For the Honour of God, The Sacrifice of Bl. Adrian Fortescue

Bl. Adrian Fortescue (2)

Sir Adrian Fortescue was well favored by King Henry VIII whom he faithfully served under arms. He was additionally honoured by his own cousin, Anne Boleyn, he was present when she was crowned as Queen in 1533. But Adrian held close and never lost sight of the Honour of God. 

In 1539 he was attainted of High Treason without trial, by an Act of Parliament. Sir Adrian Fortescue was beheaded on Tower Hill, London on Wednesday 9 July 1539.

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem has considered Sir Adrian as a martyr and has promoted devotion to him at least since the early seventeenth century as a member of the Order. Pope Leo XIII declared him Blessed on 13 May 1895. His Book of Hours with his Maxims is extant  and was recently presented to the Grand Priory of the order of St. John of England (aka, The Order of Malta) by his descendants.

Maxims of Blessed Adrian Fortescue

* Above all things love God with all thy heart.

* Desire His honour more than the health of your own soul.

* Take heed often with all diligence to purge and cleanse thy mind with Confession, and raise thy desire from earthly things.

* Receive Communion with entire devotion.

* Repute not thyself better than any other person, be they never so great sinners, but rather judge and esteem yourself most simplest.

* Judge the best.

* Use much silence, but when thou needs must, speak.

* Delight not in familiarity of persons unknown to thee.

* Be solitary as much as it is convenient with thine estate.

* Banish from thee all judging an detraction, and especially from thy tongue.

* Pray often.

* Also enforce thee to set thy house at quietness.

* Resort to God at every hour.

* Advance not thy words or deeds by any pride.

* Be not too much familiar, but show a serious and prudent countenance with gentleness.

* Show before all people a good example of virtues.

* Be no partial for favor, lucre or malice, but accordig to truth, equity, justice and reasons.

* Give fair language to all persons, and especially the poor and needy.

* Also be diligent in giving of alms.

* In prosperity be meek of heart, and in adversity patient

* And pray continually to God that you may do what is His pleasure.

* Also apply diligently the co-operations of the Holy Ghost whatever thou hast therin to do.

* Pray for perserverace.

* Continue in awe of God, and ever have Him before thine eyes.

* Renew every day thy good purpose.

* What thou has to do, do it diligently.

* Establish thyself always in well-doing.

* If by chance you fall into sin, despair not; and if you keep these precepts, the Holy Spirit will strengthen you in all other things necessary, and, thus doing, you shall be with Christ in Heaven, to Whom be glory, laud, honour, and praise everlasting.


Thomas More Enters the Tower of London

On this day in 1534, Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, refused to take the oath to the English succession. One year later Henry VIII indicted him for treason and had him beheaded.

More Stained glass

 A prayer of Saint Thomas More while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, awaiting justice under King Henry VIII.

Give me the grace, Good Lord.

To set the world at naught. To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths.

To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.

Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me.

Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labor to love Him.

To know my own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God.

To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity.

Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life.

To have the last thing in remembrance. To have ever before my eyes my death that is ever at hand.

To make death no stranger to me. To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.

To pray for pardon before the judge comes.

To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me. For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.

To buy the time again that I have lost. To abstain from vain conversations. To shun foolish mirth and gladness. To cut off unnecessary recreations.

Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.

To think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap. Amen.

thomas-more- Prison



A Virtual English Pilgrimage

Obviously both the Anglo-Catholic and Recusant traditions, to which the Ordinariates are joint heirs, owe their origins to England’s history and culture. This being the month of April (in which falls the feast of St. George, the country’s patron), it occurred to me that a guide to places of interest for Ordinariate members might be a useful service. Despite the past 500 years, England’s roots are deeply Catholic, and much of her surviving traditions and folklore retain evidence of their origins, no matter how much later generations have tried to Protestantise – and latterly to paganise – them. Thus – most often unknowingly – the devotees of “Merrie England” and such organisations as the Royal Society of St. George, the Folklore Society, the Association of British Counties, the Association of Commons Registration Authorities, This England magazine, the Richard III Society, the Manorial Society, the National Association of Civic Officers, High Sheriffs’ Association, National Association of City and Town Sheriffs, the Freemen of England and Wales and countless others, including the Monarchy itself, preserve various more or less desiccated elements of the country’s Catholic past. These are of far more interest than as mere historical elements, however; as Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P. points out in his masterful work, The Realm, they may be used one day – if approached in the right spirit – as the foundation of a new evangelisation of the Mother Country. This must be of interest to all Ordinariate members and all Catholics in the Anglosphere – if ever accomplished, it would be difficult to calculate how much good would be done for souls!

At any rate, what I propose here is to give a guide during these days of April to pilgrimage sites – usually but not always religious – of interest to Ordinariate members and other Catholics, in England. Every day, we’ll present a different county with relevant links to places and institutions the Catholic traveller might enjoy. Let us begin with the cradle of Christianity in England.


Lord Lieutenant of Kent

High Sheriff of Kent

History and Heritage of Kent

Visit Kent

Historic Kent

Churches Conservation Trust, Kent  Historic churches no longer in regular use

Kent Traditions and Folklore

Cinque Ports

Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Canterbury

Canterbury Cathedral Scene of St. Thomas Becket’s martyrdom.

St. Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church Canterbury. Relics of St. Thomas Becket.

St. Mildred’s Church, Canterbury The oldest within the walls and Anglo-Cathol.

St. Martin’s Church, Canterbury Oldest church in the Anglosphere

St. Dunstan’s Church, Canterbury Head of St. Thomas More enshrined.

St. Augustine’s Abbey Canterbury Ruined monastery founded by the Apostle of England.

Shrine of St. Augustine, Ramsgate  Catholic church at former Ramsgate Abbey, designed by Pugin.

Minster Abbey, Ramsgate Community of Benedictine nuns who fled to Germany at the Dissolution, and later returned.

Ss. Ethelbert and Gertrude Catholic Church, Ramsgate

National Shrine of St. Jude, Faversham

St. Mary’s Chapel, Broadstairs

Rochester Cathedral, St. John’s Fisher’s seat

St. John Fisher Catholic Church, Rochester

St. Mary’s Church, Hadlow Over 1000 years old, self-describes as “liberal Anglo-Catholic.”

The Ordinariate in East Kent, Deal

Sevenoaks Ordinariate Group

Aylesford Priory, Maidstone, Carmelite Friary lost at the Reformation and reacquired afterwards.

All Saints Church, Maidstone, Pre-Reformation Collegiate Church

Maidstone Ordinariate Group

Folkestone Ordinariate Group

St. Nicholas Church, Barfreston, Medieval jewel

Reading Gaudete et Exsultate

I am reading Pope Francis’ latest Apostolic Exhortation  Gaudete et Exsultate from start to finish right now, with as much prayerful docility as I can, to see how the Holy Spirit might be speaking to me through this Successor of Peter.

I do so because, a while back, I had a conversation with a Catholic who is an example of a holy man with a beautiful, serene faith.  He told me that all popes come with their personal baggage, but it was his job to discern how the Holy Spirit was speaking to him and to the Church through each Holy Father he has served as a priest.  This conversation was a good antidote for any temptation in me to engage in the kind of partisanship and division that plagues the Catholic world, especially in social media.

Continue reading

“Problems with the ACNA”: MDAS Synod Minutes

The blog has obtained the 2018 Synod Minutes from the Missionary Diocese of All Saints (MDAS), were they discuss leaving the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to seek union with “Non-Papal Catholics” in the Polish National Catholic Church’s (PNCC) ‘Union of Scranton’. The full document is published at the end of this article, and answers many questions raised by our first article.

Clearly outlined in the texts is Bishop of MDAS William H Iigenfritz statements that “MDAS founding by Forward in Faith North America as an Anglo-Catholic diocese” and of the “larger epidemic of Anti-Catholic sentiment” in the ACNA. The minutes also covers the meeting with the PNCC by the Suffragan Bishop of MDAS, Richard W. Lipka, described as a “possible exit ramp”. Joining the North American Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter was believed not to be an option as Bishop Lipka is a former Catholic priest. Continue reading