lundi 23 mars 2015

Bienheureux PETER HIGGINS, prêtre dominicain et martyr

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Bienheureux Pierre Higgins, prêtre et martyr

Peadar Ó Huiggin, né près de Dublin, est ordonné prêtre dominicain en 1627 en Espagne où il avait étudié la théologie. De retour en Irlande en 1630 il devient prieur du monastère de Naas. En 1641, lors de la rébellion contre les Britanniques, il accueille les sans-abris, essaye de calmer la violence et de sauver des vies. Arrêté en 1642, il est emmené à Dublin et comme il refusait de renier sa foi il est pendu sans jugement le 23 mars 1642.

Bienheureux Pierre Higgins

dominicain martyr en Irlande ( 1642)

Peadar Ó Huiggin, né près de Dublin, ordonné prêtre dominicain en 1627 en Espagne où il avait étudié la théologie. De retour en Irlande en 1630 il devient prieur du monastère de Naas. En 1641, lors de la rébellion contre les britanniques, il accueille les sans-abris, essaye de calmer la violence et de sauver des vies. Arrêté en 1642, il est emmené à Dublin et comme il refusait de renier sa foi il est tué le 23 mars.

Au bourg de Naas près de Dublin, en 1642, le bienheureux Pierre Higgins, prêtre de l’Ordre des Prêcheurs et martyr. Sous le roi Charles Ier, à cause de sa fidélité à l’Église romaine, il fut pendu sans jugement.

Martyrologe romain

Bx Peter Higgins

Prêtre o.p. et martyr

(† 1642)

Peter Higgins (Peadar Ó Huiggin), naît près de Dublin vers 1600.

Il fut ordonné en 1627 en Espagne où il avait étudié la théologie. De retour en Irlande, en 1630, il devient prieur du couvent de Naas près de Dublin.

En 1641, lors de la rébellion contre les Britanniques, il accueille les sans-abri, essaye de calmer la violence et de sauver des vies.

Arrêté en février 1642, sous le roi Charles Ier, il est emmené à Dublin et pendu, le 23 mars 1642, sans jugement, à St Stephen's Grenn, à cause de sa fidélité à l’Église romaine. 

La liberté lui fut offerte à condition qu’il renie sa foi, mais il dit : « Je meurs catholique et prêtre dominicain ».

Peter Higgins a été béatifié le 27 septembre 1992, à Rome, avec d’autres martyrs irlandais, par Saint Jean-Paul II (Karol Józef  Wojtyła, 1978-2005).

Source principale :« Rév. x gpm »).

Blessed Peter Higgins

Also known as
  • Peadar Ó Huiggin
Joined the Dominicans in 1622. Priest. Prior of the Dominican house at Naas. He was ordered to acknowledge the English king as head of the Church; he declined. Martyr.

Blessed Peter O'Higgins, O.P.

The Dominican Peter O'Higgins, of the Priory of Yeomanstown between Newbridge and Naas, on the banks of the River Liffey, was beatified with 16 other Irish Martyrs on 27th September, 1991. Today is their collective feast day.

In his Historical Sketch of the Persecutions Suffered by the Catholics of Ireland Under the Rule of Cromwell and the Puritans, Rev. Dr. Patrick Francis Moran as he then was, Vice Rector of the Irish College in Rome and later Cardinal Archbishop of Sidney, gives the following account of the martyrdom of Blessed Peter O'Higgins:

F. Peter O'Higgins belonged to the order of St Dominick and in 1641 he was led to the scaffold for the Catholic faith in the court yard of Dublin Castle. We will allow father Dominick O'Daly to describe the scene of his suffering:- "This pious and eloquent man," thus writes O'Daly, in 1655, "was arrested and brought before the lords Justices of Ireland on a charge of endeavouring to seduce the Protestants from their religion. When his accusers failed to sustain any capital charge against him, the men in power sent to inform him that if he abandoned his faith he might expect many and great privileges; but all depended on his embracing the Protestant religion. From the first he knew well that they had resolved on his death; but it was on the morning of the day fixed for his execution that the messenger came to him with the above terms." 

"O'Higgins in reply desired to have those proposals made to him under the signature of the Justices, and requested, moreover, that it should be handed to him in sight of the gibbet. The lords Justices hearing this, together with the order for his execution, sent the written document for pardon on the aforesaid condition. Now when the intrepid martyr had ascended the first step of the ladder leading to the gibbet the executioner placed the paper in his hand. He bowed courteously on receiving it, and loud was the exultation of the heretical mob who thought he was about to renounce the Catholic faith; but he standing on the scaffold, exposed to the view of God and man, exhibited to all about him the document he had received, and commenting with warmth on it, convicted his impious judges of their own avowed iniquity." 

"Knowing well that there were Catholics in the crowd, he said addressing them:- 'My brethren, God hath so willed that I shonld fall into the hands of our relentless persecutors. They have not been able, however, to convict me of any crime against the laws of the realm; but my religion is an abomination in their sight, and I am here to-day to protest, in the sight of God and man, that I am condemned for my faith. For some time, I was in doubt as to the charge on which they would ground my condemnation; but, thanks to Heaven! it is no longer so, and I am about to suffer for my attachment to the Catholic faith. See you here the condition on which I might save my life. Apostacy is all they require but, before high Heaven I spurn their offers and, with my last breath, will glorify God for the honour He has done me in allowing me thus to suffer for His Name.' Then, turning to the executioner, after having cast the Justices autograph to the crowd, he told him to perform his office, and the by-standers heard him returning thanks to God, even with his latest breath. Thus did iniqnity lie unto itself - thus did the martyr's constancy triumph." (From History of the Geraldines by Dominick de Rosario O'Daly, O.P., originally written in Latin, and printed at Lisbon in 1655; translated by Rev. C.P. Meehan, and printed in Dublin in 1847. See also De Burgh's Hib. Dom., page 561.)

In the aforementioned The Geraldines, Earls of Desmond, and the Persecution of the Irish Catholics, translated from the original latin, with notes and illustrations, by Rev. C. P. Meehan, in the footnote to page 251, where the martyrdom of another Dominican in 1651 in Clonmel is recounted, we read:

Thomas O Higgins was put to death in the year 1651. In the Hib. Dom. p 561 there is mention made of Peter O Higgins, who was slain for no other crime than that of being a Dominican Friar. His death took place in the year 1641, immediately after the rising of the Catholics. The mortal remains of this victim were denied sepulture in the city of Dublin; and as the friends of the murdered priest were carrying him to a burial place outside the walls, the partisans of the Lords Justices shattered the lifeless head with their muskets. Acta Capituli Generalissimi. Romae, 1644. p. 119.

Blessed Peter O'Higgins, pray for us!


Blessed Peter O’ Higgins OP

Today Irish Dominicans keep the memory of one of their own brothers, Blessed Peter O’ Higgins, OP, Prior and refounder of the Post Reformation Dominican Priory at Naas Co. Kildare, who was martyred for his faith on this day the 23rd March 1642 at St. Stephens Green, Dublin. The soldiers hacked his body to pieces so that it could not be given an honourable burial.

Blessed Peter’s last words, “So here the condition on which I am granted my life. They want me to deny my religion. I spurn their offer. I die a Catholic and a Dominican priest. I forgive from my heart all who have conspired to bring about my death.”

May he pray for his beloved Ireland and all who suffer for the faith throughout the world.

We humbly beseech the mercy of your majesty, almighty and merciful God, that, as you have poured the knowledge of your Only Begotten Son into the hearts of the peoples by the preaching of the blessed Martyr Peter O’Higgins, so, through his intercession, we may be made steadfast in the faith. Through Christ our Lord

The Dominican Martyrs of Ireland who died for their faith:

Thirty-two friars of the Priory of Derry, and individual friars who died throughout the island of Ireland which include, Ambrose A Eneas O’Cahill, Bernard O’Kelly, Clement O’Callaghan, Cormac MacEgan, Daniel MacDonnel, David Fox, David Roche, Dominic MacEgan, Donald O’Meaghten, Donatus Niger, Edmund O’Beirne, Felix MacDonnel, Felix O’Connor, Gerald Fitzgerald, Hugh MacGoill, James Moran, James O’Reilly, James Woulf, John Keating , John O’Cullen John O’Flaverty, John O’Luin, Myler McGrath, P. MacFerge and his companions, Peter Costello, Raymond Keogh, Raymond O’Moore, Stephen Petit, Thomas O’Higgins, Vincent Gerard Dillon, William Lynch, William MacGollen, William O’Connor.

“The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.” Tertullian

Beato Pietro Higgins Sacerdote domenicano, martire

1600 c. - 1642

Nato probabilmente vicino Dublino, divenne sacerdote domenicano nel 1627 in Spagna, dove aveva compiuto gli studi teologici. Nel 1630 ritornò in patria, divenendo priore del convento di Naas. Nel 1641, durante la ribellione contro gli invasori inglesi, si prodigò per ospitare i senzatetto e per frenare l'ondata di violenza, salvando molte persone dai tumulti. Nel febbraio del 1642 fu arrestato e condotto a Dublino. Gli fu offerta la libertà a condizione del rinnegamento della propria fede; ma egli disse: "io muoio da cattolico e da sacerdote domenicano". Fu ucciso a Dublino, in St Stephen's Grenn, il 23 marzo 1642.

Emblema: Palma

Martirologio Romano: In località Naas vicino a Dublino in Irlanda, beato Pietro Higgins, sacerdote dell’Ordine dei Predicatori e martire, che, sotto il regno di Carlo I, fu impiccato senza processo per la sua fedeltà alla Chiesa Romana.

I beati Terenzio-Alberto O’Brien e Pietro Higgins nacquero entrambi in Irlanda nel 1601, ed entrambi entrarono nell’Ordine Domenicano nel 1622. Soffrirono il martirio per la costante fedeltà alla Chiesa di Cristo e al Papa. Ricusarono di riconoscere il Re d’Inghilterra come capo della Chiesa.

Terenzio Alberto O’Brian era un discendente diretto dell’antica e illustre stirpe dei Re d’Irlanda. Al suo nobile cuore brillò presto il fulgido ideale gusmano, e ancor giovane vestì il bianco Abito nel Convento di Limerik. Compiuti gli studi a Toledo, fu ordinato Presbitero nel 1627. Qui ricevette una più accurata formazione, sia nelle sacre scienze che nelle Leggi, oltre che nello spirito dell’Ordine. Tornato in Patria si distinse tanto nelle virtù e nel sapere, da essere più volte eletto Priore e Provinciale. Con tale titolo intervenne al Capitolo Generale di Roma nel 1644, dove ricevette il titolo di Maestro in Teologia. La fama del suo ardente zelo e della profonda dottrina giunse fino a Papa Urbano VIII il quale, ben sapendo quanto bisogno avessero quei popoli insidiati dall’eresia, di Pastori santi e coraggiosi, nel 1648 lo nominò Vescovo di Emly. Tornato in Patria il novello Vescovo non deluse le speranze del Pontefice e con indomito ardore si dedicò alla cura e alla difesa del suo gregge. Ma la prova non era lontana. L’empio eretico Ludovico Hirton cinse d’assedio la città episcopale, che però resistette eroicamente. Il crudele assalitore comprendendo allora che l’anima della resistenza era il Santo Vescovo Terenzio, e gli fece offrire in segreto una grossa somma di denaro, perché abbandonasse la città. Ne ebbe un nobile e sdegnoso rifiuto che costò la vita al povero prelato. Preso e condannato a morte, prima fece una calda esortazione al suo popolo, per poi, con animo lieto, offrirsi al carnefice. Dio, dopo la sua morte lo onorò con prodigi.

Con altri quindici compagni che ricevettero il medesimo martirio tra il 1579 e il 1654, furono solennemente beatificati il 27 settembre 1992 da Papa Giovanni Paolo II.

Franco Mariani