The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 1 February 1645

[Saint Henry Morse]Venerable Henry Morse, Jesuits priest

Born in Suffolk in the year 1595, he was reconciled to the Church at the age of twenty-three, and received Holy Orders at Douai. Being sent on the English Mission, he was at once captured, and imprisoned for three years among felons and malefactors. This prison was at the same time his place of novitiate. He there prepared himself to become a Jesuit, and a priest of the Society who was also in prison assisted him as a novice master. Venerable Henry Morse was twice banished from the kingdom, but found means to return and devote himself to the service of poor Catholics in the time of the Plague. He was charged with “perverting” 560 Protestants in one Parish alone.

On the morning of his martyrdom he celebrated the votive Mass of the Blessed Trinity in thanksgiving for the great favour God was pleased to grant him a favour he had besought for thirty years having first, according to his custom, recited the Litanies of Our Lady and the Saints for the conversion of England. When he was admonished that his time was come, he knelt down and offered himself without reserve as a sacrifice to the Divine Majesty and in reparation for the sins of his nation. He welcomed death, saying: “Come, my sweetest Jesus, that I may now be inseparably united to Thee in time and in eternity. Welcome ropes, hurdles, gibbets, knives and butchery! welcome for the love of Jesus my Saviour!”

- from The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn, by The Nuns of the Convent of Tyburn, 1917