Monday, December 10, 2012

The Saint not the Justice

While movies and television like to glorify the period of the Tudors and Stuarts, we can forget the terrors for anyone who happened to want to hold on to their Catholic Faith.

On October 25th, 1970 Pope Paul VI canonized in one group 40 of the martyrs of England and Wales. Among these men and women was one with a now famous name, John Roberts.

Born to a protestant family in Wales, he too was a student of law, but at the influence of a friend converted to the Catholic faith, at a time when such conversion was, to say the least, dangerous. He went on to be ordained and served as a Benedictine missionary. After slipping back into England, being arrested, and banished. He refused to give up.

Eventually he re-entered the country, was rearrested and on December 10, 1610 was hanged, then drawn, and quartered. For those unfamiliar with the term, you were hanged almost to the point of death, then emasculated, disembowled, beheaded and the body was cut into four pieces. Such was the rule of James I for Catholic priests.