They Died for the Mass - Michael Davies
The Prayer Book rebellion in Cornwall and Devon took place in 1549 in opposition to the new liturgy imposed by Edward VI and Thomas Cranmer.
The link below will take you to the YouTube video:
The program is over an hour long and well worth listening to. As I listen to Michael Davies I can't help but be reminded of St. Paul the Apostle. Davies it seems to me is an apostle of our times. May his soul rest in peace.
Some of Michael Davies works can be found online at:
"It is the Mass that Matters"
By insisting that it was the Mass that mattered, and that it mattered more than anything else, the humble peasants of Devon and Cornwall displayed a profoundly Catholic instinct, a true sensus Catholicus. Their conviction that if
the Mass could be destroyed the faith itself would be destroyed was one that they shared with the arch-heretic Martin Luther, who once said: "Once the Mass has been overthrown, I say we'll have overthrown the whole of Popedom." 2 The Protestant heresy was directed not primarily against the papacy but against the Mass.
The Catholics of the west had demanded that those who would not accept their demands should "dye lyke heretykes against the holy Catholyque fayth." In the event, it was the rebels who died when the rebellion was eventually crushed, principally due to the presence of foreign mercenaries. The Catholic army fought in battle after battle with a courage that even their opponents acknowledged, but only one outcome was possible. The final battle took place at Kings Weston in Somerset on August 29. Exhausted by forced marches, the rebels were in no condition to withstand the royal army. After "great slaughter and execution" they were overwhelmed, leaving 104 men prisoners. Singly or in pairs they were hanged in Bath, Frome, Wells, Glastonbury, Ilminster, Dunster, Milverton, Wiveliscombe and other Somerset towns. At least 4,000 West country men died for the traditional Mass at the hands of the royal army, an enormous number at that time. The new Mass in English had received its baptism of blood. In their deaths as in their lives the peasants of the west had shown that for them it was truly the Mass that mattered. Some words from the Book of Wisdom seem to have been written specifically for these Martyrs for the Mass:
In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery. And their going away
from us for utter destruction: but they are in peace. And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality. Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God has tried them, and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them (3:2-6).