Monday, June 24, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Babble, Psalms 111:1-8, Second Corinthians 11:1-11, Matthew 6:7-15, Pope Francis Daily Homily - How to Pray The Our Father, Irish Catholic Martyrs, Ulster Ireland, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 6:4 Erroneous Judgement and In Brief

Thursday,  June 20, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Babble, Psalms 111:1-8, Second Corinthians 11:1-11, Matthew 6:7-15, Pope Francis Daily Homily -  How to Pray The Our Father, Irish Catholic Martyrs, Ulster Ireland, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life  In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 6:4 Erroneous Judgement and In Brief

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.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge, reason and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and 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 the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

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


Prayers for Today: Thursday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Luminous Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis June 20 General Audience Address :

How to Pray The Our Father

(2013-06-20 Vatican Radio)
To pray the Our Father we have to have a heart at peace with our brothers. We don't pray "my Father," but "our Father," because "we are not an only child, none of us are”. This was the focus of Pope Francis' homily at Mass Thursday morning in Casa Santa Marta. The Pope emphasized that we believe in a God who is a Father, who is "very close" to us, who is not anonymous, not "a cosmic God."

Prayer is not magic, rather it is entrusting ourselves to the Father’s embrace. Pope Francis centered his homily on the prayer of the "Our Father" taught by Jesus to His disciples, of which the Gospel speaks today. Jesus, he said, immediately gives us a piece of advice in prayer: "In praying, do not babble", do not make "worldly noises, vain noises”. And he warned that "prayer is not a magical thing, there is no magic with prayer." Someone once told me that when he went to a "witch doctor" they said a lot of words to heal him. But that "is pagan." Jesus teaches us, "we should not turn to Him with so many words," because "He knows everything." He adds, the first word is "Father," this "is the key of prayer." "Without saying, without feeling, that word – he warned - you cannot pray":

"To whom do I pray? To the Almighty God? He is too far off. Ah, I can’t hear Him. Neither did Jesus. To whom do I pray? To a cosmic God? That’s quite normal these days, is it not? ... praying to the cosmic God, right? This polytheistic model that comes from a rather light culture ... You must pray to the Father! It is a strong word, 'Father '. You must pray to Him who generated you, who gave you life. Not to everyone: everyone is too anonymous. To you. To me. To the person who accompanies you on your journey: He knows all about your life. Everything: what is good and what is not so good. He knows everything. If we do not start the prayer with this word, not just with our lips but with our hearts, we cannot pray in a Christian language".

"Father," he reiterated, "is a strong word" but "opens the door". At the time of sacrifice, the Pope said, Isaac realized that "something was wrong" because "he was missing a sheep," but he trusted his father and “confided his worries to his father’s heart" . "Father" is the word that "the son" who left with his legacy "and then wanted to return home" thought of. And that father "sees him come and goes running" to him, "he threw himself in his arms", "to cover him with love." "Father, I have sinned:" this is, the Pope said, "the key of every prayer, to feel loved by a father":

"We have a Father. Very close to us, eh! Who embraces us ... All these worries, concerns that we have, let's leave them to the Father, He knows what we need. But, Father, what? My father? No: Our Father! Because I am not an only child, none of us are, and if I cannot be a brother, I can hardly become a child of the Father, because He is a Father to all. Mine, sure, but also of others, of my brothers. And if I am not at peace with my brothers, I cannot say 'Father' to Him."

This, he added, explains the fact that Jesus, after having taught us the Our Father, stresses that if we do not forgive others, neither will the Father forgive us our sins. "It's so hard to forgive others – said the Pope - it is really difficult, because we always have that regret inside." We think, "You did this to me, you wait '... and I’ll repay him the favour ":

"No, you cannot pray with enemies in your heart, with brothers and enemies in your heart, you cannot pray. This is difficult, yes, it is difficult, not easy. 'Father, I cannot say Father, I cannot'. It’s true, I understand. 'I cannot say our, because he did this to me and this ...' I cannot! 'They must go to hell, right? I will have nothing to do with them'. It’s true, it is not easy. But Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit: it is He who teaches us, from within, from the heart, how to say 'Father' and how to say 'our'. Today we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to say 'Father' and to be able to say 'our', and thus make peace with all our enemies. "


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: Summer

Vatican City, Summer2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father for the Summer of 2013:

29 Saturday, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul: 9:30am, Mass and imposition of the pallium upon new metropolitans in the papal chapel.

The Prefecture of the Papal Household has released Pope Francis' agenda for the summer period, from July through to the end of August. Briefing journalists, Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pope will remain 'based ' at the Casa Santa Marta residence in Vatican City State for the duration of the summer.

As per tradition, all private and special audiences are suspended for the duration of the summer. The Holy Father's private Masses with employees will end July 7 and resume in September. The Wednesday general audiences are suspended for the month of July to resume August 7 at the Vatican.

7 July, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 9:30am, Mass with seminarians and novices in the Vatican Basilica.

14 July Sunday , Pope Francis will lead the Angelus prayer from the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis will travel to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro from Monday July 22 to Monday July 29.  


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 06/20/2013.


June 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, in this restless time, anew I am calling you to set out after my Son - to follow Him. I know of the pain, suffering and difficulties, but in my Son you will find rest; in Him you will find peace and salvation. My children, do not forget that my Son redeemed you by His Cross and enabled you, anew, to be children of God; to be able to, anew, call the Heavenly Father, "Father". To be worthy of the Father, love and forgive, because your Father is love and forgiveness. Pray and fast, because that is the way to your purification, it is the way of coming to know and becoming cognizant of the Heavenly Father. When you become cognizant of the Father, you will comprehend that He is all you need. I, as a mother, desire my children to be in a community of one single people where the Word of God is listened to and carried out.* Therefore, my children, set out after my Son. Be one with Him. Be God's children. Love your shepherds as my Son loved them when He called them to serve you. Thank you." *Our Lady said this resolutely and with emphasis.

May 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:“Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God’s love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

May 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children; Anew, I am calling you to love and not to judge. My Son, according to the will of the Heavenly Father, was among you to show you the way of salvation, to save you and not to judge you. If you desire to follow my Son, you will not judge but love like your Heavenly Father loves you. And when it is the most difficult for you, when you are falling under the weight of the cross do not despair, do not judge, instead remember that you are loved and praise the Heavenly Father because of His love. My children, do not deviate from the way on which I am leading you. Do not recklessly walk into perdition. May prayer and fasting strengthen you so that you can live as the Heavenly Father would desire; that you may be my apostles of faith and love; that your life may bless those whom you meet; that you may be one with the Heavenly Father and my Son. My children, that is the only truth, the truth that leads to your conversion, and then to the conversion of all those whom you meet - those who have not come to know my Son - all those who do not know what it means to love. My children, my Son gave you a gift of the shepherds. Take good care of them. Pray for them. Thank you."


Today's Word:  babble  bab·ble  [bab-uhl]  

Origin:  1200–50; Middle English babelen;  cognate with Old Norse babbla, Dutch babbelen, German pappelen

verb (used without object)
1. to utter sounds or words imperfectly, indistinctly, or without meaning.
2. to talk idly, irrationally, excessively, or foolishly; chatter or prattle.
3. to make a continuous, murmuring sound.
verb (used with object)
4. to utter in an incoherent, foolish, or meaningless fashion.
5. to reveal foolishly or thoughtlessly: to babble a secret.
6. inarticulate or imperfect speech.
7. foolish, meaningless, or incoherent speech; prattle.
8. a murmuring sound or a confusion of sounds.
9. babbling (  def 2 ) .
10. Telecommunications. a confused mixture of extraneous sounds in a circuit, resulting from cross talk from other channels. Compare cross talk (  def 1 ) .  


Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 111:1-8

1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my heart, in the meeting-place of honest people, in the assembly.
2 Great are the deeds of Yahweh, to be pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendour and majesty his work, his saving justice stands firm for ever.
4 He gives us a memorial of his great deeds; Yahweh is mercy and tenderness.
7 The works of his hands are fidelity and justice, all his precepts are trustworthy,
8 established for ever and ever, accomplished in fidelity and honesty


Today's Epistle -  Second Corinthians 11:1-11

1 I wish you would put up with a little foolishness from me -- not that you don't do this already.
2 The jealousy that I feel for you is, you see, God's own jealousy: I gave you all in marriage to a single husband, a virgin pure for presentation to Christ.
3 But I am afraid that, just as the snake with his cunning seduced Eve, your minds may be led astray from single-minded devotion to Christ.
4 Because any chance comer has only to preach a Jesus other than the one we preached, or you have only to receive a spirit different from the one you received, or a gospel different from the one you accepted -- and you put up with that only too willingly.
5 Now, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to the super-apostles.
6 Even if there is something lacking in my public speaking, this is not the case with my knowledge, as we have openly shown to you at all times and before everyone.
7 Have I done wrong, then, humbling myself so that you might be raised up, by preaching the gospel of God to you for nothing?
8 I was robbing other churches, taking wages from them in order to work for you.
9 When I was with you and needed money, I was no burden to anybody, for the brothers from Macedonia brought me as much as I needed when they came; I have always been careful not to let myself be a burden to you in any way, and I shall continue to be so.
10 And as Christ's truth is in me, this boast of mine is not going to be silenced in the regions of Achaia.
11 Why should it be? Because I do not love you? God knows that I do.


Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples: 'In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test, but save us from the Evil One.
'Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.

• The Gospel today presents the prayer of the Our Father, the Psalm which Jesus has left us. There are two redactions of the Our Father, of Luke (Lk 11, 1-4 and of Matthew (Mt 6, 7-13). The redaction of Luke is briefer. Luke writes for the community coming from paganism. He tries to help the persons who are beginning a path of prayer. In the Gospel of Matthew, the Our Father is found in the part of the Discourse of the Mountain, where Jesus orientates the disciples in the practice of the three works of piety: alms giving (Mt 6, 1-4), prayer (Mt 6, 5-15) and fasting (Mt 6, 26-18). The Our father forms part of a catechesis for the converted Jews. They were used to pray, but they had certain vices which Matthew wanted to correct. In the Our Father, Jesus summarizes all his teaching in seven petitions addressed to the Father. In these seven petitions, he takes the promises of the Old Testament and orders to ask the Father to help us to realize them. The first three refer to our relationship with God. The other four have to do with the community relationship that we have with others.

• Matthew 6, 7-8: The introduction to the Our Father. Jesus criticises the persons for whom prayer was a repetition of magic formulae, of strong words, addressed to God to oblige him to respond to their petitions and needs. Anyone who prays has to seek, in the first place, the Kingdom, much more than the personal interests. The acceptance of prayer by God does not depend on the repetition of words, but rather on the goodness of God who is Love and Mercy. He wants our good and he knows our needs, even before we pray.

• Matthew 6,9a: The first words: “Our Father in Heaven!” “Abba, Father, is the name which Jesus uses to address himself to God. It expresses the intimacy that he has with God and manifests the new relationship with God which should characterize the life of people in the Christian communities (Ga 4, 6; Rm 8, 15). Matthew adds to the name of Father the adjective our and the expression in Heaven. The true prayer is a relationship which unites us to the Father, to the brothers and sisters, to nature. Familiarity with God is not intimist, but expresses the awareness of belonging to the great human family, in which all persons participate; of all races and of all creeds: Our Father. To pray to the Father is to enter in intimacy with him, it is also to be in harmony with the cry of all the brothers and sisters. It is to seek the Kingdom of God, in the first place. The experience of God the Father is the foundation of the universal fraternity.

• Matthew 6, 9b-10: The three petitions for the cause of God: the Name, the Kingdom, the Will. In the first part of the Our Father, we ask to restore our relationship with God. To do this Jesus asks (a) the sanctification of the Name revealed in Exodus on the occasion of the liberation from Egypt; (b) to ask for the coming of the Kingdom, expected by the people after the fall of the monarchy; (c) to ask for the fulfilment of God’s Will, revealed in the Law which was in the centre of the Covenant. The Name, the Kingdom, the Law: are three axis taken from the Old Testament which express how the new relationship with God should be. The three petitions indicate that it is necessary to live in intimacy with the Father, making his Name known, making him loved, doing in such a way that his Kingdom of love and of communion becomes a reality that his Will may be done on earth as it is in Heaven. In heaven, the sun and the stars obey the law of God and create the order of the Universe. The observance of the Law of God “on earth as it is in heaven” should be a source and a mirror of harmony and of well being for the whole creation. This renewed relationship with God becomes visible only in the renewed relationship among us, which on his part is the object of other four petitions: our daily bread, the forgiveness of debts, not to fall into temptation, to deliver us from evil.

• Matthew 6, 11-13: The four petitions for the brothers: Bread, Forgiveness, Victory, Liberty. In the second part of the Our Father we ask to restore and renew the relationship between persons. The four petitions indicate how the structures of the community and of society should be transformed in such a way that all the children of God may live with equal dignity. The daily bread: “Daily Bread” (Mt 6, 11) recalls the daily manna in the desert (Ex 16, 1-36). The manna was a “test” to see if the people were capable to follow the Law of the Lord (Ex 16, 4), that is, if they were capable to store food only for one day as a sign of faith that Divine Providence passes through the fraternal organization. Jesus invites them to walk toward a new Exodus, toward a new way of fraternal living together which can guarantee bread for all. Forgiveness of debts: the request of “forgiveness of debts” (6, 12) recalls the sabbatical year which obliged creditors to forgive all the debts to the brothers (Dt 15, 1-2). The objective of the sabbatical year and of the jubilee year (Lev 25, 1-22) was to do away with inequalities and to begin anew. How to pray today: “Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us”? The rich countries, all of which are Christian, are getting richer, thanks to the external debt. Not to fall into Temptation: the petition “not to fall into temptation” (6, 13) reminds us of the errors committed in the desert, where the people fell into temptation (Ex 18, 1-7; Nb 20, 1-13; Dt 9, 7-29). To imitate Jesus who was tempted and obtained victory (Mt 4, 1-17). In the desert, the temptation pushed people to follow other paths, to go back, not to undertake the road of liberation and to be demanding on Moses who guided them. Freedom from Evil: evil is the Evil One, Satan, who seeks to deviate and who in many ways, seeks to lead persons not to follow the path of the Kingdom, indicated by Jesus. He tempted Jesus to abandon the Project of the Father and to be the Messiah according to the idea of the Pharisees, the Scribes and other groups. The Evil One takes us away from God and is a reason of scandal. He also entered in Peter (Mt 16, 23) and he also tempted Jesus in the desert. Jesus overcame him. (Mt 4, 1-11).

Personal questions
• Jesus says “forgive us our debts”, but today we say “forgive us our offences”, what is easier to forgive offences or to cancel the debts?
• How do you usually pray the Our Father: mechanically or putting all your life and all your efforts in the words you pronounce?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Irish Catholic Martyrs

Feast DayJune 20

Patron Saint:  n/a
Attributes:  n/a

Saint Oliver Plunkett
Irish Catholic Martyrs were dozens of people who have been sanctified in varying degrees for dying for their Roman Catholic faith between 1537 and 1714 in Ireland.

Canonized 12 October 1975 by Pope Paul VI

  • Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh, 1 July 1681; beatified 1920

Beatified 15 December 1929 by Pope Pius XI

  • John (aka Terence) Carey, layman, 4 July 1594
  • Patrick Salmon, layman, 4 July 1594

Beatified 22 November 1987 by Pope John Paul II

  • Charles Meehan (alias Mahoney), Franciscan, 21 August 1679 at Ruthin, Wales

Beatified 27 September 1992 by Pope John Paul II

  • Margaret Bermingham Ball 1584, [1]
  • Patrick Cavanagh, 5 July 1581
  • Edward Cheevers, 5 July 1581
  • Dominic Collins, Jesuit lay brother from Youghal, Co. Cork, 31 October 1602[2]
  • John Kearney, Franciscan Prior of Cashel, 1653[3]
  • Matthew Lambert, 5 July 1581
  • Maurice MacKenraghty, Chaplain to the Earl of Desmond
  • Robert Myler, 5 July 1581
  • Terence Albert O'Brien O.P., Bishop of Emly , 31 October 1651
  • Conor O'Devany, Franciscan Bishop of Down & Connor, 11 February 1612
  • Patrick O'Healy, Franciscan Bishop of Mayo, 31 August 1579
  • Peter O'Higgins O.P., Prior of Naas, 23 March 1642[4]
  • Dermot O'Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel, 20 June 1584
  • Patrick O'Loughran, priest from Co. Tyrone, 11 February 1612
  • Conn O'Rourke, Franciscan priest, 31 August 1579
  • Francis Taylor, former Mayor of Dublin
  • William Tirry, Augustinian priest from Cork, 12 May 1654


Generally speaking the persecution of Catholics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries came in waves, caused by a reaction to particular incidents or circumstances, with intervals of comparative respite in between.[5]

Henry VIII

Religious persecution of Catholics in Ireland began under King Henry VIII (then Lord of Ireland) after his excommunication in 1533. The Irish Parliament adopted the Acts of Supremacy, establishing the king’s ecclesiastical supremacy.[6] Some priests, bishops, and those who continued to pray for the pope were tortured and killed.[7] The Treasons Act 1534 caused any act of allegiance to the pope to be considered treason. Many were imprisoned on this basis. At some time in 1537, John Travers, the Chancellor of St Patrick's Cathedral Dublin, was executed under the Act of Supremacy. [8]

Elizabeth I

Relations improved after the accession of the Catholic Queen Mary in 1553-58, and in the early years of the reign of her sister Queen Elizabeth I. After Mary's death in November 1558, Elizabeth's Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy of 1559, which re-established the Church of England’s separation from the Catholic Church. Initially, Elizabeth adopted a moderate religious policy. The Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity (1559), the Prayer Book of 1559, and the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) were all Protestant in doctrine, but preserved many traditionally Catholic ceremonies. [9] During the early years of her reign no great pressure was put on Catholics to conform to the "Established Church" of the new regime, but the situation changed rapidly from about 1570 onwards, mainly as a result of the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis which placed an obligation on all faithful Roman Catholics to seek to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I.[5]

In 1563 the Earl of Essex issued a proclamation, by which all priests, secular and regular, were forbidden to officiate, or even to reside in Dublin. Fines and penalties were strictly enforced for absence from the Protestant service; before long, torture and death were inflicted. Priests and religious were, as might be expected, the first victims. They were hunted into mountains and caves; and the parish churches and few monastic chapels which had escaped the rapacity of Henry VIII.[10]

The papal bull "Regnans in Excelsis" in 1570 started a new round of conflicts, in which Roman Catholics were obliged to repudiate Elizabeth's laws and the status of her officials, or to overthrow them if possible. In Ireland the First Desmond Rebellion was launched in 1569, at almost the same time as the Northern Rebellion in England.

The Wexford Martyrs were found guilty of treason for aiding in the escape of James Eustace, 3rd Viscount Baltinglass and refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy and declare Elizabeth I of England to be the head of the Church.

Charles II

During this period, the English persecution of Catholics in Ireland was more lenient than usual, owing to the sympathy of the king, until the Popish Plot, a fictitious conspiracy concocted by Titus Oates, between 1678 and 1681 gripped the Kingdoms of England and Scotland in anti-Catholic hysteria. Those caught up in the false allegations included:
  • Peter Talbot, Archbishop of Dublin.


The list of Irish martyrs is very long and happened over several reigns. There was a long delay in starting the investigations into the causes of the Irish martrys for fear of reprisals. Further complicating the investigation is that the records of these martyrs were destroyed, or not compiled, due to the danger of keeping such evidence. Details of their endurance in most cases have been lost.[6] The first general catalogue is that of Father John Houling, S.J., compiled in Portugal between 1588 and 1599. It is styled a very brief abstract of certain persons whom it commemorates as sufferers for the Faith under Elizabeth.[7]

After Catholic Emancipation in 1829, the cause for Oliver Plunkett was re-visited. As a result, a series of publications on the whole period of persecutions was made. The first to complete the process was Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh, canonized in 1975 by Pope Paul VI.[6] Plunkett was certainly targeted by the administration and unfairly tried.


Dominic Collins

Dominic Collins was a Jesuit lay brother from Youghal, born into a merchant family. After the town was sacked and burnt he went to France. He served in the army, but eventually became a Jesuit lay brother. He returned to Ireland in the fleet sent by Philip of Spain in 1601 and defeated at Kinsale. Dominic with others landed at Castlehaven. He was captured and interrogated about his life as a Jesuit and as a soldier and sentenced to be hanged. The hanging took place in his native Youghal on 31st October 1602.[2]

John Kearney

John Kearney (1619-1653) was born in Cashel, Co Tipperary and joined the Franciscans at the Kilkenny friary. After his novitiate, he went to Leuven in Belgium and was ordained in Brussels in 1642. Returned to Ireland, he taught in Cashel and Waterford, and was much admired for his preaching. In 1650 he became guardian of Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. During the Cromwellian persecutions, he was arrested and hanged in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. He was buried in the chapter hall of the suppressed friary of Cashel.[3]

Peter O'Higgins O.P.

Peter O’Higgins was born in Dublin around 1602 during the persecution under James I. He was educated secretly in Ireland and later in Spain. With the accession of Charles I in 1625, a limited tolerance obtained and Peter came back to Dublin and was sent to re-open the Dominican house in Naas. The 1641 rebellion, a result of the plantations, evictions and persecutions, brought with it years of conflict between Irish v Old English, Catholic v Protestant; Puritan v Anglican. During this time William Pilsworth, Rector of Donadea, was arrested by rebel soldiers and about to be hanged, when Fr. Peter O'Higgins stepped forward. Pilsworth later wrote that when he was on the gallows, “a priest whom I never saw before, made a long speech on my behalf saying that this…was a bloody inhuman act that would…draw God’s vengeance on them. Whereupon I was brought down and released.” [4]

The government moved on Naas and O'Higgins was arrested and turned over to Governor Coote of Dublin. O'Higgins was offered his life if he would renounce his faith. He responded, "“So here the condition on which I am granted my life. They want me to deny my religion. I spurn their offer. I die a Catholic and a Dominican priest. I forgive from my heart all who have conspired to bring about my death.” Among the crowd at the foot of the scaffold was William Pilsworth who shouted out: “This man is innocent. This man is innocent. He saved my life.” William Pilsworth was not wanting in courage, but his words fell on deaf ears. With the words “Deo Gratias” on his lips Peter O’Higgins died on 23rd March, 1642.[4]


Various churches have been dedicated to the martyrs, including:
  • Church of the Irish Martyrs, Ballyraine, Letterkenny [1]
  • Church of the Irish Martyrs, Ballycane, Naas[11]
  • Church of the Irish Martyrs, Cromwell, Otago, New Zealand.


  1. ^ a b "The Irish Martyrs", The Church of the Irish Martyrs, Ballyraine
  2. ^ a b "Irish Martyrs", Parish of Ballymote
  3. ^ a b "Franciscan Saints & Blesseds", Irish Franciscans OFM
  4. ^ a b c "Blessed Peter O’Higgins O.P.", Newbridge College
  5. ^ a b Barry, Patrick, "The Penal Laws", L'Osservatore Romano, p.8, 30 November 1987
  6. ^ a b c "The Irish Martyrs", Irish Jesuits, Sacred Space
  7. ^ a b McNeill, Charles. "Irish Confessors and Martyrs." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 29 Jan. 2013
  8. ^ "Martyrs of England and Wales" New Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. 1967. P 322.
  9. ^ "The Reign of Elizabeth I", Sommerville, J.P., Univ. of Wisconsin
  10. ^ Cusack, Margaret Anne, An Illustrated History of Ireland
  11. ^ Naas Parish website

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:   Ulster Ireland

    Ulster (coloured), showing Northern Ireland in orange and the Republic of Ireland part in green
    Ulster (Irish: Ulaidh or Cúige Uladh, Ulster Scots: Ulstèr or Ulster) is one of the provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths (Irish: cúige) ruled by a rí ruirech, or "king of over-kings".

    The definition of the province was fluid from early to medieval times. It took a definitive shape in the reign of King James I of England when all the counties of Ireland were eventually shired. This process of evolving conquest that had been underway since the Norman invasion of Ireland, particularly as advanced by the Cambro-Norman magnates Hugh de Lacy and John de Courcy. Ulster was a central topic role in the treaty in the parliamentary debates that eventually resulted in the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Under the terms of the Act, Ireland was divided into two territories, Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland with the border passing through the province. "Southern Ireland" was to be all of Ireland except for "the parliamentary counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, and the parliamentary boroughs of Belfast and Londonderry" (the city of Derry) which were to constitute "Northern Ireland". The area of Northern Ireland was seen as the maximum area within which Unionists could be expected to have a safe majority. This was in spite of the fact that counties Fermanagh and Tyrone had Catholic Nationalist majorities. While these six counties and two parliamentary boroughs were all in the province of Ulster, three other counties of the province - Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan - were assigned to the Irish Free State.

    Ulster has no official function for local government purposes in either jurisdiction. However, for the purposes of ISO-3166-2, Ulster is used to refer to the three counties of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan only, which are given country sub-division code "IE-U".


    The name Ulster comes from the Irish Cúige Uladh meaning "fifth of the Ulaidh". The Ulaidh were a group of tribes who dwelt in the region, while "fifth" refers to the five regions into which ancient Ireland was divided. In English, the first part of the name ("Ul") refers to the Ulaidh. The latter part of the name ("ster") comes either from the English possessive ending -s and Irish tír (Ulaidhs tír) or the Old Norse staðr, both of which mean "land" or "territory".

    Ulaidh (or Cúige Uladh) has historically been anglicized as Ulagh or Ullagh and Latinized as Ulidia or Ultonia. The latter two have yielded the terms Ulidian and Ultonian. The Irish word for someone or something from Ulster is Ultach. Words that have been used in English are Ullish and Ulsterman/Ulsterwoman.

    Northern Ireland is often referred to as 'Ulster', despite including only six of Ulster's nine counties. This usage is most common amongst people in Northern Ireland who are unionist, although it is also used by the media throughout the United Kingdom.  Some Irish nationalists object to the use of Ulster in this context.


    Ulster has a population of just over 2 million people and an area of 21,552 square kilometres (8,321 sq mi). Its biggest city, Belfast, has an urban population of over half a million inhabitants, making it the second-largest city in Ireland and the 10th largest urban area in the UK.

    Six of Ulster's nine counties, Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, including the former parliamentary boroughs of Belfast and Londonderry, form Northern Ireland which remained part of the United Kingdom after the partition of Ireland in 1921. Three Ulster counties – Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan – form part of the Republic of Ireland. About half of Ulster's population lives in counties Antrim and Down. Across the nine counties, according to the aggregate UK 2011 Census for Northern Ireland, and Irish 2011 Census for counties Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan, there is a Catholic plurality over Protestant (47.03% against 42%).

    While the traditional counties continue to demarcate areas of local government in the Republic of Ireland, this is no longer the case in Northern Ireland. Since 1974, the traditional counties have been relegated to a ceremonial role. Local government in Northern Ireland is today demarcated by 26 districts.

    The biggest lake in Ireland, and in the United Kingdom, Lough Neagh, lies in eastern Ulster. The province's highest point, Slieve Donard (848 metres (2,782 ft)), stands in County Down. The most northerly point in Ireland, Malin Head, is in County Donegal, as are the sixth-highest (601 metres (1,972 ft)) sea cliffs in Europe, at Slieve League. The northernmost point in Ireland is in County Donegal, the most easterly point in Ireland is in County Down, and the most westerly point in the UK is in County Fermanagh. The longest river in Ireland, the Shannon, rises at the Shannon Pot in County Cavan with underground tributaries from County Fermanagh. Volcanic activity in eastern Ulster led to the formation of the Antrim Plateau and the Giant's Causeway, one of the UK's 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The geographical centre of Ulster lies between the villages of Pomeroy and Carrickmore in County Tyrone. In terms of area, County Donegal is the largest county in all of Ulster.

    Languages and dialects

    Most people in Ulster speak English. Irish is the next most commonly spoken language. English is taught in all schools in the province, and Irish is taught in all schools in the counties that are part of the Republic, and in many schools in Northern Ireland, almost exclusively in the Catholic and Irish-medium sectors. In responses to the 2001 census in Northern Ireland 10% of the population had "some knowledge of Irish", 4.7% to "speak, read, write and understand" Irish. Large parts of County Donegal are Gaeltacht areas where Irish is the first language and some people in west Belfast also speak Irish, especially in the 'Gaeltacht Quarter'. The dialect of Irish (Gaeilge) most commonly spoken in Ulster (especially throughout Northern Ireland and County Donegal) is Gaeilge Thír Chonaill or Donegal Irish, also known as Gaeilge Uladh or Ulster Irish. Donegal Irish has many similarities to Scottish Gaelic. Cantonese forms the third most common language, mostly due to the considerable Chinese community of Belfast, the province's largest city. Ulster Scots dialects, sometimes known by the neologism Ullans, are also spoken in Counties Down, Antrim, Londonderry and Donegal.

    There are about 30,000 Irish language speakers in the Ulster counties of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, with 17,132 native speakers in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Some 5,339 pupils attend the 44 Gaelscoileanna (Irish language primary schools) and seven Gaelcholáiste (Irish language secondary schools) across the province. According to the Republic's Census 2011 there are 7,713 daily speakers outside the education system in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan.


    Early history

    A bronze statue commemorating The Flight of the Earls at Rathmullan in north County Donegal.
    Ulster is one of the four Irish provinces. Its name derives from the Irish lnguage Cúige Uladh (pronounced "Kooi-gah UH-loo"), meaning "fifth of the Ulaidh", named for the ancient inhabitants of the region.

    The province's early story extends further back than written records and survives mainly in legends such as the Ulster Cycle. The archaeology of Ulster, formerly called Ulandia, gives examples of "ritual enclosures", such as the "Giant's Ring" near Belfast, which is an earth bank about 590 feet in diameter and 15 feet high, in the centre of which there is a dolmen (Riordain, 66).

    In 637, the Battle of Moira, known archaically as the Battle of Mag Rath, was fought by the Gaelic High King of Ireland Domnall II against his foster son King Congal of Ulster, supported by his ally Domnall the Freckled (Domnall Brecc) of Dalriada. The battle was fought near the Woods of Killultagh, just outside the village of Moira in what would become County Down. It was allegedly the largest battle ever fought on the island of Ireland, and resulted in the death of Congal and the retreat of Domnall Brecc.

    In early medieval Ireland, the Uí Néill dynasty displaced the Ulaidh and dominated Ulster from their base in Tír Eóghain, most of which forms modern County Tyrone. Among the High Kings of Ireland were Áed Findliath (died 879), Niall Glúndub (died 919), and Domnall ua Néill (died 980), all of the Cenél nEógain branch of the Uí Néill. Their descendants took the surname Mac Lochlainn (McLaughlin), ruling the kingdom of Ailech.

    Domnall Ua Lochlainn (died 1121) and Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn (died 1166) were of this dynasty. The Mac Lochlainn were in 1241 overthrown by their kin, the clan Ó Néill (see O'Neill dynasty). The Ó Néill's were from then on established as Ulster's most powerful Gaelic family.

    The Ó Domhnaill (O'Donnell) dynasty were Ulster's second most powerful clan from the early thirteenth-century through to the beginning of the seventeenth-century. The O'Donnells ruled over Tír Chonaill (most of modern County Donegal) in West Ulster.

    After the Norman invasion of Ireland in the twelfth century, the east of the province fell by conquest to Norman barons, first De Courcy (died 1219), then Hugh de Lacy (1176–1243), who founded the Earldom of Ulster based on the modern counties of Antrim and Down.

    However, by the end of the 14th century the Earldom had collapsed and Ulster had become the only Irish province completely outside of English control.

    In the 1600s Ulster was the last redoubt of the traditional Gaelic way of life, and following the defeat of the Irish forces in the Nine Years War (1594–1603) at the battle of Kinsale (1601), Elizabeth I's English forces succeeded in subjugating Ulster and all of Ireland.

    The Gaelic leaders of Ulster, the O'Neills and O'Donnells, finding their power under English suzerainty limited, decamped en masse in 1607 (the Flight of the Earls) to Roman Catholic Europe. This allowed the English Crown to plant Ulster with more loyal English and Scottish planters, a process which began in earnest in 1610.

    Plantations and civil wars

    The Plantation of Ulster (Irish: Plandáil Uladh) was the organised colonisation (or plantation) of Ulster by people from Great Britain (especially Presbyterians from Scotland). Private plantation by wealthy landowners began in 1606, while the official plantation controlled by King James I of England (who was also King James VI of Scots) began in 1609. All land owned by Irish chieftains, the Ó Neills and Ó Donnells (along with those of their supporters), who fought against the English Crown in the Nine Years War, were confiscated and used to settle the colonists. The Counties Tyrconnell, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Cavan, Coleraine and Armagh comprised the official Colony however most of the counties including the most heavily colonized Counties Antrim and Down were privately colonised These counties, though not  designated as subject to Plantation, had suffered violent de-populatation during the previous wars and proved attractive to Private Colonialists from nearby Britain.

    The official reason for the Plantation is said to have been to pay for the costly Nine Years' War, but this view was not shared by all in the English government of the time, most notably the English Crown-appointed Attorney-General for Ireland in 1609, Sir John Davies:
    A barbarous country must be first broken by a war before it will be capable of good government ; and when it is fully subdued and conquered, if it be not well planted and governed after the conquest, it will eftsoons return to the former barbarism.
    The Plantation of Ulster continued well into the 18th century, interrupted only by the Irish Rebellion of 1641. This Rebellion was initially led by Sir Phelim O'Neill (Irish: Sir Féilim Ó Néill), and was intended to overthrow British rule rapidly, but quickly degenerated into attacks on Colonialists, in which dispossessed Irish slaughtered thousands of the Colonialists. In the ensuing wars (1641–1653, fought against the background of civil war in England, Scotland and Ireland), Ulster became a battleground between the Colonialists and the native Irish. In 1646, an Irish army under command by Owen Roe O'Neill (Irish: Eoghan Ruadh Ó Néill) inflicted a defeat on a Scottish Covenanter army at Benburb in County Tyrone, but the native Irish forces failed to follow up their victory and the war lapsed into stalemate. The war in Ulster ended with the defeat of the native army at the Battle of Scarrifholis, near Newmills on the western outskirts of Letterkenny, County Donegal, in 1650, as part of the Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland conducted by Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army, the aim of which was to expel all native Irish to the Province of Connaught.

    Forty years later, in 1688-1691, the Williamite War was fought, the belligerents of which were the Williamites and Jacobites. The war was partly due to a dispute over who was the rightful claimant to the British Throne, and thus the supreme monarch of the nascent British Empire. However, the war was also a part of the greater War of the Grand Alliance, fought between King Louis XIV of France and his allies, and a European-wide coalition, the Grand Alliance, led by Prince William of Orange and Emperor Leopold I of the Holy Roman Empire, supported by the Vatican and many other states. The Grand Alliance was a cross-denominational alliance designed to stop French eastward colonialist expansion under Louis XIV, with whom King James II was allied.

    The majority of Irish people were "Jacobites" and supported James II due to his 1687 Declaration of Indulgence or, as it is also known, The Declaration for the Liberty of Conscience, that granted religious freedom to all denominations in England and Scotland and also due to James II's promise to the Irish Parliament of an eventual right to self-determination. However, James II was deposed in the Glorious Revolution, and the majority of Ulster Colonialists (Williamites) backed William of Orange. It is of note that both the Williamite and Jacobite armies were religiously mixed; William of Orange's own elite forces, the Dutch Blue Guards had a papal banner with them during the invasion, many of them being Dutch Catholics.

    At the start of the war, Irish Jacobites controlled most of Ireland for James II, with the exception of the Williamite strongholds at Derry and at Enniskillen in Ulster. The Jacobites besieged Derry from December 1688 to July 1689, ending when a Williamite army from Britain relieved the city. The Williamites based in Enniskillen defeated another Jacobite army at the battle of Newtownbutler on July 28, 1689. Thereafter, Ulster remained firmly under Williamite control and William's forces completed their conquest of the rest of Ireland in the next two years. The war provided Protestant loyalists with the iconic victories of the Siege of Derry, the Battle of the Boyne (1 July 1690) and the Battle of Aughrim (12 July 1691), all of which the Orange Order commemorate each year.

    The Williamites' victory in this war ensured British rule in Ireland for over 200 years. The Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland excluded most of Ulster's population from having any Civil power on religious grounds. Roman Catholics (descended from the indigenous Irish) and Presbyterians (mainly descended from Scottish Colonialists) both suffered discrimination under the Penal Laws, which gave full political rights only to Anglican Protestants (mostly descended from English settlers). In the 1690s, Scottish Presbyterians became a majority in Ulster, due to a large influx of them into the Province.


    Considerable numbers of Ulster-Scots emigrated to the North American colonies throughout the 18th century (160,000 settled in what would become the United States between 1717 and 1770 alone).

    Disdaining (or forced out of) the heavily English regions on the Atlantic coast, most groups of Ulster-Scots settlers crossed into the "western mountains," where their descendants populated the Appalachian regions and the Ohio Valley. Here they lived on the frontiers of America, carving their own world out of the wilderness. The Scotch-Irish soon became the dominant culture of the Appalachians from Pennsylvania to Georgia. Author (and U.S. Senator) Jim Webb puts forth a thesis in his book Born Fighting to suggest that the character traits he ascribes to the Scotch-Irish such as loyalty to kin, mistrust of governmental authority, and a propensity to bear arms, helped shape the American identity.

    In the United States Census, 2000, 4.3 million Americans claimed Scotch-Irish ancestry. Interestingly, the areas where the most Americans reported themselves in the 2000 Census only as "American" with no further qualification (e.g. Kentucky, north-central Texas, and many other areas in the Southern US) are largely the areas where many Scotch-Irish settled, and are in complementary distribution with the areas which most heavily report Scotch-Irish ancestry.

    According to the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, 400,000 people in the U.S. were of Irish birth or ancestry in 1790 when the first U.S. Census counted 3,100,000 white Americans. According to the encyclopedia, half of these Irish Americans were descended from Ulster, and half from the other three provinces of Ireland.

    Republicanism, rebellion and communal strife

    Most of the 18th century saw a calming of sectarian tensions in Ulster. The economy of the province improved, as small producers exported linen and other goods. Belfast developed from a village into a bustling provincial town. However, this did not stop many thousands of Ulster people from emigrating to British North America in this period, where they became known as "Scots Irish" or "Scotch-Irish".

    Political tensions resurfaced, albeit in a new form, towards the end of the 18th century. In the 1790s many Catholics and Presbyterians, in opposition to Anglican domination and inspired by the American and French revolutions joined together in the United Irishmen movement. This group (founded in Belfast) dedicated itself to founding a non-sectarian and independent Irish republic. The United Irishmen had particular strength in Belfast, Antrim and Down. Paradoxically however, this period also saw much sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants, principally members of the Church of Ireland (Anglicans, who practised the British state religion and had rights denied to both Presbyterians and Catholics), notably the "Battle of the Diamond" in 1795, a faction fight between the rival "Defenders" (Catholic) and "Peep O'Day Boys" (Anglican), which led to over 100 deaths and to the founding of the Orange Order. This event, and many others like it, came about with the relaxation of the Penal Laws and Catholics began to be allowed to purchase land and involve themselves in the linen trade (activities which previously had involved many onerous restrictions). Protestants, including some Presbyterians, who in some parts of the province had come to identify with the Catholic community, used violence to intimidate Catholics who tried to enter the linen trade. Estimates suggest that up to 7000 Catholics suffered expulsion from Ulster during this violence. Many of them settled in northern Connacht. These refugees' linguistic influence still survives in the dialects of Irish spoken in Mayo, which have many similarities to Ulster Irish not found elsewhere in Connacht. Loyalist militias, primarily Anglicans, also used violence against the United Irishmen and against Catholic and Protestant republicans throughout the province.

    In 1798 the United Irishmen, led by Henry Joy McCracken, launched a rebellion in Ulster, mostly supported by Presbyterians. But the British authorities swiftly put down the rebellion and employed severe repression after the fighting had ended. In the wake of the failure of this rebellion, and following the gradual abolition of official religious discrimination after the Act of Union in 1800, Presbyterians came to identify more with the State and with their Anglican neighbors, due to their civil rights now being respected by both the state and their Anglican Neighbors.

    Industrialisation, Home Rule and partition

    Royal Avenue, Belfast. Photochrom print circa 1890-1900.
    In the 19th century, Ulster had the only large-scale industrialisation and became the most prosperous province on the island. In the latter part of the century, Belfast overtook Dublin as the island's largest city. Belfast became famous in this period for its huge dockyards and shipbuilding — and notably for the construction of the RMS Titanic. Sectarian divisions in Ulster became hardened into the political categories of unionist (supporters of the Union with Britain; mostly, but not exclusively, Protestant) and nationalist (advocates of the Repeal of the Bill of Union 1900 ; usually, though not exclusively, Catholic). Northern Ireland's current politics originate from these late 19th century disputes over Home Rule that would have devolved some powers of government to Ireland, and which Ulster Protestants usually opposed—fearing for their religious rights calling it "Rome Rule" in an autonomous Catholic-dominated Ireland and also not trusting politicians from the agrarian south and west to support the more industrial economy of Ulster. This lack of trust however was largely unfounded as during the 19th and early 20th century important industries in the southern most region of Cork, included brewing, distilling, wool and like Belfast, shipbuilding.[31]

    Thousands of unionists, led by the Dublin-born barrister Sir Edward Carson and James Craig, signed the "Ulster Covenant" of 1912 pledging to resist Home Rule. This movement also set up the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). In April 1914, the UVF assisted with the landing of 30,000 German rifles with 3,000,000 rounds at Larne by blockading authorities. (See Larne gunrunning). The Curragh Incident showed it would be difficult to use the British army to enforce home rule from Dublin on Ulster's unionist minority.

    In response, Irish nationalists created the Irish Volunteers, part of which later became the forerunner of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) — to seek to ensure the passing of the Home Rule Bill.

    Upon the outbreak of World War I in 1914, 200,000 Irishmen, both Southern and Northern, of all religions sects volunteered to serve in the British Army. This had the effect of interrupting the armed stand-off in Ireland. As the war progressed, in Ireland, opposition to the War grew stronger, reaching its peak in 1918 when the British government proposed laws to extend conscription to all able bodied Irishmen during the Conscription Crisis.

    In the aftermath of the War, Ireland saw several years of political violence, with Irish nationalists launching a guerrilla campaign against British rule as part of the Anglo-Irish War (January 1919–July 1921). In Ulster, the fighting generally took the form of street battles between Protestants and Catholics in the city of Belfast. Estimates suggest that about 600 civilians died in this communal violence, the majority of them (58%) Catholics. The IRA remained relatively quiescent in Ulster, with the exception of the south Armagh area, where Frank Aiken led it. A lot of IRA activity also took place at this time in County Donegal and the City of Derry, where one of the main Republican leaders was Peadar O'Donnell. Hugh O'Doherty, a Sinn Féin politician, was elected mayor of Derry at this time. In the First Dáil, which was elected in late 1918, Prof. Eoin Mac Néill served as the Sinn Féin T.D. for Derry city.

    1920 to present

    Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I.
    Partition of Ireland, first mooted in 1912, was introduced with the enactment of the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which gave self-government to six of Ulster's north-eastern counties within the UK. This was confirmed by the Anglo-Irish Treaty (6 December 1921) which ended in the partition of Ireland between the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) and Northern Ireland. Hostilities formally ceased on July 11, 1921. Low-level violence, however, continued in Ulster, causing Michael Collins to order a boycott of Northern products in protest at attacks on the Catholic/Nationalist community. When the Irish Free State came into existence in 1922, the Northern Ireland Parliament (already in existence) was given the option to 'opt out', which it did.

    Electorally, voting in the six Northern Ireland counties of Ulster tends to follow religious or sectarian lines; noticeable religious demarcation does not exist in the South Ulster counties of Cavan and Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. County Donegal is largely a Catholic county, but with a large Protestant minority. Generally, Protestants in Donegal vote for Fine Gael. However, religious sectarianism in politics has largely disappeared from the rest of the Republic of Ireland. This was illustrated when Erskine H. Childers, a Church of Ireland member and Teachta Dála (TD, a member of the lower house of the National Parliament) who had represented Monaghan, won election as President after having served as a long-term minister under Fianna Fáil Taoisigh Éamon de Valera, Seán Lemass and Jack Lynch.

    The Orange Order freely organises in counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, with several Orange parades taking place throughout County Donegal each year. The only major Orange Order march in the Republic of Ireland takes place every July in the village of Rossnowlagh, near Ballyshannon, in the south of County Donegal.

    As of 2006, Northern Ireland has eight Catholic Members of Parliament (of a total of 18 from the whole of Northern Ireland) in the British House of Commons at Westminster; and the other three counties have one Protestant T.D. of the ten it has elected to Dáil Éireann, the Lower House of the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland. At present (August 2007) County Donegal sends six T.D.'s to Dáil Éireann. The county is divided into two constituencies: Donegal North-East and Donegal South-West, each with three T.D.'s. County Cavan and County Monaghan form the one constituency called Cavan-Monaghan, which sends five T.D.'s to the Dáil (one of whom is a Protestant). The Republic's parties have long ceased to base their selection of candidates purely on any religious criteria.

    The historic Flag of Ulster served as the basis for the Ulster Banner (often referred to as the Flag of Northern Ireland), which was the flag of the Government of Northern Ireland until the proroguing of the Stormont parliament in 1973.


    • Faulkner, J. and Thompson, R. 2011. The Natural History of Ulster. National Museums of Northern Ireland. Publication No. 026. ISBN 0-900761-49-0
    • Morton, O. 1994. Marine Algae of Northern Ireland. Ulster Museum, Belfast. ISBN 0-900761-28-8
    • Stewart and Corry's Flora of the North-east of Ireland. Third edition. Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast


     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Three: Life in Christ

    Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


    Article 6:3  The Morality of Passions- Passion and Moral Life

    1699 Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man (chapter one). This life is made up of divine charity and human solidarity (chapter two). It is graciously offered as salvation (chapter three).

    1700 The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son Lk 15:11-32 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.

    Article 6
    1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment.... For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God.... His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."GS 16

    IV. Erroneous Judgment
    1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

    1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."GS 16 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

    1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one's passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

    1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

    1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time "from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith."1 Tim 5; cf. 8:9; 2 Tim 3; 1 Pet 3:21; Acts 24:16

    The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct.GS 16

    1795 "Conscience is man's most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths" (GS 16).
    1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.
    1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.
    1798 A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.
    1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.
    1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.
    1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.
    1802 The Word of God is a light for our path. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. This is how moral conscience is formed.