Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, Have Mercy on Me

Sunday, October 25, AD 2009

Today is the feast day of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 25, 1970.  These very brave men and women were martyred for the True Faith in England and Wales between 1535 and 1679, and they are representative of hundreds of Catholics in these countries who went to their death rather than to renounce their Catholicism.

John Pridmore, a reformed gangster from England, talks elquently about Saint Margaret Clitherow in the above video, and her life is typical of these brave champions of Christ.

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2 Responses to Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, Have Mercy on Me

  • Thanks for this post.
    Interesting that you should post this about St.Margaret Clitherow, Don.
    An ancestor of mine through my mother’s family line, by name William Nicholson (1816 – 1888) wrote a book about her. Some of our Nicholson relatives, who live I think in Portland, Oregon, researched and wrote a Nicholson Family Anthology back in the 1960’s and 70’s.

    I quote sections from this anthology.

    “William Nicholson studied the law, probably at his father’s office, and for a time followed the profession of solicitor in Warrington. The main direction of his contemplations, however, seem to have centred about religious thought. Like other menbers of his family, he was a communicant of the Church of England until about 1848…….
    William Nicholson participated in the Tractarian or Oxford Movement in England, and in 1848 or 1849 converted to Roman Catholicism. Dedicating his well-directed energy to his new faith, he rapidly rose to prominence among English Catholics…….most of his descendants became communicants of the Roman Catholic Church.
    For a now unknown reason, William Nicholson became interested in the story of Margaret Clitherow, often referred to as “The Pearl of York”.In the twentieth century she was canonised a saint. Born about 1556, Margaret (Middleton) Clitherow converted to Catholicism after her marriage to John Clitherow, who was a protestant, but from a Catholic family. She soon became an outspoken Catholic in York, providing for Catholic educators for her children and giving shelter to priests. Disturbed by the persistence of Catholicism in Yorkshire, the English government attempted to eradicate the faith by taking strong measures against English Catholics. On 25th March 1586 Margaret Clitherow was martyred in this purge.
    Her confessor John Mush wrote a contemporary memoir. The York Bar Convent obtained a copy of a manuscript made by Robert Setgrave in 1654 of John Mush’s work. Using this manuscript William Nicholson edited the work and published for the first time from a manuscript “The Life and Death of Margaret Clitherow, the Martyr of York.” The 215 page work was printed by Richardson & Son in London in 1849. The work was dedicated to the Earl of Shrewsbury, a leading Catholic layman of the time, with a letter of approbation from Bishop William Bewrnard Ullathorne, who worked indefatigably to restor Roman Catholicism as a prominent Church in England.”

    Thus endeth the lesson 🙂

    My mother has had a devotion to St.Margaret Clitherow for as long as I can remember, and it is from this family line that we are Catholic.

    Thanks.

  • It is truly a small world Don! Saint Margaret Clitherow is an example of Catholic courage and fortitude for us all.