dimanche 1 février 2015

Saint HENRI MORSE, prêtre jésuite et martyr

Saint Henri Morse, prêtre et martyr

Originaire du Suffolk en Angleterre, il se convertit au catholicisme et fit ses études au séminaire anglais de Douai en France, puis à Rome où il entra chez les jésuites. De retour à Londres, il soigna les victimes de la peste de 1636, ce qui n'empêcha pas son emprisonnement sous l'inculpation de trahison. Libéré, il reprit son apostolat neuf années durant. Arrêté de nouveau, parce que prêtre catholique, il fut livré au martyr à Tyburn en 1645 sous Charles Ier.

Saint Henri Morse

Un des quarante martyrs d'Angleterre et du Pays de Galles ( 1645)

Originaire du Suffolk en Angleterre, il se convertit au catholicisme et fit ses études au séminaire anglais de Douai en France, puis à Rome où il entra chez les jésuites. De retour à Londres, il soigna les victimes de la peste de 1636, ce qui n'empêcha pas son emprisonnement sous l'inculpation de trahison. Libéré, il reprit son apostolat neuf années durant. Arrêté de nouveau, il fut livré au martyre à Tyburn. Il fut canonisé en 1970 avec quarante martyrs d'Angleterre et du Pays de Galles

À Londres, en 1645, saint Henri Morse, prêtre jésuite et martyr. Plusieurs fois arrêté, deux fois envoyé en exil, il fut enfin, sous le roi Charles Ier, à cause de son sacerdoce, enfermé en prison et, après y avoir célébré la messe, pendu à Tyburn.

Martyrologe romain

SOURCE :  http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/5521/Saint-Henri-Morse.html

St. Henry Morse, SJ--February 1, 1645

Philip Caraman, SJ wrote a life of today's English Catholic Martyr titled Henry Morse: Priest of the Plague. The Jesuit Curia in Rome provides this biography:

Henry Morse (1595-1645) was five times arrested for being Catholic and four times was released or escaped. His ability to get out of prison meant that he had a much longer ministry career than most Jesuits in England.

He began his studies at Cambridge then took up the study of law at Barnard's Inn, London; at the same time he became increasingly dissatisfied with the established religion and more convinced of the truth of the Catholic faith. He was received into the Catholic church at the English College at Douai, Flanders, and then returned to England to prepare to enter the seminary that autumn. Port authorities in England asked him to take the oath of allegiance acknowledging the king's supremacy in religious matters. The recent convert refused to do so and was arrested the first time. He was imprisoned four years before being set free in 1618 when the king released hundreds of religious dissenters and exiled them to France. Morse first went to Douai but the English College had too many students, so he was sent to Rome, where studied theology and was ordained in 1623.

Before Morse left Rome, he met the Jesuit superior general and asked to be admitted into the Society; the general said Morse would be admitted as soon as he returned to England. He probably entered the Jesuits in 1624, and spent his novitiate period doing pastoral work in the Newcastle area in northern England. After 18 months of traveling from station to station, he was due to make the month-long Spiritual Exercises to complete his novitiate. He was supposed to do so at Watten, Flanders; but the ship he boarded to take him there was halted in the mouth of the Tyne River so soldiers could search for a priest, possibly disguised as a foreign merchant. They discovered Father Morse instead, although he carried only a rosary. He was arrested the second time and sent to Newcastle's prison. Soon another Jesuit was imprisoned, Father John Robinson, a classmate from Rome, who was on his way to take Morse's place. Both ended up at York Castle, where Robinson directed Morse in the retreat which completed his novitiate. Morse spent three years in prison before he was released and banned from the land. The young Jesuit returned to Flanders and served as chaplain to the English soldiers serving in the Spanish army then in Flanders. He had to give up this work when his health broke; then he became assistant to the novice master.

In 1633 he was again assigned to England to work at the parish of St. Giles in a poor district outside London. While he was there, the city was ravaged by a plague. Several isolated cases were discovered in late 1635, but by mid-April both city and suburbs were afflicted by the dread disease. Morse threw himself into caring for the sick, in the classic Jesuit fashion. He found medicine for the sick, took viaticum to the dying and prepared the dead for burial. His reward for this selfless service was to be arrested a third time when a priest-hunter recognized him and incarcerated him in Newgate Prison. On April 22 he came to trial and ably defended himself, but was convicted anyway although sentence was never passed. He was released on June 17 because of the intervention of Queen Henrietta Maria in recognition of his service to plague victims. He briefly returned to pastoral work, but could no longer move about safely so he returned to the continent and again became chaplain to the soldiers.

He was again assigned to England in 1643, but sent to Cumberland where he was less well-known. This strategy worked for 18 months until he accidentally walked into a group of soldiers late one night. They suspected he was a priest because he was travelling alone, so they arrested him and held him overnight in the home of a local official. Fortunately, the official's wife was Catholic and she helped the Jesuit escape. For six weeks he enjoyed freedom, but then had the extreme bad fortune to knock on a door seeking directions when he was lost. The man who opened the door happened to be one of the soldiers who had recently apprehended him and remembered him well.

There would be no fifth escape. He was moved from local jails to London's Newgate Prison in January 1645 and tried in Old Bailey; his very presence in England proved him guilty of violating the law by coming back after he had been banished. He was quickly found guilty of high treason and condemned to death. Early in the morning of his last day, he celebrated Mass and then was dragged to Tyburn to be executed. He stood on a cart under the gallows and was left hanging when the cart moved away. After he was dead, his body was torn open, his heart removed and his entrails burned. His head was exposed on London bridge and the four sections of his quartered body were mounted on the city's four gates.

His life and death--or the life and death of some of the other English Catholic martyrs, like St. Edmund Campion, especially--should be the subject of a great adventure movie. It would be good to balance out the anti-Catholic offenses of the Cate Blanchett Elizabeth movies, with the murderous Jesuit. Depicting early modern Cambridge, Douai, Rome, St. Giles, and London would be a great challenge, of course! But can't you see the scene of Father Morse knocking at the door and the soldier who'd arrested him opening the door? Imagine him standing in the cart at Tyburn, rope around his neck, saying these words:

"I am come hither to die for my religion. . . . I have a secret which highly concerns His Majesty and Parliament to know. The kingdom of England will never be truly blessed until it returns to the Catholic faith and its subjects are all united in one belief under the Bishop of Rome. . . . I pray my death may be some kind of atonement for the sins of this kingdom."

MORSE, HENRY (1595–1645), Jesuit, known also as Claxton (his mother's name) and Warde, was born in Norfolk in 1595, and studied law in one of the inns of court in London. Harbouring doubts concerning the protestant religion, he retired to the continent, and was reconciled to the Roman church at Douay. Afterwards he became an alumnus of the English College there. He entered the English College at Rome 27 Dec. 1618, and having completed his theological studies, and received holy orders, he was sent from Douay to the English mission 19 June 1624. He entered the Society of Jesus in the London novitiate in 1625, and was soon afterwards removed to the Durham district. Being apprehended, he was committed to York Castle, where he remained in confinement for three years. In 1632 he was at Watten, acting as prefect of health and consultor of the college. In 1633 he was minister and consultor at Liege College, and in the same year he became a missioner in the London district. He was again apprehended, committed to Newgate, tried and condemned to death in 1637, but the sentence was commuted to banishment at the intercession of Queen Henrietta Maria. In 1641-2 he was camp missioner to the English mission at Ghent. Two years later he had returned to England, and again appears as a missioner in the Durham district. He was arrested, carried in chains to London, tried, and, being condemned to death as a traitor on account of his sacerdotal character, was executed at Tyburn on 1 Feb. (N.S.) 1644-5.

In Father Ambrose Corbie's 'Certamen Triplex,' Antwerp, 1645, is an engraved portrait, which is photographed in Foley's 'Records' [see Corbie, Ambrose]; two other portraits are mentioned by Granger (Biog. Hist. ii.207).

A copy of Morse's diary, entitled 'Papers relating to the English Jesuits,' is preserved in the British Museum (Addit. MS. 21203).

His elder brother, William Morse (d. 1649), born in Norfolk in 1591, was likewise a convert to the catholic faith, became a Jesuit, and laboured on the English mission until his death on 1 Jan. 1648-9.
[An account of Morse's execution, entitled Narratio Gloriosæ Mortis quam pro Religione Catholica P. Henricvs Mors è Societate Iesv Sacerdos fortiter oppetijt Londini in Anglia. Anno Salutis, 1645. 1 Februarij stylo nouo Quem hic stylum deinceps sequemur, Ghent, 1645, 4to, pp. 21; a memoir appears in Ambrose Corbie's Certamen Triplex, Antwerp, 1645, 4to, pp. 95–144. See also Challoner's Missionary Priests, ii. 180; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 120; Florus Anglo-Bavaricus, p. 82; Foley's Records, i. 566–610, vi. 288, vii. 527; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 146; Tanner's Societas Jesu usque ad sanguinis et vitæ profusionem militans.]

Ven. Henry Morse

Martyr; b. in 1595 in Norfolk; d. at Tyburn, 1 Feb., 1644. He was received into the church at Douai, 5 June, 1614, after various journeys was ordained at Rome, and left for the mission, 19 June, 1624. He was admitted to the Society of Jesus at Heaton; there he was arrested and imprisoned for three years in York Castle, where he made his novitiate under his fellow prisoner, Father John Robinson, S.J., and took simple vows. Afterwards he was a missionary to the English regiments in the Low Countries. Returning to England at the end of 1633 he laboured in London, and in 1636 is reported to have received about ninety Protestant families into the Church. He himself contracted the plague but recovered. Arrested 27 February, 1636, he was imprisoned in Newgate. On 22 April he was brought to the bar charged with being a priest and having withdrawn the king's subjects from their faith and allegiance. He was found guilty on the first count, not guilty on the second, and sentence was deferred. On 23 April he made his solemn profession of the three vows to Father Edward Lusher. He was released on bail for 10,000 florins, 20 June, 1637, at the insistence of Queen Henriette Maria. In order to free his sureties he voluntarily went into exile when the royal proclamation was issued ordering all priests to leave the country before 7 April, 1641, and became chaplain to Gage's English regiment in the service of Spain. In 1643 he returned to England; arrested after about a year and a half he was imprisoned at Durham and Newcastle, and sent by sea to London. On 30 January he was again brought to the bar and condemned on his previous conviction. On the day of his execution his hurdle was drawn by four horses and the French ambassador attended with all his suite, as also did the Count of Egmont and the Portuguese ambassador. The martyr was allowed to hang until he was dead. At the quartering the footmen of the French Ambassador and of the Count of Egmont dipped their handkerchiefs into the martyr's blood. In 1647 many persons possessed by evil spirits were relieved through the application of his relics.

FOLEY, Records of the English Province S.J. (London, 1877-1883), I, 566-611; IV, 288-9; VII, 528, 658, 1198, 1200; CAHLLONER, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, II (Manchester, 1803), 151-1; TANNER, Societas Jesu (Prague, 1675), 126-131; HAMILTON, Calendar State Papers Domestic 1640-1 (London, 1882), 292.

Wainewright, John. "Ven. Henry Morse." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 1 Feb. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10578a.htm>.
SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10578a.htm

Henry Morse, Priest, SJ M (RM)

Born in Broome, Suffolk, England, in 1595; died at Tyburn, England, February 1, 1645; beatified in 1929; canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Saint Henry, like so many saints of his period in the British Isles, was a convert to Catholicism. He was a member of the country gentry, who studied at Cambridge then finished his study of law at Barnard's Inn, London. In 1614, he professed the Catholic faith at Douai. When he returned to England to settle an inheritance, he was arrested for his faith and spent the next four years in New Prison in Southwark. He was released in 1618 when a general amnesty was proclaimed by King James.

Henry then returned to Douai to study for the priesthood, and finished his studies at the Venerabile in Rome, where he was ordained in 1623. He was sent on the English mission the following year and was almost immediately arrested after his landing in Newcastle, and imprisoned at York with the Jesuit Father John Robinson. Before leaving Rome he had obtained the agreement of the father general of the Society of Jesus that he should be admitted to the Jesuits in England. His time in prison with Robinson served as his novitiate; thus, he became a Jesuit in 1625. After three years in prison was exiled to Flanders, where he served as chaplain to English soldiers in the army of King Philip IV of Spain.

He returned to England in 1633, where he worked in London under the pseudonym of Cuthbert Claxton. Father Morse made many converts by his heroic labors in the plague of 1636-37. He had a list of 400 infected families--Protestant and Catholic--whom he visited regularly to bring physical and spiritual aid. He devoted service made such an impression that in one year nearly 100 families were reconciled to the Church. He himself caught the disease three times, but each time recovered. At the same time his brothers in faith were urging him to moderate his zeal, the authorities deemed it suitable to arrested Father Morse for his priesthood. They charged him with perverting 560 of his Majesty's loyal subjects 'in and about the parish of St. Giles in the Fields.'

Released on bail through the intercession of Queen Henrietta Maria, he again left England in 1641 when a royal decree ordered all Catholic priests from the country, but returned again from Ghent in 1643. He was arrested in Cumberland eighteen months later while making a sick-call. He escaped with the help of the Catholic wife of one of his captors, but was recaptured and brought to trial. He was convicted of being a Catholic priest at the Old Bailey. On the day of his execution, Father Morse celebrated a votive Mass of the Most Holy Trinity. He was summarily hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. His hanging was attended by the French, Spanish, and Portuguese ambassadors in protest (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney, Walsh).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0201.shtml