Page 14, 23rd April 1937

23rd April 1937
Page 14
Page 14, 23rd April 1937 — A Petition From The Hierarchy

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Locations: Rochester, London, Rome


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A Petition From The Hierarchy

The letter. of which the following is a of Rochester, we have a model we would

translation. was adopted and signed by the Archbishops and Bishops of England and Wales at their meeting in Low Week and forwarded to the Pope.

Most Holy Father, Humbly prostrate at the feet of Your Holiness, we, the Archbishops and Bishops of England and Wales, beg to join with our brethren the Cardinal Primate and the Hierarchy tif Ireland in earnestly seeking the speedy canonisation of Blessed Oliver Plunket, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, Martyr.

Not long since, Most Holy Father, you were graciously pleased to raise to the honours of the Altar the names of John Fisher and Thomas More, who died in up holding thc rights of the Holy See. For those self-same rights and here in London already hallowed by martyrs' blood, Oliver Plunket of Armagh, also, laid down his life.

For eleven years he had laboured in his native land, fearlessly carrying out the duties of his sacred office. For this the enemies of Holy Church dragged him from home and country, and with perjured evidence they sought his condemnation. On false charges they subjected him to unjust judgment. His offence was termed treason," hut his judges in passing sentence gave testimony that the " bottom of his treason was the setting up of his false religion." Thus, the last of all the martyrs to suffer on Tyburn Tree, Oliver Plunket, Successor of St. Patrick, died in testimony of his faith and in loyalty to the see of Peter. Here, on English soil, he won the martyr's crown, and here today rest his holy remains.

Most Holy Father. we the Bishops of England and Wales, feel a deep personal interest in the Cause of Blessed Oliver. Like us he had the fullness of the priestly power. In him, as in the martyr Cardinal gladly imitate. His virtues, his learning. his nobility of mind and sanctity of soul added lustre to the episcopal office. Your Holiness's predecessor of happy memory, Clement IX. selected him for the onerous dignity of Primate of All Ireland, saying of him that he had added many wreaths to the peerless glory or the Island of Saints. History tells the glorioue story of his episcopate, his mighty labours in the cause of Christ, his unswerving fidelity to the Sec of Rome, his undying love for the flock committed to his care. his heroic death, in which, as Archbishop Brennan testified, he rendered honour to the Church, to his country and to his sacred dignity.

The life and martyrdom of Blessed Oliver were, in God's Providence, largely instrumental in preserving the Irish people to the Church of Christ. The faith of Ireland is maintained today in all its early vigour. Her sons have gone forth to the ends of the earth, propagating the teaching of the Catholic Church. In England we have experienced the full force of the vigorous spiritual life of the Irish nation, We gladly acknowledge that the Church of England owes much of its vitality to the strong faith of the Irish and the untiring labours of Irish priests. If it is true that the life-work and heroic sacrifice of Blessed Oliver were the means of keeping Ireland in fealty to Christ. then we in this country, too, must turn in love and veneration and gratitude to the Martyr Primate of Ireland.

Most Holy Father, we your beloved sons, in the name of the Catholics of England and Wales, ask of you with all earnestness the favour of Blessed Oliver's canonisation. His elevation to the final honours of the Altar will bind yet more closely to the Apostolic See the noble people of Ireland, and give to us in England, where he entered into triumph, the example of his constancy to strengthen us in restoring all things in Christ.

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