Sunday, November 8, 2020
All Saints of England

Continuing on with the many "All Saints" days for various regions and orders, November 8th is the Feast of All English Saints. 

While many know that King Henry VIII broke away from the Church and that he is known for murdering and replacing a series of wives, few know the full history of Catholicism in England. After King Henry VIII’s death, after a brief experiment with Protestantism under his son Edward VI who ruled at a young age mainly through regents, Catholicism returned to England under his elder daughter Mary I (1555-58). But after her reign ended, England officially adopted Anglicanism in 1559 under his younger daughter Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Except during the reign of the Catholic James II (1685-88), Catholicism remained illegal for the next 232 years until the Catholic Mass could be legally celebrated again in 1791. Yet most Catholics could not hold any public office and had few civil rights. It took the Emancipation Act of 1829 to restore most civil rights to Catholics in England. 

We can and should fervently pray for a restoration of the True Faith - that is the Catholic Faith - in England and Wales. England is blessed with thousands of canonized and beatified Saints and Martyrs - many known and many more unknown. For this reason, it used to be known as "Mary's Dowry." How sadly times have changed. 

St Arsenios of Paros prophesized: “The Church in the British Isles will only begin to grow when she begins again to venerate her own saints.”

For this intention - the return of England and Wales back to the unity of the Catholic Faith - let us pray the Litany of the Saints and Martyrs of England.

Prayer for England written by Cardinal Merry Del Val:

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down with mercy upon England thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother! Intercede for our separated brethren that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.

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