Saint of the Day Quote: Blessed Peter Wright

Gentlemen, this is a short passage to eternity; my time is now short, and I have not much to speak. I was brought hither charged with no other crime but being a priest. I willingly confess I am a priest; I confess I am a Catholic; I confess I am a religious man of the Society of Jesus, or as you call it, a Jesuit.

This is the cause for which I die; for this alone was I condemned, and for propagating the Catholic faith, which is spread through the whole world, taught through all ages from Christ’s time, and will be taught for all ages to come.

For this cause I most willingly sacrifice my life, and would die a thousand times for the same if it were necessary; and I look upon it my greatest happiness, that my most good God has chosen me most unworthy to this blessed lot, the lot of the saints. This is a grace which so unworthy a sinner could scarce have wished, much less hoped for. And now I beg of the goodness of my God with all the fervour I am able, and most humbly entreat Him that He would drive from you that are Protestants the darkness of error, and enlighten your minds with the rays of truth. And as for you Catholics, my fellow soldiers and comrades, as many of you as are here I earnestly beseech you to join in prayer for me and with me till my last moment; and when I shall come to Heaven I will do as much for you. God bless you all; I forgive all men. From my heart I bid you all farewell till we meet in a happy eternity.

Father Peter Wright, SJ, his speech from the gallows to the crowd of approximately twenty thousand who had come to witness his execution on May 19, 1651.

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  1. He died on the gallows? What is the meaning of what seems to be a knife in his chest – was he hung, drawn, and quartered?
    His speech is moving; however, it seems, sadly, that most Jesuits today would NOT identify with his resolve (if the current pontiff and the magazine AMERICA are useful indicators)…

  2. “was he hung, drawn, and quartered?”

    Yes. He was allowed the mercy of his body not being taken down from the gallows until he was dead.

    His speech is filled with the spirit that has allowed Catholicism to survive through twenty turbulent centuries. God in His mercy sends us such men to set an example for us.

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