Saint of the Day Quote: Saint John Jones

The hangman had forgotten to bring a rope with him, so the martyr was kept a whole hour waiting in the cart under the gallows; his time was occupied in answering various questions, and preaching to the people, amid interruptions of aU kinds. At last a horseman was heard galloping towards the place, and the excitement became intense when a voice cried out, “A reprieve, a reprieve!” When the man had galloped up, he was asked by a hundred anxious mouths whether it was so. “Ay, ay,” he answered, dangling the halter in the sight of the crowd, here it is.” When the time came to draw away the cart, the hangman whipped the horses; but they were held back by three or four stalwart fellows till the martyr had finished what he was saying. At last the oart was withdrawn, and the martyr rendered his soul to God.

An account of the execution of John Jones which appeared in The Ramber, January 1859.  The Saint was martyred on July 12, 1598.

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  1. Given the saint’s name he was likely English.
    I wonder how many English today and over the past few hundred years are aware of how Catholic England once was and how cruel England came to be against Catholicism.

  2. St. John Jones was from a recusant Welsh family. Originally a secular priest he became a Franciscan while abroad. He is one of the Forty Martyrs of England.
    Good question, Penguin. The histories, cultures, learning of the United Kingdoms were so intertwined with the Catholic faith before the brutal Reformation. There are historical markers noting the spots where the martyrs were executed. In the 21st century the British as reported in the press still seem hostile to Roman Catholics. When the parents of baby Alfie Evans were fighting for his life the term popery was used accusingly..

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