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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Historic commemoration service for Jesuit martyrs held at Tower of London
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¬†An historic service was held in the Royal Chapel of the Tower of London on Saturday, to commemorate the martyrdom of four English Jesuits in 1606. Around 200 people, including the Apostolic Nuncio, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, Jesuits, friends and co-workers, gathered in the Chapel to celebrate the lives and witness of St Nicholas Owen (who died on the rack in the Tower), Blessed Edward Oldcorne and Blessed Ralph Ashley (who were executed near Worcester) and Fr Henry Garnet SJ - hanged near St Paul's Cathedral after being held in the Tower. The congregation was welcomed by the chaplain, the Reverend Paul Abram. The Apostolic Nuncio spoke warmly of his association with the Society when stationed in Cuba and then in Zaire. The service was inspired by the devotion to the Five Wounds of Christ current at the time of the martyrdoms in 1606. After each of the five readings ≠ rom Pope Paul VI, St Ignatius Loyola and St Philip Howard, as well as from Scripture - there was a period of silence. This was followed by the lighting of five candles by pupils from Wimbledon College, the first four commemorating the four Jesuit martyrs and the last, the 1,500 or more who died while imprisoned in the Tower. The music for the occasion was performed by the Choir of the Chapel Royal, much of it dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The British Provincial, Fr Michael Holman SJ, commented afterwards: "Listening to the Choir singing Calvarie Mount in such a place, surrounded by the remains of so many who suffered so much for their faith, was an experience that will remain with us for a long time to come." The service was followed by a reception in the New Armouries. To read the full text of the Provincial's Reflection during the Service, visit: Source: Jesuit Media Office
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