Saint Margaret Clitherow

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the night before my second daughter was born, i was watching mother angelica on EWTN. she was hosting a show about sainted martyrs. the story of saint margaret clitherow was especially poignant to me, as my family (full of protestants) always loved to point out "the inquisition" when trying to attack the Church. i was enthralled by the story of how this woman was pressed to death for the unbelievable "crime" of harboring Catholic priests. it was then i decided that saint margaret was going to be Grace's patron, and one of our household's saints. upon hearing mother angelica tell margaret's story i felt as if margaret was choosing us. we went through great pains defending our decision to convert, so it was perversely pleasing to chose a martyr, especially one who was murdered by protestants.

here is a link to a trailer for an upcoming movie about my sweet Grace's patron saint, the Pearl of York.


Both the Protestants and the Catholics of the middle ages and Elizabethan times have a lot to answer for. Both dominations got pleasure out of martyring each other. The Protestants got a lot of pleasure out of murdering Catholics especially in England and Scotland where Catholicism had to go underground to survive but the Catholics were equally to blame for killing "heretics" usually Protestants in Spain, France and Portugal. The propagandist Fox book of Martyrs came out of the Catholic persecutions of Protestants in Queen Mary’s reign in England and I am sure there are equally gory Catholic texts to match it. There is a lot to be said for today’s tolerance or for at least leaving other people alone even if you do not agree with their religious views. I doubt if burning someone’s body or pressing them to death ever saves their soul, rather it illustrates the cruelty and stupidly of those who do such things.

i find it difficult but important to keep in mind that for those living in such times, what happened to the body was much less important than what happened to the soul. yes, i'm sure there were some really sadistic bastards finding just a tad too much pleasure in their attempts at conversion, but some of the writings accounting the times were gut-wrenching and heartfelt.

that said, i'm not convinced that we live in a time of "today's tolerance." we still have countries full of brothers and sisters decapitating and blowing up each other in the name of religion.



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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on January 22, 2010 1:14 PM.

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