Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sat, Dec 1, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Ethos, Psalms 85:1-7, Revelation 21:1-7, Luke 21:34-36, St Edmund Campion, Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, Stonyhurst College,

Saturday, December 1, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog:

Ethos, Psalms 85:1-7, Revelation 21:1-7, Luke 21:34-36, St Edmund Campion, Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, Stonyhurst College,

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!
Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone. The "Armageddon" is a pagan belief inspired by the evil one to create chaos and doubt in God. Trust in God, for He creates, He does not destroy and only God knows the hour of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ's second Coming, another chance at eternal salvation.  Think about how merciful God truly is as he keeps offering us second chances. He even gives the evil one a multitude of chances to atone. Simply be prepared by living everyday as a gift: Trust in God; Honor Jesus Mercy through the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist; and Utilize the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


November 25, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

“Dear children! In this time of grace, I call all of you to renew prayer. Open yourselves to Holy Confession so that each of you may accept my call with the whole heart. I am with you and I protect you from the ruin of sin, but you must open yourselves to the way of conversion and holiness, that your heart may burn out of love for God. Give Him time and He will give Himself to you and thus, in the will of God you will discover the love and the joy of living. Thank you for having responded to my call.” ~ Blessed Virgin Mary

November 02, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

"Dear children, as a mother I implore you to persevere as my apostles. I am praying to my Son to give you Divine wisdom and strength. I am praying that you may discern everything around you according to God’s truth and to strongly resist everything that wants to distance you from my Son. I am praying that you may witness the love of the Heavenly Father according to my Son. My children, great grace has been given to you to be witnesses of God’s love. Do not take the given responsibility lightly. Do not sadden my motherly heart. As a mother I desire to rely on my children, on my apostles. Through fasting and prayer you are opening the way for me to pray to my Son for Him to be beside you and for His name to be holy through you. Pray for the shepherds because none of this would be possible without them. Thank you."
~ Blessed Virgin Mary

October 25, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

"Dear children! Today I call you to pray for my intentions. Renew fasting and prayer because Satan is cunning and attracts many hearts to sin and perdition. I call you, little children, to holiness and to live in grace. Adore my Son so that He may fill you with His peace and love for which you yearn. Thank you for having responded to my call." ~ Blessed Virgin Mary


Today's Word:  ethos  e·thos  [ee-thos]

Origin:  1850–55;  < Greek:  custom, habit, character

1. Sociology . the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period: In the Greek ethos the individual was highly valued.
2. the character or disposition of a community, group, person, etc.
3. the moral element in dramatic literature that determines a character's action rather than his or her thought or emotion.



Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 95:1-7

1 Come, let us cry out with joy to Yahweh, acclaim the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving, acclaim him with music.
3 For Yahweh is a great God, a king greater than all the gods.
4 In his power are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are his;
5 the sea belongs to him, for he made it, and the dry land, moulded by his hands.
6 Come, let us bow low and do reverence; kneel before Yahweh who made us!
7 For he is our God, and we the people of his sheepfold, the flock of his hand. If only you would listen to him today!


Today's Epistle - Revelation 22:1-7

1 Then the angel showed me the river of life, rising from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing crystal-clear.
2 Down the middle of the city street, on either bank of the river were the trees of life, which bear twelve crops of fruit in a year, one in each month, and the leaves of which are the cure for the nations.
3 The curse of destruction will be abolished. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city; his servants will worship him,
4 they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.
5 And night will be abolished; they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining on them. They will reign for ever and ever.
6 The angel said to me, 'All that you have written is sure and will come true: the Lord God who inspires the prophets has sent his angel to reveal to his servants what is soon to take place.
7 I am coming soon!' Blessed are those who keep the prophetic message of this book.


Today's Gospel Reading - Luke 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples: 'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will come upon you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come down on all those living on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to hold your ground before the Son of man.'
• We are reaching the end of the long Apocalyptic Discourse and also getting to the end of the ecclesiastical year. Jesus gives a last piece of advice, inviting us to watch (Lk 21, 34-35) and to pray (Lk 21, 36).

• Luke 21, 34-35: Attention not to lose the critical conscience. “Watch yourselves or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will come upon you unexpectedly, like a trap; for it will come down on all those living on the face of the earth”. Jesus had already given a similar advice when they asked him about the coming of the Kingdom (Lk 17, 20-21). He answers that the coming of the Kingdom will arrive like lightening; unexpectedly, without previous warning. Persons must be attentive and prepared always (Lk 17, 22-27). When the wait is very long, there is the risk of not being attentive and of not paying attention to the events of life “the hearts become coarsened by debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life”. Today there are many distractions which render us insensitive and the propaganda can even pervert in us the sense of life. Being far away from the suffering of so many people in the world, we are not aware of the injustices which are committed.

• Luke 21, 36: Prayer, the source of a critical conscience and of hope. “Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to hold your ground before the Son of Man”. Constant prayer is quite an important means so as not to lose the presence of spirit. We must deepen in our hearts the knowledge, the awareness of God’s presence among us and, in this way, he gives us the strength and the light to bear the bad days and to increase our hope.

• Summary of the Apocalyptic Discourse (Lk 21, 5-36). We have spent five days, from Tuesday to Saturday, meditating on and deepening the sense of the Apocalyptic Discourse for our life. All the three Synoptic Gospels have this Discourse of Jesus, each one in his own way. Let us try to see closely the version which the Gospel of Luke offers us. Here we give a brief summary of what we have been able to meditate during these five days.

The whole of the Apocalyptic Discourse is an attempt to help the persecuted communities to place themselves in the general overall plan of God and in this way have hope and courage to continue on the way. In the case of the Apocalyptic Discourse of the Gospel of Luke, the persecuted communities were living in the year 85. Jesus speaks in the year 33. His discourse describes the stages or the signs of the realization of God’s plan. In all, there are eight signs and periods of time of Jesus up to our time. Reading and interpreting his life in the light of the signs given by Jesus, the communities discovered at what level the execution of the plan was found. The first seven signs had taken place already. They all belonged to the past. And especially in the 6th and 7th signs (persecution and destruction of Jerusalem) the communities found the image or the mirror of that which was happening in their present time. The following are the seven signs:
Introduction to the discourse (Lk 21, 5-7)
1st sign: the false Messiahs (Lk 21, 8);
2nd sign: war and revolutions (Lk 21, 9);
3rd sign: nations which fight against other nations, a kingdom against another kingdom (Lk 21, 10);
4th sign: earthquakes in different places (Lk 21, 11);
5th sign: hunger, plagues and signs in the sky (Lk 21, 11);
6th sign: persecution of Christians and mission that they have to carry out (Lk 21, 12-19) + Mission
7th sign: destruction of Jerusalem (Lk 21, 20-24)
Arriving at this 7th sign the communities conclude: “We are in the 6th and 7th signs. And this is the more important question: “How much is lacking for the end?” Anyone who is persecuted does not want to know or hear about a distant future. But he wants to know if he will be alive the following day or if he will have the strength to bear the persecution up to the following day. The response to this disturbing question comes in the eighth sign.

8th sign: changes in the sun and the moon (Lk 21, 25-26) they announce the coming of the Son of Man (Lk 21, 27-28).
Conclusion: little is lacking, all is according to God’s plan, and all is like birth pangs. God is with us. It is possible to bear all this. Let us try to give witness of our faith in the Good News of Jesus
At the end, Jesus confirms everything with his authority (Lk 21, 29-33).
Personal questions
• Jesus asks that we watch so as not to allow ourselves to be surprised by facts or events. How do I live this advice of Jesus?
•The last warning of Jesus, at the end of the ecclesiastical year is this one: Watch and pray at all times. How do I put into practice in my life this advice of Jesus?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:   Saint Edmund Campion, S.J

Feast Day:  December 1
Patron Saint:  Order of Conventual Friars Minor

Saint Edmund Campion, S.J. (24 January 1540 – 1 December 1581) was an English Roman Catholic martyr and Jesuit priest. While conducting an underground ministry in officially Protestant England, Campion was arrested by priest hunters. Convicted of high treason, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Father Campion was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. His feast is celebrated on 1 December.

Early years and education (1540–1569)

Born in London on 24 January 1540, Campion received his early education at Christ's Hospital school and, at the age of 13, was chosen to make the complimentary speech when Queen Mary visited the city in August 1553. He then attended St John's College, Oxford, becoming junior fellow in 1557 and taking the required Oath of Supremacy, probably on the occasion of his B.A. degree in 1560. He took a Master's degree at Oxford in 1564.

Two years later, he welcomed Queen Elizabeth to the university, and won her lasting regard. He was selected to lead a public debate in front of the Queen. By the time the Queen had left Oxford, Campion had earned the patronage of the powerful William Cecil and also the Earl of Leicester, tipped by some to be future husband of the young Queen.

When Sir Thomas White, the founder of the college, was buried in 1567, the Latin oration fell to the lot of Campion.

Rejecting Anglicanism

Religious difficulties now arose; but at the persuasion of Richard Cheyney, Bishop of Gloucester, although holding Catholic doctrines, he received deacon's orders in the Anglican Church. Inwardly "he took a remorse of conscience and detestation of mind." Rumours of his opinions began to spread and he left Oxford in 1569 and went to Ireland for private study and research, but not, as Simpson said (now corrected by P. Joseph's revision of Simpson, 2010) to take part in a proposed establishment of the University of Dublin.

Ireland (1569–1571)

Campion was appointed tutor to Richard Stanihurst, son of the Speaker of the Irish parliament, and attended the first session of the House of Commons, which included the prorogation. Campion was transferred by Stanihurst's arrangement to the house of Christopher Barnewall at Turvey in the Pale, which he acknowledged saved him from arrest and torture by the Protestant party in Dublin. For some three months he eluded his pursuers, going by the name "Mr Patrick" and occupying himself by writing A Historie of Ireland.

Douai (1571–1573)

In 1571, Campion left Ireland in secret and escaped to Douai in the Low Countries (now France) where he was reconciled to the Catholic Church and received the Eucharist that he had denied himself for the past twelve years. He entered the English College founded by William Allen. The college's enrolment grew, and a little after Campion's arrival a papal subsidy was granted. Campion found himself reunited with Oxford friends. He was to teach rhetoric while there and finish studying for the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, which was granted him by the University of Douai on 21 January 1573. After this, he received minor orders and was ordained sub-deacon.

Rome, Brunn and Prague (1573–1580)

Campion then travelled to Rome on foot, alone and in the guise of a pilgrim, to join the Jesuits. In April 1573, in Rome, he was received in the Society of Jesus by Mercurianus, the order’s fourth Superior General. He was assigned to the Austrian Province as there was not yet an English province of the Jesuits and began his two-year novitiate at Brunn in Moravia. He was ordained deacon and priest by Anthony Brus, Archbishop of Prague and said his first Mass on 8 September 1578. For six years, Campion taught at the Jesuit college in Prague as professor of both rhetoric and philosophy.

Mission to England (1580–1581)

In 1580, the Jesuit mission to England began. The mission was strictly forbidden, according to Campion's Brag, "to deal in any respects with matters of state or policy of this [English] realm..." Campion accompanied Fr. Robert Persons who, as superior, was intended to counterbalance his own fervour and impetuousness. He had been surprised to learn that he was chosen to take part in the mission, and expressed the fear that he lacked constitutional courage.[10] The members of the mission were instructed to avoid the company of boys and women and to avoid giving the impression of being legacy hunters. Before embarking, the members of the mission were embarrassed to receive news of a landing by papal-sponsored forces in the Irish province of Munster in support of the Irish rebel James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald. They also learned that a letter detailing their party and mission had been intercepted and that they were expected in England.

Campion finally entered England in the guise of a jewel merchant, arriving in London on 24 June 1580, and at once began to preach. His presence soon became known to the authorities and to his co-religionists lying in London's prisons. Among the latter was Thomas Pounde in the Marshalsea, where a meeting was held to discuss means of counteracting rumours circulated by the Privy Council to the effect that Campion's mission was political and treasonous. Pounde rode in haste after Campion and explained the need for Campion to write a brief declaration of the true causes of his coming. The diffusion of this declaration, known as the Challenge to the Privy Council, or, Campion's Brag, made his position more difficult. He led a hunted life, administering the sacraments and preaching to Catholics in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Lancashire.

During this time he wrote his Decem Rationes ("Ten Reasons"), arguments against the validity of the Anglican Church. The book was printed in a clandestine press at Stonor Park, Henley, and 400 copies were found on the benches of St Mary's, Oxford, at the Commencement, on 27 June 1581. It caused great sensation, and the hunt for Campion was stepped up. On his way to Norfolk, he stopped at Lyford Grange, the house of a certain Francis Yate, then in Berkshire, where he preached on 14 July and the following day, by popular request. Here, he was captured by a spy named George Eliot and taken to London with his arms pinioned and bearing on his hat a paper with the inscription "Campion, the Seditious Jesuit."

Imprisonment, torture and disputations

Imprisoned for four days in the Tower of London in a tiny cell called "Little-ease", Campion was then taken out and questioned by three Privy Councillors—Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas Bromley, Vice-Chamberlain of the Royal Household Sir Christopher Hatton and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester—on matters including whether he acknowledged Queen Elizabeth to be the true Queen of England. He replied that he did, and was offered his freedom, wealth and honours, including a possibility of the Archbishopric of Canterbury,which he could not accept in good conscience.

Campion was imprisoned in the Tower more than four months and tortured on the rack two or three times. During this time, false reports of a retraction and of a confession by Campion were circulated. He had four public disputations with his Anglican adversaries, on 1, 18, 23 and 27 September 1581, at which they attempted to address the challenges of Campion's Brag and Decem Rationes. Although still suffering from the effects of his torture, and allowed neither time nor books for preparation, he reportedly conducted himself so easily and readily that "even the spectators in the court looked for an acquittal".

He was arraigned and indicted on 14 November 1581 with several others at Westminster on a charge of having conspired, in Rome and Reims, to raise a sedition in the realm and dethrone the Queen.

Trial, sentence and execution

Edmund Campion, in a 1631 print.
The trial was held on 20 November 1581. After hearing the pleadings for three hours, the jury deliberated an hour before delivering its verdict: Campion and his fellow defendants were found guilty of treason. He answered the verdict: "In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors, all our ancient bishops and kings, all that was once the glory of England — the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter."

Lord Chief Justice Wray read the sentence: "You must go to the place from whence you came, there to remain until ye shall be drawn through the open city of London upon hurdles to the place of execution, and there be hanged and let down alive, and your privy parts cut off, and your entrails taken out and burnt in your sight; then your heads to be cut off and your bodies divided into four parts, to be disposed of at Her Majesty’s pleasure. And God have mercy on your souls. ."

On hearing the death sentence, Campion and the other condemned men broke into the words of the Te Deum. After spending his last days in prayer he was dragged with two fellow priests, Fathers Ralph Sherwin and Alexander Briant, to Tyburn where the three were hanged, drawn and quartered on 1 December 1581. Campion was 41 years of age.

Veneration and feast day

Edmund Campion was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 9 December 1886. Blessed Edmund Campion was canonized nearly eighty-four years later in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales with a common feast day of 4 May. His feast day is celebrated on 1 December, the day of his martyrdom.

The actual ropes used in his execution are now kept in glass display tubes at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire; each year they are placed on the altar of St Peter's Church for Mass to celebrate Campion's feast day—which is always a holiday for the school.


        • Campion, Edmund. A Historie of Ireland, Dublin, 1633. Facsimile ed., 1940, Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, ISBN 978-0-8201-1191-9.
        • Simpson, Richard, Edmund Campion, (1867). Revised, edited and enlarged by Peter Joseph, Gracewing/Freedom Press (2010) ISBN 978-0-85244-734-5
        • Waugh, Evelyn, Edmund Campion London: Williams and Norgate (1935). Sophia Institute Press (1996) ISBN 0-918477-44-1
        • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Edmund Campion". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.


            Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


            Today's  Snippet  I:  Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

            The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales are a group of men and women who were executed for treason and related offences in the Kingdom of England between 1535 and 1679. Many were convicted under show trials or even no trials. All were subjected to what Catholics considered to be the religiously oppressive regimes of the Tudor and Stuart periods as part of the Protestant purge that lasted for several hundred years. They are considered by the Catholic Church to be Christian martyrs and were canonized on 25 October 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

            The martyrs

            • Saint John Almond
            • Saint Edmund Arrowsmith
            • Saint Ambrose Barlow
            • Saint John Boste
            • Saint Alexander Briant
            • Saint Edmund Campion
            • Saint Margaret Clitherow
            • Saint Philip Evans
            • Saint Thomas Garnet
            • Saint Edmund Gennings
            • Saint Richard Gwyn
            • Saint John Houghton
            • Saint Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel
            • Saint John Jones
            • Saint John Kemble
            • Saint Luke Kirby
            • Saint Robert Lawrence
            • Saint David Lewis
            • Saint Anne Line
            • Saint John Lloyd
            • Saint Cuthbert Mayne
            • Saint Henry Morse
            • Saint Nicholas Owen
            • Saint John Payne
            • Saint Polydore Plasden
            • Saint John Plessington
            • Saint Richard Reynolds
            • Saint John Rigby
            • Saint John Roberts
            • Saint Alban Roe
            • Saint Ralph Sherwin
            • Saint John Southworth
            • Saint Robert Southwell
            • Saint John Stone
            • Saint John Wall
            • Saint Henry Walpole
            • Saint Margaret Ward
            • Saint Augustine Webster
            • Saint Swithun Wells
            • Saint Eustace White

            Canonisation process

            Following beatifications between 1886 and 1929, there were already numerous martyrs from England and Wales recognised with the rank of Blessed. The bishops of the province identified a list of 40 further names; reasons given for the choice of those particular names include a spread of social status, religious rank, geographical spread and the pre-existence of popular devotion. The list of names was submitted to Rome in December 1960, and Catholics began to pray specifically to this group of martyrs to obtain favours from God. Out of 20 candidate cases for recognition as answered prayers, the cure of a young mother from a malignant tumour was selected as the clearest case. Pope Paul VI granted permission for the whole group of 40 names to be recognised as saints on the strength of this one miracle. The canonization ceremony took place in Rome on 25 October 1970.

             Liturgical feast day

            In England, these martyrs were formerly commemorated by a feast day on 25 October, but they are now celebrated together with all the 242 recognised beatified martyrs on 4 May.  In Wales, 25 October is kept as the feast of the 'Six Welsh Martyrs and their companions'. The Welsh Martyrs are the priests Philip Evans and John Lloyd, John Jones, David Lewis, John Roberts, and the teacher Richard Gwyn. The 'companions' are the 34 English Martyrs listed above. Wales continues to keep 4 May as a separate feast for the Beatified martyrs of England and Wales.


            • Malcolm Pullan (30 April 2008). The Lives and Times of Forty Martyrs of England and Wales 1535 - 1680. Athena Press. pp. xvii–xxii. ISBN 978-1-84748-258-7..


              Today's  Snippet  IIStonyhurst College

              Stonyhurst College is a coeducational Roman Catholic independent school, adhering to the Jesuit tradition. It is located on the Stonyhurst Estate near the village of Hurst Green in the Ribble Valley area of Lancashire, England, and occupies a Grade I listed building. The school has been fully co-educational since 1999.

              The college was founded in 1593 by Father Robert Persons SJ at St Omer, at a time when penal laws prohibited Catholic education in England. After moving to Bruges in 1762 and Liège in 1773, the college moved to England and located at Stonyhurst Hall in 1794. Today it provides boarding and day education to approximately 450 boys and girls aged 13–18. On an adjacent site, its preparatory school, St Mary's Hall, provides education for boys and girls aged 3–13.

              Under the motto Quant Je Puis, "All that I can", the school combines an academic curriculum with extra-curricular pursuits. Roman Catholicism plays a central role in college life, with emphasis on both prayer and service, according to the Jesuit philosophy of creating "Men and Women for Others". The school's alumni include three Saints, twelve Beati, seven archbishops, seven Victoria Cross winners, a Peruvian president and prime minister, a New Zealand prime minister, a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence and several writers, sportsmen, and politicians.

              History of Stonyhurst College

              Stonyhurst Hall

              The earliest Deed concerning the "Stanihurst" dates from 1200 AD and can now be found in the Arundell Library in the College, whilst the earliest evidence of a building on the site is from 1372 when John de Bayley was licensed to have an oratory there; the archway in the Bayley Room, within the 'Blind Tower', is believed to date from the fourteenth century, and may well be the only remnant of that earlier building. The oldest portion of the extant buildings however, the Shireburn Mansion (Stonyhurst Hall), was founded by the Roman Catholic, Richard Shireburn, a descendant of the Bayley family, whose son attended the College at St Omers. He built the gatehouse and open cupolas (known as "the towers") on top of an older settlement dating from 1592. The design of the gatehouse incorporates four of the Classical orders (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite). Three similar designs appear on Merton and Wadham Colleges and the Schools building in Oxford, though Stonyhurst's predates them all by more than a decade. In places the exterior walls of this part of the building are as much as six feet deep.

              During the Civil Wars, Oliver Cromwell's army encamped near the Hall on their way to the Battle of Preston in 1648. Cromwell spent the night at Stonyhurst and slept on a table in the middle of the Great Hall in full armour. He is said to have preferred this option to a bed due to his fear of assassination and mistrust of his Catholic, royalist hosts. He was quoted as saying it was "the best half house" he had seen (the Hall was at that time still unfinished). 

              Richard Shireburn's successor and grandson, Sir Nicholas Shireburn, began a massive building plan to extend the "half house", and completed the great hall, gardens and avenue so that it could be a great manor house. Two ponds, each measuring 660 feet (200 m) by 112 feet (34 m) were constructed in 1696, along with the "causeway" between, today known as the Avenue. His son Richard was poisoned in the gardens in 1702, and with no male heir Nicholas ceased building. Upon his death in 1717, the buildings passed to his wife and then to their sole heir, Mary, the Duchess of Norfolk. The Duchess was married to Thomas Howard, 8th Duke of Norfolk, and lived in Arundel Castle in Sussex. Unoccupied, the buildings began to fall into disrepair. Eventually, the houses were inherited by her cousin, Thomas Weld in 1754. Already living in Lulworth Castle, and not needing an extra house, Thomas, an old boy of St Omers, donated it to the Society of Jesus, with 30 acres (120,000 m2) of land, in 1794.

              The original hall has been altered and extended over the years to become one of the largest inhabited buildings in Europe and achieving Grade I listed status from English Heritage. The village of Hurst Green, Lancashire developed with the hall. Richard Shireburn built the village school in 1686. He also built an almshouse upon Longridge Fell, the predecessor of the Shireburn Almshouse, which his son Nicholas built c.1707. The latter was dismantled in 1946 and re-erected in the village.

              The College


              The story of the school starts at St Omer in what was then the Spanish Low Countries in 1593, where a college was founded by Father Robert Parsons for English boys, unable to receive a Catholic education in Elizabethan England. As such it was one of a number of expatriate English schools operating on the European mainland during the centuries when Catholicism was proscribed in England.

              In 1762, when the French Parlement turned against the Jesuits, the school, in what was then a part of France, was forced to move. During subsequent decades, when the Jesuit Order was suppressed in most countries, the college was one of the institutions through which it managed to maintain a continuous existence.
              After St Omer (still known in Stonyhurst parlance by its old English name of St. Omers), the college settled in Bruges where it continued until 1773 when it was again forced to move, reassembling at Liège, under the protection of its bishop.

              In 1794 yet another move was forced upon the school, and a new home was found at Stonyhurst Hall in Lancashire, an ideal county for the school to settle in because it was still a Catholic stronghold and its rural, isolated character provided the hope that the school would be left alone by the authorities. Not taking any chances however, a number of hiding places were created throughout the building should the Jesuits face persecution again, and when Saint Mary's Hall was constructed in the following century, a secret escape tunnel, which still survives, was also built linking the seminary to an exit in the gardens. 

              The honour of being last student at Liege and the first at Stonyhurst was claimed by a George Lambert Clifford whose bust is today on display in the Do Room; it is recorded that he and fellow pupil from Liege, Charles Brooke were the first of the migrants to arrive at the Stonyhurst mansion and raced down the Avenue together, but whilst his antagonist was waiting to be let in, Clifford spotted an open window and darted in, to be remembered by posterity as Stonyhurst's first pupil.


              When Clifford and his fellow pupils of Liège first arrived at Stonyhurst Hall, the buildings were in an extremely bad state of disrepair, and a temporary structure was built next to the east wing to house the boys. This "temporary" building still exists, and is known as Shirk. A number of other buildings were added in the early 19th century, including the new church of St Peter's, in the Gothic style of the chapel at King's College, Cambridge.

              By the 1880s new building works began on the school, including removal of the grand stairs in the quad and subsequently the west wing. The temporary structures of 'Shirk' and the new west wing served the school well, but by late 19th century it needed to expand again and work was started on the south front, including the building of the Boys Chapel and the Academy Room. The south front took a considerable amount of time to build, because much of the land was swamp, resulting in the need for deeper foundations, which also created extra space. The work began in 1876 to replace the Old Playground front of 1809; the total cost of the construction (minus architect's fees) was £123,205.5s.6d. (less than the cost of refurbishing the dormitories in the same building 130 years later).

              During the 19th century, Stonyhurst was a leading Jesuit cultural centre and also notable for its scientific activities, including the meteorological records of the Observatory (built in 1838). The school also prided itself on producing gentlemen philosophers: philosophers was the term used for students pursuing a course of education above secondary level at a time when Catholics were forbidden from attending Oxford or Cambridge both by English law and also by a Papal prohibition. Gas lighting was another early technological innovation at the school during this period, and the school had its own power station.

              From the 1960s onwards, the Stonyhurst went through a number of changes, partly reflecting those in the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council, but also attributable in part to the growing secular tone of British society. The number of Jesuit instructors fell steadily, reflecting the changed priorities of Catholic religious orders and the dwindling numbers of the English Jesuit province. These changes led to the closing of another Jesuit boys' public school, Beaumont College, in 1966; Beaumont and Stonyhurst amalgamated. With the addition of these new pupils, Stonyhurst had to expand again and the New Wing was built beside the wing erected in the 1800s to house the Arundell Library. The former preparatory school to Beaumont College, St John's, Old Windsor, Berkshire continues to send a significant number of its leavers to Stonyhurst.


              After Fr Michael Bossy's fifteen-year headmastership, in 1986 the College acquired its first lay headmaster, Giles Mercer. Mercer brought in a number of changes during his time, and developed particular areas of the school. By the end of the 1980s, the school opened a new indoor swimming pool, new squash courts, a new gym and various refurbished classrooms and playrooms. Scenes from the film Three Men and a Little Lady were shot at the College.

              In 1993 the school celebrated 400 years since its foundation at Saint-Omer, and in 1994 200 years since its foundation at Stonyhurst Hall. Mercer set up the Centenaries appeal to raise money for new building works, including the refurbishment of the science laboratories, the Bread rooms (now English department classrooms), the language classrooms, the Ambulacrum (sports hall) and numerous other areas. The appeal also went towards building the new Centenaries Theatre. A play, written by Fr William Hewett, SJ, was performed at the new theatre outlining the history of Stonyhurst as part of the celebrations.
              Adrian Aylward succeeded Mercer in 1996, and the school continued to flourish during his ten year leadership. In 1997, Stonyhurst began its run up to becoming fully co-educational, and introduced girls to the preparatory school, St Mary's Hall. 

              An building project was undertaken, such that by the time of his departure as headmaster, refurbishment had taken place in the following areas of the school: the Old Infirmary (converted from girls' to Jesuit community accommodation), Lower Grammar, Grammar and Higher Line Playrooms, all dormitories (cubicles replaced by rooms on two storeys), the plunge (converted into dormitories and changing rooms on two storeys), the Sodality Chapel (restored), the Top Refectory, the Do Room, the Long Room, the Bayley Room, the More Library, the Syntax Wing and the shooting range. Five I.T. suites were created, CCTV was installed at all entrances, some disguised as Victorian lamp-posts, the back of the building outside the music basement was tidied up, and new landscaping and redesign of the road layout accompanied the building of the all-weather sports pitch on Harry Meadow. Classrooms were re-decorated and renamed after Saints associated with the school. At the same time, academic standards improved, with Oxbridge entry standing at around 10% in 2003. On a point of principle, Aylward withdrew Stonyhurst from academic league tables, claiming that they were of little relevance and devalued the worth of the individual. 

              The Stonyhurst Access Appeal was set up in 2003 to widen access to the College to those from lower income families and to generate funds for further redevelopment. Adrian Aylward also steered the school through a difficult investigation into claims of alleged child abuse said to have taken place in the 1970s. In 2005, after ten years, Aylward announced his resignation from June 2006. Andrew Johnson succeeded Aylward in September 2006.


              As headmaster, Andrew Johnson has presided over continued alterations to the building. A new spiritual centre has opened, adjoining the Do Room, the Emmaus Centre, the Sodality Chapel has been re-dedicated, and most recently the Campion Room converted into a new study centre. The school has returned to the League tables as Johnson works to improve the school's academic standing. New procedures have been put in place to support and prepare Oxbridge applicants and a new mentoring system established. Extra Curricular activities have been increased, particularly with a view to community-based work, such as the "Arrupe Programme". He also inspired the renaming of Saint Mary's Hall Stonyhurst to Stonyhurst Saint Mary's Hall, and is encouraging the prep school's doubling in size. Johnson is keen to transform Stonyhurst's academic performance as well as its standing, focusing on the quality of teaching, and moving the school towards greater academic selection.

              Hodder Place, St Mary's Hall and Hodder House

              The original preparatory school to Stonyhurst, Hodder Place, came into the hands of the Jesuits as part of the estate donated by alumnus Thomas Weld. Originally used as a novitiate, it became a preparatory school to the college in 1807.

              St Mary's Hall, on an adjoining site to Stonyhurst, was built as a Jesuit seminary in 1828 (extended in the 1850s) and functioned until 1926, when the seminarians moved to Heythrop Hall. The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, and John Tolkien, son of J. R. R. Tolkien, trained as priests there. During World War II, the English College left Benito Mussolini's Italy and occupied the hall. After their return to Rome, St Mary's Hall opened as a middle school in 1946. At the same time, Hodder Place continued to educate those aged eight to eleven, until its closure and conversion into flats in 1970. Hodder Place pupils moved up to St Mary's Hall to form Hodder Playroom. As successor to Hodder Place, St Mary's Hall has a claim to being the oldest surviving preparatory school in Britain. In 2004, the old gymnasium at St Mary's Hall was converted into new nursery and infant facilities named Hodder House, for those aged three to seven.

              Religious life

              The college is Catholic and has had a significant place in English Catholic history for many centuries (including controversial events such as the Popish Plot and Gunpowder Plot conspiracies). It was founded initially to educate English Catholics on the continent in the hope that, through them, Catholicism might be restored in England. Finally, the school settled in England in 1794 and the Society of Jesus was officially re-established in Britain in 1803. Stonyhurst remained the headquarters of the English Province until the middle of the century; by 1851, a third of the Province's Jesuits were based there.

              Until the 1920s, Jesuit priests were trained on site in what is today the preparatory school. There was a drop in vocations after World War I and the seminary was closed. The number of Jesuits teaching at Stonyhurst fell to a third of the staff within a decade. Since then, the Jesuit presence has been in decline, but the school continues to place Catholicism and Jesuit philosophy at its core under the guidance of a Jesuit-led chaplaincy team and the involvement of the Jesuits in its governance.

              Jesuit ethos

              The Jesuit educational ethos consists chiefly of seven strands:
              • Finding God in All Things;
              • Caring for the individual;
              • Showing love in deeds;
              • Building Christian community;
              • Engaging with the wider world;
              • Encouraging excellence; and
              • Co-operating in Jesuit mission.

              Under these guiding principles, the college strives for the formation of well-rounded individuals, influenced by Ignatian reasoning and spirituality, and concern for humankind: the development of "Men and Women for Others".


              The school has one main church, St Peter's, and five chapels: the Boys' Chapel, the Chapel of the Angels, the Sodality Chapel, the St Francis Chapel and the St Ignatius Chapel. The last two are both within the towers of St Peter's Church, and are not normally used by pupils.

              The Sodality Chapel is the home of the remains of the 3rd century Roman convert St Gordianus. The Jesuits brought his remains from the College of St Omer and held them beneath the altar since 1859. His bones were temporarily removed in 2006 whilst the chapel underwent restoration, but they have since been returned. The chapel is again used by the re-established Sodality.

              Adjacent to the Old Infirmary is the Rosary Garden, a place for spiritual contemplation, at the centre of which is a stone statue of Mary. St Peter's Church underwent extensive repair and refurbishment in 2010-11. Most of the Victorian stencilling was not restored, although the whitewash was removed from the stencilling above the altar.


              It is a long-standing practice that pupils write A.M.D.G. in the top left hand corner of any piece of work they do. It stands for the Latin phrase Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam which means For the Greater Glory of God. At the end of a piece of work they write L.D.S. in the centre of the page. It stands for Laus Deo Semper which means Praise to God Always. These are both traditional Jesuit mottoes.
              A distinguishing feature of Stonyhurst is the singing of the Pater Noster, the "Lord's Prayer" in Latin. It is sung at Mass, and has been adopted as an anthem by the school's sports teams.

              Charitable status

              As a registered charity, Stonyhurst is obliged to provide benefits to the wider community under the terms of the Charities Act 2006. As such, the College is home to the local Catholic parish church, which receives worshippers from Hurst Green on a daily basis. Its sports facilities, including the swimming pool and all-weather pitch are available for public use; the latter will be used for competitors training for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Much of the estate has public access; in particular the gardens and tea house are visited during the summer months, whilst the college plays host to tours, antiques fairs, food festivals, music concerts, conferences and weddings. The school has relationships with several state schools, arranging shared activities with their pupils, in particular those serving special needs children. In addition, the school makes available some places to pupils offered on scholarship, bursaries or free of charge; almost a third of current pupils receive financial support for their places.


              The French motto, Quant Je PuisAs Much as I Can, is central to the ethos of the school, which focusses upon the all-round development of the individual. It is inherited from the Shireburn family who once owned the original mansion on the site; the family emblem is emblazoned, in stone, with the motto, above the fireplace in the Top Refectory. At the far end of the same room, once the dining room of the Shireburns, the motto can be seen again, carved into the minstrel's gallery: Quant Je Puis. Hugo Sherburn armig. me fieri fecit. Anno Domini 1523. Et sicut fuit sic fiat.


              Academic standards are high: 93% of GCSE students attain A*-C grades; there is a 100% pass rate at A-Level; and 100% of A-Level leavers take up places at universities (10% to Oxbridge) or on gap year schemes. The school's most recent inspection rated much of the education and pastoral provision as 'outstanding'.

              Ten GCSEs are usually taken by each pupil, consisting of five compulsory subjects (Religious Studies, Mathematics, English Language and Literature, and a modern language (French, German or Spanish) plus Information Technology and Personal, Social Education, with five other options from humanities, sciences, or arts subjects. In Poetry (lower sixth), four or five AS-Levels are taken from a choice of 25 subjects, with a weekly Theology class. One of these may be dropped and the remainder, or all, taken on to A-Level. Six A* - C grades are the requirement for Sixth Form entry. Each academic department has dedicated teaching rooms around the school, in addition to the general classrooms and playroom study places.
              Education during the college's early history was based on St Ignatius' Ratio Studiorum, with emphasis upon theology, classics and science, all of which still feature prominently in the curriculum. The educational practice, observed at the College of St Omer, of dividing a class into Romans and Carthaginians continued long after the migration to Stonyhurst but is not employed today; each pupil would be pitched against an opponent with the task of picking up on the other's mistakes in an attempt to score points.
              Until Roman Catholics were admitted to Oxbridge in 1894, Stonyhurst was also home to "philosopher gentlemen" studying BA courses under the London Matriculation Examination system. Their numbers began to fall after 1894 and the department was closed in 1916.

              Libraries and collections


              Stonyhurst College has four main libraries: the Arundell, the Bay, the Square and the More (dedicated to Saint Thomas More). The More Library is the main library for students whilst the 'House Libraries' (the Arundell, the Bay, and the Square) contain many artefacts from the Society of Jesus and English Catholicism. The Arundell Library, presented in 1837 by Everard, 11th Baron Arundell of Wardour, is the most significant; it is not only a country-house library from Wardour Castle but also has a notable collection of 250 incunabula, medieval manuscripts and volumes of Jacobite interest, signal among which is Mary Tudor's Book of Hours, which it is believed was given by Mary, Queen of Scots to her chaplain on the scaffold. The manuscript Le Livre de Seyntz Medicines was written in 1354 by Henry, Duke of Lancaster. To these were added the archives of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, which include 16th-century manuscript verses by St Robert Southwell SJ, the letters of St Edmund Campion SJ (1540–81) and holographs of the 19th-century poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. The Arundell Library has a copy of the Chronicles of Jean Froissart, captured at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, and held the 7th-century Stonyhurst Gospel of St John before it was loaned to the British Library, as well as a First Folio of Shakespeare.


              Among those collections kept away from public view are the numerous blood-soaked garments from Jesuits martyred in Japan, the skull of Cardinal Morton, the ropes used to quarter St Edmund Campion SJ, the hairs of St Francis Xavier SJ, an enormous solid silver jewel-encrusted monstrance, the Wintour vestments, a cope made for Henry VII, and a thorn said to be from the crown of thorns placed upon Jesus' head at the crucifixion. The school owns paintings, including a portrait of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and another of the Jesuit Henry Garnet. In the Stuart Parlour are portraits of Jacobites including James Francis Edward Stuart, and his sons Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Benedict Stuart. There are also several original engravings by Rembrandt and Dürer, such as the 'Greater Passion' and the 'Car of Maximillian'.


              The school has a functioning observatory which was built in 1866. An older observatory, built in 1838, is now the Typographia Collegii, but was once one of seven important stations in the country when the Meteorological Office came under the auspices of the Royal Society. The records of temperature taken there start from 1846 and are the oldest continuous daily records in the world. During the nineteenth century, the observatory was maintained by the astronomer priests, Fr Weld, Fr Perry and Fr Sidgreaves whose research included astronomy, geomagnetrometry and seismology. Astrophysicist Pietro Angelo Secchi, director of the Vatican Observatory, also taught astronomy at the College during the period. Sir Edward Sabine chose the observatory as one of his main stations when conducting a magnetic survey of Britain in 1858. Five years later Fr Sidgreaves began the first series of monthly geometric observations, which continued until May 1919. During the course of the twentieth century, the observatory fell out of use and its telescope, parts of which dated to the 1860s, was sold after the Second World War. When its private owner came to sell it, the college was able to buy it back and restore it to its original home. The observatory is today used for astronomical purposes again, whilst also functioning as one of four weather stations used by the Met Office to provide central England temperature data (CET).


              Music, drama and art

              Music plays a prominent role in school life. All those entering the school in Lower Grammar (year nine) are obliged to learn to play an orchestral instrument. There are two choirs: the Chapel Choir, which sings regularly at mass, and the Schola Cantorum, composed of teachers and pupils, which sings at concerts and public events such as the May celebration in the college amphitheatre. Pupils participate in the school orchestra and various bands, whilst the staff band is a feature of the Poetry Banquet and Rhetoric Ball.
              Drama is equally important, with plays staged throughout the school year, the main performance being at Great Academies, whilst some students take Theatre Studies as an additional AS Level subject. The college has a traditional theatre, the Academy Room, and a high-tech theatre built at St Mary's Hall as part of the Centenaries Appeal in 1993. The latter plays host to the annual Ribble Valley International Piano Week. Several former pupils have gone on to achieve success upon the stage, including OSCAR-winning actor and director Charles Laughton and BAFTA-winning director and producer Peter Glenville.
              Art is an important part of the curriculum, and is compulsory for those in Lower Grammar (year nine). There is a dedicated art studio in addition to a separate design and technology centre. Student artwork is displayed on the walls of the Lower Gallery, including a portrait of the Queen painted by Isobel Bidwell during the Golden Jubilee year; upon receipt of a copy, the Queen's lady-in-waiting said that "The Queen was delighted to see the painting and know that it is on display in the school".

              Literary associations

              Stonyhurst has provided inspiration for poets and authors who include former classics teacher Gerard Manley Hopkins, whose poems feature details of the local countryside, and former pupil Sir Arthur Conan Doyle whose "Baskerville Hall" was modelled on Stonyhurst Hall, and who named Sherlock Holmes' nemesis, Moriarty, after a fellow pupil. J. R. R. Tolkien wrote part of The Lord of the Rings in a classroom on the Upper Gallery during his stay at the college where his son taught Classics; his "Middle-earth" is said to resemble the local area, whilst there are specific resonances in names such as "Shire Lane", (the name of a road in Hurst Green) and the "River Shirebourn" (the Shireburns built Stonyhurst). Poet Laureate Alfred Austin, and the poet Oliver St John Gogarty ("Stately plump Buck Mulligan" in James Joyce's Ulysses) were educated at the school, (as were the sons of Oscar Wilde and Evelyn Waugh). George Archer-Shee, at the centre of Terence Rattigan's play The Winslow Boy, is an alumnus. The school runs its own publication company, St Omer's Press, which publishes religious literature, and first began when the college was located at St Omer in Flanders.


              • Chadwick, Hubert, S.J. (1962), St Omers to Stonyhurst, (Burns & Oats), No ISBN
              • Walsh, R.R. (1989), Stonyhurst War Record 1935-45 (T.H.C.L. Blackburn), ISBN 0-948494-08-5
              • Muir, T.E. (2006) Stonyhurst, (St Omers Press, Gloucestershire) second edition, ISBN 0-9553592-0-1
              • Kirby, Henry L. and Walsh, R. Raymond (1987), The Seven V.C.s of Stonyhurst College, (T.H.C.L. Blackburn), ISBN 0-948494-04-2
              • The Authorities of Stonyhurst College (1963), A Stonyhurst Handbook for Visitors and Others, (Stonyhurst, Lancashire), third edition, No ISBN
              • Hewitson, A. (1878), Stonyhurst College, Present and Past: Its History, Discipline, Treasures and Curiosities, (Preston: The Chronicle office), second edition, No ISBN