Monday, April 06, 2009

Bl Henry Heath - Prayer for England

In the time of Commonwealth between 1642 and 1646 Bl Henry Heath, Thomas Bullaker, Francis Bell and John Woodcock were hanged, drawn and quartered for being loyal Catholic friars and priests. In this post we can read a story of martyrdom of Bl Henry Heath that took place in 1643, and his prayers for the conversion of his beloved country.

Prayer for England - Tyburn, April 17, 1643

On his trial he said, "I came to this country to free souls from the servitude of the devil and to convert them from heresy." "Which heresy?" they asked. "Protestant, Puritan, Brownist, Anabaptist," I replied, "and many others, for whoever professes these are rightly called heretics." Again, "I was a Protestant myself up to my twenty-fourth year, and professed the same heresy that you do now. But, as Job says, 'Perish the day in which I was born,' so I heap up curses and execrations on the day on which I began to imbibe the Protestant superstition." As he was being dragged to the hurdle he prayed God to remove the darkness and blindness of the Protestants, and on the scaffold, with the rope round his neck, he protested that his return to England was for no other design but to spent his life and labours in the conversion of his country, and that for this alone was he condemned to die. After he recited the hymn and prayer of St Anicetus, Pope and martyr, whose day it was, he finished his course praying, "Jesus, Mary - Jesus forgive my sins; Jesus, convert England; Jesus have mercy on this country. O England, turn thyself to the Lord thy God." Tyburn, April 17, 1643

"Convert us, O Lord, to thee and we shall be converted; renew our days as from the beginning." - Lam 5: 21.