martyrs

On 2 September the Society of Jesus commemorates the Blessed Martyrs of France and Spain. This year, the recently beatified Albanian Martyrs have been added to these in its Proper Calendar.Thirty-eight martyrs of the communist regime in Albania were declared Blessed at a ceremony at St Stephen’s Cathedral in Shkodër, Albania, on 5 November 2016. Among them are two bishops, 21 diocesan priests, three Jesuits, seven Friars Minor, a Franciscan novice-nun, three Catholic laymen, and one seminarian....
“We know that, by turning everything to their good, God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those he has called according to His purpose” (Romans 8: 28).These were the opening words used by Fr Michael Hannan SJ in his sermon at the Solemn Concelebrated Mass at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, 2 March 1977 for the seven missionaries who were murdered in Rhodesia 40 years ago, on 6 February 1977.St Paul’s Mission, Musami, about 60 miles northeast of...
A composite image of Thomas More and Edmund Campion SJ  facing each other
The Martin Scorcese film Silence now on general release. It highlights a time in the Church’s life in Japan when many Christians were martyred for their Christian faith. Jesuit priests and Catholic men and women were tortured in the hope that they would deny their faith in Christ and in His Body, the Church. It might seem very remote from our own time and experience and yet, today, we hear extraordinary stories of Christians in the Middle East, of Jesuits and Christian men and women,...
  On 25 October 1970, Pope Paul VI canonized 40 martyrs of the English Reformation. Among those were 6 welsh priests, religious and lay people, whose suffering we remember on their feast day on the anniversary of their canonization.    Richard Gwyn:Gwyn was born in Montgomeryshire c1537. After a time at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and then Douai, he returned to Wales and became a teacher in Wrexham. There he married his wife Catherine and they had 3 surviving...
Detail of the canvas of Fr Henry Garnet SJ. Photos: Ken Vance SJ
Paintings of three English Jesuit martyrs have been located in the crypt of St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham. It is possible they are companions to a canvas of Blessed Edward Oldcorne SJ that is displayed in the Catholic college dedicated to him in Worcester.The canvases of Br Ralph Ashley SJ, Br Nicholas Owen SJ and Fr Henry Garnet SJ are believed to date back to Victorian times and have been described by the Curator of the Stonyhurst Collection, Jan Graffius, as “really special...
Image of a relic of the True Cross
The Jesuits in Britain Archives hold perhaps hundreds of relics, authenticated and non-authenticated, wrapped up in tiny parcels or housed in reliquaries of varying size, style and ornamentation. A relic usually consists of the physical remains of a venerated person or saint, or personal effects preserved so that the individual may be venerated. The relics held here range from teeth and small bones to blood soaked linen, rocks taken from holy places to a piece of rope from the hurdle that took...
Jan Graffius shows Andrew Graham-Dixon the Campion rope at Stonyhurst
The Collections of Stonyhurst College featured prominently in a documentary broadcast on BBC Four at the weekend. In the programme, Treasures of Heaven, Andrew Graham-Dixon explored the ancient Christian practice of preserving Christian relics and the largely forgotten art form that went with it - the reliquary. His research took him from the Crown of Thorns venerated at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to the martyrdom of St Thomas Becket – and even to more recent events in El Salvador with the...
Blessed Oscar Romero
On Monday 24 March 1980 at 6.26pm, Oscar Arnulfo Romero was shot dead at the altar with a single marksman’s bullet in the middle of a Mass he was celebrating in the chapel of the cancer hospital where he lived.The next day an urgent telegram was received from London: “Supreme sacrifice of Archbishop Romero is climax of his peaceful struggle for poor and oppressed.  Will inspire all to continue his Christian witness.  Grieve with Church of El Salvador on loss of incomparable pastor....
One of the Generals who has been charged in what the US Department of Justice has called the "terrorist murders" of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador, along with their housekeeper and her young daughter in November 1989, has been deported by the United States Government.The LA Times said the deportation to El Salvador of General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova for his participation in war crimes was one of ‘two landmark cases’ because they set new precedents. It opens the path for his extradition...
Christians in Nagasaki have been celebrating the Jesuits and laity who risked (and often gave) their lives for their faith in 17th century Japan. 17 March was the 150th anniversary of the 'Hidden Christians' of the country revealing themselves to an amazed Dutch missionary in 1865. Pope Francis was represented by Cardinal Orlando B Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato in the Philippines. In a letter read out at the celebrations, the Pope asked that Cardinal Quevedo should remember those who gave...

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