Saturday, November 16, 2002

16 NOVEMBER

The thirteenth century Cistercian St. Gertrude is celebrated today

This is also the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Venerable Edward Osbaldeston at York on 16 November 1594.

Bowden’s “Mementoes of the Martyrs of England and Wales” gives the following from one of the Venerable Edward’s last letters:

“I was apprehended at Towlerton by Mr. Thomas Clark, the apostate priest, upon St. Jerome’s day, at night, a thing much more to my comfort than at any other time for that I had such a special patron to commend myself to, and such a stout companion under Christ. And besides, it pleased God, much to my comfort, to let this sign of His love fall unto me that day above all others: for His great goodness called me to the priesthood, and upon St. Jerome’s day I said my first Mass and consecrated the blessed body and blood of Jesus Christ; and ever since I have honoured St. Jerome. That morning before I came here I made my prayer to blessed Jerome; and in his merits I offered myself a sacrifice to God and asked him to direct me according to His will and pleasure, that I might walk aright in my vocation, and follow St. Jerome as long as God should see it expedient for His Church and to His honour and glory; and that I might never refuse to labour, or murmur at any pain or travail and that if I fell into the persecutor’s hands, He would protect me to the end.”

In many English dioceses this is also the feast of St. Edmund Rich, Archbishop of Canterbury who died on this day in 1242 in exile in France for resisting King Henry III. Until the reforms of 1969, the ancient proper Mass of St. Edmund, taken from the Sarum Missal, was used in the Diocese of Portsmouth, of which St. Edmund is patron. The collect reads (in English): O God, in the counsels of Thine exceeding goodness, Thou didst adorn Thy Church with the merits of blessed Edmund, Thy confessor and bishop, and gave her joy by his glorious merits, mercifully grant to us Thy servants that we may reform for the better by his example, and by his patronage be protected from all adversity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.