Monday, April 19, 2010

St. Alexander Briant, S.J., "And So Say I"

With a constant mind and pleasant countenance, said the psalm, Miserere, desiring God to forgive his tormentors ; whereat Dr. Hammond stamped and stared, as a man half beside himself, saying, what a thing is this ? if a man were not settled in his religion, this were enough to convert him.
After this he was, even to the disjointing of his body, rent and torn upon the rack, because he would not confess where Fr. Robert Parsons S.J. was, where the print was, and what books he had sold, and so was returned to his lodgings for that time ; yet the next day following, notwithstanding the great dis-temperature and soreness of his whole body, 
his senses being dead, and his blood congealed, he was brought to the torture again, and there stretched with greater severity than before ; insomuch, that supposing with himself they would pluck him to pieces, 
he put on the armor of patience, resolving to die, rather than to hurt any creature living; and having his mind raised in contemplation of Christ's bitter passion. At his racking, he swooned away, so that they were fain to sprinkle cold water on his face to revive him again ; yet they released no part of' his pain. And here,  Thomas Norton, because they could get nothing of him, asked him, whether the queen were supreme head of the church of England, or not ? To this he said—I am a catholic, and I believe in this as a catholic should do. Why, said Norton, they say the pope is ; and so say I, answered Mr. Briant. 

Link (here) to read the full biographical essay of Fr. Alexander Brian, S.J.  More (here)

No comments: