Osservatore Romano, 29 October 1970
  6. Malcolm Pullan (2008). The Lives and Times of Forty Martyrs of England and Wales 1535–1680. Athena Press. pp. xvii–xxii. ISBN   978-1-84748-258-7 . Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  7. Canonizzazione di quaranta martiri dell'Inghilterra e del Galles vatican.va, article in Italian
  8. National Calendar for England, Liturgy Office for England and Wales, accessed 31 July 2011
  9. National Calendar for Wales, Liturgy Office for England and Wales, accessed 31 July 2011
  10. Ordo for Wales Archived 30 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine , Diocese of Menevia, accessed 11 August 2011

PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Penal Laws". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.