Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 19 July

Thought for the Day – 19 July

Today is the Feast of St John Plessington, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, he was imprisoned for two months and then hung, drawn and quartered on 19 July 1679. Here are the words of the speech the saint gave before his martyrdom:

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Stained glass window in St Winifrede’s Church Holywell depicting St John Plessington ministering to a kneeling woman and below with a group at his execution.

The scaffold speech of Fr John Plessington

Dear Countrymen.

I am here to be executed, neither for Theft, Murder, nor anything against the Law of God, nor any fact or Doctrine inconsistent with Monarchy or Civil Government. I suppose several now present heard my trial the last Assizes and can testify that nothing was laid to my charge but Priesthood and I am sure that you will find that Priesthood is neither against the Law of God nor Monarchy, or Civil Government. If you will consider either the Old or New Testament (for it is the Basis of Religion […], St Paul tells us in Hebrews 7:12 that the Priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change of the Law, and consequently the Priesthood being abolished, the Law and Religion is quite gone.

But I know it will be said that a Priest ordained by authority derived from the See of Rome is by the Law of Nation to die as a Traitor, but if that be so what must become of all the Clergymen or England, for the first Protestant Bishops had their Ordination from those of the Church of Rome, or none at all, as appears by their own writers, so that Ordination comes derivatively to those now living.

As in the Primitive times, Christians were esteemed Traitors and suffered as such by National Law, so are the Priests of the Roman Church here esteemed, and suffer such.   But as Christianity then was not against the law of God, Monarchy or Civil Policy, so now there is not any one Point of the Roman Catholic Faith (of which Faith I am) that is inconsistent therewith, as is evident by induction in each several point.

That the Pope hath power to depose or give licence to Murder Princes is no point of our Belief.    And I protest in the sight of God and the Court of Heaven that I am absolutely innocent of the Plot so much discoursed of, and abhor such bloody and damnable designs.   And although it be Nine Weeks since I was sentenced to die, there is not anything of that laid to my charge, so that I may take comfort in St. Peter’s words, 1 Peter 14-16, “Let none of you suffer as a Murderer, or as a Thief, or as an Evil doer, or as a Busy Body in other men’s matters, yet if any man suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed or Sorry”. I have deserved a worse death, for though I have been a faithful and true Subject to my King, I have been a grievous sinner against God;  [others would have lived] in a greater perfection [than] I have done had they received so many favours and graces from him as I have.

But as there was never sinner who truly repented and heartily called to Jesus for mercy, to whom he did not show mercy, so I hope by the merits of His Passion, He will have mercy on me, who am heartily sorry that ever I offended him.

Bear witness, good hearers, that I profess that I undoubtedly and firmly believe all the Articles of the Roman Catholic Faith, and for the truth of any of them (by the assistance of God) I am willing to die, and I had rather die than doubt of any Point of Faith, taught by our Holy Mother the Roman Catholic Church.

In what condition Margaret Plat one of the chiefest witnesses against me was before and after she was with me, let her nearest relations declare.   George Massey, another witness, swore falsely when he swore I gave him the Sacrament, and said Mass at the time and place he mentioned, and [I] verily think that he never spoke to me, or I to him, or saw each other but at the Assizes week. The third witness, Robert Wood, was suddenly killed but of the Dead why should I speak? These were all the witnesses against me, unless those that only declared what they heard from others.   I heartily and freely forgive all that have been or are any way instrumental to my Death, and heartily desire that those that are living may heartily repent.

God bless the King and the Royal Family and grant his Majesty a prosperous Reign here and a crown of glory hereafter, God grant peace to the Subjects and that they live and die in true Faith, Hope, and Charity.  

That which remains is that I recommend my self to the mercy of Jesus, by whose merits, I hope for mercy.    O Jesus, be to me a Jesus.

FINIS

And we too, recommend ourselves to the mercy of Jesus, now and at the hour of our death, amen.    St John Plessington, pray for us!

i recommend myself to the mercy of jesus - st john plessington

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 19 July

Quote/s of the Day – 19 July

“But I know it will be said that a Priest ordained by authority derived from the See of Rome is by the Law of Nation to die as a Traitor but if that be so, what must become of all the Clergymen or England, for the first Protestant Bishops had their Ordination from those of the Church of Rome….?”

“Bear witness, good hearers, that I profess that I undoubtedly and firmly believe all the Articles of the Roman Catholic Faith and for the truth of any of them (by the assistance of God) I am willing to die and I had rather die than doubt of any Point of Faith, taught by our Holy Mother the Roman Catholic Church.”

St John Plessington
Martyred because he was a Priest by Elizabeth I of England

and I had rather die - st john plessington

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 19 July

One Minute Reflection – 19 July

For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also…Hebrews 7:12

REFLECTION – ” If you will consider either the Old or New Testament (for it is the Basis of Religion […], St Paul tells us in Hebrews 7:12 that the Priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change of the Law and consequently the Priesthood being abolished, the Law and Religion is quite gone.”…….St John Plessington

st Paull tells us in hebrews 7 12-st john plessington

PRAYER – Holy God, help us to pray continually for our priests, to respect them and consider them as representatives of You. Grant that the law of our lands may never regard them as men of God and of the law. St John Plessington, you were martyred because you were a priest of God, please pray for all our priests and for us, amen.

st john plessington - pray for us

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DEVOTIO, MORNING Prayers, The HOLY NAME

The Wonders of the Holy Name – Fr Paul O’Sullivan, O.P. – “Revealing the Simplest Secret Ever of Holiness and Happiness.” Part Ten – 19 July

Previous – here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/category/the-holy-name/

the wonders of the holy name-day ten-17 july

The Saints and the Holy Name contd.

Blessed Gonzalo de Amarante:  reached a very
eminent degree of sanctity by the frequent repetition
of the Holy Name.

The Blessed Giles of Santarem:  felt so much
love and delight in saying the Holy Name that he
was raised in the air in ecstasy.
Those who repeat frequently the Name of Jesus
feel a great peace in their souls “that peace which
the World cannot give”, which God alone gives,
a peace “that surpasses all understanding”.

St Leonard of Portmaurlce:  cherished a tender
devotion to the Name of Jesus and in his continual
missions taught the people who thronged to
listen to him the wonders of the Holy Name.
This he did with such love that tears flowed from
his eyes and from the eyes of all who heard him.
He begged them to put a card with this Divine
Name on their doors.   This was attended with the
happiest results for many were thus saved from
sickness and disasters of various kinds.
One, unfortunately, was prevented from doing
so as a Jew who was part-owner of the house in
which he lived sternly refused to have the Name
of Jesus placed on the door.   His fellow lodger then
decided that he would write it on his windows,
which he accordingly did.   Some days after a
fierce fire broke out in the building which destroyed
all the appartments belonging to the Jew while
the rooms belonging to his Christian neighbour in
no wise suffered from the conflagration.
This fact was made public and increased a
hundred fold the faith and trust in the Holy Name
of Our Saviour.   In fact the whole city of Ferrajo
was a witness of this extraordinary protection.

St Edmund:  had special devotion to the Name
of Jesus which Our Lord Himself taught him.
One day when he was in the country and separated
from his companions a beautiful child stood
by him and asked: “Edmund do you not know
me?”   Edmund replied that he did not.    Then
replied the child:  “Look at me and you will see
who I am.”   Edmund looked as he was bidden
and saw written on the Child’s forehead:  “Jesus
of Nazareth. King of the Jews” “Know now who
I am” said the child “every night make the sign
of the cross and say these. words: “Jesus of Nazareth
King of the Jews.”   “If you do so this
prayer will deliver you and all who say it from
sudden and unprovided-for deaths.”
Edmund faithfully did as Our Lord told him.
The devil once tried to prevent him and held his
hands so that he could not make the holy sign.
Edmund invoked the Name of Jesus and the devil
fled in terror leaving him unmolested for the
future.
Many people practise this easy devotion and so
save themselves from unhappy deaths.   Others
with their forefinger imprint with holy water on
their foreheads the four letters I. N. R. I. to signify
Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judeorum. the words
written by Pilate for the cross of Our Lord.
St Alphonsus earnestly recommends both these
devotions.

St Frances of Rome:  enjoyed the extraordinary
privilege of constantly seeing and speaking to her
Angel Guardian.   When she pronounced the Name
of Jesus the Angel was radiant with happiness and
bent down in loving adoration.
Sometimes the devil dared to appear to her
seeking to frighten her and do her harm.   But
when she pronounced the Holy Name he was filled
with rage and hatred and fled in terror from her
presence.

St Jane of Chantal:  that most lovable friend
of St. Francis de Sales, had many beautiful devotions
taught her by this holy Doctor who acted
as her spiritual adviser for many years.   She so
loved the Name of Jesus that she actually wrote
it with a hot iron on her breast.

Blessed Henry Suso – had done the same with a pointed steel
rod.

We may not aspire to this holy daring, we may
with reason lack the courage of inscribing the
Holy Name on our breasts.   This needs a special
inspiration from God.   But we may follow the
example of another dear St B. Catherine of
Racconigi, a daughter of St. Dominic, who repeated
frequently and lovingly the Name of Jesus so
that after her death the Name of Jesus was found
engraved in letters of gold on her heart.   We
all can do as she did and thus the Name of Jesus
will be emblazoned on our souls for all Eternity
in sight of the Saints and Angels in Heaven.

St Gemma Galganl:   Almost in our own days this
dear girl Saint also had the privilege of frequent
and intimate converse with her Angel Guardian.
Sometimes the Angel and Gemma entered into a
holy contest as to which of them could say more
lovingly the Name of Jesus.

Posted in Blessed Pope PAUL VI, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 19 July

Our Morning Offering – 19 July

Prayer for a Pure Faith
Blessed Pope Paul VI

Lord, I believe:
I wish to believe in You.
Lord, let my faith be full
and unreserved,
and let it penetrate my thought,
my way of judging Divine things
and human things.
Lord, let my faith be joyful
and give peace
and gladness to my spirit,
and dispose it for prayer with God
and conversation with men,
so that the inner bliss
of its fortunate possession
may shine forth in sacred
and secular conversation.
Lord, let my faith be humble
and not presume
to be based on the experience
of my thought and of my feeling;
but let it surrender
to the testimony of the Holy Spirit,
and not have any better guarantee
than in docility to Tradition
and to the authority of
the magisterium of the Holy Church.
Amen

prayer of bl pope paul VI - lord I believe

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 July – St John Plessington

Saint of the Day – 19 July – St John Plessington – Priest and Martyr – also known as  John Plesington, William Scarisbrick, William Pleasington.   Additional Memorial – 25 October as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales – (c 1637 at Dimples Hall, Lancashire, England – hanged, drawn and quartered on 19 July 1679 at Barrows Hill, Boughton, England).   He was buried in the local cemetery of Burton, England.   He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI  and canonised on 25 October 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

st john plessington BIG

He was born at Dimples Hall, Garstang, Lancashire, the son of Robert Plessington, a Royalist Roman Catholic and Alice Rawstone, a family thus persecuted for both their religious and political beliefs.

He was educated by the Jesuits at Scarisbrick Hall, then at the Royal College of Saint Alban at Valladolid, Spain and then at Saint Omer Seminary in France.   He was ordained in Segovia, Spain, on 25 March 1662.   He returned to England in 1663 ministering to covert Catholics in the areas of Holywell and Cheshire, often hiding under the name John Scarisbrick.   He was also tutor at Puddington Old Hall near Chester.   Upon arrest in Chester during the Popish Plot scare caused by Titus Oates, he was imprisoned for two months and then hanged, drawn and quartered for the crime of being a Catholic priest.

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40 martyrs
No 8 is our Saint today St John Plessington

english martyrs

It would be another 200 years until the bones were found in a trunk in the Old Star Inn in the village of Holywell close to St Winefride’s Well, a medieval pilgrimage site visited by Henry V after Agincourt, and where John Plessington himself had ministered during his lifetime.

It was known that the building had doubled as a secret headquarters for the Jesuits, and the obvious signs of violent death made it seem likely that the bones were those of murdered Catholics.   They were taken to the nearby St Bueno’s Jesuit retreat house at nearby Tremeirchion and venerated as those unknown martyrs until recently but went largely forgotten to the wider world.
At the time, no-one considered the possibility they could be those of John Plessington, not least because there was already a grave thought to have been his in the village of Burton on the Wirral.   It was not until 1962, as moves were afoot to canonise the executed priest, that it was exhumed and remains removed for study by experts at Liverpool University but found to be those of a younger man and therefore ruled out.
Then more recently, after the bones had been returned to Holywell, a group of forensic pathologists were asked to investigate them.
They singled out a portion of skull with a large hole apparently cut from inside – consistent with having been impaled on a spike after the person was beheaded.
It matched vertebrae from a neck which they concluded appeared to have been hacked off and a section of leg which linked to bone from a pelvis also bearing the marks of being cut.
Together, the report concluded, the presence of what appeared to be one of the quarters of a body and the fact that had been preserved in a Catholic context, as well as date of the clothing they were wrapped in meant they were almost certainly those of an executed priest.

st winyfrides well
St Winefride’s Well in Holywell, Flintshire
skull st john
The Skull believed to be that of St John Plessington

St John Plessington’s close connection with the area, the date of his death and the mystery over his supposed grave now point to the possibility that the remains are his.
Bishop Davis is hoping to raise tens of thousands of pounds for new research including DNA testing which could connect them to a lock of hair which has also attributed to St John Plessington.
“By his faithfulness to the point of death, St John Plessington stands out as the great witness to the priestly life and mission in Shrewsbury Diocese,” said the bishop.
“As one of England’s 40 martyrs he points to the long continuity of our Catholic faith and our unswerving loyalty to the See of Peter.
“If funds could be found to identify and authenticate his relics it would allow our connection to his heroic ministry and martyrdom to become visible and tangible in a new way for generations to come.”