• August 29th - Bl. Richard Herst

    From rich@1:15/0 to All on Mon Aug 28 10:06:28 2017
    From: rich <richarra@gmail.com>

    August 29th - Bl. Richard Herst, English Martyr

    ON the day following the martyrdom of Bl. Edmund Arrowsmith at
    Lancaster there suffered in the same town Bl. Richard Herst, whose
    story is one of the most remarkable in the histories of the English
    and Welsh martyrs. He was hanged, ostensibly for willful murder.

    Richard Herst (Hurst, Hayhurst) was born in a year unknown, near
    Preston, probably at Broughton, and was a yeoman farmer, comfortably
    off. Being a recusant, on a day in 1628 the bishop of Chester sent a pursuivant, Norcross, with two men, Wilkinson and Dewhurst, to arrest
    him. They found him ploughing, and as Norcross handed him the
    warrant, Wilkinson struck at him with a stick. A girl at work in
    another part of the field, seeing this, ran to summon her mistress,
    who came running out with a farm-servant and another man. The
    process-servers turned to meet this diversion and Wilkinson knocked
    the two men down, whereat the girl (unfortunately the name of this
    spirited young woman is not known) hit Dewhurst over the head. The
    pursuivant's men then ran away, but Dewhurst, "partly on occasion of
    the blow, partly also to apply himself close to Wilkinson, made more
    haste than good speed, and ran so disorderly over the hard ploughed
    lands, as that he fell down and broke his leg". The fracture mortified
    and 13 days later Dewhurst died of it, after declaring that his fall
    had been quite accidental. Nevertheless Herst was indicted for murder
    before Sir Henry Yelverton and convicted, in defiance of all evidence,
    the known facts of the case, and the finding of the coroner's jury;
    the criminal jury was unwilling to bring in a verdict of guilty, but
    the judge told the foreman in private that it must be done "for an

    A petition of reprieve was sent to King Charles I, supported by Queen
    Henrietta Maria, but the contrary influence was too strong; his life
    was offered him if he would take the oath which had been condenmed by
    the Holy See, which fact alone shows the humbug of the murder charge.
    Three short letters are extant from Bl. Richard to his confessor.

    In one he says, "I pray you remember my poor children, and encourage
    my friends about my debts; and let it appear that my greatest worldly
    care is to satisfy them as far as my means will extend"; in another,
    "Although my flesh be timorous and fearful, I yet find great comfort
    in spirit in casting myself upon my sweet Saviour with a most fervent
    love, when I consider what He hath done and suffered for me, and my
    greatest desire is to suffer with Him. And I had rather choose to die
    a thousand deaths than to possess a kingdom and live in mortal sin;
    for there is nothing so hateful to me as sin, and that only for the
    love of my Saviour." On his way to the gallows, he looked up to where
    Bl. Edmund Arrowsmith's head was displayed above the castle; "I look",
    he said, "at the head of that blessed martyr whom you have sent before
    to prepare the way for us", and then turned to the minister who was
    questioning him, and said, "I believe according to the faith of the
    Holy Catholic Church". He spent some time in prayer at the foot of
    the scaffold and then, seeing that the hangman was fumbling over
    fixing the rope, called up to him, "Tom, I think I must come up and
    help thee". He left behind in the world six young children, and one
    yet unborn.

    Saint Quote:
    My hope is in Christ, who strengthens the weakest by His Divine help.
    I can do all in Him who strengthens me. His Power is infinite, and if
    I lean on him, it will be mine. His Wisdom is infinite, and if I look
    to Him for counsel, I shall not be deceived. His Goodness is infinite,
    and if my trust is stayed in Him, I shall not be abandoned.
    -- Pope Saint Pius X

    Bible Quote:
    Now seeing the constancy of Peter and of John, understanding that they
    were illiterate and ignorant men, they wondered: and they knew them
    that they had been with Jesus. [Acts 4:13] DRB

    Each new day brings an opportunity

    Each new day brings an opportunity to do some little thing that will
    help to make a better world that will bring God's kingdom a little
    nearer to being realized on earth. Take each day's happenings as
    opportunities for something you can do for God. In that spirit, a
    blessing will attend all that you do. Offering this day's service to
    God, you are sharing in His work. You do not have to do great things. --Twenty-Four Hours a Day

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