The Lord will not abandon his people
nor forsake those who are his own;
for judgement shall again be just
and all true hearts shall uphold it.
. . .
Last year at this time, we were remembering the Douai Martyrs with the community gathered at Ushaw College, founded here in the northeast of England from the English College at Douai. This year, Ushaw has closed (Lucy was baptized in the chapel at Ushaw in June), and the memorial becomes just that much more melancholy. Universalis has this to say:
The English College at Douai was founded in 1569 to educate English Catholics, and in particular to act as a seminary training priests to enter England covertly, minister to English Catholics, and attempt the re-conversion of England to the faith. Simply being a Catholic priest was high treason in England at this time, with the penalty of hanging, drawing and quartering, and more than 160 of the priests from Douai were thus executed. Each time the news of another execution reached the College, a solemn Mass of thanksgiving was sung.
I am humbled by the reminder that, however much I find the way of discipleship a challenge at the moment, I ‘have not yet resisted to the point of shedding [my] blood.’ I am grateful for the witness of the Douai martyrs and all those who have given their lives for the sake of the gospel.