Mary Tudor

We are reminded by Elena-Maria that...

November 17 was the anniversary of the death of Queen Mary Tudor. Mary I (1516-1558) was the only surviving child of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, his Queen. She was the heir to the throne and her mother was raising her to be a great ruler, like her grandmother Queen Isabella of Spain. However, as a teenager, her life was destroyed by her parents' separation. Anne Boleyn had stolen her father's affections and in his efforts to annul his marriage to Katherine so he could marry his favorite, he broke away from the Church. Mary lost her status, was kept from seeing her mother, and had to be lady-in-waiting to Anne's daughter Elizabeth. Mary had gone from being the cherished princess to being a servant.

Mary clung to the old Faith. I think that like many Catholics today, who often are the lone members of their families to practice their religion, Mary endured a great deal of isolation coupled with frustration. She was also a child of divorce, with all of the feelings of confusion and betrayal that people who come from a broken home often experience. She was not able to marry until her late thirties; motherhood was denied her. Nevertheless, she showed great love for her half-siblings Elizabeth and Edward, as well as for all of her stepmothers (except for Anne Boleyn.) She was instrumental in converting Anne of Cleves to the Catholic religion, according to Alison Weir in The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

In 1553, Mary ascended the throne. Her reign of five years, in which she tried to restore the Church in England, was marked by disappointment, failure, and tragedy. Mary Tudor is infamous because of the 277 people burned at the stake during her reign. Sadly, those horrible deaths, which occurred towards the end of her life, overshadow everything else. It was a tragic and bitter mistake; it did not lead people back to the Church. How could it have? According to New Advent:

In each time there is a noble heart that through God, providential circumstance has provided us with a life to emulate in the light of the Christian Faith.

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Elena-Maria!

Dieu Le Roy!
de Brantigny

It is interesting to note that each of the children of Henry VIII became the
Sovereign in turn. Although the history channel attempts to portray Mary as a reactionary Catholic, and Edward as the weak Protestant King, Elizabeth is always seen as the benign, gracious, loving, virgin queen, all things to all subjects.

No comments: