Sunday, January 15, 2012

Brother Thomas Pounde, S.J.

The Goal of Newgate
While before his judges, Thomas Pounde, S.J. felt his fortitude increase, and he defended the faith of the Church with a vehemence and courage which irritated them, and for which they determined he should fully atone. Pound was high-born, therefore should he be humbled. He was condemned to traverse the streets of London in irons, and was led from place to place like a common felon, being pointed out to the people as an object of curiosity and derision. But his courage never failed him. He bowed to the mob who derided and insulted him, and his calm and benign countenance bore the impress of the purity and peace of his soul. After being thus paraded, he was conveyed to the prison of Newgate, and handed over to the executioners, who awaited him. He was then submitted to the torture designated by the Protestants "the widow's alms." Thomas steadfastly declared his attachment to the Church of Rome, in the bosom of which he was determined to live and die; and such was his patience, under the horrible tortures to which he was subjected, that he tired out the cruelty of his inhuman tormentors. In the event of punishment failing, Queen Elizabeth had commanded that kindness and promises should be employed, for she wished to subdue the quondam courtier whom she had treated with so much disdain. But the courtier had become a Jesuit. He was supported by the prayers and the merits of the Society of Jesus, and, by those prayers and those merits, he obtained a superabundance of grace, which made him triumph as easily over allurements and promises as he had done over the most cruel tortures. He was next shut up in a dungeon, and his captivity appeared to be unendurable; but, so far from repining, he thanked God for this martyrdom. He prayed for his persecutors, and put his trust in Heaven. The proud Elizabeth, chagrined by this heroic constancy, had him again interrogated, but without any better result, when he was removed to another prison, from which he was soon taken to a third, until, finally, he was conveyed back to the Tower.
Link (here) to read the full account of Fr. Thomas Pound, S.J. 

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