greets 5,000 at Martyrs rally at Chelmsford
`CANONISE THE MARTYRS' PLEA TO POPE PAUL
From Brian Motley
APETITION to the Pope to canonise the Forty English and Welsh Martyrs was made at a rally at Chelmsford (Essex) Football Club stadium on Sunday. More than 5,000 people, including the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Cardinale. and Bishop Wall of Brentwood, attended. High Mass was celebrated at an altar on the ground.
People travelled from all over Essex to attend the open-air rally which was greeted with warm sunshine, but a strong breeze. They came by coach and ear, and many walked long distances.
Bunch of keys With the comment that when Bl. Anne is canonised "her example will inspire Christians everywhere". Fr. Caraman continued: "If ever in recent history there was a case in which people of a diocese have sought and striven and prayed and toiled fur the honour of their own saint, it is Brentwood".
Fr. Caraman said that on the picture of the Forty Martyrs. Bl. Anne was seen with a bunch of keys hanging from a waistband down her white apron. Those keys represented the keys of the house she kept for priests in London at a time (little more than 400 years ago) when it was a crime punishable by death to assist a priest—even to give hint a glass of water or a jersey to wear in winter.
She was a young woman, aged about 35. a widow and a chronic invalid, when she was hanged at Tyburn for sheltering priests.
Bl. Anne Line will always be remembered by those keys which as well as being the keys of the house where she sheltered priests, are the keys of the Church, the keys of St. Peter.
Fr. Caraman continued: "In the first Parliament of Queen Elizabeth. in whose reign Annc was executed, there sat for the last time the Catholic bishops of England; and when changes in religion were proposed. the Bishop of Chester got up in the Lords and said that only to Peter had Christ given the keys of authority: and only in the use of those keys lay any ecclesiastical authority given by God to man".
The Apostolic Delegate. there present. represented the Holy See, said Fr. Caraman. "For that authority Fisher and More died. among the first of an army of more than 350 martyrs, who followed them in the same cause. Whets they
died, said Fr. Caraman, the priests among them protested from their hearts that they had been sent by the successor of Omit St. Gregory who sent Augustine to England, and that if they were traitors. then they were traitors with St. Augustine.
"Make no mistake about it", he emphasised, "it was the authority of the Holy See for which those martyrs died. There can be no country in the world that has so many martyrs who could have lived easy and comfortable lives if they had not refused to give up their Faith."
Archbishop Cardinale, conveying a special blessing from the Pope, echoed other of Fr. Caraman's remarks when he said that there can be no common unity unless it is under one "common father". The martyrs that we remember this afternoon are "a living symbol of that unity with Peter and hence with Christ Himself. They are indeed a striking example of real humanism ... they are an example not only to the British people. but to the whole of Christendom, Catholics and non-Catholics alike".