From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Mon Aug 28 01:15:44 2023
Do you wish to RISE?
“Do you wish to RISE?
Begin by DESCENDING.
You plan a tower that will pierce the CLOUDS?
Lay first the foundation of HUMILITY”
“I will suggest a means whereby
you can praise God all day long, if you wish.
Whatever you do, do it well and you have praised God.”
--St Augustine Father & Doctor of Grace
28 August – St Edmund Arrowsmith S.J.
Priest & Martyr – born in 1585 at Haydock, Lancashire, England as
Brian Arrowsmith, his confirmation name was Edmund and he preferred to
use it – died by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 28 August 1628
at Lancaster, England. Additional Memorials – 25 October as one of the
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, 7 August as one of the Lancashire
Martyrs and 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai.
The main source of information on St Edmund is a contemporary account
written by an eyewitness and published a short time after his death.
This document, conforming to the ancient style of the “Acts of
Martyrs” includes the story of the execution of another 17th-century
Recusant martyr, Blessed Richard Herst (died 1628).
Bryan Arrowsmith was born at Haydock, Lancashire, England, in 1585,
the eldest child of Robert Arrowsmith, a yeoman farmer, who had served
in Sir William Stanley’s regiment which fought for Spain in the Low Countries. His mother was Margery Gerard, a member of the Lancashire
Gerard family. Among his mother’s relations was Father John Gerard,
who wrote The Diary of an Elizabethan Priest, as well as another
martyr, the Blessed Miles Gerard. He was baptised Brian, but always
used his confirmation name of Edmund, after an uncle who trained
English priests in France. The family was constantly harassed for its
adherence to Roman Catholicism. One of his grandfathers died a
confessor in prison. On one occasion, as a child, he was left
shivering in his night-clothes by the pursuivants, who carried his
parents off to Lancaster jail; he and his three siblings were cared
for by neighbours
In 1605, at the age of twenty, Edmund left England and went to the
English College, Douai, to study for the priesthood. He was soon
forced to return to England due to ill health but recovered and
returned to Douai in 1607.
He was ordained in Arras on 9 December 1612 and sent on the English
mission a year later. He ministered to the Catholics of Lancashire
without incident until around 1622, when he was arrested and
questioned by the Anglican Bishop of Chester. Edmund was released
when King James I of England ordered an amnesty for all arrested
priests, in furtherance of negotiations to arrange a Spanish marriage
for his son Prince Charles. St Edmund joined the Jesuits in 1624.
In the summer of 1628, Fr Edmund was reportedly betrayed by a man
named Holden, who denounced him to the authorities. Arrowsmith
ministered to Catholics of Lancashire at the still-standing Arrowsmith
House, located in Hoghton before being arrested and questioned on
Brindle Moss where his horse refused to jump a ditch. He was convicted
of being a Roman Catholic priest in England. He was sentenced to
death, and hanged, drawn and quartered at Lancaster on 28 August 1628.
His final confession was heard by Saint John Southworth (1592-1654)
Martyr, who was imprisoned along with Edmund.
Edmund Arrowmith’s beatification occurred in 1929. He was canonszed as
one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
His hand was preserved and kept by the Arrowsmith family as a relic
until he was beatified and it now rests in the Catholic Church of St
Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith, Ashton-in-Makerfield (see images
below). Stonyhurst College retains the small trunk of vestments and
equipment which he carried from house to house.
“You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the
plate, that the outside also may be clean.”…Matthew 23:26
REFLECTION--“You are before God. Question your heart: see what you
have done and what you have been yearning for there—your salvation or
the windy praise of men. Look within, for a person cannot judge one
whom he cannot see. If we are assuring our heart, let us assure it in
“Because if our heart thinks badly”—that is, if it accuses us within, because we aren’t acting with the spirit with which we should be
acting —“God is greater than our heart, and he knows all things”
(v.20). You hide your heart from man--hide it from God if you can. How
will you hide it from Him to whom it was said by a certain sinner in
fear and confession: “Where shall 1 go from your spirit, and where
shed! I flee from your face?”… For where does God not exist? “If,” he said, “I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to hell, you
are present” (Ps 139:7-8). Where will you go? Where will you
flee? Do you want to hear some advice? If you want to flee from Him,
flee to Him. Flee to Him by Confessing, not from Him by hiding, for
you cannot hide, but you can Confess. Tell Him. “You are my refuge”
(Ps 32:7) and let there be nursed in you the love that alone leads
to life.”…St Augustine (354-430)--Doctor of Grace
“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance;
to seek Him the greatest adventure;
to find Him the greatest human achievement.”
“You ask what you might offer to God?
What does God expect from you, except yourself?”
“One of the holiest works,
one of the best exercises of piety
which we can practice in this world,
is to offer sacrifices, alms and prayer for the dead.”
“Conquer yourself and the world lies at your feet.”
“God has no need of your money
but the poor have.
You give it to the poor and God receives it.”
“Our life and our death are with our neighbour.”
PRAYER – Lord God, renew Your Church with the Spirit of wisdom and love
which You gave to St Augustine. Lead us by that same Spirit, to seek
You, the only fountain of true wisdom and the source of everlasting
love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the
Spirit, one God, forever and ever, St Augustine, pray for the Church
and for us all, amen.