Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 April – Blessed Edward Oldcorne SJ (1561-1607) Priest Martyr.

Saint of the Day – 7 April – Blessed Edward Oldcorne SJ (1561-1607) Priest Martyr. Born in 1561 at York, North Yorkshire, England and died by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 7 April 1607 at Worcester, Worcestershire, England.

Edward Oldcorne (1561-1606) had a long and fruitful pastoral apostolate in England operating out of the same residence for 16 years. Ralph Ashley (birthday unknown, 1606) entered the Jesuits in Valladolid, Spain, as a brother and was urged to return to his native England to recover his good health, a prescription that worked well until he was arrested with Father Oldcorne whom he assisted for eight years.

Blessed Edward Oldcore Unknown artist, line engraving, 1608

Oldcorne was born in York of a non-Catholic father and a Catholic mother, whose courage when she was imprisoned for her faith ,set an example for her son who dropped medical studies to travel to Rheims, France in August 1581 in order to study for the priesthood. In 1583 he moved on to Rome where he finished his studies and was Ordained a Priest. Soon afterwards, he asked to enter the Society of Jesus, was accepted and was allowed to complete his novitiate in a very short time because of the difficult conditions he would face, upon his return to England. He landed on a remote beach near Norfolk in November 1588 and joined a group of sailors travelling to London where he stayed with Father Henry Garnet, the Superior of the Jesuits in England. After a few months there, he was assigned to Hinlip Hall just outside Worcester ,where he would enjoy one of the longest periods of any Jesuit ministering in England during the many years of the persecution of the heretical Elizabeth.

The master of Hinlip Hall, was an ardent Catholic who was in prison and had left the property in the care of his sister, Dorothy, a Protestant, who had been at Elizabeth’s court and merely tolerated the presence of the Priest guests in her brother’s residence. Several Priests had tried, unsuccessfully, to convert her back to her family’s Catholicism but she resisted all efforts. Finally Oldcorne began fasting for her conversion; when she learned of his fast, she yielded to God’s grace and became an encouragement for many others in the shire to return to the Catholic religion. The Hall became the Jesuit’s base of operations where many people came to seek the Sacraments and hear Fr Edward’s preaching. His success was accompanied by poor health ever since he returned to England. He had a throat cancer that left him with a hoarse and painful voice but this did not keep him from preaching. He made a pilgrimage around 1591 to St. Winifred’s Shrine seeking a cure. He returned with the cancer healed.

Catholics looked forward to the end of persecution when Queen Elizabeth died and James I became King on 24 March 1603. He had promised he would be more tolerant but ,in fact, the persecution increased. Some angry Catholic laymen plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament during the King’s visit there on 5 November 1605. Discovery of the plot intensified hatred of Catholics; the government was determined to implicate Jesuits in the so-called “Gunpowder Plot,” despite the fact, that the men behind it had already been captured. The Jesuit Superior, Father Garnet, decided to leave London and seek shelter at Hinlip Hall, which had more hiding places than any other mansion in England. Brother Nicholas Owen, (Saint), who had constructed those places, accompanied him. The two Jesuits joined Oldcorne and Ashley.

On 20 January 1606, the Sheriff of Worcestershire and over 100 men, arrived at the Hall and spent several days fruitlessly searching for the Priests. A man arrested for being involved in the plot against Parliament, tried to curry favour by telling authorities he could lead them to Father Oldcorne. Finally, on the fourth day, hunger forced Brother Ashley and his companion, St Owen, to leave their hiding place. Four more days later, the two Priests emerged weak and ill, from their hiding place. All four were imprisoned in the Tower of London.

When efforts to spy on the conversation between the prisoners failed to yield any damning evidence, Fr Edward was tortured on the rack five hours a day for five consecutive days. He refused to say anything. When he and Ashley were put on trial, the Jesuit Priest denied the charge of being involved in the Gunpowder Plot so well, that the charge against him was changed to simply being a Jesuit Priest. He was found guilty of high treason and ordered to be executed. Just before he was hung, his betrayer asked for pardon, which Fr Edward readily granted. Fr Edward also prayed for the King and royal family, for his accusers, the judge and the jury who had condemned him. He was pushed from the ladder but was cut down before he was dead; he was then beheaded and quartered. Brother Ashley followed him to the gallows as did St Owen.

The Martyrdom of Blessed Edward Oldcorne, Brothr Ashley and Saint Nichola Owe

It is said, that, as Oldcorne waited on the ladder to die, Ashley kissed his feet and said, “What a happy man am I to follow in the steps of my sweet father”. Oldcorne died with the name of St Winifred on his lips. When Ashley came to die, he prayed and asked for forgiveness and noted that like Edward, he was dying for his faith and not as a traitor.

Blessed Edward’s portrait was painted after his death for the Church of the Gesù. A number of his relics survived including one of his eyes which he lost, when the executioner decapitated him:. The force of the blow was so great, that his eye flew out of its socket. A secondary school, Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, named in his honour, is in Worcester. His right eye and the rope that bound him ,are kept as relics at Stonyhurst College. They believe, that the eye was taken by a Catholic sympathiser while his body was being parboiled after he was quartered.

Reliquary of Blessed Edward’s Right eye

Edward Oldcorne was Beatified on 15 December 1929 by Pope Pius XI.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Easter Wednesday, Our Lady of Puig, Valencia, Spain and Memorials of the Saints – 7 April

Easter Wednesday – The Fourth Day in the Easter Octave +2021

Our Lady of Puig, Valencia, Spain, Patron of Valencia and the Spanish Army – 7 April:

The fortress and the Church of Our Lady of Puig are a short distance out of Valencia, both date from Roman times, when a temple of Venus stood on the hill overlooking the pleasant valley. At the coming of Christians, it was turned into a Monastery.
Early in history they acquired the image of Our Lady of Puig, in bas-relief, carved on a slab of marble, which was said to have formed part of the tomb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. How it got to Spain is not known with certainty, though the pious insist, that it was brought there by angels. It was the principal object of devotion at the Shrine, which thrived and grew beautiful until the ancient kingdom of the Visigoths fell to the Muslim invaders in the 8th Century.
In the year 712 the Monks sadly buried their treasure to hide it from desecration, along with the Church bell, under the floor of the Monastery, and fled for their lives. After five centuries the Moors were expelled from Valencia and the Plaque of Our Lady of Puig played a part in its liberation.

King James I of Aragon, victorious in other parts of Spain, moved on Valencia with his armies. The Moors, in an effort to trick the Christians into sending their troops to the wrong place, moved to attack the ancient fortress of Puig. This was done with great secrecy but Our Lady warned the Christians and helped them, to win the desperate battle.
Saint Peter Nolasco, who helped to found the Society for the Redemption of Captives under Our Lady’s guidance, was in Puig when the battle took place. One of the soldiers came to him and reported that when he had been on night guard, he had seen strange lights over the old ruined Church of Our Lady of Puig; sometimes the stars seemed to come down from the sky and circle around the building. Especially on Saturday nights there were bright lights around the mount of the Church.

The Battle of Puig

Saint Peter suggested to the King, that all the soldiers should receive the Sacraments and pray, to know what God was trying to tell them. After this had been done, he led them to the top of the hill and directed them to dig under the floor of the old Monastery. Here they found the Plaque and the bell, buried for 500 years, but unharmed.
The Plaque was first carried to the Chapel of the castle fortress. As soon as possible, a new Church was built on the mountain and given into the charge of the Mercedarians under Saint Peter Nolasco.
The ancient bell which was dated as being cast in 660 and was placed in the tower of the Church. This bell was said to be powerful against storms and always rung of its own accord in time of trouble. In 1550 the bell broke and a new one was cast from the fragments of the old one.

The Church built by Saint Peter Nolasco was called “the angelic chamber” because angels were often heard singing there in the night, especially on Saturdays.
Our Lady of Puig has been the Patroness of Valencia for hundreds of years and not longer ago than 1935, was honoured by the Spanish Armies who have carried her image in so many successful battles. She was at this time named as a General in the Army and invoked as Patroness in the Christian War against Communism.

St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719) (Memorial)
Biography – https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/saint-of-the-day-7-april-st-john-baptiste-de-la-salle-1651-1719-the-father-of-modern-education/

St Albert of Tournai
Bl Alexander Rawlins
St Brenach of Carn-Engyle
St Calliopus of Pompeiopolis
Bl Cristoforo Amerio
St Cyriaca of Nicomedia
St Donatus of North Africa
Blessed Edward Oldcorne SJ (1561-1607) Priest Martyr
St Epiphanius the Martyr
St Finian of Kinnitty
St George the Younger
St Gibardus of Luxeuil
St Goran
St Guainerth
St Hegesippus of Jerusalem
St Henry Walpole
Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta (1878-1905)
About Bl Maria Assunta:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/07/saint-of-the-day-7-april-blessed-maria-assunta-pallotta-1878-1905/
St Peleusius of Alexandria
St Peter Nguyen Van Luu
Bl Ralph Ashley
St Rufinus the Martyr
St Saturninus of Verona
Bl Ursuline of Parma

Martyrs of Pentapolis – 4 saints: A bishop, deacon and two lectors at Pentapolis, Lybia who for their faith were tortured, had their tongues cut out, and were left for dead. They survived and each died years later of natural causes; however, because they were willing to die and because there were attempts to kill them, they are considered martyrs. We know little else except their names – Ammonius, Irenaeus, Serapion and Theodore c 310 at Pentapolis, Lybia.

Martyrs of Sinope – 200 saints: 200 Christian soldiers martyred together for their faith. We don’t even have their names. They were martyred in Sinope, Pontus, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).