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religious Orders in Ireland, notwithstanding all inconveniences due to the rigorous enforcement of the penal laws. In the case of the Irish Teresians, the matter had become all the more urgent recently owing to the death of two of their exiled brethren in Belgium; Fathers Paul-Simon of JesusMary and Fortunatus of St. Anne, both of them summoned to their reward in the course of this year.2 The death of Father Cherubinus of St. Gabriel must, also, have occurred abroad about the same period; for there is no reference to his name after 1655, as we have already seen; and although Father Columbanus of the Blessed Sacrament survived until 1662, we cannot say, for certain, whether he ever returned to Ireland.3
As so many of the documents now under review reveal an appalling picture of Cromwellian vandalism, mention may be made of a curious instance, in relief, which presents the Protector's soldiers as 'patrons of learning'; and which is not entirely dissociated from the later history of the Irish Carmelites. We are told that in 1661 the collection of MSS. in Trinity College, Dublin, was raised to a position of first importance by the acquisition of Archbishop Ussher's Library, which had been purchased for the University a few years previously by the officers and soldiers of Cromwell's army in Ireland." The original press-markings show that two Carmelite items of the utmost interest, whether from the liturgical or historical standpoint, belonged to this famous collection: the Ancient Ritual of the Order, and the Kilcormic Missal, containing obits of that monastery down to the very date of the Suppression."
When in Rome, in 1662, Father Agapitus of the Holy Ghost prepared a formal statement on the actual condition of Ireland during the occupation of the country by the troops in question; and if he furnishes no evidence to suggest that
1 From the letter quoted.
2 The date is omitted in the Book of Obits.
I E. RECORD, vol. ix. p. 486. The Douai MS. has: (a) 'P.F. PaulusSimon a J.-M., Hybernus, Brugis, 5 Sept. 1661.-Aetas 40. Prof. 20' (f. 213); (b) P.F. Fortunatus a S. Anna, Hybernus, Antwerpiae, 2 Dec. 1661.
Aetas 58. Prof. 39' (ibid., f. 214), (c) P.F. Columbanus a SS. Sacr., Hybernus, Bruxellis, 20 Apr. 1662.-Aetas 81. Prof. 47' (ibid. l.c.). A MS. list-containing some obvious inaccuracies-of the Discalced Carmelites on the Irish Mission in 1659 includes a Father Columbanus of St Dympna; and this was, probably, the Father Columbanus a S. Delphino' mentioned in the Book of Missionary Obits.
▲ Catalogue of MSS. in T.C.D. p. 1.
5 I have edited the former.
the purchasers of the Ussher Library were inspired by 'love of true learning,' his official report leaves little room for doubt as to how the origin and object of 'Old Trinity' would have appealed to them in their fanatical detestation of the Catholic Faith. The Fathers assembled in Rome for the General Chapter that year bore eloquent testimony, by acclamation, to the cause of three Teresian victims of similar fanatics, cruelly slain by them in the early stages of the Puritan campaign. The presentation of such instances of heroic constancy by Father Agapitus of the Holy Ghost has been pronounced of supreme importance in vindication of the integrity of the motive for which our Irish Confessors of the period laid down their lives. Here it will suffice to say that the Latin text of the narrative is easily accessible in another place; and is, in reality, but confirmation, in copious detail, of various facts mentioned in that appeal from Dublin quoted above and endorsed by a number of those who had survived the ordeal of such relent
less oppression. Father Agapitus did not assist at the General Chapter of 1662 as canonically-elected socius of the Religious in Ireland; but it is certain that his visit to Rome at this juncture was in furtherance of the project specified in the same appeal: the providing for the future of their beloved Mission, which the Irish Teresians held more closely at heart than ever under the, apparently, still bright auspices of the Stuart Restoration.
If, however, his own enthusiasm led the SuperiorsGeneral to foster confidence in regard to the stability of religious tolerance, both in England and Ireland, towards the Catholic subjects of the new King, they would have been painfully disillusioned by the news that reached Rome from London in the January of 1663. As if in practical protest of their determination to frustrate any such hope for the permanent relief of the Faithful, the heretical authorities had issued warrants for the arrest of two Irish Discalced Carmelites-Fathers Patrick of St. Brigid and Thomas of Jesus -then known to be in the city; and they were dragged to prison through the streets of London in circumstances well calculated to intimidate and mortify their co-religionists.3
1 Acta Cap. Gen., lib. ii. f. 114b.
2 Cf. Spicilegium Ossoriense, vol. ii. p. 204 sqq. A contemporary copy, signed by Father Agapitus of the Holy Ghost, is preserved in the General Archives of the Discalced Carmelites. (Plut. 190.)
The letter containing these details, and written by Father Patrick of St. Brigid, is preserved among the English Papers. (Plut. 187.)
The case aroused considerable interest even in Court circles, being chronicled by the Diarist Pepys, who draws special attention to the very detail which, when writing to Rome, Father Patrick of St. Brigid assigns as what would be urged against them in positive proof of their guilt: the fact of Father Thomas of Jesus having been seized while offering the Holy Sacrifice, and led away actually wearing the sacred insignia of his priesthood, described by Pepys as the Vests.' 1 Consequently, the mere thought of liberty of conscience had by this time become dispelled. The reply to Father Patrick's letter is, likewise, extant; and in it both Religious are earnestly exhorted by the Superiors-General of the Order to endure this grievous trial, as they themselves best know how, so that their fortitude and patience might edify and encourage the persecuted Catholics of London. Meanwhile, every effort would be made-especially by securing the intervention of the Queen Mother-to bring about their release. with least possible delay. This favour was obtained in the course of the same year; but on condition that Fathers Patrick and Thomas should accept the alternative of perpetual banishment from the British Dominions, under the usual capital penalty which return on their part would entail.3 Nevertheless, it is gratifying to think that, far from acting as a deterrent, this awful threat seems to have proved rather an incentive on the very first opportunity afforded them of risking the perils of the Mission in their native land once
It will be remembered that in one of his interesting letters from London Father Patrick of St. Brigid had alluded to the arrest of Father Laurence of St. Thomas, one of the signatories of the memorial prepared, in form of an appeal, for the General Chapter of 1662. And now we have to consider another important document of the period in which the death of this zealous Missionary, at Dundalk, in 1664, is attributed to a malady contracted during his long and cruel captivity in Drogheda. Father Agapitus of the Holy Ghost is the author of the narrative which this document contains ;
1 Under date of the 16th February, 1663, Pepys has: It seems a priest was taken in his vests officiating somewhere in Holborne the other day,' etc. 2 Ex Lib. ii. Epistolarum Definitorii Generalis, 1640-1700,-The pagination ends at f. 104.
* From the narrative of Father Bede of St. Simon Stock. (English Papers, Plut. 187.)
• The subsequent experiences of both will occupy attention later on.
and we owe it to what transpired at the General Chapter of 1665, when he again visited Rome, but, on the present occasion, as official representative of the Irish Mission.1 He attended the opening Session on the 24th of April; and, on the 28th instant, after the cause of the three Religious of that Mission, whom the heretics put to death in hatred of the Faith, had duly been acclaimed, he submitted a petition for the establishment of a novitiate for Irish subjects at Rochelle. In passing reference to current events in Ireland, Father Agapitus said that he had committed to writing his own experiences since the last General Chapter; and it is with these we are about to deal.2 Since, however, the project before the Capitular Fathers seemed to militate, in some way, against the interests of the Province of Aquitaine, Father Agapitus promptly suggested, as an alternative, that the desired purpose could be realized by an arrangement which would admit of Irish postulants being professed and educated in the convent at Trent. Hence, the matter was immediately referred to the DefinitoryGeneral to consider and provide for the requirements of the Mission. Turning, then, to the narrative in question, we notice that it ends abruptly with the record of the death of Father Laurence of St. Thomas, and bears neither date nor signature. Fortunately contemporary evidence enables us to add these important details, identifying the author, who begins by recounting what had befallen him when on his way back to Ireland from Rome three years previously. Another Irish Discalced Carmelite, resident in Italy at the time, also alludes to these remarkable occurrences when recalling his own experiences of the Irish Mission : expressly associating them with Father Agapitus of the Holy Ghost."
We learn that on that occasion Father Agapitus spent several months in London as the guest of a distinguished convert to the Catholic Faith; in whose house he himself had the consolation of receiving, not only the gentleman's own daughter and sister, but several friends, into the
1 Acta Cap. Gen. ... 1665, f. 121b. and f. 128b.
2 The MS. is preserved among the Irish Papers. (Plut. 190.) Date and authorship are based both on intrinsic and extrinsic evidence.
3 Acta Cap. Gen. . . . 1665. 1.c.
▲ Father Felix of the Holy Ghost, whose narrative is preserved among the Irish Papers. (Plut. 190.) All documents in this series are written in Latin, except it is expressly notified to the contrary.
Church.1 Indeed, so great was our informant's success, in this respect, he would gladly have remained on in London for some further time but for the activity displayed by the royal agents in 1662 to secure signatures to the 'Loyal Remonstrance' drawn up by the Franciscan Walsh, and approved by the Duke of Ormonde as an acceptable test of Catholic allegiance to the Crown. No sooner had these agents become aware of the arrival of Father Agapitus in London than they insisted upon his conforming to what they urged as an indispensable condition of residence there, and of exemption from arrest. Having protested his inability to subscribe to the Formulary,' he endeavoured to evade capture by appealing to the Queen Mother, who found herself quite powerless to assist him. So his sole alternative was to make good his escape to Ireland betimes, if at all possible in the circumstances. He furnishes a graphic description of that eventful journey, recording how certain travellers were wont to engage freely in such serious conversation as interested them in those early years of the reign of a monarch little in sympathy with his Puritanical environment. Of course the casual companions of Father Agapitus of the Holy Ghost were ignorant of the fact of his being a priest when discussing with him various points of Catholic dogma. Nor do their suspicions appear to have been aroused when his own comments on the same were all directed to demonstrate the unassailable position of Christians in union with the Church of Rome.2 Eventually he reached Dublin safely, although barely escaping shipwreck within sight of the Irish coast. It seems he had not yet recovered from the hardships of that perilous voyage before the author of the 'Loyal Remonstrance' waited upon him to urge, in person, the necessity of Father Agapitus and the other Irish Teresian Friars subscribing to this Formulary, in order to insure, for the Catholics of Ireland generally, a generous measure of religious toleration. Otherwise, those Discalced Carmelites should, undoubtedly, find themselves in open conflict with the Government; and this would imply, at best, immediate banishment from Ireland.3 Fathers Paul of St. Ubald and John of the Mother of God were
1 From the narrative (II) of Father Agapitus of the Holy Ghost. When at all possible, the pious Queen Henrietta Maria never hesitated to use her influence at Court on behalf of both English and Irish Teresian Missionaries. But not always, as in the present instance, with success.
2 Relatio (II), 1.c.