“The closing years of the reign of Henry VIII afford a most perplexing spectacle of confusion in religious affairs—Catholic and Protestant sympathizers among nobles and prelates intriguing and counter-intriguing at the Council-board; Catholic priests saying mass in one part of a church, while Protestant zealots were loudly reading the Scriptures in another; Catholics and Protestants dragged to Smithfield on the same hurdles, the first to be hanged for treason, the other to be burned for heresy. The Protestants of Bucks would hear at one time of a martyrdom on their own borders, when three Windsor men, Peerson, Filmer, and Testwood, were burned just below the Castle. A few weeks later they would hear how their accusers had been made to ride round the streets of Windsor, with their faces to the horses’ tails, and papers on their heads charging them with perjury, and then had had to stand in the pillory. In the same year (1543) Jacob Mallet, a canon of Windsor, and formerly master of the hospital at High Wycombe, was executed for treason. The charge against him was that, speaking of the dissolution of the abbeys, he had said, ‘The King hath brought his hogs to a fine market!’ The Act of the Six Articles was considerably modified in 1546, and again in 1547. But on the other hand Henry complained that ‘that most precious jewel, the Word of God, was disputed, rhymed, sung, and jangled in every ale house and tavern…’ and therefore he withdrew the liberty of Bible-reading from every one ‘under the degree of a gentleman,’ and prohibited Tyndale’s and Coverdale’s versions. This reign of confusion and compromise lasted till Henry’s death in 1547.”— William Henry Summers, The Lollards of the Chiltern Hills: Glimpses of English Dissent in the Middle Ages (via goneril-and-regan)
“A Roman Catholic boy asked his priest the difference between the Dominicans and the Jesuits. The priest replied: “The Dominicans were founded to get rid of the Albigensians. The Jesuits were founded to get rid of the Lutherans.” The boy asked: “Which order is better?” “Well,” retorted the priest with a sly grin, “how many Albigensians have you met?””— Joke courtesy of Father Hollywood.
Ash Wednesday is February 13th; it is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. For those who do not know Catholics put ashes on their heads as a reminder of their mortality. Upon receiving the ashes we hear the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”