October 25 Feast of the Forty Martyrs

In St Andrews Catholic School in Chicago our Sisters (of Providence) would regale us with stories of the martyrs. I used to think how it would be to be prepared to give ones life for the faith. To give ones life for the faith is to renounce the world and all it's vanities and be killed in order to proclaim the good news with ones death. History is replete with the stories of these martyrs who refused mercy so that they may be united with Jesus in heaven. I recall the story of one sister who when told she would be spared death if she just repudiated her faith ran up the stairs to the guillotine to share in the glory of her companions. Thus it was for these humble martyrs on whose day we celebrate their martyrdom. Are we prepared to be martyred for the Faith?..

Today in England is the feast of the Forty Holy Martyrs of England and Wales (in Wales this is a memorial), a group of forty men, women, religious, priests, and lay people who were canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 25, 1970. These people were executed for the Faith during a period of anti-Catholicism from 1535 to 1679. The Martyrs who were canonized were among more than two hundred martyrs who had been beatified by various earlier popes. Some of the common "crimes" of these people were being priests, harboring priests, or refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy. This group of saints includes some well-known saints, such as St. Alban Roe, and St. Edmund Campion. Many of these saints are recognized on the days of their martyrdom, but as a group, they are recognized on the day they were canonized. find more here...


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