FOUR AND a half thousand congregated at Stonor Park near Henley last Saturday for the open air Mass celebrated by Bishop Leo McCartie in honour of the fourth centenary of the martyrdom of St Edmund. Campion.
The Mass took place before the house where Campion had hidden and where he had primed the pamphlet Ten Reasons, his answer to the heresies of the time.
The Mass was celebrated in the presence of the Apostolic Delegate with several bishops present. Fr Bernard Bassett SJ, preached and the choir of the London Oratory sang the Mass.
The setting was very intimate with the house nestling in the natural amphitheatre. Young and old came to pray for this very English saint and a sense of the continuity of the faith was enhanced.
The house is the home of the Stonor family to this day. It was Dame Cecily Stonor who sheltered Campion in 1581 and the devotion of many of the Stonor family to the faith.
Among the more recent as D0111 Julian Stonor OSB and in the 18th century' John Talbot Stonor who was Vicar Apostolic in the Midland district for many years.
Campion would have been delighted and his enemies perplexed if they could have known the thousands who would remember hint