Red Wednesday and Edmund Campion

The Universe has published an article linking Red Wednesday with the rope of St Edmund Campion SJ which is kept at Stonyhurst.  Red Wednesday will take place on November 22nd and is organised by Aid to the Church in Need to support all those who are being persecuted for their faith.  Churches and public buildings are illuminated with red light and people are encouraged to wear red clothing. There are social media resources, prayer resources and assembly packs available on their website.  That evening Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey will light their iconic facades red, and they will joined by Jesuit churches such as the Holy Name church in Manchester, Farm St church in London as well as Stonyhurst College (pictured above).

The Universe article, written by Christopher Graffius, explains the importance of the feast day of December 1st when St Edmund Campion, St Robert Southwell and other martyrs of the English Jesuit mission are remembered.  The article explains how the rope which bound Campion to the hurdle on which he was dragged to his execution, is now housed in a reliquary and placed on the altar at mass at Stonyhurst College on his feast. “The pupil who carries it there, amid the candles and the incense, will never forget the experience.”

There is a project at the college to build a Christian Heritage Centre which links the past to the present.  Red Wednesday is a way of remembering that although Christians will probably not have to die for their faith anymore in Britain, they are being persecuted around the world. But according to Mr Graffius, “ We all face the same choice, whether to conform or stand for the truth…. now we face the hostility of secularism and the marginalisation of spirit and faith.”