"Go, the Mass is ended"

One of my favourite passages from Mementoes of the Martyrs:
Polydore Plasden, born in London and "a very virtuous and godly priest" was a fellow student with Bd Edmund Gennings at Rheims and was captured with him at Bd Swithun Well's house. Gennings was celebrating Mass when Topcliffe and his men appeared on the scene. The laymen present, "arising from their devotions, thought proper to oppose force to force so as to prevent the profanation of the sacred mysteries; and one of them, seeing Mr Topcliffe obstinately bent upon coming in, ran upon him to thrust him down stairs, and in the struggle fell with him. In the meantime, Mr Plasden, having appointed the rest to keep the broken door, went to the altar and bid Mr Gennings to go forward and finish the Mass. Then, seeing Mr Topcliffe hastening up with a broken head, to pacify him told him that he should come in presently, and they would they all give themselves up. This they did as soon as Mass was ended."
St Edmund Gennings, St Polydore Plasden and St Swithun Wells are all among the 40 martys canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

The full title of the book is "Mementoes of the Martys and Confessors of England and Wales for every day in the year" by Henry Sebastian Bowden of the Oratory, edited and revised by Donald Attwater (Burns and Oates 1961). This is a real gem of a book so if you see one, snap it up. Perhaps one of the good new traditionalist publishers might consider a new edition. This deserves to be leather bound and gold blocked as the original was.

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