04/07/2022 – Oliver Cromwell

“Oliver Cromwell is a super villain in Catholic history. He came to Ireland in 1649 and began a brutal suppression of Catholics, which created strife that is still reverberating today. He committed war crimes against Catholics. He took Catholic land and gave it to Protestants just so Catholics wouldn’t have power. In short, he was the worst.

He also helped enforce penal laws, which effectively made it illegal to be Catholic. The Irish gave exactly zero regards to this, and instead hid their faith and moved their seminaries to other countries while remaining very much Catholic and sometimes dying for that. The Rosary remained an important part of their faith, though they adopted small penal rosaries that were harder to detect.

Cromwell knew he failed at subduing the Irish to Protestantism, and he blamed the Rosary. He wrote to his superiors:

“All is not well with Ireland yet. You gave us the money, you gave us the guns. But let me tell you that every house in Ireland is a house of prayer, and when I bring these fanatical Irish before the muzzles of my guns, they hold up in their hands a string of beads, and they never surrender.”

You bet we do hold up our rosaries, Oliver, and you better believe we don’t surrender.” (Melissa Keating)