Saturday, 16 October 2010

Tomorrow is St Richard Gwyn Day!

Saint Richard Gwyn (aka Richard White) is a real hero of mine.

  • Firstly he is Welsh (Hurrah!).
  • Secondly he had a tremendous sense of humour (even in those diabolical times under Elizabeth I - boo) even writing a humorous piece against a married priesthood.
  • Thirdly he was a teacher and family man, so was very much a man with his feet firmly on the ground.
  • Fourthly he stumbled on his personal 'via dolorosa' briefly conforming and becoming Anglican.
  • Lastly he would not betray the Catholic Faith despite all the bribes, tortures and pressures put upon him.

Here's one story about him that shows his good humour:

...placed in the stocks for this incident, and was taunted by a local [vicar] who claimed that the keys of the church were given no less to him than to St. Peter. “There is this difference,” Gwyn replied, “namely, that whereas Peter received the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, the keys you received were obviously those of the beer cellar.”

On trial with two fellow Welsh Catholics they made sure to address the court in Welsh, English and Latin.

In great sadness looking upon the churches of his beloved Wales he said:

"Yn lle allol; trestyl trist" (In place of an altar, there is a miserable table.) 

What would he say of so many Catholic churches today, with so many containing little more than 'miserable tables?'

His last words, in Welsh, were

“Iesu, trugarha wrthyf” (Jesus, have mercy on me).

The Relics of St Richard Gwyn are to be found in the St Mary of the Seven Dolours Cathedral, Wrexham, seat of the Bishop of Wrexham.

Latin Mass Society on St Richard Gwyn, their co-patron saint.

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