Rorate Caeli

October 25,

1970 was the first full liturgical year of the New Roman Rite (the "Ordinary Form" of the Roman Rite), a bitter year for all Catholics who love and cherish the Tradition and traditions of their Church. Amidst the ruins of the post-Conciliar years, the event of October 25, 1970, was a glorious exception: the canonization of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. 40 Catholic men and women, priests, religious, and lay faithful, who represented hundreds more killed in England and Wales since the tragic events of the 16th century simply because they were Catholics and faithful to the Tradition and traditions that they had received.

May the blood of these Martyrs be able to heal the great wound inflicted upon God’s Church by reason of the separation of the Anglican Church from the Catholic Church. Is it not one - these Martyrs say to us - the Church founded by Christ? Is not this their witness? Their devotion to their nation gives us the assurance that on the day when-God willing-the unity of the faith and of Christian life is restored, no offence will be inflicted on the honour and sovereignty of a great country such as England. There will be no seeking to lessen the legitimate prestige and the worthy patrimony of piety and usage proper to the Anglican Church when the Roman Catholic Church - this humble “Servant of the Servants of God” - is able to embrace her ever beloved Sister in the one authentic communion of the family of Christ: a communion of origin and of faith, a communion of priesthood and of rule, a communion of the Saints in the freedom and love of the Spirit of Jesus.

Perhaps We shall have to go on, waiting and watching in prayer, in order to deserve that blessed day. But already We are strengthened in this hope by the heavenly friendship of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales who are canonized today. Amen.
"That blessed day" are the historic days we live today: in the time and manner set by the Almighty, the reunion of all serious-minded Anglicans with the Church will take place. It is certainly not the way many thought reunion would take place in those hectic post-Conciliar years... But it will take place.

Thank you, Holy Martyrs of England and Wales.


  1. "Thank you, Holy Martyrs of England and Wales."

    (St. Margaret Clitherow)

    A girl, a lady,
    Wife, a mother,
    From church of England
    She saw the other.

    The other, where,
    Her church came from.
    The other, where,
    The fruit was plumb.

    The other, where,
    Her church beat down,
    And looted jewels
    For earthly crown.

    And watching, she,
    Was irritated,
    And slowly grew

    Sitting, silent,
    In her shell,
    Her home, a place,
    Where priests could dwell,

    Confect the Mass,
    Many saved,
    For this, their limbs
    And lives were braved.

    Because a woman
    Kept her shell,
    A jealous fortress
    Barring hell.

    And then the weak
    Pried open wide,
    Exposing truth,
    The shell’s inside,

    Where mother, wife,
    Lady, girl,
    Had turned into
    York’s royalist pearl.

  2. There is only one form of the Roman Rite and that is the Tridentine Rite. The Novus Ordo Rite is not a Catholic rite, let alone a form of the Roman Rite.

    The second statement is true regardless of what Pope Benedict XVI says.

  3. I'm so glad you've posted this. These martyrs cannot be praised too highly, for their love for God spilled out with their blood upon their country and is surely one of the main reasons that their countrymen will come back to the house of their Father. Deo gratias! Salvete flores martyrum!

  4. Martin7:07 PM

    Brother Anthony,

    The Roman Rite is not the same as the Reform of the Liturgy at Trent. The Roman Rite includes the various Religious usages (Dominican, Cistercian, etc...) and the Diocesan uses that enjoyed a two hundred year precedent before the Protestant revolt (Ambrosian, Mozarabic, etc...) No one doubts that the Novus Ordo is not an organic development of the Roman Rite, but it most certainly is a form of the Roman Rite juridically. Please, don't confuse the Roman Rite as reformed by the Council of Trent with the Roman Rite. That said misconception is responsible for the idea that "Vatican II could make a liturgy like Trent did." Perhaps Laszló Dobszay's book, "The Bugnini Liturgy" could be of help to you with respect to these distinctions.

  5. There is only one form of the Roman Rite and that is the Tridentine Rite.

    The facts are otherwise, and in any case it is the Church guided by the Roman Pontiff, not yourself, who has the authority to tell us what the form or forms of the Roman Rite are.

  6. You may be interested to know that yesterday in Oxford we had Solemn Mass and a procession
    to the site of four martyrdoms which took place in 1589. These particular men, two priests and two laymen, were in fact beatified even more recently, in 1987.

  7. Martin,

    I agree that the religious usages such as the Dominican Rite may be classified as variants of the Roman Rite. However, they are used by very small groups so I don't give them that much importance. My contention is that the Holy Father has classified the Novus Ordo Rite as a form of the Roman Rite when it is drastically different from the Roman Rite codified in Quo Primum. That is like saying that black and white are two forms of the colour black!

  8. The Roman Pontiff has no authority over colors. He does have authority over the liturgy of the Roman Church.

    ". . . the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification." (Pius XII, Mediator Dei no. 58)

    ". . . the sacred liturgy, as We have said, is entirely subject to the discretion and approval of the Holy See." (Pius XII, Mediator Dei no. 60)

    It is not apparent that I should put greater weight in your declarations regarding the form of the liturgical rite of the Roman Church than in the Roman Pontiff's declarations.

  9. Anonymous1:30 PM

    And these beautiful words from the same man that brought us the Novus Ordo?

    What a conflicted fellow and a cipher he was.

    Ye Holy Martyrs of England and Wales, pray for the soul of Paul VI.

    ~ Belloc

  10. Anonymous3:21 PM

    Pray for the Queen of England that she may have the courage to give the Church of England back to the Holy Father.

  11. Anonymous5:12 AM

    I appreciate the poem here for the Pearl of York, St. Margaret Clitherow, crushed by the heretics under heavy stones.

    The story of the martyrdom of St. Edmund Campion is also truly uplifting in times such as ours. Evelyn Waugh, in his biography of him, tells how the heretics gouged out his eyes and used his head for a football. It is truly beyond belief. He was perhaps the finest scholar of his time.

    We must always remember these fine saints, along with SS. Margaret Ward, Robert Southwell, Philip Howard, John Fisher, Thos. More, Blessed Margaret Pole, and others who suffered for the One True Faith. In Scotland, it is said that, when St. John Ogilvie was hanged, he threw his rosary into the crowd and the spectator who caught it was later converted.

    The Church of England is a conventicle of heretics. And what is the Catholic Church?:

    A milk white hind, immortal and untames,

    Fed on the lawns and in the forests ranged,

    Without unspotted, innocent within,

    She feared no danger, for she knew no sin.



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