11/15/2021 – Martyrs of Reading and Glastonbury Abbeys

Today is the feasts of the martyrs of Reading and Glastonbury Abbeys.

In 1539, these abbots and monks refused to surrender their abbeys to King Henry VIII and were executed as obstacles to be removed.

Once the King abandoned his wife Katherine and his faith, his lifestyle and politics became extremely expensive. Looking for a new source of income he decided to liquidate the monasteries and convents, to turn altar vessels and tabernacles into King’s coinage.

Though in the past as a faithful son of the Church he had revered and prayed at some of them. In his new state, they had become an object of hate to be robbed and plundered.

British museums have displays of beautiful rosaries dating from the arrival of the first Dominicans in the 1200s. Rosaries were one of the necessities of life among the faithful of all classes. Many that still exist are exquisitely carved and decorated.

All this changed under Henry VIII’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, who identified the carrier of a Rosary, as a Papist, which was a punishable offence. The rosaries that survived the hundred of years of persecution in Britain are unlike the ones from before. They are often made of string, coarse beads or knots, often consisting of just one decade which made them easier to hide. These later dated rosaries tell a story of great suffering and great sanctity.

Courtesy of 1 in 10 Rosary Mission Ireland

Don’t forget – 9pm is Rosary for Ireland on Radio Maria