One of the great highlights of the Saints throughout the history of the Church is their love not only for Christ, but for the Church that He gave His life for. And along with the love for the Church comes a love for her long history, for her sacred tradition and for the hierarchical structure that Christ willed for her. It is easily seen that Saints have lived and died for the Church, and in these countries they have suffered through the most hideous of persecutions, tortures and death for their allegiance to Catholicism.
I recently created a list of English Saints for the Diocesan website, which I then carried on to my personal blog. I now bring it on to the parish website, also. As you run down the list, which is ordered according to the months of the year, you will find it mostly populated with the English martyrs, those men and women who gave their lives in the late sixteenth century and in the early seventeenth century because of their love for what they called the ‘Old Religion’ of England – that is, the Catholic religion. This had originally been attacked by HM King Henry VIII, in order to push through his personal supremacy in the English Church by force of law. Later, under young King Edward VI and notoriously under Queen Elizabeth I, Catholics were treated very severely. To ignore this portion of the history of the Catholic Church in England is to ignore also the history of the Church in this country, which initially subsisted under patronage of well-to-do recusant families, then a system of apostolic vicariates attached to the Holy Father in Rome and finally, in 1850, the restoration of a Catholic hierarchy of bishops and priests. Many are those who suffered in one way or another to draw the Church in England through those evil times. Only a few of them are listed and honoured in the liturgical calendars of the Church. Find those in the list on the website, by clicking the link below.