Thursday, 22 March 2018

# Saints

Saint Nicholas Owen

The torture of Saint Nicholas Owen, S.J.
an engraving by Melchior Küsel (17th century)
The 22nd of March is the feast day of Saint Nicholas Owen (c. 1562 – 1/2 March 1606). He was a Jesuit lay brother and was the principal builder of priest holes during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and James I of England and was martyred.

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

A Jesuit lay-brother, martyred in 1606. There is no record of his parentage, birthplace, date of birth, or entrance into religion. Probably a carpenter or builder by trade, he entered the Society of Jesus before 1580, and had previously been the trusty servant of the missionary fathers. More (1586-1661) associates him with the first English lay-brothers. He was imprisoned on the death of Edmund Campion for openly declaring that martyr’s innocence, but afterwards served Fathers Henry Garnett and John Gerard for eighteen years, was captured again with the latter, escaped from the Tower, and is said to have contrived the escape of Father Gerard. He was finally arrested at Hindlip Hall, Worcestershire, while impersonating Father Garnett. “It is incredible”, writes Cecil, “how great was the joy caused by his arrest . . . knowing the great skill of Owen in constructing hiding places, and the innumerable quantity of dark holes which he had schemed for hiding priests all through England.” Not only the Secretary of State but Waade, the Keeper of the Tower, appreciated the importance of the disclosures which Owen might be forced to make. After being committed to the Marshalsea and thence removed to the Tower, he was submitted to most terrible “examinations” on the Topcliffe rack, with both arms held fast in iron rings and body hanging, and later on with heavy weights attached to his feet, and at last died under torture. It was given out that he had committed suicide, a calumny refuted by Father Gerard in his narrative. As to the day of his death, a letter of Father Garnett’s shows that he was still alive on 3 March; the “Menology” of the province puts his martyrdom as late as 12 Nov. He was of singularly innocent life and wonderful prudence, and his skill in devising hiding-places saved the lives of many of the missionary fathers.

[Note: In 1970, Nicholas Owen was canonized by Pope Paul VI among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, whose joint feast day is kept on 25 October.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our Lady of Medjugorje

July 2, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, I am the mother of all of you and, therefore, do not be afraid because I hear your prayers. I know that you seek me and that is why I am praying to my Son for you, my Son, who is united with the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit - the Paraclete - my Son who leads souls to the Kingdom from where He came, the Kingdom of peace and light. My children, you are given the freedom to choose, but, as a mother, I implore you to choose the freedom for the good. You, with pure and simple souls comprehend - even if sometimes you do not understand the words - and within yourselves you feel what the truth is. My children, do not lose the truth and true life so as to follow the false one. By life in truth, the Kingdom of Heaven enters into your hearts, and that is the Kingdom of peace, love and harmony. Then, my children, there will not be the selfishness which distances you from my Son. There will be love and understanding for your neighbors. Because, remember, again I repeat to you, to pray also means to love others, your neighbors, and to give yourself to them. Love and give in my Son, and then He will work in you and for you. My children, ceaselessly think of my Son and love Him immeasurably and you will have true life, and that will be for eternity. Thank you, apostles of my love.

Links