Don't pursue human glory

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Nov 22, 2022, 3:51:34 AM11/22/22
Don't pursue human glory

"If the devil has been driven out and sin no longer reigns, then the
kingdom of God is established in us. As it is written in the Gospel,
'The kingdom of God does not come with observation, nor will they say,
'Lo here,' or 'Lo, there.' Truly I say to you that the kingdom of God
is within you' (Luke 17:20-21). The only thing that can be 'within us'
is knowledge or ignorance of the truth and the affection for
righteousness or sin by which we prepare our hearts to be a kingdom of
Christ or the devil. St. Paul described the nature of this kingdom in
this way: 'For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but
righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit' (Romans 14:17). If
the kingdom of God is within us and is righteousness, peace and joy,
then someone that remains in these is surely within the kingdom of
God. Someone that remains in unrighteousness, conflict and the
melancholy that kills the life of the spirit is already a citizen of
the devil's kingdom, of hell and of death. These are the signs whether
it is God's kingdom or the devil's."
by John Cassian (excerpt from CONFERENCE 1.13.5)


A group of Catholic male martyrs, aged between 24 and 80 years old,
including George Haydock and sixty-two laypeople and religious. 63 of
these martyrs were ordained Catholic priests. 22 were laypeople from
various social ranks and walks of life.

These martyrs were arrested, tried, and executed particularly during
the reign of Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603) and Oliver Cromwell (r.
1653-1658), the Lord Protector, because they refused to accept
statutes from these monarch/dictator that denied the Catholic Church’s
role in their homeland.

George Haydock, singularly praised in this beatification, was born in
1556 at Cotton Hall, England, the son of Evan and Helen Haydock. He
was sent to Douai, France, and then Rome, Italy, to be educated.

George was ordained a priest on December 21, 1581, probably at Reims,
France. He returned to England to begin a missionary apostolate but
was arrested soon after and placed in the Tower of London.He spent a
year and three months in confinement in the Tower of London, suffering
from a malarial fever he first contracted in the early summer of 1581
when visiting the seven churches of Rome.

About May, 1583, though he remained in the Tower, his imprisonment was
relaxed to “free custody”, and he was able to administer the
Sacraments to his fellow-prisoners. During the first period of his
captivity he was accustomed to decorate his cell with the name and
arms of the pope scratched or drawn in charcoal on the door or walls,
and through his career his devotion to the papacy amounted to a
passion. On 16 January 1584, he and other priests imprisoned in the
Tower were examined at the Guildhall by the recorder touching their

He frankly confessed, with reluctance, that he was eventually obliged
to declare that the queen was a heretic, and so seal his fate. On 5
February 1584, he was indicted with James Fenn, a Somersetshire man,
formerly fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, William Deane who
had been ordained priest the same day as himself, and six other
priests, for having conspired against the queen at Reims, 23 September
1581, agreeing to come to England, 1 October, and setting out for
England, 1 November. In point of fact he arrived at Reims on 1
November 1581.

On the same 5 February two further indictments were brought, the one
against Thomas Hemerford, a Dorsetshire man, sometime scholar of St
John’s College, Oxford, the other against John Munden, a Dorsetshire
man, sometime fellow of New College, Oxford, John Nutter, a Lancashire
man, sometime scholar of St John’s College, Cambridge, and two other
priests. The next day, St Dorothy’s Day, Haydock, Fenn, Hemerford,
Munden, and Nutter were brought to the bar and pleaded not guilty.

Haydock had for a long time shown a great devotion to St Dorothy, and
was accustomed to commit himself and his actions to her daily
protection. It may be that he first entered the college at Douai on
that day in 1574-5, but this is uncertain. The Concertatio Ecclesiae
says he was arrested on this day in 1581-2, but the Tower bills state
that he was committed to the Tower on the 5th, in which case he was
arrested on the 4th.

On Friday the 7th all five were found guilty, and sentenced to death.
The other four were committed in shackles to “the pit” in the Tower.
Haydock, perhaps in case he should die by a natural death, was sent
back to his old quarters. Early on Wednesday the 12th he said Mass,
and later the five priests were drawn to Tyburn on hurdles; Haydock,
being probably the youngest and certainly the weakest in health, was
the first to suffer. An eyewitness gave an account of their execution,
which John Hungerford Pollen printed in the fifth volume of the
Catholic Record Society.

Haydock was 28, Munden about 40, Fenn, a widower, with two children,
was probably also about 40, Hemerford was probably about Haydock’s
age; Nutter’s age is unknown.

Pope St John Paul II beatified George Haydock and the other martyrs on
November 22, 1987, The Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King of the

“This feast of Christ the King proclaims that all earthly power is
ultimately from God, that His Kingdom is our first and lasting concern
and that obedience to His laws is more important than any other
obligation or loyalty.

Thomas More, that most English of saints, declared on the scaffold: “I
die the King’s good servant but God’s servant first”. In this way he
witnessed to the primacy of the Kingdom.

Today we have declared Blessed another 85 martyrs: from
England, Scotland and Wales, and one from Ireland. Each of them chose
to be “God’s servant First”. They consciously and willingly embraced
death for love of Christ and the Church. They too chose the Kingdom
above all else. If the price had to be death they would pay it with
courage and joy.

Blessed Nicholas Postgate welcomed his execution “as a shortcut to
heaven”. Blessed Joseph Lambton encouraged those who were to die with
him with the words “Let us be merry, for tomorrow I hope we shall have
a heavenly breakfast”. Blessed Hugh Taylor, not knowing the day of his
death, said: “How happy I should be if on this Friday, on which Christ
died for me, I might encounter death for Him”. He was executed on that
very day, Friday 6 November 1585. Blessed Henry Heath, who died in
1643, thanked the court for condemning him and giving him the
“singular honour to die with Christ”.

Among these 85 martyrs we find priests and laymen, scholars
and craftsmen. The oldest was in his eighties, and the youngest no
more than twenty-four. There were among them a printer, a bartender, a
stable-hand, a tailor. What unites them all is the sacrifice of their
lives in the service of Christ their Lord.

The priests among them wished only to feed their people with the Bread
of Life and with the Word of the Gospel. To do so meant risking their
lives. But for them this price was small compared to the riches they
could bring to their people in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The twenty-two laymen in this group of martyrs shared to the full the
same love of the Eucharist. They, too, repeatedly risked their lives,
working together with their priests, assisting, protecting and
sheltering them. Laymen and priests worked together; together they
stood on the scaffold and together welcomed death. Many women, too,
not included today in this group of martyrs, suffered for their faith
and died in prison. They have earned our undying admiration and

These martyrs gave their lives for their loyalty to the authority of
the Successor of Peter, who alone is Pastor of the whole flock. They
also gave their lives for the unity of the Church, since they shared
the Church’s faith, unaltered down the ages, that the Successor of
Peter has been given the task of serving and ensuring “the unity of
the flock of Christ”. He has been given by Christ the particular role
of confirming the faith of his brethren.

The martyrs grasped the importance of that Petrine ministry. They gave
their lives rather than deny this truth of their faith. Over the
centuries the Church in England, Wales and Scotland has drawn
inspiration from these martyrs and continues in love of the Mass and
in faithful adherence to the Bishop of Rome. The same loyalty and
faithfulness to the Pope is demonstrated today whenever the work of
renewal in the Church is carried out in accordance with the teachings
of the Second Vatican Council and in communion with the universal

Central to this renewal, to which the Holy Spirit calls the Church, is
work for that unity among Christians for which Christ Himself prayed.
We must all rejoice that the hostilities between Christians, which so
shaped the age of these martyrs, are over, replaced by fraternal love
and mutual esteem.

Seventeen years ago [1970] forty of the glorious company of martyrs
were canonized. It was the prayer of the Church on that day that the
blood of those martyrs would be a source of healing for the divisions
between Christians. Today we may fittingly give thanks for the
progress made in the intervening years towards fuller communion
between Anglicans and Catholics. We rejoice in the deeper
understanding, broader collaboration and common witness that have
taken place through the power of God.

In the days of the martyrs whom we honor today, there were other
Christians who died for their beliefs. We can all now appreciate and
respect their sacrifice. Let us respond together to the great
challenge which confronts those who would preach the Gospel in our
age. Let us be bold and united in our profession of our common Lord
and Master, Jesus Christ.”

“I pray God that my blood may increase the Catholic faith in England.”
– Blessed George Haydock, speaking from the gallows

Blessed Martyrs of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, pray for us!

By Matthew

Saint Quote:
The first thing about the angels that we ought to imitate, is their
consciousness of the Presence of God.
-- Saint John Vianney

Bible Quote:
"This is what Yahweh says: 'When seventy years are completed for
Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring
you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,' declares
Yahweh, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you
hope and a future.'" [Jeremiah 29:10-11]

Prayer to St. Dymphna - Prudence

You were marked in life, St. Dymphna, by a high degree of
prudence. You sought and followed the advice of your
confessor and spiritual guide. You fled from temptation even
when it meant exile and poverty. In your last extremity you
chose to die rather than offend God. Please help us now by
your merits not only to know what is right, but procure for us
also the strength to do it. Amen.

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