dimanche 15 mars 2015

Bienheureux WILLIAM HART, prêtre et martyr

Bienheureux William Hart, martyr

Originaire de Wells en Angleterre, il fut élevé dans la Communion anglicane au collège Lincoln d'Oxford. Converti au catholicisme, il fait ses études au séminaire anglais de Douai, puis à Reims et à Rome. Ordonné prêtre en 1581, il retourne dans son pays où il est trahi par un apostat. Il fut arrêté et exécuté à York en 1583.

Saint William Hart

Martyr en Angleterre ( 1583)

Originaire de Wells en Angleterre, il fut élevé dans la Communion anglicane au collège Lincoln d'Oxford. Converti au catholicisme, il fait ses études au séminaire anglais de Douai, puis à Reims et à Rome. Ordonné prêtre en 1581, il retourne dans son pays où il est trahi par un apostat. Il fut arrêté et exécuté à York. Il a été béatifié en 1886.

À York en Angleterre, l’an 1583, le bienheureux Guillaume Hart, prêtre et martyr. Ordonné au collège anglais de Rome, il revint en Angleterre et fut condamné à mort, sous la reine Élisabeth Ière, parce qu’il avait persuadé deux anglicans de revenir à la foi catholique. Il fut ensuite pendu et éventré.


Martyrologe romain


15-03 bienheureux William Hart

Prêtre et martyr († 1583)


Ce jeune Anglais connut de graves difficultés de santé, qui lui valurent une douloureuse opération et une cure en belgique, à Spa et à Namur. Il n'en poursuivit pas moins ses études sacerdotales à Douai, à Reims et à Rome. Revenu dans la mission anglaise, William réussit à persuader deux anglicans de revenir à l'Eglise catholique et de devenir prêtres. Il fut arrêté, jeté en prison et condamné à mort, sous Elisabeth 1re , qui régnât de 1558 à 1603. Il mourut martyr à York. Ses dernières paroles furent les premiers mots du psaume 122 : Vers toi, j'ai les yeux levés.


Bl. William Hart

Martyr of England. Born in Wells, in Somerset, he studied at Oxford and then at Douai, Reims, France, and Rome. After receiving ordination in 1581, he went back to England and included among his associations Blessed Margaret Clitherow. William ministered to Catholic prisoners in York Prison, having several adventures in staying free. He was betrayed to English authorities by an apostate from Clitherow's estate. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered at York and beatified in 1886.


Bl. William Hart

Born at Wells, 1558; suffered at York, 15 March, 1583. Elected Trappes Scholar at Lincoln College, Oxford, 25 May, 1571, he supplicated B.A., 18 June, 1574. The same year he followed the rector, John Bridgewater, to Douai. He accompanied the college to Reims, and returned thither after a severe operation at Namur, 22 November, 1578. He took the college oath at the English College, Rome, 23 April, 1579, whence he was ordained priest. On 26 March, 1581, he left Rome, arriving at Reims 13 May, and resuming his journey 22 May. On reaching England he laboured in Yorkshire. He was present at the Mass at which Blessed William Lacy was captured, and only escaped by standing up to his chin in the muddy moat of York Castle. Betrayed by an apostate on Christmas Day, 1582, and throne into an underground dungeon, he was put into double irons. After examination before the Dean of York and the Council of the North, he was arraigned at the Lent Assizes.

From the unprofessional account of his trial, which states that he was arraigned on two counts, we may be fairly certain that he was on trial on three, namely: (1) under 13 Eliz. c. 2 for having brought papal writings, to wit his certificate of ordination, into the realm; (2) under 13 Eliz. c. 3. for having gone abroad without royal license; and (3) under 23 Eliz. c. 1. for having reconciled John Wright and one Couling. On what counts he was found guilty does not clearly appear, but he was certainly guilty of the second.

Sources

CAMM, Lives of the English Martyrs, II (London, 1904-5), 600-634; GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath.; Statutes at Large, II (London, 1786-1800); CHALLONER, Missionary Priests, I (Edinburgh, 1877), n. 19.

 Wainewright, John. "Bl. William Hart." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 14 Mar. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15631a.htm>.


Blessed William Hart M (AC)

Born in Wells, England; died at York, 1583; beatified in 1886. William, a Protestant, was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford. After his conversion to Catholicism, he studied for the priesthood at Douai, Rheims, and Rome. He returned to England following his ordination in 1581, and was betrayed by an apostate in the house of Saint Margaret Clitherow (Benedictines).



Blessed William Hart, A Martyr with Connections

From this account, taken from the old Catholic Encyclopedia, Blessed William Hart travelled widely to fulfill his vocation as priest after returning to the Catholic faith. The Catholic college and seminary had to move from Douai to Reims because of religious wars in the Spanish Netherlands (where Douai then was). He has that fascinating connection to St. Margaret Clitherow and her household. The Trappes scholarship was established at Lincoln College by Joyce or Jocosa Frankland, who also established fellowships at Brasenose College, where she is remembered in one of the College Graces:

Qui nos creavit, redemit et pavit, sit benedictus in aeternum. Deus, exaudi orationem nostrum. Agimus tibi gratias, Pater caelestis, pro Gulielmo Smyth episcopo, et Ricardo Sutton milite, Fundatoribus nostris; pro Alexandro Nowel, Jocosa Frankland, Gulielmo Hulme, Elizabetha Morley, Mauritio Platnauer aliisque benefactoribus nostris; humiliter te precantes ut eorum numerum benignissime adaugeas.

Ecclesiam Catholicam, et populum Christianum custodi. Haereses et errores omnes extirpa. Elizabetham Reginam nostram et subditos eius defende. Pacem da et conserva, per Christum Dominum nostrum.

(May he who hath created, redeemed and provided for us be blessed forever. Hear our prayer, Lord. We give thee thanks, Heavenly Father, for William Smyth, Bishop and Richard Sutton, Knight, our Founders. For Alexander Nowel, Joyce Frankland, Elizabeth Morley, Maurice Platnauer and for our other benefactors, humbly beseeching thee that thou wilt add to their number in goodness.

Safeguard the catholic Church and all Christian people. Root out all heretical waverings. Defend Elizabeth our Queen and her subjects. Grant peace and preserve it, through Christ our Lord. Amen.) 

The other martyr mentioned in this entry is Blessed William Lacy who was executed on August 22, 1582 in York. He also had been held in irons. Being held in irons was a form of torture leading to weakness and open sores. Since both priests were held in the underground dungeon, that certainly meant they were neglected, left in filth and darkness, without adequate food and water.

Born at Wells, 1558; suffered at York, 15 March, 1583. Elected Trappes Scholar at Lincoln College, Oxford, 25 May, 1571, he supplicated B.A., 18 June, 1574. The same year he followed the rector, John Bridgewater, to Douai. He accompanied the college to Reims, and returned thither after a severe operation at Namur, 22 November, 1578. He took the college oath at the English College, Rome, 23 April, 1579, whence he was ordained priest. On 26 March, 1581, he left Rome, arriving at Reims 13 May, and resuming his journey 22 May. On reaching England he laboured in Yorkshire. He was present at the Mass at which Blessed William Lacy was captured, and only escaped by standing up to his chin in the muddy moat of York Castle. Betrayed by an apostate on Christmas Day, 1582, and throne into an underground dungeon, he was put into double irons. After examination before the Dean of York and the Council of the North, he was arraigned at the Lent Assizes.

From the unprofessional account of his trial, which states that he was arraigned on two counts, we may be fairly certain that he was on trial on three, namely: (1) under 13 Eliz. c. 2 for having brought papal writings, to wit his certificate of ordination, into the realm; (2) under 13 Eliz. c. 3. for having gone abroad without royal license; and (3) under 23 Eliz. c. 1. for having reconciled John Wright and one Couling. On what counts he was found guilty does not clearly appear, but he was certainly guilty of the second. 

So this brief entry, properly read, reveals a great deal about Blessed William Hart's endurance and faithfulness in pursuing his vocation and serving the Catholic minority in England. Like all of the Catholic martyrs of this era, his story is both unique and the same: the same pattern of exile, danger, torture, and death but with individual details that are so wonderful to contemplate.