Three of Forty

Today we celebrate the memory of three sweet little Catholic girls. NOT. These were three courageous Catholic women, who died for their faith, not in the arena in Rome ‘way back when, but in England in the 16th century. Pope Paul VI on this date in 1970 canonized forty martyrs of England and Wales. Many of those were priests and religious, but there were four laymen and three laywomen. They were:

Margaret Clitherow, a.k.a. “The Pearl of York” – pressed to death, which is what is sounds like, in York, 1586.

Saint Anne Line – hanged, at Tyburn 1601. From the book, They Died at Tyburn, she said “I am sentenced to death for harbouring a priest, and so far am I from repenting for having so done, that I wish with all my soul that where I have entertained one I could have entertained a thousand.”

Saint Margaret Ward – hanged, drawn, & quartered, Tyburn 1588. From the same book, “When brought to trial, she said that never in her life had she done anything of which she repented less; that death for such a cause would be very welcome to her, and that she was willing to lay down not one life only but many if she had them.”

There is a convent near Tyburn today, and in a traffic island there is a little marker for those who were martyred there.

Here is an EWTN reprint of a 1970 L’Osservatore Romano article on the canonization. The last few paragraphs there are moving and meaningful for today.

Red Mass with Archbishop Lori, Oct. 23, 2013 – UPDATED with homily

Baltimore Archbishop William Lori and Diocese of Richmond Bishop DiLorenzo came to Saint Benedict Parish for a Red Mass, I believe invited by the St. Thomas More Society in Richmond, on Oct. 23, 2012. Abp. Lori’s homily was excellent, touching on freedom and conscience, and striking a bit of a (Pope) Franciscan note in warning that we must see to it that we have the credibility to witness to the Gospel.

Update: @archbalt on Twitter kindly sent the link to Archbishop Lori’s homily, thank you!


Recessional. Most everybody singing, "Holy God, we praise Your Name."

Recessional. Most everybody singing, “Holy God, we praise Your Name.”


Archbishop Lori and Bishop DiLorenzo

Archbishop Lori and Bishop DiLorenzo


Archbishop Lori had an excellent homily on freedom. Will link to the text if it becomes available.

Archbishop Lori had an excellent homily on freedom, linked above.

Passing the peace.

Passing the peace.